On March 24 and 25, an important representation of the technical team of the LIFE Adapt-Aleppo project traveled to Aragon. There, thanks to the invaluable collaboration of the technical forest management team of the Government of Aragon (Forest Management Unit of the Zaragoza Provincial Service, and Forest Planning and Management Service of the General Directorate of the Natural Environment and Forest Management ), a series of visits to Pinus pine forests halepensis located in various locations in the province of Zaragoza, with a double objective:
- Observing and discussing adaptive forest management experiences carried out in past years by the Government of Aragon, evaluating their effectiveness in the short and medium term.
- Define the sites for the location of demonstrative stands of adaptive forest management, which will be executed in accordance with the guidelines agreed between the LIFE team and the technicians of the Government of Aragon, and will subsequently be monitored by the project.
The visit began in a burned area with regeneration problems, where reforestation is planned, in which the LIFE project will locate a demonstration stand of assisted migration in forest restoration. It is a site with highly arid conditions, where there have also been several forest fires in a short period of time.
Subsequently, a young 45-year-old pine forest from natural regeneration triggered after a fire was visited. A systematic clearing treatment is being carried out on this dough. The place is of great interest to the project, particularly for the realization of a demonstrative stand of ecohydrological forestry , in which to monitor the evolution of the water balance after a significant reduction in tree cover.
Next, it was possible to verify first-hand how mistletoe is becoming a debilitating agent of great importance in the Aragonese Aleppo pine forests, assuming an agent to be taken into account in the management for the adaptation of these pine forests to climate change. In Pino de Valdenavarro we were able to see how the Government of Aragon carried out treatments on a monumental tree, aimed at reducing the weakening caused by this hemiparasitic plant .
Following the course towards the North, a pine forest repopulated by the State forest heritage was visited at the end of the 1950s in the Luna pine forest. This pine forest has a good station quality and semi-systematic clearings are being carried out in it. It is a pine forest with good characteristics to even establish two demonstration stands of the LIFE project for ecohydrology and forest diversification actions due to its high coverage and the possibility of modifying the intensities and characteristics of thinning in small areas.
Next, the Ejea de los Caballeros public nursery was visited, where it was possible to observe the great work carried out by the technicians responsible for it, in the maintenance and use of the seed orchard, as well as in the production of forest plants, so important in the forest and habitat restoration projects carried out by the Government of Aragon.
The day of the 24th ended with a visit to a repopulation pine forest burned down in 1997, in Castiliscar, with abundant regeneration that at this time forms a continuous 25-year-old wild forest. In this place, the possibility of implementing, within the framework of the LIFE project, a demonstrative stand of treatments to regulate intraspecific competition in regenerated post -high-intensity fires was discussed, in order to monitor the effect of these improvement treatments. in situations in which they are carried out after the age usually recommended for this type of intervention has been exceeded.
The day of the 25th began with a visit to a natural pine forest in Villanueva de Huerva. This pine forest has a regularized structure as a result of the type of treatment traditionally applied (ferret for firewood). For a few years, thanks to the current Planning Project, a regularized thinning has been practiced, a fact that will be used by the LIFE project to carry out a forestry demonstration stand for the structural and floristic diversification of the Aleppo pine forests.
The day ended in Daroca, visiting an area where various alternative methods of regeneration felling have been tested in old-age repopulation masses: felling with parent trees, felling through copses and felling through strips. It was possible to observe first-hand the good results of the cuts made by copses, choosing this treatment to be implemented in another forestry demonstration stand for structural and floristic diversification, this time in the mountains of Ariza.