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New afforestation techniques increase tree growth in Mediterranean farmlands
Date:4/28/2010

study, several experimental designs were developed, mostly of them in set-aside farmlands within the experimentation farm called "Cortijos del Conejo y Becerra" (Granada, Spain). In general terms, it is an area with upper meso-Mediterranean thermotype and semi-arid ombrotype that was devoted to the growth of cereals and extensive livestock farming during centuries. It was abandoned in 1993.

Land use

In view of the results obtained, the researchers from the University of Granada and the IFAPA advise the implementation of previous land use planning before starting afforestation projects. Although this can not be applied to every country, it would be efficient in Mediterranean regions. Thus, they suggest to implement moderate afforestation projects with low-density planting (300 feet/ha) to allow colonization and succession of autochthonous plants. Another suggestion is to prioritise afforestation of farmlands close to autochthonous forests or bushes, in order to get seeds and accelerate vegetal succession. Finally, they advise to implement afforestation projects in active farming lands, since their transformation favours biodiversity.

The research conducted by the University of Granada "contributes new scientific data on the best farmland afforestation techniques in Mediterranean regions, offering new afforestation planning measures on regional terms".

According to Jimnez Morales, the results obtained from this research can be extended to other Mediterranean areas "with similar ecologic characteristics". The results of this study were partially published on scientific journals as "Annals of Forest Science".


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Contact: Noelia Jimnez Morales
mnoelia@ugr.es
34-958-243-000
University of Granada
Source:Eurekalert

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