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On 13th April the forestation activities of ATNatureza were broadcasted on public channel RTP2 in the programme Biosfera:

Como salvar as serras do deserto?

How to save the mountains from the desert.

(from 19.17 minutes)

como slavar as serras do deserto

 

Please take a look and get to know new promising, innovative technologies for forestation in semi-arid areas.

Our new forestation method using cocoons is showed. The last 20 years we experienced serious problems with regard to forestation and we observed that almost all germinating acorns died. There are two major reasons: climate change and a very poor soil. The summer in Faia Brava lasts a long time with almost no rainfall. Also, the acid granite soil has almost no organic matter, so in case of no rainfall, water disappears quickly in the top soil. By the end of summer, the little oaks with their small roots die from lack of water. A new approach was needed. Cocoons have a container for water and by its design morning dew is captured. We experienced that in the month of September the container is still full of water. Another advantage is that near the little tree there is no competition for nutrients. So with the degradable cocoons, we help little oaks to survive the first two summers. After the first years, the growing trees offer a habitat for many species. In time these fenced islands of 0,25ha will expand to the mosaic island of 1 ha. In this way you might say, 0,25ha of planted indigenous trees will create a mosaic landscape of 5 ha. In this way we hope to change the omnipresent steppe landscape of 120.000 hectares of the Coa valley into a mosaic landscape, bringing back the multi functional agro-sylvo-pastoral system also called Montado or Dehesa.

cocoons

 

For now the film is only in Portuguese and we hope that we can present it in a short time with English subtitles.

If you are interested in these new technologies, please contactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Mobile: +351 966 299 552

500 trees are planted by ATNatureza in controlled reforestation plots of 0,25 ha dispersed over the Faia Brava landscape. The plots have the primary goal of ecosystem restoration and with one plot the Dutch consultancy firm Wing compensates 50 tons of her CO2 production (conservative estimation).

ATNatureza and Wing (www.wing.nl) agree to cooperate in the next two years in reforestation and carbon sequestrations. They share the vision that investments in Carbon footprint compensation can best be done in projects, contributing to biodiversity as well.

Wing pays € 50, - per ton CO2 sequestrated, and receives:

  • A certificate for CO2 compensation
  • Reference on the ATNatureza site with Wings CO2 emission in 2021 compensated
  • Guided visit of a group (max 4 persons in vehicle or any number when walking) in the Faia Brava Reserve in 2021 or 2022

ATNatureza will take care of the reforestation plots. The status Private Protected Area (APP) guarantees the long-term protection of the forest. With support from companies like Wing, ATNatureza will be able to set-up more forestation plots.

Would you like to compensate your CO2 production too? Please contact us.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Mobile +351 914678375

In November we planted trees in 4 small plots (0,25ha) with state-of-the-art materials and techniques. We hope to establish biodiverse groves of trees that rapidly become living seed banks, also aiming to create a mosaic landscape.  

Since its creation in 2000 reforestation actions have been caried out in Faia Brava, as part of the objective of habitat restauration. However, we were confronted with major problems; like  a poor soil quality, drought, animal damage and disturbance. The overall success of tree plantations in Faia Brava was only around 10% of tree survival after the first year. To increase the tree survival rate we  decided to apply a new method of tree planting.

The new model of plantation was suggested by Ronald Buiting, a known ecological reforestry Dutch expert. The composition and the distribution of the new trees in the plot is a key principle to mimic the structure of a mature forest. This should visually integrate the plantation plot in the surrounding landscape and promote a faster maturation of some trees. We plant native species in monospecific subgroups (eco-units), use natural shapes for the eco-units and a designed variation of densities of trees in different eco-units.

The reduction of water stress in the long hot summer is achieved either by direct watering or by the use of bio degradable cocoons; individual water containers or waterboxes provided by the Land Life Company. The landlife company plants more than million trees a year and uses modern IT technologies.

The holes for the trees were dug with a mechanical drill that creates space for root development. This helps to regulate the temperature for the young trees. It also creates a space for mixing mature manure in the soil, prior to plantation.

The final contribution for a higher success rate was the inoculation of a mycorrhiza mix to the roots of all Oak trees and the other broad-leafed trees. We used a commercial mix from Ecovit (with fungus  native species) that ensures low mortality in the plantation, better nutrition and water in-take abilities and an overall protection against environmental stress.

This experimental work will be monitored over the next few years and we will generate more knowledge and capabilities to create a more resilient forest.

If you are interested in knowing more about this project, you can request a visit to the plot.

planting trees

 

   drill and tractor

 

A team from the University of Aveiro was recently at Faia Brava doing fieldwork related with the project rWILD-COA "Ecological challenges and opportunities in the process of rewilding the Côa Valley". The project consists of a multidisciplinary and international team that includes academic institutions (University of Aveiro, Polytechnic University of Madrid, Autonomous University of Barcelona) and associations related to the conservation and management of natural resources, including the ATNatureza and the Iberia Rewilding Association. Faia Brava, located in the Côa Valley, will constitute an important natural laboratory, where the role of ungulates as “ecosystem engineers” will be tested and quantified. The objective is to explore how the action of ungulates influences the composition and structure of habitats, the richness and diversity of species and the geochemical cycles of the soil. With regard to species richness, one of the groups studied are micromammals, due to their trophic importance and their role as bioindicators. In Faia Brava, systematic sampling is being carried out in order to understand how different densities of ungulates influence the micromammalian community and different physical parameters of these species.

 Apodemus sylvaticus  Eliomys quercinus  Mus spretus  Crocidura russula

Last week we were delighted and grateful to receive Mr. Paulo Azevedo Chairman of SONAE and Dr. Nuno Ferrand Almeida of CIBIO, at our Faia Brava Reserve. Paolo Azevedo is the chairman of Sonae, a multinational company managing a diversified portfolio of business, telecommunications and financial services. Sonae is one of 32 companies in the world to subscribe the "Business for Nature” platform manifesto, which demands swift collective action by governments and companies to promote restoration and preservation of nature.

It was a magnificent day for everyone and it is great to have the opportunity to show our work in the field of nature conservation, as well as explain about the projects we are carrying out. We were proud to share our 20 years discovery journey and we shared our dream for Faia Brava and the Coa Valley.  Paulo showed much interest into the long term perspective of ecosystem restoration, leading to very interesting in depth discussions. Thank you Paulo and Nuno for visiting us!

Paolo Azevedo visit

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