Despite their ecological, patrimonial and socio-economic importance, cork oak woodlands in south-western Europe are in an endangered situation due to excessive intensification or agricultural abandonment. These semi-natural woodlands are suffering from ageing and senescence as, overall, little natural regeneration is taking place. Thus, the future of a highly valuable natural and cultural resource, a 'unique system ', and one of the most sustainable agroforestry systems ever developed in any extra-tropical region, is in balance. Little replanting, restoration or updating of management techniques have been undertaken, even though production is steadily diminishing.
The general objective of Creoak is to tackle the scientific and management obstacles that are impeding the restoration, natural regeneration and integrated management of European cork oak woodlands, as well as planting in new and appropriate areas. Creoak will combine the expertise of experienced researchers with strong international reputations in their respective fields. Innovative co-operative studies will increase the knowledge of cork oak genetics, root architecture, mycorrhizal symbiosis and ecophysiological responses to stresses, as well as expertise for nursery propagation and field planting of inoculated trees. In addition, ecological/economical modelling will provide tools and information to aid the restoration, protection and extension of cork oak woodlands. The technical advances and knowledge achieved will be published in top scientific journals, and will be made available to the decision-makers and to nursery propagators, foresters and landholders in a synthetic, illustrated handbook designed for broad dissemination.
Progress to Date
At the end of the second reporting period, the consortium achieved 75% of the milestones and deliverables due for this period. The project is pursuing the main objectives with active interactions and interchanges of materials and information. For example, activities in Work Package 1 (Genetic characterisation) are helping in the characterisation of seed provenance field trials reported in Work Package 3. On the other hand, data from Work Package 1 is influencing sampling in Work Package 2 (Stress tolerance and mycorrhization). The latter is providing material for Work Package 3 (Nursery propagation and adaptability to drought) in terms of mycorrhiza inoculum as well as to Work Package 4 activities on "field trials to evaluate nursery and field treatments". The cork oak woodland restoration activities will also obtain materials from Work Package 3 in order to improve the techniques for cork oak systems restoration. In Work Package 5, the overall synthesis is a major objective of the project and will become more important in the third year as new data accumulate.
ARABLE CROPS, FORESTRY, CAP AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT
Scientist responsible for the project
Professor JOÃO SANTOS PEREIRA
Tapada da Ajuda
Portugal - PT
Phone: +351 213653483
Fax: 351 213645000
||INSTITUTO SUPERIOR DE AGRONOMIA
||11 January 2002
||2 978 547 €
|Total EC contribution
||1 422 281 €