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Grasslands publications search: Portugal

Portuguese publications are below:

Websites | Projects | Publications: Biodiversity | Publications: Management | Publications: Restoration | Publications: Survey and monitoring | Publications: Miscellaneous

Websites

A Rocha

Overview: Portuguese Environmental Non-Governamental Organization dedicated to the conservation of the Ria de Alvor Natura 2000 Site, that presents some information on plant richness.
Link: http://en.arocha.org/ptresearch/index3.html

Cultbase - Cultural landscape database

Overview: website of the PAN European Thematic Network on Cultural Landscapes and their Ecosystems, financed by the European Commission. The database includes information on the specific cultural landscapes and their ecosystems that have been focused during the PAN project, that acts as a source of information for students, researchers, planners, policy makers, NGOs as well as the interested public.
Link: http://pan.cultland.org/cultbase/?document_id=304&PHPSESSID=6638f4008c47a031aa1f9ac22e6a5e3b

Life Projects in Portugal

Overview: Presents the Life Projects financed in Portugal and list of ongoig projects in 2006
Link: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/countries/documents/portugal_en_may06.pdf

Liga para a Protecção da Natureza (LPN - League for the Protection of Nature )

Overview: Portuguese Environmental Non-Governamental Organization working in pseudo-steppe protection since the 1990's. Work has been carried out with several projects that include three Life Projects on steppe birds (Great Bustard, Lesser Kestrel, Little Bustard), mainly in the Castro Verde Special Protection Area but also in other Natura 2000 sites.
Link: www.lpn.pt/#0-PT

Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves (SPEA)

Overview: Portuguese Environmental Non-Governamental Organization dedicated to bird study that was carried out a Life Profect on Little Bustard.
Link: www.spea.pt/ms_sisao/index.php?op=projecto

Gabinete de Planeamento e Políticas (GPP)

Overview: Governmental authority on rural development planning, namely for the programming period of 2007-2013.
Link: www.gppaa.min-agricultura.pt/ and www.gppaa.min-agricultura.pt/drural2007-2013/

Instituto da Conservação da Natureza e da Biodiversidade (ICNB)

Overview: Governmental Institute responsible for the Natura 2000 management and for the protection of biodiversity.
Link: http://portal.icn.pt/ICNPortal/vPT/

Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Pescas (INIAP)

Overview: National Governmental Institute responsible for research on agrarian and fisheries issues.
Link: www.iniap.min-agricultura.pt/noticias_detail.aspx?id_noticia=594&uni=4

Naturlink

Overview: website for nature issues where news and informations on natura 2000 management is provided as well as species data.
Link: www.naturlink.pt/default.asp?iLingua=1

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Projects

Castro Verde Programme (Programa Castro Verde Sustentável)

Overview: Programme developed by LPN, since 1993, on the conservation of steppe birds and their habitat in the Castro Verde SPA, that includes farm management, conservation measures, awareness and ecotourism.
Link: www.lpn.pt/#20-PT

Life Peneireiro-das-torres (Life Lesser Kestrel)

Overview: Life-Nature Project (2002-2006) that aimed to promote the recovery of the Lesser Kestrel Portuguese population, promoted by LPN. Intervention area included three Natura 2000 sites: Castro Verde, Vale do Guadiana and Campo Maior SPA. Actions included nesting and foraging habitat management, awareness and promoting of management measures to be included in Agri-Environment Schemes.
Link: www.lpn.pt/#20-PT

Life Plano Nacional de Conservação da Flora em Perigo

Overview: Life Nature projects that aims to implement management measures for the conservation of seven endemic plant species, one of them typical of dryland cereal and fallow fields.
Link: www.icn.pt/pnc_flora_perigo/

Life Serra da Estrela

Overview: Life Nature Project, promoted by ICNB, aimed at the conservation and restablisment of priority habitats in Serra da Estrela Natura 2000 Site, namely existent mountain grasslands.
Link: www.apfpaul.pt/main.php?cix=93&v=271619

Life Sisão (Life Little Bustard)

Overview: Life Nature Project (2002-2007) that aimed the protection of Little Bustard, neamely in the Moura/Mourão/Barrancos SPA, promoted by SPEA.
Link: www.spea.pt/ms_sisao/

Life Extensity (Environmental and Sustainability Management Systems in Extensive Agriculture)

Overview: Life Environment project that aims to create a cost-effective and simple Sustainability Management System (SMS) for extensive agriculture, comprising environmental, social and economic aspects, with successive levels of demand.
Link: http://extensity.ist.utl.pt

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Publications: Biodiversity

Alcazar, R., 2001. Biodiversidade e intensificação agrícola: modelação ecológica e orientações para um planeamento ambiental. FCT-UNL.

Abstract: Master thesis that addresses the effects of agricultural intensification in grasslands in the Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina Natural Park (Southwest Portugal), using the bird community as an indicator. Results show that the increase on the intensification gradient results in a decrease of biodiversity and the loss of bird species associated to more extensive farming systems, such as the semi-natural grasslands.

Borges, P.A.V., Brown, V.K., 2004, Arthropod community structure in pastures of an island archipelago (Azores): looking for local-regional species richness patterns at fine-scales. Bulletin of Entomological Research, Vol. 94, Issue 2, 111-121.

Abstract: The arthropod species richness of pastures in three Azorean islands was used to examine the relationship between local and regional species richness over two years. Two groups of arthropods, spiders and sucking insects, representing two functionally different but common groups of pasture invertebrates were investigated. Results imply that for spiders local processes are important, with assemblages in a particular patch being constrained by habitat structure. In contrast, for sucking insects, local processes may be insignificant in structuring communities.

Brito, P., 1996. Aspectos sobre a selecção do habitat e biologia da reprodução do Alcaravão (Burhinus oedicnemus) numa região do Alto Alentejo. (Habitat selection and breeding biology of Stone Curlew in Alto Alentejo region). FCUL.

Abstract: Degree thesis report on habitat selection and breeding biology of the Stone Curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus). Several measures on farming management are proposed in order to promote Stone Curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus) conservation and their habitat, which is associated to the conservation of semi-natural grasslands.

Cardoso, A.C., Carrapato, C., 2002. Breves notas sobre o Cortiçol-de-barriga-negra (Pterocles orientalis) no Parque Natural do Vale do Guadiana. (Short notes of the Black-bellied Sandgrouse at the Vale do Guadiana Natural Park). Airo 12:113-119.

Abstract: Research paper on the local estimates, breeding biology, distribution and habitat selection of the Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Pterocles orientalis) in a semi-natural grassland in the Vale do Guadiana Natural Park. The individual followed by radio-telemetry preferred pastures with trefoil (Trifolium subterraneum) and also used fallows and small patches of scrub vegetation, where scrubs were used to rest and for shelter.

Casado, M.A., Castro, I., Ramírez-Sanz, L., Costa-Tenorio, M., Miguel, J.M., Pineda, F.D., 2004, Herbaceous plant richness and vegetation cover in Mediterranean grasslands and shrublands. Plant Ecology, Vol. 170, No.1, 83-91.

Abstract: Different types of relationship between herbaceous species richness and several parameters indicating abundance of plant material (herbaceous, woody plants, litter and bare ground cover) are presented. The data were obtained from 50 sites along a 300 km strip running from E to W within Spain and Portugal. Each site was representative of the silvo-pastoral landscape of the Mediterranean type ecosystems of the Iberian peninsula, and contained two neighboring patches, one of grassland and the other of shrubland. This paper shows the existence of a common model related to herbaceous cover, but this model has multiple controlling factors that act differently in each type of community.

Catry, I., 2000. Biologia da reprodução e selecção do habitat do Peneireiro-das-torres (Falco naumanni) na região de Castro Verde. (Lesser Kestrel breeding biology and habitat selection in the Castro Verde region). FCUL.

Abstract: Degree thesis report on Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) breeding biology and habitat selection using radio-telemetry in Castro Verde. Lesser Kestrel prefers to forage in cereal fields and fallows avoiding tree and scrub areas. Results from radio-telemetry shows that forages occurs in the vicinities of the colony (up to 3km). Some management measures for colony protection are also proposed.

Cordeiro, A., 2001. Biologia da reprodução do Peneireiro-das-torres (Falco naumanni) em Portugal. (Lesser Kestrel breeding biology in Portugal). FCUL.

Abstract: Degree thesis report on Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) breeding biology in Portugal. A tendency for the number of juveniles to decrease while the breeding season progress is only significant in colonies where feeding availability may be a constraint. Information on breeding behaviour is also provided, indicating maximum hunting activity from late morning to early afternoon.

Cordeiro, A., Franco, A., Palmeirim, J., 2005. Factores que influenciam o sucesso reprodutor do Francelho (Falco naumanni) em Portugal; Factors influencing the breeding sucesso f the Lesser Kestrel in Portugal. Airo 15:63-73.

Abstract: Research paper on several breeding parameters for 18 Lesser Kestrel colonies. Habitat quality is one of the factors analysed to assess influence on breeding success although no significant results were obtained. Nevertheless, lack of food may be one of causes for breeding insucess which is related with habitat quality.

Chorlton, K.H., Thomas, I.D., Bowen, D.W., Carnide, V.P., 2000, A forage grass and legume plant collecting expedition in Portugal. Genetics Resources and Crop Evolution, Vol. 47, Issue 2, 157-162.

Abstract: A plant collecting expedition in Portugal in May 1995 was carried out. Seven regions of Portugal were explored from the north to the south. A diverse range of habitats was sampled covering different altitudes, management systems and ecological conditions, where semi-natural grassland and wild unmanaged grassland was found. Vegetative samples of forage grass and legume populations were collected wherever possible. Seed samples were collected in the absence of live plants and from farmers' stores. It was possible to find traditional agricultural systems throughout Portugal but they are changing in response to European Union farming policies. For example, Lolium multiflorum Lam. is still intercropped with maize, although seed production of this crop on the farm is no longer permissible and, therefore, local land races are being replaced by commercial varieties. These changes to traditional agricultural systems are contributing to a major loss of genetic diversity.

Delgado, A., 1997. Variação anual da utilização da estepe cerealífera de Castro Verde pela avifauna. (Annual variation in the use of Castro Verde cereal Steppe by birds). FCUL.

Abstract: Degree thesis on seasonal variations of birds during the annual farming cycle in the cereal steppe of Castro Verde, in south Portugal. Data demonstrated the natural value of this ecosystem and the relevance of traditional farming activity with cereal in rotation with fallows to maintain biodiversity. This type of annual heterogeneity should be maintained by Agri-Environmental Schemes as the Castro Verde Zonal Plan.

Delgado, A., Moreira, F., 2000. Bird assemblages of an Iberian cereal steppe. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 78: 65-76.

Abstract: Research paper on the seasonal variations of bird assemblages in the semi-natural grasslands of Castro Verde, in southern Portugal. Implications and impacts from land use changes are discussed, leading to the conclusion that any change from the current farming system, with traditional rotations between extensive cereal crops and fallows, would probably lead to a decrease in steppe bird diversity.

Fonseca, C., 2004. Factores do habitat que determinam a ocorrência de Sisão (Tetrax tetrax) e Abetarda (Otis tarda) durante o Inverno na ZPE de Moura/Mourão/Barrancos e Abundância e selecção de habitat pelo Sisão durante o período reprodutor na ZPE de Moura/Mourão/Barrancos; Habitat factors that determine Little Bustard and Great Bustard in winter in Moura/Mourão/Barrancos SPA and Abundance and habitat selection by Little Bustard during breeding season in Moura/Mourão/Barrancos SPA. FCUL,

Abstract: Degree report on Moura/Mourão/Barrancos SPA, concerning Little Bustard (Tetrax tetrax) winter and breeding habitat selection and Great Bustard (Otis tarda) winter habitat selection. Several management measures as the maintenance of extensive farming, patches with leguminosae, fallows, manage grazing capacity, avoid forestry and permanent crops as olive grooves.
Link: www.spea.pt/ms_sisao/documentos/EcologiaSisaoZPEMouraoMouraB.pdf

Leitão, D., Peris, S., 2003. Distribuição e abundância do Abibe (Vanellus vanellus) e da Tarambola-dourada (Pluvialis apricaria) em Portugal. (Distribution and abundance of Lapwing and Golden Plover in Portugal). Airo 13:3-16(2003).

Abstract: Research paper on the distribution and abundance of Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) and the Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria) in Portugal, stating that these species are more common in farmland in coastal areas in Portugal. Lapwing preferred arable land while Golden Plover occurs both in arable land and pastures. To obtain reliable census in these wintering species in Portugal, farmland habitats must be assessed also and not only wetlands.

Leitão, D., 2002. Ecologia do Abibe (Vanellus vanellus) e da Tarambola-dourada (Pluvialis apricaria) em Portugal: a influência dos factores climáticos nas estratégias de invernada. (Lapwing and Golden Plover ecology in Portugal: climate factors and wintering strategies). FCUL.

Abstract: PhD thesis on Research paper on the ecology of Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) and the Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria) in Portugal. Results indicate that large scale intensification and climate change are negatively affecting the Portuguese farmlands and these changes are responsible for a decrease in the capacity to support Lapwing and Golden Plover populations.

Miguel, J.M., Ramírez-Sanz, L., Castro, I., Costa-Tenorio, M., Casado, M.A., Pineda, F.D., 2005, Plant species richness and spatial organization at different small scales in western Mediterranean landscapes. Plant Ecology, Vol. 176, No. 2, 185-194.

Abstract: The relationship between plant species richness and the space organization of the community at different small scales was studied. The study was based on 51 sites distributed along a belt from Central Spain to Portugal. Species richness of the sites increases along with an increase in the percentage of species whose occupation of the space is relatively restricted within the site. Many of these species are, however, frequent within the whole of the territory studied. The results highlight the importance of the level of local scale at which the factors influencing occupation of the space, and consequentially, plant richness, preferentially act. This circumstance ought to be taken into consideration in strategies for the conservation of biological diversity, and based on the delimitation of protected spaces with criteria frequently linked to the physiognomy of the vegetation.

Moreira, F., 1999. Relationships between vegetation structure and breeding bird densities in fallow cereal steppes in Castro Verde, Portugal. Bird Study Vol. 46, No.3, 309-318.

Abstract: Research paper on the relevance of fallows to steppe birds, considering vegetation structure (height, cover by bare ground and presence of scrubs). Results suggest that agricultural management practices that promote fallows with different habitat characteristics will increase the diversity at the local level. Also presents scenarios in changes in bird populations as a consequence in grazing intensity and land abandonment.

Moreira, F., Leitão, D., 1996. A preliminary study of the breeding bird community of fallows of cereal steppes in southern Portugal. Bird Conservation International 6: 255-259.

Abstract: Research paper that analyses the bird community of fallows in a cereal steppe ecosystem, evaluates its conservation value and analyses how different types of fallows (due to their age and grazing intensity) influence in bird community. Results indicate a low bird diversity compared with other ecosystems but with species highly threatened. Long-term fallows, with high vegetation cover and without grazing, seemed to promote higher bird diversity for the four species analysed, but it is inconclusive for breeding densities.

Moreira, M.I., Catry, I., Henriques, I., Marques, A.T., Reis, S., 2004. Dados preliminares sobre a biologia reprodutora do Rolieiro (Coracias garrulus) na ZPE de Castro Verde; Preliminary data on the breeding biology of the Roller in the Castro Verde SPA. Airo 14:79-81.

Abstract: Short note paper on baseline data for breeding biology of the Roller (Coracias garrulus) in the Castro Verde Special Protected Area (SPA), with information on nest typology.

Morgado, R., Delgado, A., Gordinho, L., Reino, L., Pereira, P., Borralho, R., Beja & F. Moreira, P., 2004. Factors affecting Calandra Lark (Melanocorypha calandra) occurence and abundance in fallow fields of southern Portugal. Centre Tecnologic Forestal de Catalunya.

Abstract: Abstract of the International Symposium on Ecology and Conservation of Steppe-land Birds where is evaluated on changes in the agricultural practice, mainly intensification, have led to a decline in Calandra Lark (Melanocorypha calandra) range and numbers. Species show a preference for old fallows without scrubs and trees in flat areas all year around. The use of this species as a steppe habitat quality indicator is also discussed.

Morgado, R., Moreira, F., 2000. Seasonal population dynamics, nest site selection, sex-ratio and clutch size of the Great bustard Otis tarda in two adjacent lekking areas. Ardeola 47(2): 237-246.

Abstract: Research paper that analyses Great bustard nesting habitat selection with results indicating preference for cereal fields and first year fallow fields. These findings should be taken into consideration in the definition of farming management instruments.
Link: www.ardeola.org/files/ardeola_452.pdf

Nunes, S., 2004, "Caracterização fitoestrutural da importância das pastagens de montanha na preservação na preservação da biodiversidade vegetal vascular das serras ocidentais de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro", UTAD.

Abstract: Degree thesis report on botanical aspects of mountain grasslands in the northeast of Portugal (Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro).

Pinto, M., Rocha, P., Moreira, F., 2005. Long term trends in Great bustard Otis tarda populations in Portugal suggest concentration in a single high quality area. Biological Conservation 124 (2005) 415- 423.

Abstract: Research paper that analyses Great bustard areas of occurrence, population trends and extinction patterns in Portugal for a 22 year period (1980-2002). Agricultural intensification and afforestation are amongst the major threats identified as causes of population decline and extinctions. Conservation was possible where projects for Great bustard protection were carried out (Life Programme from the european commission) and agri-environmental schemes implemented towards a farm management compatible with bustard conservation.

Pita, R., Beja, P., Mira, A., 2007. Spatial population strucuture of the Cabrera vole in Mediterranean farmland: the relative role of patch and matrix effects. Biological conservation 134 (2007), 383-392.

Abstract: Research paper on spatial population structure in fragmented landscapes using the distribution of Cabrera voles (Microtus cabrerae). Results indicate a spatial pattern consistent with metatpopulation structure. Voles occurred more often in patches surrounded by natural pastures, while prevalence declined with the increase of cover by shrubland, pine plantations, improved pastures and grazed cropland. Conservation of this species is dependent on maintaining lightly grazed fields surrounding by well connected networks of suitable habitat patches.

Reis, S., 2000. Selecção do habitat de caça do Francelho-das-torres (Falco naumanni) na colónia de Mértola. (Foraging habitat selection in Mértola colony). FCUL.

Abstract: Degree thesis report on Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) foraging habitat selection using radio-telemetry in Mertola, where land use changes indicate a transition from cereal annual crops to forests and scrubs. Habitat types are consistent with the observed in other areas. Nevertheless, distances to obtain food are much higher than in other colonies with more suitable habitat (up to 15km), which may affect negatively the breeding success of this colony and in the long term it's viability.

Rocha, P., 1995. O Peneireiro-de-dorso-liso (Falco naumanni) na região de Mértola-Castro Verde: biologia e ecologia de uma ave de presa colonial. (Lesser Kestrel in Mértola-Castro Verde region: biology and ecology of a colonial bird). FCUL.

Abstract: Life project report on Lesser Kestrel distribution, breeding parameters and habitat selection in the Mertola-Castro Verde region. To forage the species prefers grazed fallows and these areas are disappearing rapidly in this region. Therefore, Lesser Kestrel conservation depends upon the preservation of proper habitat in the colonies vicinities.

Rocha, P., 1995. O Peneireiro-de-dorso-liso (Falco naumanni) na região de Mértola-Castro Verde: biologia e ecologia de uma ave de presa colonial. (Lesser Kestrel in Mértola-Castro Verde region: biology and ecology of a colonial bird). LPN.

Abstract: Life project report on Lesser Kestrel distribution, breeding parameters and habitat selection in the Mertola-Castro Verde region. To forage the species prefers grazed fallows and these areas are disappearing rapidly in this region. Therefore, Lesser Kestrel conservation depends upon the preservation of proper habitat in the colonies vicinities.

Rocha, P., 2004. A importância da avifauna do Campo Branco (The conservation relevance of the Campo Branco Bird Fauna). LPN.

Abstract: Paper in the Proceedings of the 2nd Castro Verde Environmental Symposium where the bird richness of pseudo-steppe or semi-natural grasslands is explored, both for breeding and wintering season. Conservation status of these species is also analysed in order to assess ecosystem value.

Rocha. P., Marques, A.T., Moreira, F., 2005. Seasonal variation in Great bustard Otis tarda diet in south Portugal with a focus on the animal component. Ardeola 52(2): 371-376.

Abstract: Research paper that analyses Great bustard diet through the different seasons of the year. Results indicate the preference for plants but diet also includes invertebrates. Green plant material is bgvominant but seeds play a important role during summer and autumn when green plants are scarce. Amongst seeds, cultivated ones are dominant including olives, wheat, chick-peas and barley.
Link: www.ardeola.org/article?id=1254

Santos, S.M., Simões, M.P., Mathias, M.L., Mira, A., 2006, Vegetation analysis in colonies of an endangered rodent, the Cabrera vole (Microtus cabrerae), in southern Portugal. Ecological Research, Vol. 21(2), 197-207.

Abstract: The Cabrera vole (Microtus cabrerae) is a threatened rodent endemic in the Iberian Peninsula with a patchy distribution and specific microhabitat requirements. This research paper documents the composition of plant communities in habitats of Cabrera vole colonies in southern Portugal. Differences observed in plant species composition were also compared with vegetation structure, taxonomic and life form groups, species and group diversity, disturbance, topography and soil properties. Results suggest that the Cabrera vole is able to exploit a wide variety of grasslands, with a varying degree of ecological disturbance. Meadows and perennial grassland communities seem to be higher-quality microhabitats for voles.

Teodosio, J., 2000. Dieta e selecção de presas do Peneireiro-das-torres (Falco naumanni) na região de Castro Verde, Baixo Alentejo. (Diet and prey selection of Lesser Kestrel in Castro Verde region). FCUL.

Abstract: Degree thesis report on diet and prey selection of Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) in Castro Verde region. Arthropod abundance and habitat selection in the farming mosaic of cereal steppe ecosystem is provided. The relevance of set-aside patches and grazed fallows is analysed both for arthropods as well as for theirs predators. Also prey accessibility is discussed as some prey items may be abundant but difficult to reach (cereal vs. stubbles).

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Publications: Management

Alcazar, R., 2006. Outcomes of the Castro Verde Life projects. SPEA.

Abstract: Paper from a Workshop Proceedings on Bustard Conservation where the main actions taken and results from LPN (League for the Protection of Nature) Life projects on steppe bird conservation in the Castro Verde Special Protected Area (SPA) are presented. Several management measures are presented as well as the main results for some species. The relevance of the Agri-environmental Sceme Castro Verde Zonal Plan and the Local Council Management Plan is also identified.

Alcazar, R., Catry, I., Cordeiro, A., Franco, A., 2004. Cartografia de áreas sensíveis para Peneireiro-das-torres (Falco naumanni) (Ecological sensitivity cartography for Lesser Kestrel in Portugal). LPN.

Abstract: Technical report of the Lesser Kestrel LIFE Project A1 Action (LIFE2002/NAT/P/8481). Most sensitive areas in Portugal are identified as well as the land use trends between 1991 and 2002 for the 3 SPA's project areas. The implications of European policies in the trends observed is also analysed, with focus on the negative impact of afforestation and positive of some Agri-Environmental Shemes (as the Castro Verde Zonal Plan).

Alcazar, R., Cordeiro, A., Catry, I., Reis, S., Cruz, C.M., Franco, A., Rocha, P., 2004. Reabilitação da população de Peneireiro-das-torres (Falco naumanni) em Portugal. (Re-establishment of Lesser Kestrel population in Portugal). Departamento de Medio Ambiente del Gobierno de Aragón (Spain).

Abstract: Paper from the Proceedings of the VI Lesser Kestrel Spanish Congress on the conservation status of Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) in Portugal. Distribution, monitoring results, management measures applied and recovery of chicks are presented and the population situation in Portugal is discussed.

Almeida, J., 2004. Proposta de Plano de Acção para a conservação das aves dependents da estepe cerealífera. (Action Plan Proposal for the conservation of birds depedent on cereal steppes). LPN.

Abstract: Abstract in the Proceedings of the 2nd Castro Verde Environmental Symposium where it is presented the Action Plan Proposal for the conservation of birds depedent on grassland habitat. This Plan aims to define measures to maintain population levels and identifies required action measures.

Almeida, J., Cardoso, A., Claro, J., Cruz, C.M., Pinto, M., Rocha, P., Silva, P., 2002. Plano de Acção para a Conservação das Aves Dependentes da Estepe Cerealífera (Action Plan for the conservation of birds dependent on cereal steppe). ICN.

Abstract: Preliminary reporto for the National Action Plan for Birds Depedent on Cereal Steppe. A baseline reference is established for 7 species, including threats and constraints and measures already implemented. Objectives, measures and actions are presented as well as implications for other species and habitats, public funding and socio-economy.

Catry, I., Reis, S., Alcazar, R., Cordeiro, A., Rocha, P., Franco, A., 2004. Será o aumento da disponibilidade de locais de nidificação uma medida de gestão eficaz para a recuperação do Francelho em Portugal? (Is the availability of new nest sites an effective conservation measure for the Portuguese Lesser kestrrel population?). Airo 14:21-28.

Abstract: Research paper on the impact of new nest availability to the conservation of Lesser kestrel (Falco naumanni). This species forages in semi-natural grasslands but needs cavities in buildings to nest.

Claro, J. C., 2004. Breeding biology and nest protection of Montagu's Harrier (Circus pygargus) on cropland in the southern Portugal. Centre Tecnologic Forestal de Catalunya.

Abstract: Abstract of the International Symposium on Ecology and Conservation of Steppe-land Birds where habitat use of Montagu's Harrier (Circus pygargus) is presented as being treeless dry cereal cropland and non-grazed fallow for nesting and feeding. Oat, wheat and non-grazed fallows provide the best conditions for nesting. Metalic and electric fences were used to protected nests after harvest from predation with positive results compared with non protected nests.

Cordeiro, A., Neves, R., Alcazar, R., Catry, I., Franco, A., Rocha, P., Palmeirim, J., 2004. Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) habitat selection in Portugal: implications for management measures establishment. Centre Tecnologic Forestal de Catalunya.

Abstract: Abstract of the International Symposium on Ecology and Conservation of Steppe-land Birds where habitat selection for the 3 biggest colonies of Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) is presented. Rural management, concerning farming pratices, land abandonment and afforestation in the areas in colony vicinities is discussed. The effect of less favourable habitat for foraging is also discussed.

Cordeiro, A., Ventim, R., Franco, A., Alcazar, R., Catry, I., Rocha, P. 2005. Normas de uso do solo compatíveis com a conservação do Peneireiro-das-torres (Falco naumanni). (Land use compatible with Lesser Kestrel conservation). LPN.

Abstract: Technical report of the Lesser Kestrel LIFE Project A6 Action (LIFE2002/NAT/P/8481). This report focus on Lesser Kestrel habitat selection requirements and land use to determine compatibilities between rural activities and Lesser Kestrel conservation. The potential distribution of the species is also inferred based in land uses and buildings suitable for colonies.

Costa, T., 2006. Selecção de habitat pela Abetarda na zona de Castro Verde, com particular importância os olivais. (Great Bustard habitat selection in Castro Verde, with detail for olive groves). ISA.

Abstract: Degree thesis on the use of olive groves by the Great Bustard (Otis tarda) in the pseudo-steppe area of Castro Verde. During winter time cereal fields and traditional olive groves are selected by the Great Bustard as feeding areas. Olive groves in this area are still traditional and usually nearby the small villages, as a complementary farming product. Nevertheless, olives play a important role in the winter diet and more detailed studies on the use of olive groves by the Great Bustard should be carried out.

Domingos, T., Simões, A., 2004. Extensity - Environmental and sustainability management systems in extensive agriculture. LPN.

Abstract: Paper in the Proceedings of the "International Congrerss on Rural Ecosystems and Biological Richness: main threats and conservation measures" in the description of a Life-Environment Project that aims to create a cost-effective and simple Sustainaibility Management System (SMS) for estensive agriculture, comprising environmental, social and economic aspects.

Faria, N., 2005. Post-breeding habitat selection of Great Bustard (Otis tarda) in south Portugal. (Selecção de habitat no período pós-reprodutor pela Abetarda no sul de Portugal). Airo 15:75-83.

Abstract: Research paper on post-breeding habitat selection of Great Bustard (Otis tarda). Cereal and chickpea stubbles are the most used habitats during summer, despite the low availability of chickpea stubbles. For winter there weren't statistical significant results.

Eden, P., 2004, Impact of decoupled payments on the extensive dryland cereal farming areas in Portugal. La Cañada, No.18.

Abstract: Article that describes payments to farmers in areas where the main crops are dryland cereal. Several aspects of extensive farming is explored with presentation of measures that can contribute to sustain these systems as well as good agricultural practices.

European Communities, 2003, LIFE and agri-environment supporting Natura 2000 - Experience from the LIFE programme. EC.

Abstract: document that presents examples from best management practices on natura 2000 and biodiversity protection developed under Life Projects and incorporated in Agri-Environment Schemes. The example of the pseudosteppes of Castro Verde (south Portugal) Life project is presented (LIFE95 NAT/P/000178).
Link: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/infoproducts/agrienvironmentreport_en.pdf

Fonseca, C., Leitão, D., Lecoq M., Palmeirim, J.L., 2004. Modelling wintering habitat selection by Little Bustard (Tetrax tetrax) and Great Bustard (Otis tarda) in Moura/Mourão/Barrancos Special Protected Area (Portugal). Centre Tecnologic Forestal de Catalunya.

Abstract: Abstract of the International Symposium on Ecology and Conservation of Steppe-land Birds where winter habitat slection for Little Bustard (Tetrax tetrax) and Great Bustard (Otis tarda) in Moura/Mourão/Barrancos Special Protected Area is presented. Results indicate that conservation measures should maintain non-intensive farming systems.

Fragoso, S., Alcazar, R., 2005. Conservação do Peneireiro-das-torres: Pequenos gestos ao alcance de todos! (Lesser Kestrel conservation: small gestures reachable by all!) LPN,

Abstract: Leaflet of the Lesser Kestrel LIFE Project on Good Practices for Lesser Kestrel conservation. Information on the nest improvement sites, best farming practices that can be included in Agri-Environmental Schemes and how to rescue injured birds and re-direct them to recovery centres.
Link: www.lpn.pt/LPNPortal/userFiles/File/Folheto%20Pequenos%20Gestos_Final.pdf.

Franco, A., Sutherland, W., 2004. Modelling the foraging habitat selection of Lesser kestrels: conservation implications of European Agricultural Policies. Biological Conservation 120: 63-74.

Abstract: Research paper that analyses Lesser kestrel habitat selection. Results indicate the preference to forage nearby the colonies sites in fields with livestock and avoiding tree plantations. Abandonment of traditional agriculture and recent changes in the agri-environment programme support are jeopardizing the conservation of this species. To revert the trend of cereal steppe habitat disappearance the study

Franco, A., 2003. Habitat selection and breeding ecology of Lesser kestrels (Falco naumanni): implications for conservation. University of East Anglia, United Kingdom.

Abstract: PhD thesis on Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) habitat selection and its implications for conservation. Several results from habitat selection, nest availability and breeding biology is presented. The implications of the European Agricultural Policies, including production subsidies, afforestation supports and agri-environmental schemes, is analysed. Conclusions show that financial supports are higher for pratices such as afforestation that have a negative impact in Lesser Kestrel and other steppe birds.

Franco, A., 2004. Agri-environmental measures: how can they be improved? LPN.

Abstract: Abstract in the Proceedings of the "International Congrerss on Rural Ecosystems and Biological Richness: main threats and conservation measures" where it is discussed the main types of Agri-Environmental schemes existent in Portugal and their advantages and disadvantages. The attractiveness of these shemes is also compared to others European financial supports. It is also discussed the effectiveness of the Agri-Environmental schemes, having as the only positive example the Castro Verde Zonal Plan that is applied in the pseudo-steppe of Castro Verde Special Protected Area.

Franco, A., Rocha, P., 2001. La conservación del Cernícalo primilla (Falco naumanni) en la ZEPA de Castro Verde. (Lesser Kestrel conservation in Castro Verde SPA).

Abstract: Paper from the Proceedings of the IV Lesser Kestrel Spanish Congress on the conservation status of Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) in Castro Verde SPA. Discussion is also made on the situation of colonies outside Natura 2000, where land use changes due to afforestation and irrigation are destroying the species habitat. The role of Agri-Environmental Schemes is also discussed as an alternative for farming management that contributes for the protection of birds.

Henriques, I., 2003. Abundância e padrões de utilização do habitat pelo Sisão (Tetrax tetrax) ao longo de um gradiente de intensificação agrícola. Abundância e padrões de distribuição do Sisão em Cuba (Alentejo). Estudo de alguns parâmetros populacionais e da selecção de habitat do Sisão durante a época reprodutora em áreas com diferentes regimes. (Abundance and habitat use patterns by Little Bustard in a agricultural intensification gradient. Abundance and spatial distribution patterns in Cuba (Alentejo-Portugal). Population parameters and habitat selection by Little Bustard during breeding season in diferent farming regimes). FCUL.

Abstract: Degree report that states the vulnerability of Little Bustard to aricultural intensification and the need to maintain extensive practices to assure Little Bustard conservation.

Henriques, I., Catry, I., Cordeiro, A., Alcazar, R., 2006. Planos de Gestão das principais colónias de Peneireiro-das-torres (Falco naumanni) em Portugal. (Management Plans of the main Lesser Kestrel Portuguese colonies). LPN.

Abstract: Technical report of the Lesser Kestrel LIFE Project A7 Action (LIFE2002/NAT/P/8481). Management Plans for the main Lesser Kestrel colonies were made, evaluating breeding infrastructures, breeding success constraints (predation, interspecific competition and human disturbance) and foraging habitat suitability. Priority measures for 18 colonies are defined, including nest improvement through building recovery and opening of new holes and/or provide nest boxes or clay pot nests. Farming management measures for foraging habitat is also provided.

Henriques, I., Moreira F., 2004. Impacts of agricultural intensification on Little Bustard (Tetrax tetrax) density and habitat use during the breeding season. Centre Tecnologic Forestal de Catalunya.

Abstract: Abstract of the International Symposium on Ecology and Conservation of Steppe-land Birds where habitat specific densities are presented for different agricultural systems. Results suggest that the loss of fallow land due to farming intensification is probably the main cause of Little Bustard population decline.

Lampreia, A., 2004. Situação actual do Plano Zonal de Castro Verde: do sucesso à preocupação. (Present situation of the Castro Verde Zonal Plan: from sucess to concern). LPN.

Abstract: Paper in the Proceedings of the 2nd Castro Verde Environmental Symposium where the history and evolution of the Castro Verde Zonal Plan (Portuguese Agri-Environmental Scheme) is provided. The lack of political support to the farmers work carried out for several years, translated in the decrease of the amounts paid, may jeopardize the agri-environmental scheme and therefore the species conservation achieved.

Lampreia, A., Alcazar R., 2006. Castro Verde Zonal Plan: an agri-environmental overview. LPN.

Abstract: Abstract of the 3rd Castro Verde Environmental Symposium where the relevance of the Castro Verde Zonal Plan, from the Portuguese Agri-Environmental Schemes, for the conservation of steppe birds is presented. Data on farmer's appliances and area included is also presented. Discussion on the appliances trend is considering the changes in amounts paid to farmers is also provided as well as the basis for changes between political or techinal level.

Lavorel, S., McIntyre, S. Griguilis, K., 1999. Plant Response to Disturbance in a Mediterranean Grassland: How Many Functional Groups? Journal of Vegetation Science, Vol. 10, No. 5, 661-672.

Abstract: Data referring to changes in vegetation composition resulting from cattle exclosure and ploughing in a Portuguese pasture dominated by annuals were used to test hypotheses regarding the biology of species favoured or eliminated by disturbance in semi-natural herbaceous communities. Analysis revealed two advantages of establishing plant functional classifications within life forms. Subgroups within forbs had contrasting types of behaviour. For the same trait patterns could differ within the grass group from within the forb group. Finally, this analysis emphasizes the need for plant functional classifications aiming at the identification of syndromes of co-occurring attributes rather than of lists of isolated traits of which actual combinations are not specified.

Lecoq, M., Leitão, D., 2006., Conservação do Sisão no Alentejo. (Little Bustard conservation in Alentejo). SPEA,

Abstract: Leaflet of a Life project on the conservation of the Little bustard (Tetrax tetrax) in Alentejo (South Portugal). Specie characteristics, habitat requirements and threats are explained as weel as the management measures undertaken in the Life Project.
Links: www.spea.pt/ms_sisao/documentos/Diptico_Sisao_01.pdf and www.spea.pt/ms_sisao/documentos/Diptico_Sisao_02.pdf

Leitão, P. Osborne, P., Moreira, F., 2004. Predicting steppe land bird distributions in Baixo Alentejo. Centre Tecnologic Forestal de Catalunya.

Abstract: Abstract of the International Symposium on Ecology and Conservation of Steppe-land Birds where GIS methods using satellite imagery is used to predict the potential habitat based distribution of some steppe bird species.

Lima Santos, J.M., Ribeiro, P., Rio Carvalho, C., Beja, P., Alves, R., 2006. Uma estratégia de gestão agrícola e florestal para a Rede Natura 2000. (Agricultural and forest management strategy for the Natura 2000 Network). ICN

Abstract: Technical report to evaluate the integration of Natura 2000 management in the rural development national strategy for 2007-2013. This report analyses Natura 2000 sites and the management needs that should be included in the Rural Develoment Plan in order to protect the natural values. A global analysis in the costs involved is also provided.
Link: www.icn.pt/downloads/Relatorio_Final_SUMARIO_EXECUTIVO.pdf

Marta-Pedroso, M.C., Domingos, T., Freitas, H., Groot, R.S., Cost-benefit analysis of the Zonal Program of Castro Verde (Portugal): highlighting the trade-off between biodiversity and soil conservation. Soil & Tillage Research (Manuscript draft).

Abstract: Research paper on the effects of erosion on the supply of environmental services by the soil ecosystem and explore possibilities for integrating soil erosion impacts in cost-benefit analysis of agri-environmental policies. The case-study analysed is the traditional farming system of Castro Verde semi-natural grasslands. Conclusions show that soil erosion is currently a major threat to the long term sustainability of the cereal steppe of Castro Verde.

Moreira, F., Beja, P., Morgado, R., Reino, L., Gordinho, L., Delgado, A., Borralho, R., 2004. Multi-scale effects of agricultural practices on birds wintering in Iberian grasslands: the role of landscape composition. LPN.

Abstract: Abstract in the Proceedings of the "International Congrerss on Rural Ecosystems and Biological Richness: main threats and conservation measures" that addresses the effects of farmland management in wintering birds in grasslands. Results indicate that maintaining and enhancing grassland conservation value requires management at both the landscape and field scales, which requires a combination of agri-environmental measures and land planning policies.

Moreira, F., Leitão, P., Morgado, R., Alcazar, R., Cardoso, A., Carrapato, C.A.z., Delgado, A., Geraldes, P., Gordinho, L., Henriques, I., Lecoq, M., Leitão, D., Marques, A.T., Pedroso, R., Prego, I., Reino, L., Rocha, P., Tomé, R., Osborne, P., 2007. Spatial distribution patterns, habitat correlates and population estimates of steppe birds in Castro Verde. Airo, submitted paper.

Abstract: Research paper submitted that presents a baseline methodology for a quick and effective characterization of occurrence patterns, population estimates in large pseudo-steppe areas and description of a broad scale bird habitat relationship. This methodology can be easily repeated to assess Agri-Environment Schemes efficiency. Expected trends for habitats and populations are also presented in relation to potential scenarios of land management changes in the region.

Moreira, F., Morgado, R., Delgado, A., Borralho, R., Gordinho, L., Reino, L., Beja, P., Mello, A. Figueiredo, D., Pereira, P., Cardoso, P., Meirrose, C., Martins, A., Torres, A., 2001, Determinants of biodiversity in fallows of Pseudosteppes: implications for the definition of agri-environmental management rules (PRAXIS/C/AGR/11063/1998). ISA.

Abstract: Research report that aimed to develop explanatory and predictive models of biodiversity in fallow land, in the region of Castro Verde and Mértola (south of Portugal). Models for plants, arthropod and bird diversity were developed, implications due to land use change were carried out and managing prescriptions to be included in agri-environmental schemes are proposed.

Moreira, F., Pinto, M.J., Henriques, I., Marques, T., 2005. The importance of low intensity farming systems for fauna, flora and habitats protected under the European Birds and Habitats Directives: Is agriculture essential for preserving biodiversity in the Mediterranean region?. Trends in Biodiversity Research, Chapter 5, Editor: A. R. Burk, pp. 117-145, Nova Science Publishers.

Abstract: Book chapter that quantifies the importance of low intensity agriculture to maintain Natura 2000 values in Mediterranean countries, using Portugal as a case-study. Results indicate that around 46% of vertebrates are dependent on low intensity agriculture, most of these being birds associated with low intensity arable and pastoral systems, as pseudosteppes (semi-natural grasslands) and "montados" (cork oak and holm oak tree). For plants around 35% depend on extensive farming systems, especially grazed grasslands. The study concludes that pseudosteppes are one of four main low intensity farming systems holding relevant natural values.

Moreira, F., Beja, P., Morgado, R., Reino, L., Gordinho, L., Delgado, A., Borralho, R., 2005. Effects of field management and landscape context on grassland wintering birds is Southern Portugal. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 109: 59-74.

Abstract: Research paper that analyses the multi-scale effects of farmland management on grassland wintering birds, through three sets of variables: field management, landscape context and large scale spatial trends. Results show that species richness is influenced by landscape context whereas abundance is mostly determined by field management. These findings indicate the conservation of these wintering bird species requires management at both landscape and field scales.

Moreira, F., Morgado, R., Arthur, S., 2004. Great bustard Otis tarda habitat selection in relation to agricultural use in southern Portugal. Wildlife Biology 10,4: 251-260.

Abstract: Research paper that analyses Great bustard selection for different seasons and flock type. Results showed that birds were influenced by habitat availability. Great bustard used different habitat types throughout the agricultural year. Therefore, habitat management should promote a rotational crop system with cereal and fallow fields.

Poeiras, A., 2003. Selecção do habitat de Cortiçol-de-barriga-negra (Pterocles orientalis) no Parque Natural do Vale do Guadiana; Habitat Selection of the Black-bellied Sandgrouse in the Vale do Guadiana Natural Park. ICN.

Abstract: Technical report on Black-bellied Sandgrouse habitat selection in Vale do Guadiana Natural Park. As other steppe bird species, this species is highly dependent on the maintenance of farming practices that assure the conservation of semi-natural grasslands, which are disappearing due to land abandonment and forestation. Several management measures are proposed in order to preserve the species and their habitat.

Ramírez-Sanz, L., Casado, M.A., Miguel, J.M., Castro, I., Costa, M., Pineda, F.D., 2000, Floristic relationship between scrubland and grassland patches in the Mediterranean landscape of the Iberian Peninsula. Plant Ecology, Vol. 149, No.1, 63-70.

Abstract: In the rural Mediterranean landscape, mosaics of patches of sclerophyllous scrubland and semi-natural grasslands are frequent. The objective of this paper is to determine whether the patches of scrub-grassland represent an integrated response unit of the vegetation with regard to the physical environment (climatic, geographical and edaphic factors) and human use, or whether, on the contrary, this is an independent response, along a 370 km E-W mesoclimatic gradient from central Spain to Portugal (Iberian Peninsula). The scrub-grassland pattern, which is characteristic of the Mediterranean landscape, does not represent an integrated response unit of the vegetation to a given environment, but rather the sum of the independent responses to the environment of the two patches in contact.

Rocha, P., 1999. Interpretação ecológica de imagens de satélite e a utilização de GIS aplicados à conservação da Abetarda (Otis tarda) no Biótopo Corine de Castro Verde. (Ecological interpretaion of satellite imagery and GIS use in Great Bustard conservation in Castro Verde Corine Biotope). ISA.

Abstract: Master thesis report using satellite imagery and GIS in Great Bustard ecology studies, as seasonal variation and group composition. GIS results indicate the species avoidance of roads, rivers and dense vegetation. Vegetation density and more important human settlements are the major factors to explain Great Bustard distribution in Castro Verde area.

Sequeira, E., 2004. Projecto Agro: Novas tecnologias em Agricultura no Baixo Alentejo. (Project Agro: New farming Technologies in Baixo Alentejo). LPN.

Abstract: Paper in the Proceedings of the 2nd Castro Verde Environmental Symposium where the demonstration results for new farming technologies to be applied in cereal steppes are presented. This project tested the use of direct ploughing and sludge sewage injection in the soil formation process, erosion prevention and organic matter increase. These findings are important in order to maintain a extensive farming system that contributes to conservation of steppe birds and their ecosystem.

Silva, P., Costa, L., Silva, J.P, 2004. Caracterização da avifauna estepária e suas relações com o uso do solo na Zona Importante para Aves de Vila Fernando-Veiros. (Steppe bird community and its relation with the land use in the Important Bird Area (IBA) of Vila Fernando-Veiros (Alentejo, Southern Portugal). Airo 14:41-53.

Abstract: Research paper that confirms and updates the estimates for several steppe birds, as Lesser kestrel Falco naumanni), Great bustard (Otis tarda) and Little bustard (Tetrax tetrax). Results suggest that most species prefer to use open habitats with fallows and therefore traditional extensive farming should not be abandoned or substitute by more intensive practices.

Silva, J.P., Pinto, M., Palmeirim, J.M., 2004, Managing landscapes for the little bustard Tetrax tetrax: lessons from the study of winter habitat selection. Biological Conservation, Vol. 117(5), 521-528.

Abstract: Research paper that addresses the dramatic decline of Little Bustard Tetrax tetrax. More than half of the world's population of the little bastard Tetrax tetrax lives in the Iberian Peninsula, where it is mostly dependent for survival on extensive agricultural areas. Winter habitat preferences were studied in a region dominated by extensive cereal farming in Southern Portugal. Overall, the observed preferences suggest that predator avoidance is a significant factor in habitat selection. To improve habitat suitability for little bustard, managers of key wintering areas should minimize permanent sources of human disturbance, encourage rotations with frequent fallows, and favour moderate levels of grazing to manipulate vegetation height and cover. Particular attention should be given to the upper parts of the hills.

Ventim, R., Cordeiro, A., Alcazar, R., Rocha, P., Franco, A., Palmeirim, J., 2004. Importância de Gryllotalpa sp. na dieta do Peneireiro-das-torres (Falco naumanni). (Gryllotalpa sp. importance in the diet of Lesser Kestrel). LPN.

Abstract: Paper in the Proceedings of the "International Congrerss on Rural Ecosystems and Biological Richness: main threats and conservation measures" that addresses how farming management in cereal steppes may influence the presence of Gryllotalpa sp., by studying its habitat selection in Castro Verde Special Protected Area. This species is highly relevant in the diet of the Lesser Kestrel and management that affects its abundance has a effect on Lesser Kestrel conservation. The presence of fallowland and livestock grazing is important but also that the small temporary streams are not ploughed.

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Publications: Restoration

Barros, J.F.C., Basch, G., Carvalho, M., Article in Press (Corrected Proof), Effect of reduced doses of a post-emergence herbicide to control grass and broad-leaved weeds in no-till wheat under Mediterranean conditions. Crop Protection (Article in Press),

Abstract: A study was carried out over two years in the Alentejo region (Évora), in the South of Portugal, where rainfed wheat is sown at the start of the winter rainfall season. Mesosulfuron-methyl (3%) and iodosulfuron-methyl-sodium (0.6%) and mefenpyr-diethyl (9%) were used at three doses and two dates with three different application volumes. Results indicate that using lower doses than recommended (0.4 kg ha-1) this herbicide controls the annual grass weeds (Avena sterilis L. and Lolium rigidum G.) better than some broad-leaved weeds. Within each application date no significant differences were obtained between all dose/volume combinations, indicating that the reduction of dose is possible. At the later application date, the lower herbicide dose seems to require a lower application volume to provide maximum grain yield.

Henriques, I., Alcazar, R., 2006. Um olhar sobre o Peneireiro-das-torres: Projecto LIFE na Recuperação das populações de Peneireiro-das-torres (Falco naumanni) em Portugal. (A snapshot of the Lesser Kestrel: LIFE Project on the Re-establishment of Lesser Kestrel in Portugal). LPN

Abstract: Layman report of the Lesser Kestrel LIFE Project. Conservation measures undertaken during the LIFE Project (LIFE2002/NAT/P/8481), with information on main tasks and results obtained in habitat management, which included foraging habitat and nest improvement. Foraging habitat management included experimental actions made with farmers and proposals for Agri-Environmental Schemes for semi-natural grasslands.
Links: www.lpn.pt/LPNPortal/userFiles/File/Layman_port.pdf and www.lpn.pt/LPNPortal/userFiles/File/Layman_en.pdf

Hinton-Jones, M., Marshall, A.H., Thomas, I.D., Humphreys, M.O., Marum, P., Sevciková, M., Srámek, P., Sousa, M.M.T., Nielsen, N.C., Dhanoa, M.S., 2007, Environmental effects on seed yield and costs of temperate forages during regeneration. European Journal of Agronomy, Vol. 26(3), 235-248.

Abstract: The genetic implications and economics of regenerating forage species in different environments was studied in a multi-site field experiment. Two accessions of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) and two accessions of white clover (Trifolium repens L.) from germplasm collections of the United Kingdom (UK), Czech Republic, Norway, Portugal and Denmark were cloned and planted in regeneration plots, each comprising 49 plants, at sites in the UK, Denmark, Czech Republic and Portugal. The proportion of plants contributing to seed yield varied between sites and accessions. In L. perenne, seed yield was greatest in Denmark and lowest in Portugal but for T. repens, seed yield was greatest in the UK and lowest in Denmark; however, accessions differed in their sensitivity to site of multiplication due to differential response of plants to environment. The cost of regeneration in Portugal was 50% of the other sites but cost per gram of seed produced was lowest in Denmark (for L. perenne) and in Portugal (for T. repens). Regeneration costs as well as the sensitivity of accessions of forage grasses and legumes to environment during regeneration are therefore important when appropriate sites for regeneration are being considered.

Leitão, D., 2006. Relatório não especializado do Projecto Life Sisão (LIFE02/NAT/P8476); Layman Report of the Little Bustard Life Project. SPEA,

Abstract: Layman report of the Little bustard (Tetrax tetrax) Life Project in Portugal. Several actions undertaken are explained such as the farm pilot project, population monitoring, awareness campaigns and species Action Plan. Link: www.spea.pt/ms_sisao/pdf/Brochura_Leigos_AF_Site.pdf

Marques da Silva, J.R., Soares, J.M.C.N., Karklen, D.L., 2004, Implement and soil condition effects on tillage-induced erosion. Soil and Tillage Research, Vol.78 (2), 207-216

Abstract: Water, wind, or tillage-induced soil erosion can significantly degrade soil quality. Therefore, understanding soil displacement through tillage translocation is an important step toward developing tillage practices that do not degrade soil resources. The primary objective was to determine the effects of soil condition (i.e. grassland stubble versus previously tilled soil), opening angle, and harrow speed on soil translocation. A second field study also conducted on a Lixisol but only in the stubble field, quantified displacement effects of mouldboard ploughing. The field studies were located in South of Évora, Portugal. All three variables (soil condition, opening angle, and tillage velocity) were critical factors affecting the translocation coefficient for the harrow disk. Displacement distances were the largest for compacted soils (stubble field), with higher opening or offset angles, and at higher velocities. The results also showed significant correlation for (a) mean soil displacement in the direction of tillage and the slope gradient and (b) soil transport coefficient and the opening angle. Results can be used to predict the transport coefficient (a potential soil quality indicator for tillage erosion) for the harrow disk, provided tillage depth, opening angle, and tool operating speed are known.

Van Muysenm, W., Govers, G., Bergkamp, G., Roxo, M., Poesen, J., 1999, Measurement and modelling of the effects of initial soil conditions and slope gradient on soil translocation by tillage. Soil and Tillage Research, Vol. 51 (3-4), 303-316.

Abstract: Tillage erosion studies have mainly focused on the effect of topography and cultivation practices on soil translocation during tillage. However, the possible effect of initial soil conditions on soil displacement and soil erosion during tillage have not been considered. The effect of the initial soil conditions on net soil displacement and the associated erosion rates by a given tillage operation of a stony loam soil is investigated. Tillage erosion experiments were carried out with a mouldboard plough on a freshly ploughed (pre-tilled) soil and a soil under grass fallow in the Alentejo region (Southern Portugal). The experimental results show that both the downslope displacement of soil material and the rate of increase of the downslope displacement with slope gradient are greater when the soil is initially in a loose condition. When tillage is carried out in the upslope direction, the effect of slope gradient on upslope displacement distances was not significant.

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Publications: Survey and monitoring

Cruz, M., Pais, M., 2004. Situação populacional do Cortiçol-de-barriga-negra (Pterocles orientalis) na ZPE de Moura-Mourão-Barrancos. (Population status of the Black-bellied Sandgrouse in the Moura-Mourão-Barrancos SPA). Airo 14:82-88.

Abstract: Short note paper on baseline data for Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Pterocles orientalis) distribution and estimates in the Moura-Mourão-Barrancos Special Protected Area (SPA).

Faria, N., Rabaça, J., 2004. Breding habitat modelling of the Little Bustard (Tetrax tetrax) in the Site of Community Importance of Cabrela (Portugal). Ardeola 51(2), 2004, 331-343.

Abstract: Research paper that assess habitat use in fragmented open landscapes where agricultural fields are spaced with forests and shrubland, using GIS and modelling.
Link: www.ardeola.org/article?id=1192&lang=EN

Franco, A., Malico, I., Martins, H., Sarmento, N., 1995. A situação do Tartaranhão-caçador (Circus pygargus) numa região de estepe cerealífera. (Montagus Harrier situation in a cereal steppe). LPN.

Abstract: Life project report on the abundance assessment for Montagus Harrier (Circus pygargus) in the Castro Verde region, where cereal fields are the main habitat used. Breeding success and causes for breeding failure are also determined. As this species nests in the ground in the middle of cereal crops, when harvest begins there may still be juveniles in the nest that will be run over. This cause of death can be solved by a delay in harvesting and more awareness amongst farmers.

Henriques, I., Constantino, R., Alcazar, R., 2006. Relatório de monitorização das colónias de Peneireiro-das-torres (Falco naumanni) em Portugal em 2006; Monitoring report on Lesser Kestrel Portuguese colonies in 2006. LPN.

Abstract: Technical report of the Lesser Kestrel LIFE Project D2 Action (LIFE2002/NAT/P/8481). Monitoring results for the 4 years of the LIFE project, evaluating also the results obtained from nest site improvement. Results show a positive response from the species on the nest management measures, that contributed decisively for the population recovery in Portugal.

Henriques, I., 2003. Recenseamento das populações de Sisão (Tetrax tetrax) durante a época reprodutora: dimensão da amostra e metodologias de censo. (Population countings of Little Bustard during breeding season: sample size and counting methods). SPEA.

Abstract: Technical report on the selection of methodologies to provide accurate estimates on Little Bustard (Tetrax Tetrax) that are cost-effective to provide information for anagement.
Link: www.spea.pt/ms_sisao/pdf/Recenseamento_pop_Sisao.pdf

Leitão, D., 2005. Novos dados sobre as populações reprodutoras de Sisão (Tetrax tetrax) nas IBA's estepárias. (New data on the breeding populations of Little Bustard in steppe IBA's). SPEA.

Abstract: Report on the population estimates of Little bustard (Tetrax tetrax) in steppe Important Bird Areas (IBA), based on monitoring made in a Life Project.
Link: www.spea.pt/ms_sisao/documentos/Actualizacao_pop_rep_Sisao_IBAs.pdf

Marques, A.T., Henriques, I., Catry, I., Moreira, M.I., 2004. Distribution of the Roller (Coracias garrulus) in Portugal, an historical approach. Ardeola 52(1), 2005, 173-176.

Abstract: Research Paper on the historical distribution of the Roller (Coracias garrulus) in Portugal. The paper presents the Roller distribution for two periods in time (1973-93 and 1994-2004), which indicate a fragmentation in the central part of the distribution and a expansion area towards the south in the last decade. The paper indicates the areas where the population is concentrated and where management should be focused.
Link: www.ardeola.org/article?id=1235

Moreira, F., Morgado, R., Delgado, A., Leitão, N., Pessoa, G., Vaz Pinto, P., Borralho, R., Beja, P., Abelha, B., Silva, P., Dias, S., Capelo, M., Reino, L., Gordinho, L., Pereira, P., Pereira, M, Correia, M., 2000. Programa de monitorização do património natural: aves estepárias. (Natural resources monitoring programme: steppe birds). EDIA.

Abstract: Abstract on the proceedings of the 1st Meeting of the Biology Assessments of Alqueva Dam where the distribution of 6 steppe birds is presented. An evaluation of the flooding impacts of the dam in these species is made.

Paiva, V.H., Ramos, J., Pacheco, C., 2004. Diminuição da distribuição e selecção de habitat por Cortiçol-de-barriga-branca (Pterocles alchata) em Portugal. (Distribution regression and habitat selection by Pin-tailed Sandrouse in Portugal). LPN.

Abstract: Paper in the Proceedings of the "International Congrerss on Rural Ecosystems and Biological Richness: main threats and conservation measures" that addresses the historical data on the distribution of the Pin-tailed Sandgrouse (Pterocles alchata) and studies the species habitat selection in the Intenational Tagus Natural Park (Central Portugal). In this area the species is associated to permanent streams and avoid areas with scrubs, preferring open areas.

Pinto, M., Rocha, P., 2006. The situation of Great Bustard Otis tarda in Portugal. SPEA.

Abstract: Paper from a Workshop Proceedings on Bustard Conservation where the population trend for Portugal is presented. Data show an increase from 2002 to 2005, which is closely related to the recent patterns in the Castro Verde Special Protected Area (SPA) due to existence of a specific Agri-Environmental Scheme (Castro Verde Zonal Plan) that contribute decisively for the maintenance of the semi-natural grassland. Main threats are discussed and amongst them is agricultural intensification and afforestation.

Rocha, P., Catry, I., Reis, S., 2002. Censo nacional do Francelho (Falco naumanni); Portuguese national census of Lesser kestrel. Airo 12:3-9.

Abstract: Research paper on the national distribution and estimates of Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) in Portugal for 2002. Results show a population increase that might reflect management measures in nesting and foraging habitat made during a Life project in the Castro Verde Special Protected Area (SPA). Threats on the sustainability of the colonies and land use changes are also discussed. Impacts from a highway construction are also presented. Irrigation and forestry are the main land use change trends in some of the areas with semi-natural grasslands, which will contribute for the disappearance of the species.

Rocha, P., Moreira, F., 2004. Spatial distribution of the Great Bustard (Otis tarda) in south Portugal: within season and between variations. Centre Tecnologic Forestal de Catalunya.

Abstract: Abstract of the International Symposium on Ecology and Conservation of Steppe-land Birds where spatial distribution of the main Great Bustard Portuguese population is presented and discussed in terms of habitat typology and seasonality.

Rocha, P., Silva, J.P., Cruz, C.M., Cruz, C., Cangarato, R., Janeiro, C., Moreira, F., Pedro, J., Delgado, A., 2004. Contagens de Sisões (Tetrax tetrax) no Campo Branco (ZPE de Castro Verde) no período não reprodutor. (Counts of Little bustard in Campo Branco region (Castro Verde SPA) for non-breeding period). Airo 14(2004):89-93.

Abstract: Short note paper on Little bustard counts for the non-breeding period in the Castro Verde Special Protected Area, (SPA), which is known to be the area with highest breeding densities. Seasonal patterns are explained and a tendency for site fidelity is identified which reveals the importance to preserve those sites.

Silva, J.P., Leitão, D., Santos, E., Moreira, F., Prego, I., Pinto, M., Lecoq, M., Catry, T., Pedroso, R., 2006. Preliminary results of the Little Bustard census in Alentejo (Portugal). SPEA.

Abstract: Paper from a Workshop Proceedings on Bustard Conservation where the monitoring results from a Life project on Little Bustard (Tetrax tetrax) in Portugal are presented. Alentejo region holds between 85 to 95% of the Portuguese population. Castro Verde SPA is identified as the most important area for the specie in Portugal, which is associated to a well preserved extensive cereal farming agro-system due to the existence of a Agri-Environment Scheme (Castro Verde Zonal Plan). Threats related to irrigation from the new Alqueva dam is identified for Cuba and Reguengos and the need for definition of Agri-Environmental Schemes for other areas beside Castro Verde is also identified as essential to promote the conservation of these semi-natural grasslands.

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Publications: Miscellaneous

Alcazar, R., Fragoso, S., 2006. Na grande rota do Peneireiro-das-torres. (On the Lesser Kestrel big track). LPN.

Abstract: Book about the Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) Portugal. A description of population estimates and global distribution, biology and ecology of the specie is made. Also a detailed update on the species situation in Portugal is provided and main results for several Life projects carried on in Portugal, Spain and France. Several measures for semi-natural grassland management are proposed and evaluated through results already obtained in Portugal, in areas such as the Castro Verde Special Protected Area.

Catry, I., 2005. Manual de medidas minimizadoras da predação e competição interespecífica. (Minimization measures on predation and competition interspecific handbook). LPN.

Abstract: Handbook of the Lesser Kestrel LIFE Project A3 Action (LIFE2002/NAT/P/8481), explaining good practices to apply at the colonies to minimize predation and interspecific competition, which are the main factors of bredding insucess.

Catry, I., Reis, S., 2003. Identificação das principais limitações ao crescimento das colónias e Identificação das medidas que permitam reduzir os efeitos da competição interespecífica e da predação nas zonas de nidificação. (Main limiting factors identification to colony growth and Measures to reduce interspecific competition and predation in breeding áreas). LPN.

Abstract: Technical report of the Lesser Kestrel LIFE Project A2 and A3 Actions (LIFE2002/NAT/P/8481). This report focus on the identification limiting factors to colony growth and which measures to implement in order to reduce interspecific competition and predation in nests.

Chelinho, S., 2006. Selection of Mediterranean reference soils for ecotoxicological testing. FCTUC.

Abstract: Master thesis report on soil ecotoxicology to purpose new additional references on Eusoils, using 12 samples from the Mediterranean region amongst them from grasslands in the Alentejo region. Tests involved the study of species avoidance and reproduction responses, both to clean soils and to reference chemicals.

Cruz, P., 2001. Efeito da perturbação por actividade cinegética no padrão de distribuição da Abetarda numa região de Castro Verde. (Hunting activity effects on Great Bustard distribution patterns in Castro Verde). ISA.

Abstract: Degree thesis on the hunting activity effects in the distribution patterns of Great Bustard (Otis tarda) in the pseudo-steppe area of Castro Verde. Hunting activity is very common in Portugal and it's organized in two different regimes (regulated vs. non-regulated). Although Great Bustard can no longer be hunted, it may be affected by the perturbation caused. Results show a tendency to use regulated areas in hunting days.

Delgado, A., Moreira, F., 2002. Do wheat, barley and oats provide similar habitat and food resources for birds in cereal steppes? Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 93: 441-446.

Abstract: Research paper that analyses how vegetation structure and seed abundance in different cereal fields may affect bird species richness and abundance in cereal steppes. Results indicate that bird species richness is not influenced by cereal type, however different cereal species provide different habitat and food resources for birds that should be taken into consideration when defining farming management rules, such as agri-environmental schemes.

Fragoso, S., 2006. Package de Imprensa do Projecto LIFE Peneireiro-das-torres; Press kit on Lesser Kestrel LIFE Project. LPN.

Abstract: Leaflet on the Lesser Kestrel LIFE Project, with detailed information provided also in CD-Rom. Information on the main areas of distribution, population estimates, farming management measures, nesting sites improvement and awareness. In digital format information also on the species biology and ecology.

Fragoso, S., 2005. Caderno Pedagógico do aluno sobre a Conservação do Peneireiro-das-torres. (Students book on Lesser Kestrel conservation). LPN,

Abstract: Book of a LIFE project for students on Lesser Kestrel conservation. Information on threats, identification, habitat and measures to protect them is provided. Activities cards accordingly to age and school year is also provided.
Link: www.lpn.pt/LPNPortal/userFiles/File/Caderno%20do%20aluno.pdf

Fragoso, S., Alcazar, R., 2005. Somos velhos amigos: as pseudo-estepes alentejanas. (We are old friends: the Alentejo pseudo-steppes). LPN

Abstract: Leaflet of the Lesser Kestrel LIFE Project on the species habitat and the other bird species that constitute the community. Information on the habitat is provided as well as a small description on the bird community of the pseudo-steppe habitat in Alentejo.
Link: www.lpn.pt/LPNPortal/userFiles/File/Folheto%20Somos%20Velhos%20Amigos.pdf

Fragoso, S., Maria, A.M., Alcazar, R., 2005. Caderno do Professor - Guia de Apoio sobre a Conservação do Peneireiro-das-torres; Teachers Book - Guide on Lesser Kestrel conservation, LPN.

Abstract: Book of a LIFE Lesser Kestrel project for teachers to use as a guide for activities to pursue with students in schools. Information on threats, identification, habitat and measures to protect them is provided as well as activities to promote awareness amongst students.

Franco, C., 1999. Castro Verde: um olhar sobre a planície. (Castro Verde: a look over the plain). LPN.

Abstract: Brochure about the Castro Verde Special Protected Area (SPA) with a description on the natural resources, landscape, habitats and species. Also the management measures implemented in the Life project on the conservation of steppe birds is provided. Keywords: Habitat description, Life project

Franco, A., Catry, I., Sutherland, W., Palmeirim, J., 2004. Do different habitat preferences survey methods produce the same conservation recommendations for Lesser kestrels? Animal Conservation 7: 291-300.

Abstract: Research paper that analyses how different survey methods may provide similar results, taking as example the Lesser kestrel habitat selection. Although visual sighting and telemetry produced similar results, radio-telemetry provided a larger number of significant differences between habitats. Cost-effectiveness should be taken into consideration if habitat selection results aims to provide more specific conservation recommendations.

Lecoq, M., Leitão, D., 2005. Sisão, uma ave da planície cerealífera do Alentejo. (Little Bustard, a bird of the cereal plains of Alentejo). SPEA.

Abstract: Leaflet about the Little bustard and other steppe bird species characteristic of the pseudo-steppe habitat. Information on biology and threats for Little bustard and other species, complemented with some management information is provided. Detailed information on the Life project for the conservation of Little bustard in Alentejo region and measures implemented is also included.

Lima, J., Sequeira, E., 2004. A conservação do solo e da água como base da diversidade biológica dos ecossistemas agrícolas; Water and soil conservation as the basis for biological diversity of rural ecosystems. LPN.

Abstract: Paper in the Proceedings of the "International Congrerss on Rural Ecosystems and Biological Richness: main threats and conservation measures" that addresses the results of different technologies on erosion control, soil effective depth, water holding capacity and infiltration rate, soil organic matter evolution, cereal yield and pasture evolution and living stock support capacity.

LPN, 2003. Projecto LIFE Peneireiro-das-torres; Lesser Kestrel LIFE Project. LPN.

Abstract: Leaflet on the Lesser Kestrel LIFE Project. Distribution, main ecological requests, threats and conservation measures is some of the information provided.
Link: www.lpn.pt/LPNPortal/userFiles/File/Brochura_PPT.pdf

Pedroso C.M., Freitas, H., Domingos, T., 2007. Testing for the survey mode effect on contingent valuation data quality: a case study of web based versus in-person interviews. Ecological Economics 62(2007)388-398.

Abstract: Research paper to test the use of web based surveys versus in-person interviewing in the context of contingent valuation, using the preservation of the cereal steppe of Castro Verde. This study evaluated the willingness of persons to pay for the preservation of the cereal steppe of Castro Verde, assuming the hypothetical situation in which current EU financial support for keepings farmer's income was to be suspended.

Pedroso, C.M, Freitas, H., Domingos, T., A estepe cerealífera de Castro Verde: bens e services ambientais. (The cereal steppe of Castro Verde: environmental goods and services). Portugal Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, Chapter 22.

Abstract: Chapter of the Portuguese Millennium Ecosystem Assessment using the cereal steppe of Castro Verde as an example to evaluate environmental goods and services provided, due to multifuncionality that exists in this rural landscape.

Pedroso, C.M, Freitas, H., Domingos, T., Econometric estimation of the willingness to pay to preserve the cereal steppe of Castro Verde (Southern Portugal). Environmetrics, Accepted for publication.

Abstract: Research paper on the individuals willingness to pay (WTP) to preserve the cereal steppe of Castro Verde, using web based and in-person surveys to test effects of respondents socio-demographic characteristics and survey mode on the WTP estimates. The web based survey had a negative effect on the amount donated. Also age and income had an statistically significant effect on WTP variability.

Reis, J., Oliveira, L., Garcia, P., 2003, Effects of the Larval Diet of Pseudaletia unipuncta (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) on the Performance of the Parasitoid Glyptapanteles militaris (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). Environmental Entomology, Vol. 32, Issue 1, 180-186.

Abstract: Preferences of the parasitoid Glyptapanteles militaris (Walsh) among various host-diet complexes in an effort to understand the abundance of the parasitoid in Azorean pastures are evaluated. We also examined effects of host diet on the quality of the parasitoid as a biological control agent. Results suggest that the parasitoid may be well adapted to the Azorean agricultural ecosystems, characterized by the prevalence of L. perenne throughout the year. Results show that hosts fed fresh leaves of L. perenne are the most suitable for the mass rearing of G. militaris.

Rocha, P., 2005. A Abetarda e o Campo Branco: uma longa convivência; Great Bustard and Campo Branco: a long story of partnership. LPN.

Abstract: Book about the Great Bustard (Otis tarda) in the Campo Branco region (Special Protected Area of Castro Verde). A description of the Campo Branco region and of Great Bustard populations, biology and ecology is made. Also conservation measures undertaken under Life and research projects are detailed. The importance of specific Agri-environmental Shemes (Castro Verde Zonal Plan) for the conservation of Great Bustard is also approached.

Sequeira, E., 2005. Projecto Agro 140 "Avaliação da Sustentabilidade de alguns sistemas de culturas no Baixo Alentejo ". (Project Agro 140 "Sustainability assessment of some cultural farming systems in Baixo Alentejo"). LPN.

Abstract: Techinal report of an agronomic project co-funded by the European Agricultural Funds that addresses the sustainability of the cereal steppe ecosystem in the Castro Verde Special Protected Area. Assessments where focused in essays on different ploughing technologies to determine impacts on soil and water conservation. New management measures are proposed, such as direct seeding or minimum tllage and sludge injection.

Van Doorn., A., 2004. Understanding land cover changes in a case study area in Mértola, Portugal: an example of using land cover trajectories as a tool. LPN.

Abstract: Paper in the Proceedings of the "International Congrerss on Rural Ecosystems and Biological Richness: main threats and conservation measures" that addresses the influence of several different agricultural policies in land cover changes. Land cover trajectories are a tool to understand the dynamics of change, considering both biophysical and socio-economical driving forces. Study areas include semi-natural grasslands convertend in forest or left abandoned.

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