Pinus pinea (stone pine) is the 6th most important tree species in Portugal, covering an estimated area of 175,743 ha (2010) of
which 35% are young pure plantations. Pinus pinea forested area had increased 54% compared with 1995 values, the highest
increase recorded among the national forests species (AFN 2010). Portugal has the second largest area after Spain which has
456,600 ha (Ministerio de Agricultura Pesca y Alimentación 2007). Together the Iberian Peninsula accounts for approximately
75% of all stone pine forested area in the world.
Pinus pinea value comes mainly from its nuts (Mutke et al. 2005a) which are the most important edible product of Mediterranean
forests (Calama et al. 2007a). Therefore, the main objective of the PINEA+ Project is to disentangle the driving factors of cone
and pine production in Portugal, namely:
(i) to find how cone and pine nuts production yields can be achieved either by supplying adequate levels of water and nutrients, or by maintain favorable levels of stand competition or by selecting the appropriate clones?
(ii) to analyse which are the main constraints of cone and pine nuts production, in particular the importance of existing nut and/or cone insect pests and unfavorable climate conditions?
(iii) to understand and describe the interaction of Pinus pinea cone production driving factors in order to minimize yield losses and maximize cone and pine nuts production.
The PINEA+ Project will be carry out in seven Tasks. A main advantage of this project is that will benefit from the already
established field experimental sites implemented through PINEA Project (PTDC/AGRFOR/4843/2014). The three irrigation and fertilization trials will provide the background to evaluate the effects of 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 affects masting and the cone and pine nuts production yield loss. The exceptional productive year of 2010/2011 will be evaluated in detail. Characterizing 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 analysis: at the ground level using stand basal area measurements
and using remote sensed vegetation tools. We will also evaluate 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.
Finnaly, the Pinus pinea network of Permanent Sample Plots (PSP) will be used to provide a cone production model for Portugal using the mixed models approach and distance dependent indexes.
The PINEA Project team includes the most active researcher in forest modelling in Portugal. The consultants will provide strong
scientific input that will contribute to the success of this research project. Dr Rafael Calama and Dr Sven Mutke are two of the
current leading researchers working on Pinus pinea. Dr Peter Savill has an extensive and impressive record of research work in