Convert the eucalyptus trees from the properties that MONTIS bought in Pampilhosa da Serra
MONTIS manages marginal areas for the purpose of nature conservation.
In 2019, we bought 6 parcels in the municipality of Pampilhosa da Serra. Two of them, Covões and Barroco Frio, are partially occupied by eucalyptus with no interest for conservation or production.
Covões, with 2.6 ha, is occupied, in 70%, by abandoned eucalyptus. In the rest of the area there are Mediterranean scrubland with strawberry trees, cork and Holm oak, and also a riparian gallery next to the Unhais river, with alders, willows, and others.
Barroco Frio, with 2.3 ha, is occupied, in 40%, by eucalyptus. The rest of the area also includes Mediterranean scrub and, to the south, the Unhais riparian gallery.
After some time looking for solutions and partners for its conversion, it was decided to proceed based on MONTIS’ own resources, and on the resources from those who want to see these examples, with easily working techniques, increasing their pedagogical value and replicability.
The investment is aimed at converting the eucalyptus into native flora and natural regeneration of the bush areas. This includes the cutting of the eucalyptus and the formative pruning of the native species, stimulating growth in height, the shading of the soil to control brushwood and the vertical discontinuity of fuels. If feasible, a controlled fire, will help to make the forest more resilient to fire and climate change.”
To reconvert the eucalyptus trees that MONTIS bought, of reduced economic or ecological interest, into biodiverse native woods.
- With clearcutting of the eucalyptus, without removing stumps, and managing the sprouting that results from the cutting (today, each stump has several branches, due to the lack of management) until the energy accumulated in the stumps and roots is exhausted. This less technically demanding option, although more demanding in work, will take 3 to 4 years until eucalyptus dies by exhaustion
- If feasible, with a controlled fire after the cutting, to reduce fuel accumulation and make nutrients available to plants
- With soil retention actions, increasing natural capital and improving the conditions for the evolution of native flora
- Conducting natural regeneration to accelerate the recovery process
- If reasonable, with seedlings of indigenous species and localized plantations
- With the collection, in parallel, of biodiversity data that allows the evaluation of management effects (direct observation, photo-trapping and bioblitz), registering it in public biodiversity data platforms
These options, not being the fastest or most efficient to produce results, allow ordinary people to be involved in the process, based on volunteering. Community involvement is central to the project and has a pedagogical component that aims to stimulate the critical spirit necessary for better management for the conservation of biodiversity.