The research plan for the PINEA+ project is based on its objectives and is expected to be carried out through seven planned
Tasks. The main objectives of the PINEA+ Project are centered on trying to evaluate which are the expected main factors,
determinants, which decisively affect cone and pine production, namely:
(i) to find how cone and pine nuts production gains can be achieved either by supplying adequate levels water and nutrients, or
by maintain favorable levels of stand competition or by selecting the appropriate clone ?
(ii) to analyze which are the main constraints for cone and pine nuts production, in particular the importance of existing seed
and cone insect pests and unfavorable climate conditions?
(iii) to explore the interaction amongst Pinus pinea determinants in order to minimize yield losses and maximize cone and pine
Figure 1. The research approach of the PINEA+ Project to tackle its main objectives for understanding the determinants of Pinus pinea cone and pine nuts production
One of the big strengths from PINEA+ Project is that will be able to benefit from the work undertaken by the PINEA Project. The
three irrigation and fertilization trials which have been established in the PINEA Project will provide the grounds to evaluate
effects from water and nutrients availability on cone and pine nuts production. Climate data and long term pine nuts data series,
will be used to evaluate how climate decisively affects masting and the cone and pine nuts production due to yield loss. Climate
that was responsible for the biggest masting year since there are records which was in 2010/2011 will be analysed in detail.
Characterising and quantifying the damage in cones and seeds of stone pine caused by the main three insects pest species
present in Portugal: Dioryctria mendacella (Staudinger 1859), Pissodes validirostris (C.R. Sahlberg 1834) and Leptoglossus
occidentalis Heidemann, 1910 will provide a mean to understand the importance of such insect pests in the cone and pine nuts
yield loss. Pinus pinea competition will be investigated looking at different levels of basal area, LAI and stand composition and
its effects on cone and pine production. This work will be based on the Pinus pinea network of Permanent Sample Plots (PSP) as
well as in remote sense data. Pinus pinea clones from two existing Pinus pinea clonal orchards where scions are collected for
grafting Pinus pinea stands to evaluate their cone production performance.
Why is this project important? At the national level is important to encourage studies on stone pine due to several reasons. First, the increasing importance in the national forest area: 54%, the highest increase in 15 years compared with the other national forest species. Second, because there is a growing interest among landowners in this species due to the possibility to achieve an early pine nut production through grafted stonepine stands. This adds value to their already settle forested areas by allowing an early economic income concomitantly with other forest products. One the other hand, stonepine stands, either for production or soil protection purposes, benefit from public policy incentives including the promotion of mixed woodlands stands making it economically attractive. However there is still a huge knowledge gap regarding this species in Portugal. For example, the number of national publication in Pinus pinea is considerably smaller (only 52 ISI records) compared with Eucalyptus globulus with 493 records , Quercus suber with 304, Pinus pinaster with 337 records and 109 for Quercus ilex/rotundifolia. The scientific knowledge for Pinus pinea is considerably reduced for Portugal and do not respond to the demands of an emergent species in the Portuguese context. For example, there is still a huge uncertainty in how to manage tree density in grafted stone pine stands, accurate models able to predict cone masting years which could help the planing of cone harvesting campaigns, how resilience is the species to climate change, what are the impacts of a generalized increase in Leptoglossus populations to nut yields? This project will try to reduce this gap.
This proposal results from gathering information from individuals and organizations involved in forest planning and management, including landowners and forestry associations. It intends to specifically provide answers to their main concerns and difficulties in the management of the Pinus pinea stands at present and provide scientific knowledge to support decision making in the future in a climatic and economic change context.[button link="https://pinuspinea.com/pineaplus/" size="small" color="green" rounded="true"] Back to PINEA+ [/button]