Dehesas(Spain) and Montados(Portugal)(EURAF)

Dehesas (in Spain) and Montados (in Portugal) are silvo-pastoral systems characterized by open canopy woodlands of mainly Quercus rotundifolia and Quercus suber, with natural or cultivated grassland. Covering around 3.5 milion ha in the South-western region of the Iberian Peninsula, these human-shaped ecosystems have long been acknowledged as land use systems of high nature and social value (HNSV), providing relevant ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation. This is a result of the high diversity in vegetation, fauna and land cover, and the balance between forestry and grazing uses, all coexisting within the constraining environmental conditions of the Mediterranean region. The system is now under severe threats, either due to poor or non-existent land-management practices, leading to extensification and abandonment in less fertile areas or due to pressure for intensification and overuse in others.

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