This in-depth case study focuses on increasing knowledge to support forest management towards the production of cork, pine nuts and mushrooms in the Alentejo region. The work includes data collection, improving and developing models and testing forest management alternatives.
The Alentejo Region has 45% of forest cover, 42% agriculture land and the remaining 13% for other land uses. Therefore it is a very rural area where forests play a very important role. The main forest tree species in the region are: cork oak (45%); holm oak (27%); eucalyptus (16%) and stone pine (6%).
Consequently, more than half of the forest area in this region includes forests which are mainly dedicated to the production of two NWFPs: cork and stone pine. These products are not secondary/side products as is often the case for NWFPs but a significant industry of the region. There is also considerable potential for the production of mushrooms, although there is a lack of knowledge about it. In addition, there is an opportunity to explore the potential of aromatic / medicinal plants, for example in the 2005 National Forestry Inventory, 25% of holm oak and 13% of cork oak forests had rosemary plants.