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COORDINATION: Joaquim Sande Silva (CEABN).

CEABN TEAM: Anamaria Azevedo, Filipe Catry, Francisco Moreira, Francisco Castro Rego, Joaquim Sande Silva, Paulo Godinho-Ferreira, Pedro Vaz e Vanda Acácio.

OTHER INSTITUTIONS: Universidade de Aveiro (Jan Jacob Keizer, Celeste Coelho, António Diniz Ferreira, Rosa Pinho, Paula Maia, Filipa Lopes, Dinashavari Lacmane, Filipe Dias Firpo, Adriana de Melo Laranjeira, Marta Oñate Gutiérrez, Leonardo Cartei) e Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (Paulo Fernandes, Herminio Botelho, Herminio Botelho, Raquel Sofia Vasconcelos Ferreira).

The catastrophic fire season of 2003, the worst in many years in terms of damage caused by forest fires in Portugal, revealed the urgent need for major forest conversions and at the same time created the opportunity for these conversions.

Nevertheless the existing technical norms concerning this issue have been developed according to empirical principles, with very little scientifical validation.

The objective of this proposal was therefore, to obtain scientifically based knowledge allowing the taking of decisions concerning the type of forests to establish in Portugal, having in mind objectives of fire prevention.

These objectives taked into account both aspects related with fire propagation and with fire effects. The research program was structured in order to answer three different types of questions, namely: what is the "preference" of fire for the different forest types, what is the resilience to fire of the different forest types and which are the effects caused by fire for the different forest types .

These research guidelines were divided into six different research tasks to be distributed by three different research teams (Centro de Ecologia Aplicada "Prof. Baeta Neves", Univ. Aveiro e Univ. de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro) according to the respective working experience and specialization.

Task 1 aimed at obtaining information on the types of forest preferred by fire, based on data obtained from cartography and satellite imagery (CEABN).

Task 2 aimed at obtaining information on the different species allowing to explain that preference, based on a literature review and on additional field and laboratory work (UTAD).

Task 3 aimed at knowing which are the more resilient types of forest, based on satellite imagery processing (CEABN).

Task 4 aimed at obtaining information at the species level, allowing to explain that resilience, based on experimental essays (UTAD).

Task 5 aimed at knowing in comparative terms, which are the effects of fire, relatively to vegetation recovery and to soil erodibility, based on field surveys and rainfall simulation essays (UA).

Task 6 aimed at synthesizing all information obtained in the previous tasks in order to translate it into concrete conclusions on the types of forest which are advantageous from a fire prevention perspective.


The basic objective of the project was to provide a scientific basis for post-fire management decisions in order to create forests that are less fire prone and at the same time more resilient to fire.The research program is structured to answer a sequence of related questions:

- What is the fire proneness of the various forest types and why. (Tasks 1 and 2).

- What forest types are more resilient to fire and why. (Tasks 3 and 4).

- Which are the main fire effects for each forest type in terms of impacts in the soil and vegetation. (Task 5).

- Which are the adequate forest types to use according to the results obtained. (Task 6).

The answer to these questions will help managers to take scientifically based decisions in terms of choosing more appropriate forest types from a fire prevention perspective.


Proceedings of national conferences:

Maia, P., Lacmane, D., Cartei, L., Pinho, R., Silva, J., and Keizer, J.J. (2007) "Efeitos do fogo sobre a estrutura e composição florística de pinhais e eucaliptais nos concelhos de Albergaria-a-Velha e Águeda". Pages 1418-1421. In: C. Borrego, A. I. Miranda, E. Figueiredo, F. Martins, L. Arroja, and T. Fedélis, editors. 9ª Conferência Nacional do Ambiente U.Aveiro, Dept. Ambiente, Aveiro.


Silva, J., Catry, F., Loureiro, C., Lopes, F., Moreira, F., Rego, F.C., Botelho, H., Keizer, J.J., Coelho, C., Pinho, R., Ferreira, A. (2005) "PHOENIX - Reconversão florestal em áreas queimadas". In: R. Silva and F. Páscoa, editors. 5º Congresso Florestal Nacional  - A Floresta e as Gentes. Sociedade Portuguesa de Ciências Florestais, Viseu, Portugal.


Proceedings of international conferences:

Fernandes, P., Luz, A., Loureiro, C., Godinho-Ferreira, P., and Botelho, H. (2006). "Fuel modelling and fire hazard assessment based on data from the Portuguese National Forest Inventory". In: D. X. Viegas, editor. V International Conference on Forest Fire Research. Elsevier, Figueira da Foz. Pages S224.


Godinho-Ferreira, P., Azevedo, A., Vaz, P., Rego, F. (2006). "Composition, configuration and vertical structure of Portuguese forests: implications in wildfire probability". In: D. X. Viegas, editor. V International Conference on Forest Fire Research. Elsevier, Figueira da Foz. Pages S225.


Keizer, J. J., Malvar, M., Nunes, J., Silva, J., Coelho, C., Prats, S., Ferreira, R., Houmann, M., Lagewaard, M., Ferreira, A. J. D., Lucena, J., Pereira, V., Melo, T. C., Afonso, P., Stolte, J., Jetten, V. (2006). "The role of land management practices in soil erosion hazard in eucalypt stands in north-central Portugal following forest wildfires". In: D. X. Viegas, editor. V International Conference on Forest Fire Research. Elsevier, Figueira da Foz. Pages S187.


Moreira, F., Vaz, P., Catry, F., Silva, J.S. (2007). "Regional variations in wildfire preference for land cover types in Portugal: implications for landscape management to minimize fire hazard". In: 4th International Wildland Fire Conference, Sevilla, Spain. Pages ST3.


Thesis: Casanovas, M. (2006). Anàlisi de la mortalitat de Quercus suber després del foc a Trás-os-Montes, Portugal. Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona.


Castro, V. (2007). "Sobrevivência do Sobreiro a incêndios em Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro" Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real. 


Publications and Communications:

Catry, F.X., Moreira, F., Duarte I., Acácio, V. (2009) " Factors affecting post-fire crown regeneration in cork oak (Quercus suber L.) trees". Eur. J. Forest Res.128:231–240.


Ferreira, A.J.D., Coelho, C.O.A., Ritsema, C.J., Boulet, A.K., Keizer, J.J. (2008) "Soil and water degradation processes in burned areas: Lessons learned from a nested approach" Catena 74: 273-285.


Fernandes, P.M.(2009) "Combining forest structure data and fuel modelling to classify fire hazard in Portugal" Ann. For. Sci. 66: 415.


Fernandes, P. (2009). "Fichas-tipo das relações entre o fogo e a floresta". Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro. pp8.


Keizer, J.J., Doerr, S.H., Malvar, M.C., Prats, S.A., Ferreira, R.S.V., Oñate, M.G., Coelho, C.O., Ferreira, A.J.D.(2009). "Temporal variation in topsoil water repellency in two recently burnt eucalypt stands in north-central Portugal". Catena 74: 192–204.


Moreira, F. Vaz, P., Catry, F.X., Silva, J.S. (2009). "Regional variations in wildfire susceptibility of land-covertypes in Portugal: implications for landscape management to minimize fire hazard". International Journal of Wildland Fire 18: 563–574.


Moreira, F., Catry, F.X., Duarte, I., Acácio, V., Silva, J.S. (2008). "A conceptual model of sprouting responses in relation to fire damage: an example with cork oak (Quercus suber L.) trees in Southern Portugal". Plant Ecol 201: 77–85.


Moreira, F., Duarte, I., Catry, F., Acácio, V. (2007). "Cork extraction as a key factor determining post-fire cork oak survival in a mountain region of southern Portugal". Forest Ecology and Management 253: 30-37.


Silva, J.S. and Catry, F.X. (2006). Forest fires in cork oak (Quercus suber L.) stands in Portugal. International Journal of Environmental Studies. Vol. 63 (3): 235-257.


 Summary of the main goals achieved:

- It was possible to establish a fire proneness ranking of the Portuguese land use systems  and forest types (Task 1).

- It was also possible to explain that ranking according to structural variables and according to the fuel type associated to each type of forest (Task 1).

- In a more focused analysis it was possible to characterise envronmental variables of some forest types, contributing  to explain some of the results obtained in Task 1 (Task 2).

- The regenerative capacity after fire of cork oak stands was corretalted with different tree and environmental variables.

- The potential for vegetation recovery and erosion was studied for different forest systems.