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The forests of the Basque Country are progressing -- slowly, according to research group
Date:3/29/2010

arch work be "applicable". For example, in the case of pinewoods, they came to conclusions that merit practical application. Pine trees are in terrain previously occupied by autochthonous species in the forests of the CAV-EAE. Nevertheless, as this group has observed, pine trees have the ability to recover autochthonous woods that are in a degraded state (oakwoods, for example), whenever the management is the appropriate one. "Pine trees help forests to stabilise. They can act to recover an ecosystem if they are subsequently extracted at the appropriate moment, given that oakwoods can grow under the canopy cover of the pines", explained Ms Ibone Amezaga, lecturer and member of the research group.

An exemplary oakwood in Arratzu

Ms Onaindia concluded that, in the twenty years of this investigation, the forests in the CAV-EAE have advanced favourably, although there is still much to be done. "The autochthonous trees are expanding but the proportion is still very small. Oakwoods, for example, should be common to the Basque provinces of Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa, but they are in fact very fragmented. The situation is not yet good, but over recent years they have gained somewhat more terrain".

The research team has observed that, in those few places in the CAV-EAE where there are oakwoods, the indicators for biodiversity are especially high. "In Arratzu we can find a large oakwood that is a model to follow: many species are found there; species that show great maturity. The functions of the ecosystem are very well met with in this oak wood", stated Ms Onaindia.

A European investigation, in Bizkaia

Ms Onaindia is also the person responsible for the Unesco Catedra project in Sustainable Development and Environmental Education at the UPV/EHU. The group is involved directly with a catedra project, Human welfare and ecosystems.

This research, being undertaken in collaboration with the Bizkaia Provincial Government
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Contact: Amaia Portugal
a.portugal@elhuyar.com
34-943-363-040
Elhuyar Fundazioa
Source:Eurekalert

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