Supporting cork oak forests in tackling climate change

A new project will look for techniques to improve the productivity and resilience of cork oak forests in the face of climate change.

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Cork forest
Photo: Catalan Cork Institute.

The Catalan Cork Institute Foundation is starting a demonstration project “Dissemination of new cork oak forest management techniques to improve its productivity and resilience”. The project will give continuity to the knowledge generated with the Life+ Suber integrative management project to improve the adaptation of the cork oak to climate change, coordinated by the Forestry Consortium of Catalonia and co-financed, among others, by the Institute itself.

The objective of this demonstration project is to transfer this knowledge into new forest management strategies that are effective for cork oak forests by comparing the permanent plots of different productive stands, whether for fire prevention or restoration of degraded areas.

The project will be carried out over the next two years and is financed by the Climate Action Department of the Generalitat of Catalonia and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

The context

Climate change constitutes a serious threat to the conservation of cork oak forests, the sustainable production of cork and the value chain linked to this product, which can translate into lower cork vitality and productivity due to water stress, an increase in pests or a greater frequency of forest fires. It is in this context that the incorporation of the integral management of new techniques and methods to improve the adaptation capacities of cork oak forests is essential.

The demonstration project is currently in the first phase of selecting the stands to be monitored based on the work initiated by the Life+Suber project and the preparation of the data collection protocol. The second phase will consist of processing the data obtained and diagnosis of the stands, with the third and last phase being the dissemination of the results obtained through the new innovative forestry techniques.

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