5th portuguese RAIN meeting

The 5th Portuguese RAIN meeting of the AFINET project and CEF Seminar from research to application, took place on 13 September at the Observatório do sobreiro e da cortiça in Coruche Municipality. After a period of promoting the event, about 50 attendees took part on event which also included a field visit to young cork oak stands close to the age of their first cork harvesting.

This was a joint event which included the 5th Portuguese RAIN meeting, the Forest Research Center (CEF) seminar “cork oak tree and so much more” and the AFINET regional event.

Joana Amaral Paulo (the Innovation Broker) hosted the meeting, which had several speakers: Axel Gosseries (researcher and professor at several universities), via skype, talked about his personal project – the Herdade das Cebolas, where he practices agroforestry implementing soil and vegetation regeneration, mostly through the installation of small ponds and swales; Joana Paulo (ISA/CEF) spoke about hedges, reinforcing their protective role but also their productive possibilities; Margarida Tomé (ISA/CEF), talked about thinning in young cork oak tree plantations, mainly about tree competition versus the available information on cork quality; Sónia Faias (ISA/CEF) presented the results of an 18 year old case-study on cork oak stands understory management, its impacts on the tree and cork, the subject-matter of her ongoing PhD; and Ana Raquel Felizardo (ISA), who also spoke about cork oak stands understory management, but its impacts on the soil, discussing sown pastures versus natural pastures.

Lastly, Joana Paulo presented the already available AFINET project materials and debated the possibility of the project aims continuity after its ending: “what about after 2019?”. After each presentation, the attendees were allowed a few questions.

After lunch, there was a field visit to young cork oak stands around the Coruche area, where the attendees had an ample opportunity to ask questions to the farm owners and the speakers who were present.