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Topic: Impact of herbivory by cattle and insects on the survival of cork oak seedlings

Supervisors: Pedro Gonçalves Vaz, Manuela Branco, and Miguel Bugalho
Contacts: pjgvaz@isa.ulisboa.pt

Background and objectives:
The compatibility of cork oak regeneration with grazing is an important challenge for the management of montados. Rotation or exclusion of grazing is one of the possible management measures. These measures generate spatial heterogeneity with little studied consequences for insect herbivory and survival of young cork oak trees, a species classified as the Portuguese national tree.

The objective of this work is to quantify the impact of insect herbivory on survival of cork oak seedlings and young trees under different micro-environmental and cattle grazing conditions.

The student will benefit from an experimental design that captures different ages and grazing pressures, as well as contrasting micro-environmental conditions, to evaluate the effect of these parameters on the regeneration of cork oak montados. The fieldwork will be conducted at Companhia das Lezírias, a property located approximately 50 km from Lisbon. Between late spring and early summer 2022, the student will quantify the intensity of the damage inflicted by the different guilds of insect herbivores on young cork oaks and assess the effect on plant survival.

Place: Companhia das Lezírias and Instituto Superior de Agronomia
Duration: Beginning of May to end of June 2022.

Wednesday, 09 February 2022