The 2nd Technical Day on the Valorization and Management of Mediterranean Rhododendron took place in Monchique

The 2nd Technical workshop about “Valorization and Management of Mediterranean Rhododendron” took place on June 6th, 2019 in Vale Largo, Monchique. It was attended by the Mayor of Monchique and over 40 people that were interested in learning more about the communities of Rhododendron ponticum subsp. Baeticum.

This day offered the opportunity to follow the work carried out under the Life-Relict project and discuss the main problems related to the conservation of these relict communities.

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1 – at left Professor Carlos Pinto Gomes, coordinator of Life-Relict, at right Rui André, Mayor of Monchique Municipally

2 – Group photo

3 –  Rhododendron ponticum subsp. Baeticum

4 – Foia landscape


Orvalho holds important repository of Continental Laurissilva

The Life-Relict project raised awareness in the population of Orvalho village (Municipality of Oleiros) and its visitors, about the presence and importance of the Continetal Laurissilva in this location. Here is a refugee of an important nucleus of the Portuguese Laurel (Prunus lusitanica L.) that has survived the fires of recent years.

In this event, the uniqueness of this vegetation type was highlighted and the main management methods were addressed.

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2nd Life-Relict Technical Workshop will be held in Monchique

The 2nd Technical Workshop of the Life-Relict Project will be held in Monchique on June 6, 2019. The theme will be the Valorisation and Management of Mediterranean Rhododendron and will have the guidance of prof. Dr. Carlos Pinto Gomes and Drª Catarina Meireles from University of Évora.

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The Life-Relict project was presented at the Life PRIOLO Conference in Ponta Delgada

The Life-Relict project and the Life PRIOLO project have been in contact since 2018, in order to solve common problems, such as those related to the propagation of native species. The physiognomic and ecological similarities between the Prunus lusitanica and the Prunus azorica led to the exchange of experiences between production methodologies of this species. In November 2018 Life-Relict invited Life PRIOLO to be present at its first Seminar, held in Évora.

More recently, on April 29 and 30, Life-Relict was in Ponta Delgada, within the scope of the conference “Challenges and strategies for conservation in island environments” to publicize the actions of the project and continue the cooperation between these two projects. Life-Relict was represented by Professor Pedro Santos from the University of Évora.

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The lecture for students took place at the University of Évora about the Continental Laurissilva

On March 11th, the Life-Relict project promoted an open class about Continental Laurisilva, aimed to students of the University of Évora, but open to all interested parties. 22 students from four different courses were present: Landscape Architecture, Biology, Ecology and Environment and Forest Engineering.

In this open class, which most intended to be an informal conversation, was explained the origin of Laurissilva in the European Continent and the importance of the Natura Network were discussed. It was also explained how the Habitats Forms of the Natura Network provide relevant information for nature conservation, which can be applied in different professional areas. One of the most important aspects of this session was the possibility of interaction between students with different backgrounds, whose exchange of knowledge made the importance of multidisciplinary cooperation very clear.

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Lecture for students of the University of Évora on Continental Laurissilva


On March 11th (2019), a open class to students of the University of Évora about the Continental Laurissilva will be promoted.

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The seeds are coming to life!

During the months of November and December 2018, thousands of seeds were collected from various plants typical of the Prunus lusitanica  and Rhododendron ponticum subsp. Baeticum Communities. . These seeds are found in the CICYTEX nursery to germinate and grow sufficiently, in order to be planted in the Life-Relict project areas (Monchique, Açor and Estrela). The initial difficulties, mainly associated with the germination of the Prunus lusitanica, have been overcome and this year we have a large number of seedlings.

It is fantastic how vigorous the germination of the Prunus lusitanica is (photos 1 and 2). The Rhododendron ponticum seeds have a high germination percentage, however, many of the seedlings are lost due to adaptive difficulties. In this sense, the substrate used is collected directly in the field, thus reproducing the conditions favorable to seedling growth more faithfully (photos 3 and 4). Oak trees, in general, also already show evidence of germination. African oak (Quercus canariensis), White oak (Quercus robur subsp. Broteroana), black oak (Quercus pyrenaica), among others, are already in the mood to show themselves to the public (photo 5, 6 and 7).

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Life-Relict returns to Cabeça, Aldeia Natal 2018 with a tour in the Socalcos Route

On December 27th, the Estrela Mountain Interpretation Center (CISE in portuguese), which is a Life-Relict partner, and with the support of the Mountain Villages Association, carried out yet another action to disseminate the Project through a tour along the Socalcos route . This route, with about 3 kilometers, integrates the Mountain Routes of the network of hiking trails in the Mountain Villages, developing in a valley with steep slopes and a marked rural character, next to the village of Cabeça (during the event of Aldeia Natal). In this village, housed at the top of a hill overlooking the Loriga stream, the traditional houses are one of the best examples of a typical schist settlement in Estrela Mountain.

On the way, there are terraced areas and on the banks of the river, there are woodlan of Portuguese Laurel and holly trees, evidence of the natural vegetation of the valley in times before the last glacial period. Part of the route is part of the study area of ​​the Life-Relict project that intends to preserve the Continental Laurissilva Relics, which, in this region, have as main objective the preservation of the Portuguese Laurel communities that exist here.

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1st Life-Relict Seminar together with the 17th National Ecology Meeting

The 1st Seminar of the Life-Relict Project together with the 17th National Meeting of Ecology was held on the 15th and 16th of November 2018, at the University of Évora, promoted by the School of Science and Technology of the University of Évora and in close collaboration with the Portuguese Society of Ecology (SPECO). The event had more than 180 national and foreign participants. The panel of presentations covered four major themes related to the valorization of nature, namely:

  • Major threats to biodiversity conservation;

  • Management and conservation of species and habitats;

  • Ecology, management and planning of aquatic ecosystems;

  • Monitoring and modelling of habitats in response to global changes.

It also had the presence of a group of veteran speakers who have accumulated decades of experience, such as Professor Angel Penas and Tomáz Dias, from neighboring Spain. Thus, there was the possibility of an exchange of experiences between researchers and students, where Life projects had a special emphasis.

Regarding the Life-Relict project (NAT / PT / 000754), the first results of the interventions carried out were published, namely on improving the conservation status of the paleotropical Portuguese Laurel communities in Açor and Estrela, as well as Rhododendron in Monchique.

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Opening session

Oral presentations

Poster presentations

Coffee Break










1st Technical Workshop on the Valorisation and Management of Mediterranean portuguese Laurel in Mata da Margaraça

On June 8th, 2018, the Life-Relict project organized, in partnership with the Interpretative Center of Mata da Margaraça, the 1st Technical Workshop in Mata da Margaraça, entitled “Valorisation and Management of Mediterranean Portuguese Laurel”. The day was attended by more than 35 participants representing associations such as Quercus, ICNF, Reflorestar Portugal, Cicytex, the Municipality of Oleiros, Center for Functional Ecology and a group of forest workers. This journey aimed to make known the Portuguese Laurel trees, identify their conservation status and disseminate management practices of this habitat subject to various threats.

In the first part of the journey, the Life-Relict project and its objectives were presented. The journey continued with a technical field visit in the heart of Mata da Margaraça, where is one of the best peninsular Portuguese Laurel. The group felt a spirit of sharing among all the participants, who contributed with their knowledge, thus enriching this action. Throughout the day the mystical Mata da Margaraça showed itself to the public in a green and fresh setting by the rain. The result was very positive, at the end of the day the sun gave us the brightness of the flowers of the Portuguese Laurel.

The day was facilitated by the trainers / speakers Carlos Pinto Gomes and Catarina Meireles from the University of Évora.

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Presentation of Life-Relict Project

Field Trip

Field Trip

Field Trip

Field Trip









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