Case studies tagged with Quercus suber

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How management systems affect soil quality of cork oak woodlands? A case study of south Portugal

Improved pasture

Evaluate and compare physical, chemical and biochemical soil properties, regarding soil organic matter accumulation and soil fertility development, in cork oak woodlands, located in south Portugal, managed with two different systems: 1) a 5-year old improved pasture grazed by cattle, and 2) a natural understorey with shrubs control every 4-6 years (rotary mower), ensuring cork oak seedling are protected by adjusting cutting height to a maximum distance to soil surface, and preventing sapling damage by postponing this operation in shrub patches were natural regeneration is identified.


Influence of cork oak seed origin on budburst and leaf pest damage

Cork aok budburst

- Evaluation of spring shoot phenology (timing of budburst) variation as a function of seed geographic origin.
- Understanding the adaptation potential of cork oak populations to biotic stress, assessing if earlier/later budburst timings have consequences on the amount of leaf pest damages.
- Identify the most frequent pests occurring on the damaged leaves. Relate budburst and plant–pest interactions with climatic conditions.


Network of Cork Oak Selected Stands of Extremadura

Cork oak acorns

This document presents the Network of Selected Cork Oak stands of Extremadura, an initiative for the conservation and improvement of forest genetic resources for the production of cork in Extremadura. Its purpose is to promote sustainable management, taking advantage of individuals with the best characteristics for obtaining cork. The Network is described below, as well as the procedure for registering stands in it.


Adoption of a common protocol for describing cork oak woodlands in Sardinia (Italy) for planning and management purposes

Panoramic view of cork oak woodlands in the Forest of Fiorentini (Sardinia, Italy)

The objective of the protocol is the adoption of a common standard for the description of pure or mixed stands with cork oaks for planning and/or management purposes. The aim is ultimately to contribute to the creation of coherent and complete information bases at the regional level, to improve cork oak forest planning, and thereby foster their development, in accordance with the indications of the Regional Forestry Law (Law no. 8/2016 art. 33) and of regional sectorial regulations on cork (Law no. 4/1994).


Cork oak understory vegetation management

Cork oak forest

The cork oak forest management involves interventions in the understory with the following objectives: reduction of the fire risk, operationality of the cork harvesting, promotion of cork oak recruitment and reduction of competition for water and nutrients between trees, herbs and shrubs. The techniques currently available for the forest producer to carry out these operations are: the practice of grazing and / or mechanized interventions (harrowing, shrub cutter, shredding). The choice among several mechanical techniques should consider cork oak sustainability and the potential impacts...


Silvo-pastoral systems in southern Portugal: management challenges from the owner's perspective

New stone pine plantations in Abegoaria.

Silvo-pastoral systems are quite common in the Alentejo region of south Portugal. Bringing together economic profitability and ecological sustainability is challenging and requires a conscientious management.

We present the example of a young forest owner who manages a farm in south Portugal composed of a mixture of cork oak and stone pine grazed by cattle.

The recognition of severe soil degradation problems and the effort in its recovery has been the priority of this owner. The management options carried out in the last 15 years are now positively reflected...


First assessment of cork oak planting and natural regeneration trials in the PACA region

Cork oak plot in the Var department

For more than 20 years, plantation and natural regeneration trials have been set up by the CRPF PACA in the Maures massif with the collaboration of volunteer forest owners. The age of some of the trials now makes it possible to obtain transferable results, to guide the management of areas favourable to the cork oak, to allow continuity of monitoring and to develop the setting up of new trials in a context of climate change to be considered.


Analysis and management of main ecosystem services and multi-functionality of Sardinian cork oak woods

Distribution of cork oak in Sardinia compared with distribution of main phytotoponims related to Q. suber.

The work analyses the multifunctionality of cork oak forests and the benefits in terms of ecosystem services (CICES 2018, MAES 2017) in Sardinia. Supply, regulation and cultural services are assessed, also analysing identity, landscape, anthropological and historical aspects. The main factors that threaten the preservation of Cultural Ecosystem Sergices (CES) are taken into account. A set of actions and measures are proposed, consistent with identity and cultural values, for the recovery, conservation and enhancement of Natural and Cultural Capital of cork oak woods.


Using NIRS to assess the presence of cork anomalies

Different samples of cork stoppers

The cork used in the manufacture of natural cork stoppers or technical stoppers must meet a number of conditions, including being free of certain anomalies. The use of NIRS (near infrared spectroscopy) technology has proven to be a valid technique for detecting yellow stain and corkbark, which are defects that must be avoided due to their harmful effects on the properties of the cork.


Study of the sensitivity of cork oak to climate change in Corsica

Cork oak showing signs of weakening

The objective of this study is to establish a vigilance map to identify the areas where cork oak is adapted or inadapted to the forest station in a context of changing climate, through the BioClimSol tool developed by CNPF. This tool allows the collection and analysis of field data (soil, climate, sanitary conditions, ...). The vigilance map, by forecasting and locating the risks of decline of the Corsican cork oaks, will help managers take management decisions. The objective is to make silvicultural proposals in order to prevent and limit the risks of dieback.


Tree damage control in a cork oak forest

Cork oak trunk damage by mechanical operation

Reducing the amount of damages in the cork oak forest is very important in terms of the sustainability of this ecosystem. Although some of the wounds may have a natural origin (e.g. lightning), most of them have a human source linked to the management operations. The cicatrisation rate of the wounds differs from tree to tree, according to wound size, the tree vitality and the time of the year (5). The establishment of simple recommendations for the forest managers to identify the potential risks associated with the operations and consequences of these wounds can contribute to increase the...


Field sampling methods for cork value evaluation before cork debarking

Cork sample (cala) being extracted from a tree.

The objective of the current work is the analysis of alternative sampling methods and intensities for estimating cork value before its extraction (price per unit of weight), considering the trade-off between sampling precision and costs. The dataset includes 30 sampling clusters for each of the 6 stands, where the measurement of the tree coordinates in each plot allowed for the simulation of several sampling methods and intensities, and the comparison of the percent errors and sampling costs.


How to prevent Platypus cilindrus attacks?

Platypus signs on cork oak tree

Cork oak vitality, namely the plagues and diseases, is one of the main concerns of forest producers, with the platypus being one of the pests mentioned in Portugal as a factor responsible for the mortality of cork oak trees.

The knowledge of the pest as well as the means/techniques of combat available, its form of use and the characteristics of the cork oak forests that make them more susceptible to the platypus are some of the proposals to be addressed in this document and in the PLATISOR project (Methods for the management of cork oak forest with «Platypus cylindrus» atacks in the...


Estimating cork stocks through the National Forest Inventory

Quercus suber stand in Extremadura

In the current context in which it can be perceived that climate change is already a reality, one of the issues that most concerns the different sectors dedicated to non-timber forest products (NWFP) is the long-term availability of these forest products, so that a constant supply is ensured. It is important to know the provision of NWFP at the present time in order to know or estimate their future evolution. A key tool in this regard is the National Forest Inventories (NFI). Spanish NFI are a robust, objective and comparable source of information, ideal for carrying out this type of...


Delineation of seed collection zones based on environmental and genetic characteristics for Quercus suber L. in Sardinia, Italy

Seedlings of cork oak collected in the RoP in Sardinia according to Dir. 1999/105/CE

The main objective of the study is assessing the areas where Quercus suber (cork oak) seeds (acorns) should be collected, taking into account both environmental and genetic variables, identifying uniform climatic areas and investigating the genetic diversity among populations at the regional scale. Combining the two factors, areas of interest for valorising the available germplasm can be identified.


The Archi method applied to cork oak

Mature and healthy cork oak

Cork harvesting, every 10 to 15 years depending on the region, requires trees in good phytosanitary conditions and is a potential source of stress, especially if debarking is poorly done. Hence the interest in having a tool to assess the trees phytosanitary conditions, which can be used as a decision support tool when carrying out silvicultural operations. This tool is based on a visual diagnostic method called Archi, developed by CNPF. ARCHI is based on the reading of tree crown architecture using a specific identification key referring to different architectural types related to...



Health status of cork oak in France

Cork oak decline

In order to be able to follow the evolution of cork oak dieback in the French cork-producing regions in the context of climate change, the South-East Forest Health Interregional Pole has set up since 2013 an annual health monitoring network (defoliation, tree mortality, branch mortality, etc.) of 33 permanent plots of 20 trees each. The study covers the period 2013-2019.


Cork oak harvesting logistics

Cork collection and transportation

Improving the competitiveness of the cork oak producers, by improving the quality of the production process and the sustainability of the cork oak forest, by introducing new innovative methods and practices applied to the various stages of the production process and commercialization of the raw material, are essential to guarantee the vitality in the sector. 

The profitability of the debarking, transportation and storage operations by promoting or increasing the efficiency of the processes along the potential value chain, with bring greater valorization of the raw material and...


Assessing the proportion of cork that a stopper should have from a mechanical perspective

Fig. 1. Different wine stoppers.

The objective of this study is to determine the proportion of cork that micro-agglomerated and synthetic cork stoppers should contain to assure that their mechanical properties are similar to those of a natural cork stopper. The properties that characterize the mechanical behaviour of the stoppers in the corking and uncorking operations are: compression, relaxation and extraction.


Climatic impact on cork thickness from different trees located in the same stand

Cork samples and cork rings.

The thickness of cork oak trees varies highly, even when they are located in the same geographical location or stand. The objective was to research how climate variables affect different trees within the same site, for which precipitation and temperature variables were considered. The response variable was the cork growth index (cgi) – the cork thickness of the first eight complete growth years were measured after boiling. The differences between trees were characterised by nine different cork thickness quantiles, from lower (thinnest cork) to higher (thickest cork).


Adopting a common protocol for selling cork through tendering procedures in public cork oak woodlands in Sardinia (Italy)

Public cork oak woodlands in Sardinia

The aim is to provide a standard reference model to be used by public forest owners of cork oak woodlands to sell cork, both on the tree or in cork piles, through public tendering systems in Italy. The documents represent a good practice developed by the Agency Forestas on the basis of its long term experience in cork tendering systems that may be useful for harmonizing cork selling procedures across the country.  


Post-fire presence and dynamics of xylophagous insects on cork oak ecosystems

Montado landscape after fire (Grândola, 2017).

Cork oak ecosystems have been experiencing a serious decline in the last decades attributed to different causes, including wildfires. After fire trees may become particularly vulnerable to forest pests, which may further affect the vigor of surviving trees and give rise to massive dispersing offspring affecting surrounding areas, but this was rarely assessed in Mediterranean oak ecosystems. Thus, the objective of this study was to assess the presence and dynamics of xylophagous insects on cork oak forests following fire in central Portugal.


Accessing site productivity in cork oak stands in Portugal

18 years old cork oak stand in Coruche, Portugal.

In recent decades, new cork oak plantation areas have been established in Portugal, not only in the traditional areas of distribution of the species but also in the northern parts. Historical records show that the species was formerly present here, and climatic thresholds suggest a possible occurrence. Cork oak site productivity, assessed through site index, was modelled in relation to soil and climate variables. The models were developed to estimate and map the site index value along the cork oak potential distribution area in Portugal.


Thickness assessment and weight modeling of cork in Tunisia: case study of Ain Snoussi forest

Cork stoppers

Estimate reproduction cork thickness as a criterion to examine the commercial value and to fit a non-linear model for predicting cork weight to guide the forest decision makers toward a reasonable harvest.

The objective is to guide forest decision-makers towards a reasonable cork harvest by:

• examining the thickness of cork as a criterion for estimating commercial value

• evaluating the intensity of the debarking operation on the tree

• establishing a non-linear model for predicting cork weight.