"Castaña del Bierzo", a chestnut Guarantee Label
The aim of the guarantee label is to protect chestnuts designated under the "Castaña del Bierzo" designation of origin and the characteristics defined in its regulations.
A methodology for optimizing Pinus pinea stands from an economic perspective.
The aim is to present a methodology that allows the optimal management of Pinus pinea stands to be determined from an economic perspective when both cone and timber production are considered. Thus, a simulation-optimisation method that implements the stochastic masting model together with an optimisation algorithm would help forest managers to optimise stand management under different price scenarios and market conditions.
Hence , the challenge is to integrate a cone yield model into a simulation-optimisation system which is capable to predict expected cone harvests and seed yields in a certain year, based on the climatic conditions of previous years.
APFC Annual Press Release on Pine Cone Quality
In order to contribute to greater market transparency, APFC - Associação de Produtores Florestais, conducts an impartial sampling and issues since 2015 a press release on pine cone average yields in the Coruche region (Portugal).
For the fifth consecutive year, APFC has used a methodology for sampling the cone quality at 8 sites throughout the municipality of Coruche in order to represent the entire area of pine production.
Each sample has 10 cones harvested randomly from each of 30 trees per site. The cones are weighted before opening, the inshell pine nuts are removed mechanically and shelled manually (sample of 2 kg). The kernels are weighed at a reference humidity (9%) and referred to the cone weight.
Chestnut breeding for resistance to root rot/ ink disease
European chestnut has a great economic impact in the rural economy of mountainous regions of southwest Europe. The main threats for this important crop are pests and diseases, being the most important root rot, blight disease and gall wasp. Root rot, caused by Phytophthora cinamomi (Pc), is the most severe disease which impact negatively the production of chestnut orchards, which are important for its edible nuts.
The main objective is to release a new product to the market: new genotypes with improved resistance to Pc, selected from the breeding program on course, to be used as rootstocks, with compatibility with nut varieties.
Chestnut flower nectar: an essential ingredient of honey produced in the Montesinho Natural Park
Chestnut orchards are one of the most profitable crops in the Montesinho Natural Park (PNM) area, with chestnuts representing a large share of many families' income. Besides the fruit, other products make it a multifunctional culture, among them, honey. This and other beekeeping derived goods represent a way to value the existing flora and to promote a territory with reduced harmful human impact (e.g. pollution). This product is probably what best characterizes this natural park, revealing the intricacies of this region on its flavour.
Classical biological control of the chestnut gall wasp Dryocosmus kuriphilus in France
The objective of the project was to implement in France a classical biological program against the chestnut gall wasp, Dryocosmus kuriphilus (Dk), using releases of the exotic parasitoid Torymus sinensis. The expected outcome of this project were (i) the permanent establishment of the parasitoid and (ii) an efficient and long-term control of the pest.
Clonal variation in susceptibility to Leptoglossus occidentalis in grafted Stone pine plantations
Some experiments conducted at the Institute of Agri-Food Research and Technology of Catalonia (IRTA), aimed at evaluating the productive capacity of Stone pine clones from different Spanish provenance regions (PR) under Leptoglossus occidentalis Heideman attack, are presented. This pest is severely affecting Stone pine stands in the Iberian Peninsula, hence, identifying genotypes less susceptible to L. occidentalis attack is an important line of research in this area.
Consume chestnut all year? The potential of processed products
Chestnut is a seasonal nut only produced in some regions of Portugal. It is a product whose value is very scattered across the various elements of the marketing chain, with little, and very concentrated in time, internal consumption. It is, therefore, vital to increase and retain its added value and make this market less dependent on the seasonality of the fruit. One way is by promoting new forms of consumption in and out of season, through the processing and innovative uses of the chestnut.
Design and implementation of a new productive model around the chestnut tree as a rural development model in El Bierzo (Castile and Leon)
The main objective was the structuring of the sectorial productive system in one of the main chestnut growing regions in Spain, El Bierzo (Castilla y León). As secondary objectives: Improvement of the phytosanitary status of the chestnut groves. Quantitative and qualitative increase of the production, productivity and profitability. Creation of employment. Normalization of the productive activity. Creation of wealth and equitable distribution. Corporate social responsibility.
Ecophysiological study in three sites of natural Aleppo pine forests.
The main response of natural Aleppo pine trees to drought has been studied in three sites on the North-western of Tunisia, in order to assess their capacity to adapt to climate change and overcome the water challenge. This research was based on the evaluation of some physiological traits (xylem conductivity, water potential..), the soil moisture, the water content, and the foliar gas exchange (photosynthesis, transpiration, and stomatal conductance).
EUROCASTANEA, the European Chestnut Network
Eurocastanea is the consultation and representation body for professionals in the chestnut sector in the countries of the European Union, and in the European and world economy.
In addition, it
- Organizes dialogue, consultation, study and joint action among its members, representing the chestnut sector to European or other institutions.
- Contributes to the regeneration and promotion of the sector, organising the European "Eurocastanea" days and cooperation missions in the technical, scientific or economic area.
Evaluation of susceptibility to Dryocosmus kuriphilus (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae) in Castanea sativa and in hybrid cultivars
The aim is to determine different levels of sensitivity of different cultivars to the chestnut gall wasp. Among the cultivars that have been evaluated are interspecific hybrids and traditional European cultivars.
Hot water treatment: an effective method for disinfecting chestnut scions against chestnut gall wasp
The hot water treatment (HWT) was evaluated for pest and disease control, and specifically its use to prevent the spread of the chestnut gallwasp Dryocosmus kuriphilus Yasumatsu in chestnut plants in nurseries.
Impact of Leptoglossus occidentalis on commercial pine nut kernel per cone output
The aim of this work was to quantify the extent of the recent decline observed in pine nut and kernel production. For this purpose, we analysed data from the INIA long-term sample plot network for cone and pine nut production in the four main Spanish stone pine regions. Data series for more than a hundred plots since the last century, previous to the arrival of the bug, were compared with the same series after its arrival. Hence, the collapse in kernel per cone yield since can be quantified, the implied main factors identified, and the evidence of L. occidentalis causality implied analysed.
Longal Chestnut - the potential of a traditional regional variety from Portugal's Terra Fria Transmontana
Chestnuts are an extremely important product for the Portuguese region 'Terra Fria Transmontana', representing one of the most profitable crops today. Its commercialization is still done based solely on caliber, an essential characteristic to satisfy a consumer little informed about the diversity of existing varieties. Longal is a traditional regional variety from PDO Castanha da Terra Fria, with excellent characteristics for fresh consumption and the processing industry. It is important to work on its promotion with consumers and producers.
Manual cone harvesting of Pinus pinea in Portugal: equipment used and recommendations
Stone pine (Pinus pinea L.) cone harvesting in Portugal continues to occur trough the traditional way, that is, by specialized workers that climb the trees and remove the cones by hand using special tools.
Here we intend to document photographically this traditional knowledge, present the various tools used by cone pickers in the harvesting process and the materials used to build them. This information can be potentialy usefull in other coutries were cone harvesting is made by small, locally operating family firms.
Mass multiplication of ink-resistant chestnut clones by photoautotrophic micropropagation
Chestnut ink disease, caused by root pathogens (Phytophthora sp. ), induces dieback and mortality in sweet chestnut, C. sativa. Classical biological control can be efficient using ink resistance rootstocks that block the entrance of the fungus.
In this context, selected ink-resistant chestnut clones need to be propagated massively. Here, a method is presented for multplication and rooting clones under photoautotrophic conditions.
Mechanical harvesting in stone pine (Pinus pinea) stands
This factsheet aims to present the mechanical harvesting option and the productivity monitorization done in umbrella pine stands harvested in both ways (manual and mechanically) in the last 17 years, located in Chamusca, Portugal. 5,000 m2 sample plot were installed in stand planted in the 1960s.
Participatory selection of hardy and ink-disease resistant European chestnut trees
The objectives of this participative research program are:
1: Select surviving European chestnut trees within strong impacted areas by the ink disease
2: Evaluate their resistance against Phytophthora in laboratory, and verify their belonging to sweet chestnut, the species Castanea sativa.
3: Use the individuals showing the best resistance capacities against ink disease (“elite trees”) as seeds producers in seed orchards.
The expected results are:
- Reconquest and renewal of the actually declining chestnut orchards
- Decrease of production cost due to nuersery seedling production.
- Higher genetic diversity in the chestnut plantations.
PEFC, forest certification for sustainable sources and traceability, an added value for wild food
The best option for highly atomised sectors is to have a common positioning that brings together as many products as possible, by creating an umbrella brand that provides added value. PEFC Spain enables forest certification for wild products by means of grouping all producers and forest products managed under sustainability criteria under a recognized brand. This enhances an economic activities compatible with forest conservation and undertaken by thousands of people in Spanish rural areas.
The PEFC certification for wild food chains of custody (CoC) can help to improve the regulation of their use and commercialisation and the recognition of sectors that at present are still partly non-formal.
Pietra : a brand success that brings Corsican identity
The objective of the project was to create a Corsican beer that could be recognised by fine beer lovers, a high-end product that is also thirst-quenching in order to adapt to the Mediterranean climate. This beer had to be with character and to be brewed with a mixture of malt and Corsican chestnut flour, insular raw material. To do this, a brewery had to be built in Corsica and had to reach 10,000 hectolitres of production capacity.
Pine cone moisture and marketing
The objective was to evaluate the loss of moisture in pine cone during the storage after harvest, comparing the storage inside a warehouse or just under a shed. This information is intended to support the producer in deciding when to sell, at the beginning, during or at the end of the commercialization campaign, taking into account not only the market price / kg but also the weight loss of the pine cone due to the loss of moisture.
Pine cone quality assessment with X-Ray
The objective is to analyze the possibility of modeling the kernel weight from biometric and morphological parameters of the pine nuts from Pinus pinea, measured through X – ray and image analysis. The overall objective is to support the definition of a pine cone quality assessment methodology at the stand/ farm level in order to provide the landowners with tools for pine cone commercialization and increase by this mean the market transparency.
Pine cone weight interannual variation
This factsheet aims to highlight the interannual variation of the pine cone dimensions and present some factors that explain it, in order to contribute for the future establishment of silvicultural measures than can lead to a decrease in that variation, by promoting the conditions for bigger pine cones or selecting more suitable Forest Reproduction Materials (FRM) .
Pine nuts and chestnuts in your store - Mediterranean or imports from Eastern Asia?
At a first glance, imported Asiatic and genuine Mediterranean pine nuts seem to be similar in size, colour and aspect. Cheaper Chinese chestnuts can also be confused with European chestnuts, when botanic species and origin are not declared on the label, despite this information being mandatory by UNECE marketing standards (2013).
However, aspects such as nutritional values and processing quality, sustainability of collection from wild and of course the taste are highly important. Consumer awareness is vital in this regard. Hence , supply chain actors in the Mediterranean should work together to improve the product profiles of their gourmet nuts, quite distinct from the cheaper imports.
Pooling and joinin together in order to develop economically and preserve the local know-how
The objective of this economic experience is to bring value to all the local chestnuts production in order to keep the maximum added value of the products at the producer/processor level, preserving local transformation know-how in order to ensure high quality products.
To do it, the idea of this experience is that producers pool the transformation process and join together in order to enter more important markets.
Potential chestnut map in Castile and Leon
The main objective is to know the potential distribution of chestnut (Castanea sativa) in Castile and Leon through the use of spatial modelling tools based on 13 different variables. The aim has been to determine where the bioclimatic and geographical conditions are most suitable for the species to prosper. These models allow to evaluate in a quantitative way the possibility that a chestnut population occupies a specific area.
Predicting impacts of climate change on growth and production of Mediterranean stone pine
Climate change is affecting the health and productivity of the Mediterranean stone pine (Pinus pinea) stands in the Spanish Northern Plateau. The main research lines for adapting this forest ecosystrems and mitigating the effect of climate change are presented. The finding should lead to recommendations for the future management of these stands.
Registered elite clones for cone production in grafted stone pine orchard plantations
The high prices paid for genuine Mediterranean pine nuts kernels as gourmet nuts are due to an sustained demand on the world market, not met by the production harvested from the wild. The use of grafted Mediterranean stone pine trees allows landowners to establish profitable new plantations with precocious cone yields. For this purpose, genotypes have been selected in Spain and Portugal. Here we present 15 clones registered in Spain with estimated gains of around +10-30% in mean cone yield.
Regulation of chestnut blight by hypovirulent strains
A method is resented to reduce the severity of cankers caused by chestnut blight, Cryphonectria parasitica. This pathogenic fungus penetrates and necroses cortical tissues, which provoke mortality of adult trees aerial parts and failure of grafting.
In the 1970s, French researchers developed a biological control method using hypovirulent strains of the fungus. Since then, a research programme at INRA conducted with several organisations (Chambers of Agriculture, Union of Chestnut production Associations, the Forest Health Department) aims at clarifying and improving thecontrol methods.
Santiago Perea S.L ., a history of innovation in the pine nut sector
The success story of the company Santiago Perea S.L. in the processing of pine nuts in Andalusia (Southern Spain) is presented here. The commitment of this company to innovation since its creation in 1950 has led to its outstanding positioning in the sector. The main milestones in the history of the company and the most notable elements of its business model are described below.
Selection of pine species in Tunisia: Result of the comparative species trials of Souiniet and Djebel Abderrahmen Arboretums
Faced with changes and in the absence of regeneration, the natural forest formations in the North of Tunisia are experiencing serious problems of degradation. The use of pines as alternative species would be a possible and advantageous solution, but the choice should be given in priority to fast-growing species, ecologically well adapted and economically profitable.
Silvo-pastoral systems in southern Portugal: management challenges from the owner's perspective
Silvo-pastoral systems are quite common in the Alentejo region of south Portugal. Bringing together economic profitability and ecological sustainability is challenging and requires a conscientious management.
We present the example of a young forest owner who manages a farm in south Portugal composed of a mixture of cork oak and stone pine grazed by cattle.
The recognition of severe soil degradation problems and the effort in its recovery has been the priority of this owner. The management options carried out in the last 15 years are now positively reflected in soil quality, biodiversity and in the survival of tree seedlings. Overcoming annual precipitation reduction is one of the main challenges.
Soil fertility status of stone pine (Pinus pinea) stands in Portugal
Rational fertilization can improve tree health, growth and potentially benefit pine cone and pine nut production. The reduction of forest exploitation costs without neglecting environmental factors and promoting biodiversity is an important management achievement in the context of climate change.
To establish fertilizer recommendations in stone pine for cone production, it is crucial to evaluate soil fertility, tree nutritional status and, if irrigated, the quality of the irrigation water. Here we present part of the results of the operational group FERTIPINEA, focused on the analysis of Portuguese stone pine stands regarding soil physical and chemical characteristics.
Stone pine (Pinus pinea) grafting
There are several requirements and experiences for a successfull graft, that are reviewed in the following from a practical point of view.
In coastal regions like the Portuguese Alentejo or Catalonian Empordà, grafting is usually performed directly in the field on young plantations, by specialised teams of skilled forest workers. In-nursery grafting on container-raised rootstocks is an alternative, not discussed here, for harsher climate conditions where in situ grafting has a low success rate due to unpredictable spring weather (rain, wind, or late frost in some years, early heat waves in others).
Several handbooks and guides are available online for further consultation.
Storage of acorns as a stock management tool for reforestation and fodder use
Solve the problem of the fragility of oak acorns used for reforestation and animal feed by improving the process of their conservation for a period close to a year.
The chestnut gall wasp in the Portuguese region of Terra Fria Transmontana: Three years of biological control
The Dryocosmus kuriphilus insect, chestnut gall wasp, introduced in Portugal in 2014, represents a serious threat to the national production of chestnuts. Over the years, various pest outbreaks have been identified, which is currently present in much of the Terra Fria Transmontana region, with levels of severe infestation levels. The official reports state, “We are currently witnessing a large and rapid dispersion of the insect and the alarm of the populations, given the damage it is already causing, so, an intensification of the parasitoid releases for these regions should be considered from 2020”.
The Chestnut Round Table of El Bierzo: a different reference of sectoral concertation.
The main objective of the Mesa del Castaño del Bierzo (Regional Chestnut Round Table) is to improve the economic performance of chestnut cultivation and the endurance of the chestnut tree as a characteristic natural, social and landscape element of the Bierzo region. The Round Table is also the coordination and representation body of the chestnut sector in the region.
The Value Chain of Aleppo Pine Seeds and the Value Added of Vegetable Oil Extracted from Seeds
Aleppo pine seeds (commonly called Zgougou) derive all their originality and nobility from the fact that they are consumed by Tunisians as part of their cooking habits. Zgougou is considered one of the most interesting NWFP due to socio-economic role and commercial value. Aleppo pine seed oil can be extracted as for nutrition, or for medicinal and cosmetic uses.
The present work studies the conditions of exploitation of seeds in the forest, the yield of vegetable oil extracted, its physicochemical qualities and the possibilities of valorizing the press cake obtained after the oil extraction.
Threats and concerns in the management of stone pine in Portugal: insights from a survey among stakeholders
The forest area of stone pine, Pinus pinea, has increased significantly in Portugal in the last 30 years, following the same trend of other Mediterranean countries. At the same time, forest stakeholders report losses in cone production and yield and question on the best management practices to face a already changing climate.
During a Science to Practice event entitled "Stone pine and pine nuts: more knowledge for a better management" held in Lisbon in October 2019, we conducted a survey were we were able to assess the stakeholders' concerns with the pine nut value chain and identify research priorities.
Vigil’Encre: a citizen science project dedicated to the chestnut ink disease
The mobile app Vigil’Encre enables citizens to detect the chestnut ink disease (CID) - the most damaging disease for chestnut trees. Vigil’Encre applies a new approach to advance ecology, education and conservation, as it allows the public to participate in the tree health preservation.
Its broad functionality lets citizen scientists to diagnose the disease, characterize pathogens, describe their biology and in this way to actively take part in the sustainable crop protection.