Silvopastoralism in Aiguamúrcia (Tarragona, Spain)

AgroForAdapt works in 27 forests in Catalonia and Castilla y León (more than 480 ha in total) to promote silvopastoralism as a climate change adaptation measure. To make it possible for livestock to enter the forest, we carry out silvicultural treatments and improve and condition the auxiliary infrastructures, including accesses, water points and livestock shelters.

In Aiguamúrcia (Tarragona) we work in 50 ha of forest owned by the Tarragona Provincial Council. At the beginning of the project, this forest, dominated by Aleppo pine, had an excessive tree and shrub density that prevented pastoral use, as well as causing vitality problems and a high vulnerability to fire. For this reason:

- we are restoring a cattle shed.

- Between January and March 2023, we have carried out selective silvicultural treatments: thinning (reduction of tree density) and clearing (partial reduction of undergrowth cover). Thinning allows us to promote the trees with the greatest vitality, quality or interest for biodiversity. The work has been designed and directed by the CTFC, and has a twofold objective:

a) Increase the forest's adaptive capacity to climate change: these treatments reduce the vulnerability to forest fires and competition for water. In this way, we protect the forest as a whole and increase the vitality of the respected trees.

b) Enabling silvopastoral use of the forest: as more light reaches the soil, pastoral potential and fodder production increases. From now on, it will be the herds (goats and sheep) that will maintain this structure, which is more vital and less vulnerable to fires.

Forest before (left) and after (right) the silvicultural treatment