The Pateira

The Pateira

Historically, Pateira must be considered as an old marine branch where the Cértima, Águeda and Vouga rivers flowed, independently of one another, before the creation of the Ria de Aveiro. That branch that the alluvium of the three rivers closed gave rise to a single watercourse – the Vouga River – with the mouth being located much more to the northwest, as it is today (Almeida, 2006).

The Territory

The largest natural lagoon on the Iberian Peninsula currently occupies an area of ​​variable surface and depth, according to the season, which, at its maximum, reaches more than 5 km2. These extend, mostly, through the municipality of Águeda, also covering the municipality of Aveiro and Oliveira do Bairro.

The term “Pateira” encapsulates the specificity of the Vouga region and its tributaries, designating, by itself, an abundance of ducks.

In hydrographic terms, the lagoon is included in the Cértima river basin, which, in turn, is part of the Águeda river basin and this, in the Vouga river basin.

The lagoon is fed by the Cértima river (upstream), by the Pano stream (to the west), occasionally by other runoff, and by groundwater (Aveiro Cretaceous aquifer system), with the Cértima river being the main course that affects the hydrology.

Águeda – Oliveira do Bairro – Aveiro

Regarding the relief, the area surrounding Pateira has a smooth relief, to the west, with an area with an altitude above 50 meters in Fermentelos (Agueda municipality).

To the east, in the Espinhel area, there is an elevation that reaches 78 meters, revealing slopes with relative significance given the characteristics of the surrounding area. To the northwest, between Oliveirinha and Requeixo (Municipality of Aveiro) there is a range with an altitude between 50 and 70 meters, with a gentle slope towards Pateira.

To the southwest, the cultivation areas on the left bank of the Cértima and Perrães rivers flank the Pateira with gentle reliefs of minimal heights.

Faunal Biodiversity

Faunal Biodiversity

With regard to faunal diversity, Pateira and its surrounding areas stand out, particularly, for their important ornithological component. In these areas occur species with protection status at national and international level — classified by the Birds Directive (Directive 79/409/EEC), Bonn Convention, Berne Convention.

Species of community importance arise, such as:

Floristic Biodiversity

Floristic Biodiversity

In the wetland, which includes the free waters and the flooded vegetation of the banks and lines, habitats with stands of Caniço (Phragmites communis), together with Tabúa (Typha sp.) and Bunho (Scirpus lacustris) dominate. There are also communities (or mosaics of communities) of vascular plants with floating macrophytes, rooted or suspended between the bottom and the surface: the Pinheirinha (Myriophyllum sp.), the Water lilies (Nymphaea sp., Nuphar luteo ) or even the Hyacinth -water (Eichhornia crassipes).

In some marginal areas along the Pateira, there is the occurrence of several tree and shrub species such as:

Willows (Salix alba, Salix sp.), Poplars (Populus canescens, Populus nigra, Populus sp.), Alders (Alnus glutinosa), Black Alder (Frangula alnus), Ash (Fraxinus angustifolia), Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), Elderberry (Sambucus nigra), Borrazeiras (Salix atrocinerea ), occasionally Oaks (Quercus robur), Loureiros (Laurus nobilis ), Elmeiros (Ulmus sp.) …

Among the allochthonous species are Eucalyptus globulus (predominant in the forest cover of the areas adjacent to the lagoon), and other trees of the Acacia and Hakea genera, these with infesting behavior and which are widespread in the vicinity of the lagoon.