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Las Majadas

Dehesa: Open Holm-Oak Savanna

39º 56' 29" N
5º 46' 24" E (tower coordinates)
260 m asl (tower)

Site description

The site is located in the so-called “Dehesa Boyal”, in the locality of “Las Majadas del Tietar”, in the region of Extremadura, Spain. The site is representative of the typically Iberian ecosystem type dehesa, a managed savanna ecosystem type that covers large areas in Western Spain and Portugal. The site was established in 2003 with the support of the EU-project MIND. Natural vegetation in the area corresponds to the Pyro bourgeaneae-Querceto rotundifoliaequercetum meso-mediterranean series. Tree canopy is largely dominated (>98%) by Holm oak (Quercus ilex). Canopy cover fraction is 19.8 %, Tree density is about 25 trees per hectare, with an average height of 8 m and an average DBH of 45.4 cm. Management of tree canopy consist in tree pruning (approximately each 25 years) in order to give an umbrella shape and increase acorn production (typical management of Quercus Ilex dehesas). Management of the understorey herbaceous cover consist of continuous grazing (by cows and sheeps from 2000 until 2006; by cows and horses since 2007). No other treatment (grass cut / fertilizer / herbicide / pesticide / irrigation) is applied onto this ecosystem. The area is globally flat (slope < 5%) and homogeneous, the closest surrounding different ecosystem being crops at 800 m north to flux tower. The climate is Mediterranean, with hot and dry summers. Average annual precipitation is 528 mm and average annual temperature is 16.7 ºC. Understorey species compose a sparse shrubby layer with Buxus sempervirens, Phyllirea latifolia, Pistacia terebinthus and Juniperus oxycedrus and have likely a small contribution to the whole ecosystem functions.

The area has a Mediterranean-type climate. Rainfall occurs during autumn and winter with about 75% between September and April. Mean annual precipitation is 883 mm with a range 550-1549 mm recorded over the previous 16 years. Mean annual temperature over the same period were 13.5 °C respectively.


Vegetation consists in Holm oak (Quercus ilex) open woodland with an understorey dominated by an herbaceous species.


The soil type is Stagnic Alisols (ochric, argic, stanig pp), with soil depth > 2m. The soil texture is sandy loam. O-horizon depth is 0-2 cm, A-horizon depth is 8 cm and AB-horizon is 10 cm depth. Stone content is 6% in weight. Average soil C content is 8.5 g/kg and average soil N content is 0.82 g/kg in the 0-20cm layer. Soil bulk density is 1.47 in the 0-8 cm layer.


Treatments within the CARBO-Extreme project

Related projects


Las Majadas 01 flux tower Las Majadas 02 flux tower Las Majadas 03 soil efflux chambers Las Majadas 04 tower north view april Las Majadas 05 tower north view june Las Majadas 06 cattle grazing Las Majadas 07 horses grazing Las Majadas 08 cattle passing Las Majadas 09 artificial precipitation Las Majadas 10 MIND plots Las Majadas 11 rain exclusion plot fire Las Majadas 12 biodiversity


Arnaud Carrara\\

Maria-Jose Sanz

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