Monday, 18 July 2016 19:07

The “Mediterranean Taxus baccata woods” Iberian Workshop

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The “Mediterranean Taxus baccata woods” Iberian Workshop Foto de Pedro Lucas

The “Mediterranean Taxus baccata woodsIberian Workshop carried out under the Project LIFE+ LIFE12 NAT/PT/000950 Taxus – Restoring yew thickets [9580* Mediterranean Taxus baccata woods] took place in Manteigas, at the   Civic Centre Auditorium of the Municipal Council. The event was organized in collaboration with the Institute for Conservation of Nature and Forests (ICNF) and the Municipal Council of Manteigas. The workshop was attended by 66 participants.

This Workshop aimed to present the results of the Life Taxus project and to discuss the state of yew thickets in Continental Portugal. These ancient thickets in which Taxus baccata L. is the dominant or co-dominant species, are limited to small vegetation cores in mountainous areas, close to watercourses were the soil remains persistently humid. In some specific cases, yew thickets also occur at the bottom of the valley, in areas which are not directly effected by watercourses, but in which the soil humidity is kept high by temporary flooding.

Several papers were presented on areas of expertise related to “Mediterranean Yew Woods”, followed by a discussion on the need to preserve the habitats were Yews occur. This species is extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change and human activities. For these reasons the main goals of this project is to maintain the diversity of forests mosaics, improve existing areas and increase the area occupied by this species in Natura 2000 Network sites. Additionally, the workshop emphasised other attributes of the species such as the importance of the chemical properties of the species for the pharmaceutical industry in broad terms and also specifically on how it is used to produce cancer drugs.

Considering that the results of the activities of the project will have impacts beyond its duration, the workshop also discussed the need to create conditions and partnerships for a post-LIFE programme which would keep these activities going.

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Associação Nacional de Conservação da Natureza


LIFE12 NAT/PT/000950