How to combat wildfires in Mediterranean mountains? Maintain active agriculture and forestry

Mountain landscapes in Portugal and other Mediterranean regions in Europe have changed considerably over the last decades. Changes, driven mostly by socioeconomic factors (e.g., demography, agricultural policy) lead to depopulation and land abandonment in many rural areas, favouring ecological succession and the replacement of perennial crops by forests and agroforestry systems. Shrubland and forests (planted and natural) have expanded at the expense of farmland. Shrubland also dominate forest areas after wildfires. Very recently in the Bragança region (Northeast of Portugal), sweet chestnut orchards have increased in area, replacing agriculture crops and recovering previously abandoned farmland.

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5 January 2018