Herdade da Machuqueira do Grou

Montado Alluvial Plains

Name Description

Bank tributary of the Tagus River, in the Ribatejo province, 100 km northeast Lisbon and 25 km from Coruche.

Size 2.500 ha
Ownership Private property
Soil and topography

The entire watershed is on deep Miocene sands and the main soil types include fluvisols, leptosols, and podzols. Altitudes range from 79 to 173 m, with slopes between 0% and 5%, exceptionally up to 35%.


The bioclimate is considered subhumid. Mean average annual rainfall is 600 mm; mean annual temperature is 15ºC.

Montado type

Cork oak dominant, with an average of 90 adult trees per hectare

Past history of use

Managed as an agro-silvo-pastoral system in roughly the same fashion since the 1940s. The main economic outputs are cork and cattle. Cork is harvested every 9 years, with an average production of 1,300 kg (dry weight) per hectare. The average cattle stocking rate is 0.16 animal units per hectare.

Current use

Same as previous but most of the woodland has been managed so as to maintain or increase tree crown cover over the last 10 years.

Main drivers of change

Some tree decline is observed, especially on podzols. The natural regeneration of the tree stand is not uniform, and they are lacking in some places because of grazing and shrub clearing for fire prevention. No fires have been reported in the last 100 years. Conflicting interests arise from the livestock grazing component that affects the natural regeneration of cork oak trees. Interventions and adjustments to promote natural regeneration and active afforestation (e.g. fencing combined with shrub clearing) have been included in the stakeholder´s management plan over the last 5 years.

Available datasets
  • CO2 and H2O fluxes, meteorological data, soil respiration and soil water content since 1990’s in the same geographical area and in this site since the end of 2008.
  • Tree sap-flow data since the 1990’s in the same geographical area and from March 2006 to March 2007 and August 2009 onwards in this site.
  • Tree biometric data for 2008.
  • Grassland and shrub diversity for 2008 and 2009.