Riba-roja d’Ebre Meander

The area of the Riba-roja d’Ebre Meander forms part of the river systems of the river Ebro between Riba-roja d’Ebre and Flix. It is included in the “Catalogue of Wetlands of Catalunya” under the name of Sebes and the Riba-roja d’Ebre Meander. It is, therefore, the natural continuation of the neighbouring area of the Sebes and Flix Meander Wildlife Nature Reserve, and makes up the same hydrogeomorphological unity.

Given the extension and characteristics of this natural complex formed by the Riba-roja d’Ebre Meander and Sebes, several vegetation groups of interest stand out, as well as a great diversity of associated fauna. In the  case of the Riba-roja d’Ebre Meander, recent botanical searches carried out by an expert have defined a set of vegetation groups of great ecological and conservational interest- in particular  different groups of species  belonging  to the habitat of community interest 92AO, such as the elm (Ulmus minor) and the poplar (Populus amanecer). Also present are meadows and Mediterranean halophilous (salt water) reedbeds (Juncetalia maritime) and some examples of secondary tree-like vegetation, such as the tamarisk (Tamarix sp.). Even so, there are degraded areas with a strong presence of exotic vegetation such as the Asian cane (Arundo donax) and the proliferation of plants resulting from human activity on the edges of the space.

Since 2013, we have carried out on the Riba-roja d’Ebre Meander various activities to restore the river environment:

  • The elimination of exotic vegetation and the reinforcement of the native riverside wood: In this respect we have restored more than 500 metres of riverside with the elimination of the cane beds (Arundo donax) and enrichment of the tree cover with the planting of more than 400 native riverside trees. These activities are the result of collaboration between the Town Council (owners of the lands) and Grup de Natura Freixe, managers of the Sebes and Flix Meander Wildlife Nature Reserve. In fact, since 22 August 2016, we have had a formalized the land stewardship agreement between both parties, with the aim of carrying out activities to improve and restore the vegetation present in the river area.

Specific activities we will want to carry out in this area, once botanical characterization has been done, and the assessment of its potential, are the following:

  • Elimination of the monospecific mass of cane (Arundo donax), shredding the exposed part of the plant and taking out the underground rhizomes.
  • Excavation in the area occupied by cane of a lagoon of some 10,000 m² with different depths which is fed by the water table due to its closeness to the river.
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