Log in

Editor's Picks

Allan Taylor
A long-standing member of the IOS and fomer editor of Oak...
Panayoti Kelaidis | Dec 17, 2022
A new study resolves many nomenclatural problems in the...
Carlos Vila-Viçosa | Dec 09, 2022
The team at SDZWA
Christy Powell of the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance works...
Amy Byrne | Dec 06, 2022

Plant Focus

Quercus macdougallii
A rare oak endemic to the Sierra Juárez in Oaxaca

Old-Growth Quercus faginea in Portugal

PDF icon Full text available for IOS members only. If you are a member, you need to log in.

To create an account click here; if you have already registered, click here to become a member.

Individual articles can be purchased for U$S 10. If you would like to purchase an article, email a request to website@internationaloaksociety.org

Hugo Ribeiro, João Tomás, João Pires, Sofia Quaresma, João Soutinho, and Carlos Vila-Viçosa

Published May 2022 in International Oaks No. 33: 73–94


Quercus faginea (Portuguese oak) is a marcescent White Oak that is distributed across the western Mediterranean Basin in transitional sub-Mediterranean areas that include most of the western Portuguese coast. Due to land-use changes, its presence has been drastically reduced but there are still old-growth oaks, remnants of the native forest, that should be classified as deserving national legal protection for their cultural and aesthetic value as well as for their ecological importance.

Much remains to be done in order to identify the trees to be protected and to increase social awareness of the importance of these secular oaks. Hopefully, the implementation of tailored management practices will encourage owners to protect these iconic trees.

This work presents some of the oaks in western and central Portugal that have already been classified and others that should be. Our intention is that it serve to promote the future conservation of all old-growth oaks of patrimonial and ecological interest.


ecosystem services, biodiversity, public interest, national protection, biological conservation


Abadía, A., E. Gil, F. Morales, L. Montañés, G. Montserrat, and J. Abadía J. 1996. Marcescence and senescence in a submediterranean oak (Quercus subpyrenaica EH del Villar): photosynthetic characteristics and nutrient composition. Plant, Cell & Environment 19(6): 685-694.

Arı, S., M. Temel, and M. Kargıoğlu. 2015. Important Monumental Trees of Afyonkarahisar and Their Features. Global Journal for Research Analysis 4(9): 298-300.

Bartolozzi, L., M. Mendez, E. Micó Balaguer, and M. Norbiato. 2017. Lucanus barbarossa. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017. https://www.iucnredlist.org/ja/species/157512/44185926. Accessed July 26, 2020.

Bingre, P., and P. Damasceno. 2007. Biologia e ecologia das florestas de carvalho-português. In Os carvalhais - Um património a conservar, Vol. II, edited by J.S. Silva, pp. 15-46. Lisboa: Jornal Público/ Fundação Luso-Americana para o Desenvolvimento/ Liga para a Protecção da Natureza.

Biondi, E., M. Allegrezza, S. Casavecchia, D. Galdenzi, R. Gasparri, S. Pesaresi, P. Soriano, G. Tesei, and C. Blasi. 2015. New insight on Mediterranean and sub-Mediterranean syntaxa included in the Vegetation Prodrome of Italy. Flora Mediterranea 25: 77-102.

Braun-Blanquet, J., A.R. Pinto da Silva, and A. Rozeira. 1956. Résultats de deux excursions géobotaniques à travers le Portugal septentrional et moyen: Chênaies à feuilles caduques Quercion occidentale et chênaies à feuilles persistantes Quercion fagineae au Portugal. II. Agronomia. Lusitana, 18(3): 167-234.

Cameron, R. 2021. An oak by any other name. International Oaks 32: 35-59

Camus, A. 1939. Les Chênes. Monographie du genre Quercus. Texte. Tome II. Genre Quercus. Sous-genre Euquercus. Sections Lepidobalanus et Macrobalanus). Paris : Lechevalier Éditeur.

Capelo, J., and F. Catry, F. 2007. A distribuição do carvalho-português em Portugal. In Os carvalhais - Um património a conservar, Vol. II, edited by J.S. Silva, pp 83-94. Lisboa: Jornal Público/ Fundação Luso-Americana para o Desenvolvimento/ Liga para a Protecção da Natureza.

Capelo, J., and C. Vila-Viçosa. 2021. A Vegetação do Alentejo. In A Vegetação de Portugal, edited by J. Capelo and C. Aguiar, pp. 122-130. Lisboa: Imprensa Nacional - Casa da Moeda, S.A.

Costa, J.C., C. Aguiar, J. Capelo, M. Lousã, and C. Neto. 1998. Biogeografia de Portugal continental. Quercetea 0: 5-56.

Coutinho, A.X.P. 1888. Os Quercus de Portugal. Boletim da Sociedade Broteriana 6: 47-116.

de Bolòs, O. 1985. Le territoire subméditerranéen et le territoire carpetano-atlantique dans la Péninsule Ibérique. Botanica helvetica 95: 13-17.

De Dios, R.S., M. Benito-Garzón, and H. Sainz-Ollero. 2009. Present and future extension of the Iberian submediterranean territories as determined from the distribution of marcescent oaks. Plant Ecology 204(2): 189-205.

Denk, T., and G. Grimm. 2010. The oaks of western Eurasia: traditional classifications and evidence from two nuclear markers. Taxon 59(2): 351-366.

Denk, T., G. Grimm, P. Manos, M. Deng, A. Hipp. 2017. An updated infrageneric classification of the oaks: review of previous taxonomic schemes and synthesis of evolutionary patterns. In Oaks Physiological Ecology. Exploring the Functional Diversity of genus Quercus L., edited by E. Gil-Pelegrín, J.J. Peguero-Pina, and D. Sancho-Knapik, pp.13-38. Springer, Cham.

Franco J. 1990. Quercus L., In Flora Iberica vol II (Plantanaceae-Plumbaginaceae [Partim]), edited by S. Castroviejo, pp. 15-36. Madrid: Real Jardín Botánico, CSIC.

Goes, E. 1984. Árvores Monumentais de Portugal. Lisboa: Portucel.

Gürke, M. 1897. Quercus. In Plantae Europaeae (Enumeratio systematica et synonymica plantarum phanerogamicarum in Europa sponte crescentium vel mere inquilinarum), edited by K. Richter, pp. 54-72. Leipzig: Engelmann.

Hipp, A., P. Manos, M. Hahn, M. Avishai, C. Bodénès, J. Cavender‐Bares, A. Crowl, M. Deng, T. Denk, and S. Fitz‐Gibbon, O. Gailing, M.S. González-Elizondo, A. González-Rodríguez, G.W. Grimm, X.-L. Jiang, A. Kremer, I. Lesur, J.D. McVay, C. Plomion, H. Rodríguez-Correa, E.-D. Schulze, M.C. Simeone, V.L. Sork, and S. Valencia-Avalos. 2020. Genomic landscape of the global oak phylogeny. New Phytologist 226(4): 1198-1212.

ICNF. undated. Registo Nacional do Arvoredo de Interesse Público (RNAIP). Availabe at http://www2.icnf.pt/portal/florestas/aip/arvores-mon-pt-online. Accessed May 20, 2021.

ICNF. 2015. Plano de Gestão Florestal da Mata Nacional do Vimeiro. Instituto da Conservação da Natureza e das Florestas. Availabe at http://www2.icnf.pt/portal/ florestas/gf/pgf/resource/doc/2015/pgf-mn-vimeiro/PGF-da-MN-Vimeiro.pdf. Acessed June 22, 2021.

ICNF. 2018. Regulamento com o desenvolvimento e densificação dos parâmetros de apreciação e da sua correspondência aos critérios de classificação de Arvoredo de Interesse Público. ICNF. Available at http://www2.icnf.pt/portal/florestas/aip/resource/ doc/regulamento/AIP-Regulamento-05MAR2018v2.pdf. Accessed July 6, 2019

ICNF. 2019. 6º Inventário Florestal Nacional. 2015 Relatório Final. Available at http://www2.icnf.pt/portal/florestas/ifn. Accessed April 4, 2020

Kouba, Y., C. Alados, and C. Bueno. 2011. Effects of abiotic and anthropogenic factors on the spatial distribution of Quercus faginea in the Spanish Central Pyrenees. Plant Ecology 212(6): 999-1007.

Lamarck, J.B. de.1785. Encyclopédie méthodique. Botanique. Paris: Panckoucke.

Lopes, R., C. Schreck , and P. Trincão. 2019. Portugal’s trees of public interest: their role in botany awareness. Finisterra 110: 19-36.

Maduro, A. 2010a. O espaço florestal de Alcobaça nos séculos XVIII e XIX. Revista Portuguesa de História 41: 31-57.

Maduro, A. 2010b. Monges e Camponeses. O Domínio Cisterciense de Alcobaça nos séculos XVIII e XIX. CEPAE, Centro do Património da Estremadura.

Maduro, A. 2017. Um retrato da paisagem florestal de Alcobaça em 1834. O Relatório do Corregedor sobre o estado das matas do extinto mosteiro. In Cadernos de Estudos Leirienses 14, pp. 239-244, Leiria: Textiverso.

Marañón, T., B. Ibáñez, M. Anaya-Romero, M. Muñoz-Rojas, and I. Pérez-Ramos. 2012. Oak trees and woodlands providing ecosystem services in Southern Spain. Trees beyond the wood: An exploration of concepts of woods, forests and trees. Sheffield: Wildtrack Publishing.

Mitchell, R., P. Bellamy, C. Ellis, R. Hewison, N. Hodgetts, G. Iason, N. Littlewood, S. Newey, J. Stockan, and A. Taylor. 2019.

OakEcol: A database of Oak-associated biodiversity within the UK. Data in Brief 25: 104120

Monteiro‐Henriques, T., M. Martins, J. Cerdeira, P. Silva, P. Arsénio, Á.Silva, A.Bellu, and J.C. Costa. 2016. Bioclimatological mapping tackling uncertainty propagation: application to mainland Portugal. International Journal of Climatology 36(1): 400- 411.

Natividade, J. 1929. O Carvalho Português nas Matas do Vimeiro. Relatório final do curso de engenheiro silvicultor. Lisboa: Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Lisboa.

Oliveira, A., A. Fabião, A. Gonçalves, and A. Correia. 2001. O carvalho-cerquinho em Portugal. Lisboa: ISA Press.

Ozenda, P. 1971. Sur une extensión de la notion de zone et d'étage subméditerranéens. Compte Rendu de la Société de Biogéographie 415: 92-103.

Pereda, I. 2008. 1899-1968. Joaquim Vieira Natividade: ciência e política do sobreiro e da cortiça. Lisboa: Euronatura. Pesaresi, S., E. Biondi, S. and Casavecchia. 2017. Bioclimates of Italy. Journal of maps 13(2): 955-960.

Pinto-Correia, T., N. Ribeiro, and J. Potes, coords. 2013. Livro Verde dos Montados. Évora: ICAAM. Quaresma, S., and M. Correia. 2017. Tomé, o gaio semeador. Ordem dos Biólogos, D.L.

Ribeiro, H., J. Tomás, J. Pires, J. Soutinho, and C. Vila-Viçosa. 2020. Carvalhos-Cerquinhos de grande porte dos Concelhos da Batalha e de Tomar como embaixadores dos bosques de Quercus faginea Lam. (Cercais) na Zona Centro de Portugal. Lucanus 4: 106-133.

Rivas-Martínez, S., and C. Saénz.1991. Enumeración de los Quercus de la Península Ibérica. Rivasgodaya 6: 101-110.

Rivas-Martínez, S., Á. Penas, T. González, P. Cantó, S. del Río, J. Costa, and J. Molero, J. 2017. Biogeographic units of the Iberian Peninsula and Baelaric Islands to district level. A concise synopsis. In The vegetation of the Iberian Peninsula, pp. 131-188. Springer, Cham.

Schwarz, O. 1936a. Entwurf zu einem natürlichen System der Cupuliferen und der Gattung Quercus L. Notizblatt des Botanischen Gartens und Museums zu Berlin-Dahlem: 1-22.

Schwarz, O. 1936b. Sobre los Quercus catalanes del subgénero Lepidobalanus Oerst. Cavanillesia 8: 65-100.

Schwarz, O. 1993. Quercus L. In Flora Europaea. 2nd Ed., Vol. 1, edited by T. Tutin, V. Heywood, N. Burges, D. Moore, D. Valentine, S. Walters, and D. Webb, pp. 72-76. Cambridge University

Serviços Geológicos de Portugal. 1992. Carta Geológica de Portugal. 5th edition scale 1:500 000. Available at. https://sig.lneg.pt/metadados/catalog/search/resource/ details.page?uuid=2eb2f088f61446e99ed6f5d6ef97ada2. Accessed at October 23, 2021

Spach, É. 1842. Histoire naturelle des végétaux: Phanérogames. Vol. 11. Paris : Librairie encyclopédique de Roret.

Sousa, V., S. Cardoso, and H. Pereira. 2013. Ring width variation and heartwood development in Quercus faginea. Wood and Fiber Science 45(4): 405-414.

Soutinho J. 2019. How important are big trees for biodiversity: a call to the local community of Lousada. MSc Dissertation. University of Lisbon, Portugal.

Vasconcellos J., and J. Franco. 1954. Os Carvalhos de Portugal. Anais do Instituto Superior de Agronomia 21: 1-135.

Vázquez, F., S. Ramos, E. Doncel, A.J. Coombes, and M. Rodríguez. 2003. New oak hybrids from Spain. International Oaks 14: 49-60.

Vázquez, F., E. Sanchez-Gullón, C. Pinto-Gomes, M. Pineda, D. Alonso, F. Márquez, M. Barrena, J. Blanco-Salas, and C. Vila- Viçosa. 2015. Three New Oak Hybrids from Southwest Iberia (Spain and Portugal). International Oaks 26: 43-56.

Vázquez, F., A. Coombes, D. García, F. Márquez, C. Meireles, M. Barrena, and C. Vila-Viçosa. 2018. Anotaciones a la nomenclatura del género Quercus L., (FAGACEAE) en la Península Ibérica y NW de África. Folia Botánica Extremadurensis 12: 5-79.

Vázquez, F., A. Coombes, R. Almeida, D. Garcia-Alonso, F. Marquez-Garcia, and C. Vila-Vicosa. 2020. Lectotypification of names of Quercus spp.(Fagaceae) described by Lamarck from the Iberian Peninsula. Phytotaxa 455: 205-213. Vicioso, C. 1950. Revision of the genus Quercus in Spain. Bol. Inst. For. Invest. Exp. Madrid 21(51).

Vila-Viçosa, C. 2012. Os carvalhais marcescentes do Centro e Sul de Portugal. Estudo e Conservação. MSc Dissertation, University of Évora, Portugal.

Vila-Viçosa, C., P. Mendes, S. Del Rio, C. Meireles, R. Quinto-Canas, P. Arsénio, and C. Pinto-Gomes. 2012. Temporihygrophilous Quercus broteroi forests in southern Portugal: Analysis and conservation. Plant Biosystems-An International Journal Dealing with all Aspects of Plant Biology 146(sup1): 298-308.

Vila-Viçosa, C., F. Vázquez, C. Meireles, and C. Pinto-Gomes. 2014. Taxonomic peculiarities of marcescent oaks (Quercus, Fagaceae) in southern Portugal. Lazaroa 35: 139-153.

Vila-Viçosa, C., F. Vázquez, P. Mendes, S. Del Rio, C. Musarella, A. Cano-Ortiz, and C. Meireles. 2015. Syntaxonomic update on the relict groves of Mirbeck's oak (Quercus canariensis Willd. and Q. marianica C. Vicioso) in southern Iberia. Plant Biosystems-An International Journal Dealing with all Aspects of Plant Biology 149(3): 512-526.

Vila-Viçosa, C., J. Gonçalves, J. Honrado, Â. Lomba, R.S. Almeida, F. Vázquez, and C. Garcia. 2020a. Late Quaternary range shifts of marcescent oaks unveil the dynamics of a major biogeographic transition in southern Europe. Scientific reports 10(1): 1-12.

Vila-Viçosa, C., S. Arenas-Castro, B. Marcos, J. Honrado, C. García, F.M. Vázquez, F. M., ... and Gonçalves, J. 2020 b. Combining Satellite Remote Sensing and Climate Data in Species Distribution Models to Improve the Conservation of Iberian White Oaks (Quercus L.). ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information 9(12): 735.

Vila-Viçosa, C., R. Arraiano-Castilho, A. Hipp, F.M. Vázquez, R. Almeida, C. García, A. Beja-Pereira, and H. Azevedo. 2021. RAD- Seq unveils the phylogenetic backbone of the Iberian white oak (Quercus L. section Quercus) syngameon. In Libro de Actas, Primer Congreso Español de Botánica. Sociedad Español de Botanica.

Vila-Viçosa, C., and P. Arsénio. 2021. A Vegetação do Sudoeste Português. In A Vegetação de Portugal, edited by J. Capelo and C. Aguiar, pp 110-121. Lisboa: Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda, S. A.

Villar, E. 1935. Sur le nom de quelques Quercus et la systématique du faginea. Cavanillesia 7: 57-70.

Villar, E. 1958. Estudios sobre los Quercus del Oeste mediterráneo. Anales del Instituto Botanico Cavanilles 15: 3-114.

Vinagre, C., C. Pinto-Gomes, C. Vila-Viçosa, and F. Vázquez. 2014. Anotaciones a la diversidad del género Quercus L.(Fagaceae) en la Estremadura Portuguesa. Folia Botánica Extremadurensis 8: 4.