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Research

The following project is being conducted  by Doctor Richard Banham, external Tutor for Leeds University,and bird ringer “experto” ,a member of MILVUS G.O.ES ringing group in S.W.Spain. This exciting project can be a great experience for university students especially from the fields of ecology, environmental science or biology to assist Dr.Banham, but it can also be suitable for everyone with strong passion for birds!

The program involves colour ringing of Passer domesticus in a semi-desert area at Urra Scientific Field Station near Sorbas and at an oasis called Los Molinos de Rio Aguas in the province of Almeria with the assistance of Sunseed. The project  started at the beginning of 2018 and was incorporated into the field study course for students from the ecology department at Leeds university from March 18th till March 28th.,and continuing thereon.

Dr.Banham is conducting the program  throughout the year with a number of visits to Urra and Sunseed. Each year the project will be incorporated into the university field course,at Urra,always under his supervision.,and in future incorporating visits to the site at Los Molinos de Rio Aguas

C:\Users\User\Pictures\Latest Pictures from Mobile to Sort\20180124_120903.jpg
Male house sparrow

Brief description about the project

This species has been chosen because it is the commonest local breeding bird in the area. The House Sparrow is very easy to recognise as there are no other common local species with which it could be confused.

For most of the year males have a grey crown and cheek area separated by chestnut brown eye stripe.The back is brown also but heavily streaked black.The bill is stout and blackish,with a black chin ,throat and upper breast.In winter period much of the black area on upper breast and throat disappears.

Females never possess the black  chin,throat and upper breast.The back colour is very much more subdued but is still streaked black.The cheeks are still grey ,there is no chestnut brown eye stripe and she has a broad light buff supercilium.Plumage remains the same throughtout the year.

Juveniles have the same plumage characteristics as females.

This species can be observed most commonly on the ground where they normally forage but can also occur on buildings and in the trees and surrounding vegetation.

Sufficient data will be collected by the participating Leeds University students to give them a viable project for the short time they have available at the field centre. However with the participation of Sunseed, much more valuable long term data can be amassed.

Methodology

When the birds are trapped they are fitted on the left leg with the normal metal ring on top of which is fitted a colour ring. Each year the colour of this ring is changed to note a new year.On the right leg is  fitted with 2 colour rings, one to denote the period of ringing and the other the age of the bird.All rings are fitted on the tarsus.

Color ring sequences on the right leg are different for Urra and Los Molinos so that the 2 sites can be distinguished

At Urra,and at Los Molinos it is noted at which net the birds are trapped (each net has a special habitat code), and then studied using binoculars or telescope in an attempt  to track the limit of each birds territory and to follow its foraging distance if outside the breeding territory. With a continuous colour ringing and observation program together with the trapping of controls, it will be possible to estimate the year on year survival rate of each sex of this species

It will be possible to track the birds outside of the Urra field station and Los Molinos itself as netting is also carried on along and beside the Rio Aguas rambla and in the future at another ringing site which will be set up in the rio at La Herrerdia.

http://www.sunseed.org.uk/projectpack/files/2018/01/DSC_0475.jpg
Figure 1 Section of Rio Aguas

In 2017, four water scrapes were constructed to try to attract both migrant/wintering and resident birds to drink. Mist nets were erected by these scrapes in order to trap and ring them. In March 2018 each scrape was observed by the students/volunteers to see if any of these colour-ringed birds came to drink and to note if this was outside their breeding or foraging territories.

At this moment in time these artificial scrapes are being replaced with more permanent materials as the pond liners used soon became very brittle in the Spanish sun and easily cracked losing all the water.

C:\Users\User\Pictures\Urra 2017\DSCN0683.JPG
Figure 2 Artificial Scrape

During the first ringing sessions in Spring 2017 with Leeds university students, the results showed that 52% of all the birds trapped were at these scrapes.

The colour rings for this project were available early February 2018. Having completed the first ringing session at Urra in February 2018, Dr.Banham visited Sunseed to provide all the necessary details for the project.

Importance of the project

The field station is in an extremely dry area of Almeria province and a further study is being carried out to plot the change in rainfall patterns since 1997. With less and less rain in this area, the presence of permanent small water scrapes could become more and more important to the survival of these local birds,and especially so in late spring through to early autumn when it can be extremely hot and dry. It is important to continue this project for a number of years in order to track any changes in the populations  of this species and to observe movements outside the boundaries of the station along the wide dry rambla of the Rio Aguas both towards Sorbas and in the other direction up to Los Molino de Rio Aguas and even beyond down the valley

A few kilometres down the river bed there is an important water source for the Rio Aguas in the form of an aquifer which results in a large permanent pool below  the village of Los Molinos de Rio Aguas. This natural water supply and the more lush vegetation, in the past has attracted a large number of birds ,some species of which do not appear at the field station.With permanent artificial water now available at Urra it will be interesting to see if there are any changes in the number and survival rates of local House Sparrows ,compared to Los Molinos.

It is quite likely with the presence of the permanent water body at Los Molinos that birds ringed at Urra field station will also visit this site to drink especially in the hot dry summer. It will provide interesting data as to how far local birds are prepared to travel to obtain water.

Post-juvenile dispersal may also reveal some interesting movements.

If the birds are found at Los Molinos other than at the lagoon, it again should be noted where and their activities e.g.feeding. This species is omnivorous so the population should survive during difficult periods.

N.B.The population dynamics for House Sparrows (e.g.increase or decrease of population totals year on year, numbers of breeding males and females,numbers of juveniles,survival rates) can be followed in relation to the variation in rainfall and the considerable increase in underground water extraction for growing new large olive tree plantations in the area.

How can you get involved in the project?

For those interested, all that is necessary for them to do, is to make a note of,the sequence of colour rings on both legs, the sex of the bird,the date and place of observation. Colour pictures and a field guide are provided to assist identification. A pair of simple binoculars is needed to observe the birds.

Please note that Dr.Banham has provided Sunseed with a bird identification guide to assist whoever is taking part in the color ringing program

If you are interested in this project…

Get in touch with us to join Sunseed for a regular mid-term or long-term volunteering or through a funded University placement. For your involvement in the project we will put you in direct contact with Dr. Banham for further details and information.

For further questions you may contact Dr.Banham at: dr.r.j.banham@gmail.com

BREAKING NEWS:

The bird color ringing project at Urra Field Station and Los Molinos de Rio Aguas has now been accepted by EURING,which gives special permissions for all bird color ringing projects in Europe.Our project is one of some 5,200 in Europe.

The project for this bird color ringing program can be found on the following link

Passer domesticus / House Sparrow : http://www.cr-birding.org/node/5173

Combination of :
∙         c-ring over metal (on left leg).
∙         2 c-rings (on right leg)

0

Research

The following project is being conducted  by Doctor Richard Banham, external Tutor for Leeds University,and bird ringer “experto” ,a member of MILVUS G.O.ES ringing group in S.W.Spain. This exciting project can be a great experience for university students especially from the fields of ecology, environmental science or biology to assist Dr.Banham, but it can also be suitable for everyone with strong passion for birds!

The program involves colour ringing of Sylvia melanocephala in a semi-desert area at Urra Scientific Field Station near Sorbas and at an oasis called Los Molinos de Rio Aguas in the province of Almeria with the assistance of Sunseed. The project  started at the beginning of 2018 and was incorporated into the field study course for students from the ecology department at Leeds university from March 18th till March 28th.,and continuing thereon.

Dr.Banham is conducting the program  throughout the year with a number of visits to Urra and Sunseed. Each year the project will be incorporated into the university field course, at Urra, always under his supervision, and in future incorporating visits to the site at Los Molinos de Rio Aguas.

C:\Users\User\Pictures\Latest Pictures from Mobile to Sort\20180117_104406.jpg
Figure 2 Female Sardinian warbler

Species information

This species has been chosen because it is the commonest resident scrub warbler in the area  and the birds perch quite prominently in the Spring as they are holding breeding territories. This warbler is very easy to recognise as there are no other local species with which it could be confused.

Both male and female possess long dark narrow tails with varying amounts of white or off white at the feather tips.Adult males have a jet black head a white chin and throat plus grey wings and back .Females also possess a white chin and throat,but have a grey head with a brown back.Both possess prominent red brown eye rings.

Juveniles look similar to females but possess a brown head.

Immature males have a mixture of brown and black on the head

Sufficient data will be collected by the participating Leeds University students during their Spring visit  to give them a viable project for the short time they have available at the field centre. However with participation of Sunseed, much more valuable long term data can be amassed.

Methodology

When the birds are trapped they are fitted on the left leg with the normal metal ring on top of which is fitted a colour ring. Each year the colour of this ring is changed to note a new year.On the right leg is  fitted with 2 colour rings, one to denote the period of ringing and the other the age of the bird.All rings are fitted on the tarsus.

Color ring sequences on the right leg are different for Urra and Los Molinos so that the 2 sites can be distinguished

At Urra,and at Los Molinos it is noted at which net the birds are trapped (each net has a special habitat code), and then studied using binoculars or telescope in an attempt  to track the limit of each birds territory and to follow its foraging distance if outside the breeding territory. With a continuous colour ringing and observation program together with the trapping of controls, it will be possible to estimate the year on year survival rate of each sex of this species

It will be possible to track the birds outside of the Urra field station and Los Molinos itself as netting is also carried on along and beside the Rio Aguas rambla and in the future at another ringing site which will be set up in the rio at La Herrerdia.

http://www.sunseed.org.uk/projectpack/files/2018/01/DSC_0475.jpg

Figure 3 Section of Rio Aguas

In January 2017 at Urra ,four water scrapes were constructed to try to attract both migrants /wintering and resident birds to drink. Mist nets were erected by these scrapes in order to trap and ring them. In  March 2018 each scrape was observed by the students/volunteers to see if any of these colours ringed birds came to drink and to note if this was outside their breeding or foraging territories.

At this moment in time these artificial scrapes are being replaced with more permanent materials as the pond liners used soon became very brittle in the Spanish sun and easily cracked losing all the water.

C:\Users\User\Pictures\Latest Pictured to be sorted 2017\20171008_173235.jpg

Figure 4 Artificial Scrape

During the first ringing sessions in Spring 2017 with Leeds university students, the results showed that 52% of all the birds trapped were at these scrapes

The colour rings for this project were available early February 2018. Having completed the first ringing session at Urra in February 2018, Dr.Banham  visited Sunseed to provide all the necessary details for the project.

Importance of the project

The field station is in an extremely dry area of Almeria province and a further study is being carried out to plot the change in rainfall patterns since 1997. With less and less rain in this area, the presence of permanent small water scrapes could become more and more important to the survival of these local birds , and especially so in late spring through to early autumn when it can be extremely hot and dry. It is important to continue this project for a number of years in order to track any changes in the  populations of this species and to observe movements outside the boundaries of the station along the wide dry rambla of the Rio Aguas both towards Sorbas and in the other direction up to Los Molinos de Rio Aguas and even beyond down the valley to where the rio enters the Med.

A few kilometres down the river bed there is an important water source for the Rio Aguas in the form of an aquifer which results in a large permanent pool below the village of Los Molinos de Rio Aguas. This natural water supply and the more lush vegetation, in the past has attracted a large number of birds ,some species of which do not appear at the field station. With permanent artificial water now available at Urra it will be interesting to see if there are any changes in the numbers  and survival rates of local Sardinian warblers,compared to Los Molinos.

It is possible with the presence of the permanent water body at Los Molinos that birds ringed at Urra field station may visit this site also to drink especially in the hot dry summer. It will provide interesting data as to how far local birds are prepared to travel to obtain water throughout the year

Post-juvenile dispersal may also reveal some interesting movements.

If the birds are found at Los Molinos other than at the lagoon, it again should be noted where and their activities  e.g.feeding. This species is mainly insectivorous but at certain times of the year ,Winter and Spring,supplements the diet with pollen/nectar from suitable flowering plants.This can be shown by the presence of yellow or orange on the chin/throat area plus a sticky forehead which should again be very useful to note.

If trapped feather samples of this part of the bird will be taken and sent for analysis to determine from which plant the pollen/nectar was taken..

N.B The population dynamics for Sardinian warblers (e.g.increase or decrease of population totals year on year,numbers of breeding males and females, numbers of juveniles,survival rates) can be followed in relation to the variation in rainfall and the considerable increase in underground water extraction for growing new large olive tree plantations in the area.

How can you get involved in the project?

For those interested, all that is necessary for them to do, is to make a note of,the sequence of colour rings on both legs, the sex of the bird ,the date and place of observation. Colour pictures and a field guide are provided  by Dr.Banham to assist identification. A pair of simple binoculars is needed to observe the birds.

If you are interested in this project…

Get in touch with us to join Sunseed for a regular mid-term or long-term volunteering or through a funded University placement. For your involvement in the project we will put you in direct contact with Dr. Banham for further details and information.

For further questions you may contact Dr.Banham at: dr.r.j.banham@gmail.com

BREAKING NEWS:

The bird color ringing project at Urra Field Station and Los Molinos de Rio Aguas has now been accepted by EURING,which gives special permissions for all bird color ringing projects in Europe.Our project is one of some 5,200 in Europe.

The project for this bird color ringing program can be found on the following link

Sylvia melanocephala / Sardinian Warbler : http://www.cr-birding.org/node/5172

Combination of :
∙         c-ring over metal (on left leg).
∙         2 c-rings (on right leg)


0

Research

The following project is being conducted  by Doctor Richard Banham, external Tutor for Leeds University,and bird ringer “experto”, a member of MILVUS G.O.ES ringing group in S.W.Spain. This exciting project can be a great experience for university students especially from the fields of ecology, environmental science or biology to assist Dr.Banham, but it can also be suitable for everyone with strong passion for birds!

The program involves colour ringing of Sylvia atricapilla and Erithacus rubecula in a semi-desert area at Urra Scientific Field Station near Sorbas and at an oasis called Los Molinos de Rio Aguas in the province of Almeria with the assistance of Sunseed. The project  started at the beginning of 2018 and was incorporated into the field study course for students from the ecology department at Leeds university from March 18th till March 28th.,and continuing thereon.

Dr.Banham is conducting the program  throughout the year with a number of visits to Urra and Sunseed. Each year the project will be incorporated into the university field course,at Urra,always under his supervision.,and in future incorporating visits to the site at Los Molinos de Rio Aguas

Male Blackcap
Male Blackcap
C:\Users\User\Pictures\Latest Pictures from Mobile to Sort\20180112_092707.jpg
Female blackcap

Brief description about the project

These species have been chosen because they are the commonest wintering/migrant birds in the area of the field station, the surrounding areas towards Sorbas and in and around Los Molinos. The Blackcaps and Robins are very easy to recognise as there are no other common species with which they could be confused.

Adult Blackcap males have a black cap.The back is greyish and the wings are greyish olive with no striking visible markings.The tail is long with no white.The chin and throat are white.

Immature male Blackcaps sometimes have a mixture of brown and black on the crown. Females possess a red-brown crown.The back colour is more subdued than the male and the wing is more ochraceous with no striking visible markings. The tail chin and throat are as the male. N.B. Blackcaps only very rarely feed or are observed  on the ground.

The Robin too is easy to recognise with the bright red chin throat and breast.Males and females look exactly the same.They almost exclusively are seen and feed at ground level.

Sufficient data will be collected by the participating Leeds University students to give them a viable project for the short time they have available at the field centre. However,with the participation of Sunseed, much more valuable long term data can be amassed.

Methodology

When the birds are trapped they are fitted on the left leg with the normal metal ring on top of which is fitted a colour ring. Each year the colour of this ring is changed to note a new year.On the right leg is  fitted with 2 colour rings, one to denote the period of ringing and the other the age of the bird.All rings are fitted on the tarsus.

Color ring sequences on the right leg are different for Urra and Los Molinos so that the 2 sites can be distinguished

At Urra,and at Los Molinos it is noted at which net the birds are trapped (each net has a special habitat code), and then studied using binoculars or telescope in an attempt  to track the limit of each birds territory and to follow its foraging distance if outside the breeding territory. With a continuous colour ringing and observation program together with the trapping of controls, it will be possible to estimate the year on year survival rate of each sex of this species

It will be possible to track the birds outside of the Urra field station and Los Molinos itself as netting is also carried on along and beside the Rio Aguas rambla and in the future at another ringing site which will be set up in the rio at La Herrerdia.

Rio Aguas
Section of Rio Aguas

In January 2017 at Urra, four water scrapes were constructed to try to attract both migrant/wintering and resident birds to drink. Mist nets were erected by these scrapes in order to trap and ring them. In March 2018 each scrape was observed by the students/volunteers to see if any of these colour-ringed birds come to drink and to estimate how long they may be present in the area.

At this moment in time these artificial scrapes are being replaced with more permanent materials as the pond liners used soon became very brittle in the Spanish sun and easily cracked losing all the water.

Artificial Scrape
Artificial Scrape

During the first ringing sessions in Spring 2017 with Leeds university students, the results showed that 52% of all the birds trapped were at these scrapes

The colour rings for this project were available early February 2018. Having completed the first ringing session at Urra in February 2018, Dr.Banham visited  Sunseed to provide all the necessary details for the project.

Importance of the project

The field station is in an extremely dry area of Almeria province and a further study is being carried out to plot the change in rainfall patterns since 1997. With less and less rain in this area, the presence of permanent small water scrapes become more and more important to the survival of passage/wintering birds as a stopover site in the area, and especially so in late spring and early autumn when it can still extremely hot and dry here. It is important to continue this project for a number of years in order to track any changes in the migratory/wintering populations of these species and to observe movements outside the boundaries of the station along the wide dry rambla of the Rio Aguas both towards Sorbas and in the other direction up to Los Molinos de Rio Aguas and even beyond down the valley to where the rio enters the Med.

A few kilometres down the river bed there is an important water source for the Rio Aguas in the form of an aquifer which results in a large permanent pool below the village of Los Molinos de Rio Aguas. This is a highly attractive, easy to observe site for a large number of birds that may or may not pass through the field  station due to its lack of water. With permanent water now available at Urra as well it will be interesting to see if there are any changes in the number of these particular migratory/wintering birds and to see if there is any reaction between the 2 sites.

It is possible with the presence of the permanent water body at Los Molinos that birds ringed at Urra field station will also visit this site to drink. It will provide interesting data as to how far these migratory/wintering birds are prepared to travel to obtain water.,and if they are using the Rio Aguas valley as a specific migratory route.

If the birds are found at Los Molinos other than at the water body it again should be noted where and their activities e.g.feeding. These species are mainly insectivorous but at certain times of the year,Winter and Spring,the Blackcaps supplement their diet with pollen/nectar from suitable flowering plants.This can be shown by the presence of yellow or orange on the chin/throat area plus a sticky forehead which should again be very useful to note.

If trapped feather samples of this part of the bird will be taken and sent for analysis to determine from which plant the pollen/nectar was taken.

 N.B The population dynamics for Robins and Blackcaps (e.g.increase or decrease of migratory/wintering birds year on year, numbers and proportions of males and females, and percentage of returning birds) can be followed in relation to the variation in rainfall and the considerable increase in underground water extraction for growing large olive tree plantations in the area.

How can you get involved in the project?

For those interested, all that is necessary for them to do, is to make a note of the sequence of the colour rings on both legs, the sex of the bird,the date and place of observation. Colour pictures and a field guide are provided by Dr.Banham to assist identification of both species. A pair of simple binoculars is needed to observe the birds. Please use our contact form to get in touch!

For further questions you may contact Dr.Banham at: dr.r.j.banham@gmail.com

BREAKING NEWS:

The bird color ringing project at Urra Field Station and Los Molinos de Rio Aguas has now been accepted by EURING,which gives special permissions for all bird color ringing projects in Europe.Our project is one of some 5,200 in Europe.

The projects for this bird color ringing program can be found on the following link

Sylvia atricapilla  / Blackcap : http://www.cr-birding.org/node/5171

Erithacus rubecula / European Robin : http://www.cr-birding.org/node/5174


Combination of :
∙         c-ring over metal (on left leg).
∙         2 c-rings (on right leg)

0

Research

From the 8th to the 15th of October 2017 we experienced an intensive week full of seminars and workshops, based mostly on an experiential way of learning and non-formal education methods. The result exceeded our expectations! We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all those who decided to join our course and share with us this unforgettable time.

This report is a fruit of the first IEL course and a way of celebration. Moreover, the success of the course acts as a motivation for us to keep up the hard work towards our continuous goal: to plant the seed of change for the development and empowerment of individuals who want to become the agents for social change and the formation of future sustainable societies.

Thank you in advance for reading the following pages and we hope to see you in a future “Introduction to ecovillage living” course.

DOWNLOAD REPORT IN PDF HERE: IEL report

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Drylands Management, Research, Tutorial

As the growing conditions around Sunseed are very harsh with very little rain and soil depleted from nutrients, it is very important to use innovative methods to protect plants from the harshest sun in the summer and frost in the winter.

At the moment in the Arboretum, the application of mulch (mostly reeds) is tested to see its benefits for growth along with a new, water saving design for planting. Mulch is basically any layer spread to cover the soil, be it biomass, mineral mulch, such as stones or gravel. Our mulch of choice is reed due to availability, enhanced with some weeds as we pull them out. The most important benefit of mulching in an arid area, such as Los Molinos, is that it reduces the evaporation of water from the ground keeping the soil moist longer. It works also as protection against wind, winter frost and scorching heat of the summer. An additional benefit in organic mulch is that it will eventually decompose adding good quality, nutrient rich soil to the barren desert and while still in place, it will attract insects to add to the biodiversity. Some of the insects can even be beneficial to the plant as they can be predators of some more harmful insects.

3 REDUCEIllustration : Picture of one part of the Arboretum, covered in reed mulch

On the negative side for organic mulch, it will need replacing from time to time as it decomposes. It should also be noted that decomposition of the mulch requires nitrogen, which is available in fresh plant material, fertile soils and in fertilizers, so it is important to try and see to it that there is enough nitrogen available for the decomposition to not compromise the nitrogen available for the plant to grow.

We applied to some plants in the Arboretum a simple design for improving the irrigation system. The design include a trench around the tree filled with stones in terms to act as a water channel to irrigate the tree. In addition, we cover it with biomass and thorny branches to take extra protection agains wildbores.

other mulchDesign and methodology. a. Dig a trench around the plant (above and profile views). b. Put some thorny branches along the trench. c. Place some stones. d. Plant the plants e. Addition of mulch on the top.

2 REDUCE

Illustration : Tabacco with trench and mulch, surrounded by Aloe Vera which does not need mulch

In addition, a research was carried out to find out which plants benefit from mulch and what type and amount should be applied.

Table : water requirements and mulch recommendations for the plants in the Arboretum

Plants Water requirements Mulch need Comments
Lavender Dry conditions No
Rosemary Dry conditions Organic mulch for infertile soil No mulch but rock or gravel in normal conditions fungus diseases if overwatering
Lemon grass Hot and humid conditions A thick layer to keep the humidity and to protect from frost in the winter
Aloe vera Dry conditions Only mulch to avoid frost Moisture retention to be avoided, so no fresh organic material
Yarrow Dry to medium conditions 5 cm of organic mulch to avoid weeds Avoid overwatering for root rot and mildew
Lemon verbena humid conditions A thick layer to keep the humidity and to protect from frost in the winter
Calendula Full or partial sun and watering moderately Mulches help (weeds, pests, water evaporation…)
European fan palm Sunny and warm but tolerate cool temperature (until 7C) Mulches help keep shallow palm roots from drying out quickly Do not keep wet all the time
Pomegranate semi-arid mild-temperate to subtropical climate Mulch during spring and summer Water thoroughly twice a week on light soils and once a week on clay soils
Myoporum Dry climates Mulches help. Note : not directly base of the plant, let a sapce (4 to 6 inch layer)
Mediterranean buckthorn Normal to moist Mulch for connserving moisture
Cassie flower Dry/desertic climate leaf or bark mulch
Wattel Hot/dry climate Mulches help
Almond sub-tropical dry warm climate Mulches help. pine trees or alpha-grass Does not like exceed of humidity
kidney vetch dry grasslands and rocky environments with calcareous soil
Ruscus aculeatus – Rusco Dry and moist locations Mulches are used
Maguey – Agave americana Drought tolerant Gravel or rocks Well drained conditions. Avoid watering your agave in fall to help it toughen up for winter.
Kermes oak Dry, sunny slopes A mulch of the leaves repels slugs, grubs etc, though fresh leaves should not be used as these can inhibit plant growth
Sweet orange Moderate moisture 5-10cm of mulch, spread on at least a little bit larger area than the canopy. Leave 30cm area clear of mulch around the trunk to avoid rot and vermin Pine mulch would be ideal as orange prefers slightly acidic soil and it also passes water and air easily to the ground
African tamarisk Adapted to all conditions A thick layer of mulch is preferred as the leaves contain salt, which will increase the salinity of the soil when they fall
Common fig Moist conditions, weekly watering Thick layer of mulch to keep in the moisture Yellowing or dropping of leaves or fruit is a sign of drought stress
Hazel Can tolerate drought but needs watering Thick layer of mulch for moisture retention Don’t let mulch touch the stem or trunk of hazel as it may cause it to rot
Black hawthorn Moist soil, low tolerance to drought Thick layer of mulch for moisture retention and frost protection
Loquat Good drainage, doesn’t tolerate flooding. Otherwise adaptable 10-15cm of mulch Keep the trunk area clear of mulch for air to circulate to avoid rot
Peruvian pepper No soaking or flooding, otherwise adaptable to many moisture levels Any kind of mulch can be added
Opuntia Dry conditions, good drainage No mulch, or a little bit of dry mulch for weed control
Siberian elm Prefers moist soil but tolerates drought as well. No flooding Thick layer of mulch for moisture retention
Velvet mezquite Tolerates dry conditions well At least 3 meters in diameter of mulch for young plants. Older plants will benefit from moisture retention as well
Holly oak Tolerates dry conditions but thrives when some moisture is present 5-10cm of mulch. Only dry mulch around the root crown if any and no watering around root crown Dry mulch helps repel slugs and grubs while moist mulch may cause root disease
marjoram Draught tolerant but likes moisture. Doesn’t tolerate frosts. Mulch is beneficial but it is good to let it dry out between watering Cut back watering during the cool months and add more mulch for frost protection
Aleppo pine Good drainage, weekly watering in the summer, less in the winter 5-8cm of coarse organic mulch leaving the root crown bare to avoid disease Doesn’t tolerate flooding or extreme temperatures
Carob tree Fertile soils Wood chip mulch is the best, likes the provided nutrients from decomposing mulch
Olive tree Moist conditions 10-15cm of mulch. Straw is the best Leave the base of the tree bare Likes the added nutrients from decomposing mulch. Also benefits from moisture retention and cooling of the soil
Cork oak Mediterranean climate mulch the tree, keeping the mulch away from the trunk Not use fertilizer, decaying mulch is enough

Teniendo en cuenta que las condiciones en climas semiáridos son difíciles, es importante usar las mejores maneras posibles para maximizar los recursos hídricos y proteger las plantas de extremas temperaturas.

En el Arboretum, tratamos de ver el efecto del acolchado para maximizar el uso del agua. El Acolchado es, básicamente, una capa protectora del suelo. Puede ser tanto biomasa, acolchado mineral como piedras. El exceso de restos de caña proveniente de las limpieza de la acequia es la utilizarla como acolchado. El mayor beneficio del acolchado es que reduce la evaporación del agua y mantener húmedo el suelo. También protege de vientos fuertes, heladas y el calor más ardiente de verano. Además, acolchados orgánicos tienen beneficios adicionales. Como van descomponiéndose con tiempo, van añadiendo suelo de buena calidad, rico en nutrientes. A su vez proveen de hábitat para insectos y reptiles.

3 REDUCEFoto : Jardín Botánico cubierto de acolchado


En un jardín, un acolchado además de los beneficios ya mencionados, no deja que las malas hierbas crezcan. Pero por contra, también hay que tener en cuenta que la descomposición del mismo acolchado requiere nitrógeno del mismo suelo para permitir actividad bacteriana en el proceso de descomposición.

Aparte del acolchado, a los frutales y plantas medicinales les hemos labrado la tierra y cavado una zanja donde regar. La zanja se rellena de piedras y el resto con biomasa. Como protección contra jabalís se han añadido ramas con espinas (ver diseño).

other mulchDiseño y metodología. a. Cavar una zanja alrededor de la planta (planta y vista de perfil). b. Colocar ramas con espinas. c. Poner piedras a lo largo de la zanja. d. Plantar las plantas e. Cubrir con acolchado.

2 REDUCEFoto: Tabaco con zanja y acolchado, rodeado de aloe vera, el cual no necesita de acolchado

Diferentes tipos de plantas requieren diferente condiciones de humedad. Por tanto los acolchados pueden ser más convenientes en un tipo de planta u otro (ver tabla).

Tabla: Condiciones ambientales y recomendaciones de acolchado para las plantas en el Jardín Botánico

Plantas

Condiciones ambientales

Acolchado

Comentario

Lavanda

Ambiente seco

No

Romero

Ambiente seco

Acolchado orgánico en suelos yermos

Roca o grava en condiciones normales

Enfermedades fúngicas si se riega demasiado

Limoncillo / Hierba de limón

Ambiente de calor y humedad

Una capa gruesa para mantener la humedad y proteger de las heladas en el invierno

Aloe vera

Ambiente seco

Solo para evitar las heladas

Para evitar la retención de humedad no usar materia orgánica fresca, verde

Milenrama

Ambiente entre seco y poco húmedo

5 cm de acolchado orgánico para evitar malas hierbas

Evitar el exceso de agua por posible deterioro de la raíz y moho

Hierba Luisa

Ambiente húmedo

Una capa gruesa para mantener la humedad y proteger de las heladas

Caléndula

Luz solar total o parcial y riego moderado

Acolchado ayuda contra las malas hierbas, pestes, evaporación del agua, etc.

Palmito europeo

Sol y calor, pero tolera temperaturas bajas de hasta 7C

El acolchado evita que las raíces superficiales se sequen muy rápido

Evitar que el suelo esté húmedo constantemente

Granado

Clima semiárido con temperaturas suaves y/o subtropical

Durante primavera y verano

Regar dos veces en semana en suelos arenosos y una vez en suelos arcillosos

Siempreverde

Ambiente seco

No directamente sobre la base de la planta, dejar un espacio de 6 a 8 cm

Aladierno

Condiciones entre normal y húmedo

Indicado para conservar la humedad

Acacia espinosa

Clima seco/desértico

Acolchado de corteza y hojas

Acacia pycnantha

Clima seco y de calor

El acolchado ayuda

Almendro

Clima sub-tropical seco y de calor

El acolchado ayuda. De pino y de alfalfa.

Evitar el exceso de humedad

Albaida

Praderas secas y zonas rocosas de suelos calcáreos

Rusco

Zonas tanto húmedas como secas

El acolchado es aconsejable

Maguey – Agave americana

Tolerante a la sequía

Grava y rocas

Suelos o zonas con buen drenaje. Evitar regarlo en otoño para que para que se fortalezca para el invierno

Coscoja

Laderas secas y soleadas

El acolchado de sus hojas repele las babosas, larvas de insectos, etc, pero no usar las hojas verdes ya que pueden limitar el crecimiento de la planta

Naranjo

Humedad moderada

5-10cm de acolchado repartido sobre una superficie un poco mayor que el follaje del árbol. Dejar un área de 30 cm sin acolchar alrededor del tronco para evitar plagas y deterioro de las raíces

El acolchado de pino sería el ideal ya que este árbol prefiere suelos ácidos y también deja pasar el agua y el aire fácilmente hacia el suelo

Tamarix africana

Se adapta a todas las condiciones

Una capa ancha de acolchado sería lo mejor ya que las hojas contienen sal, incrementando la salinidad del suelo cuando se deshoja

Higuera

Ambiente húmedo, riego semanal

Se recomienda una capa espesa de acolchado para mantener la humedad

Amarillamiento o caída de hojas y frutos es señal de estrés por sequía

Avellano

Puede soportar sequías pero necesita ser regado

Capa gruesa de acolchado para retener la humedad

Evitar que el acolchado toque el tronco ya que lo puede deteriorar

Espino negro

Suelos húmedos con poca tolerancia a la sequía

Colocar una capa gruesa de acolchado para ayudar a la retención de humedad y proteger de las heladas

Nisperero

Suelos con buen drenaje ya que no tolera inundaciones. Adaptable al resto de ambientes

10-15cm de acolchado

Dejar el área alrededor del tronco libre de acolchado para circulación del aire y evitar deterioro del mismo

Pimienta peruana

No empapar o inundar o empapar, pero se adapta al resto de condiciones húmedas

Cualquier acolchado es apropiado

Chumba

Ambiente seco y suelos con buen drenaje

No se aconseja acolchado salvo una capa fina seca para evitar malas hierbas

Olmo siberiano

Preferiblemente suelos húmedos pero tolera secos. No inundar

Capa gruesa de acolchado para retener la humedad

Prosopis velutina

Tolera bien el ambiente seco

Por lo menos, acolchado de unos 3 m de diámetro para las plantas jóvenes. El resto también se beneficiaría por la retención de humedad

Encina

Tolera ambientes secos pero crece muy bien si hay algo de humedad

5-10cm de acolchado, que sea seco y solo sobre las principales raíces si hay y no regar la zona

El acolchado seco ayuda contra larvas y pestes mientras que el acolchado húmedo puede dañar las raíces

Mejorana

Tolera las sequías pero le gusta la humedad. No aguanta las heladas

El acolchado es beneficioso pero sería ideal dejarlo secar entre riegos

Reducir el riego durante los meses más fríos y añadir más acolchado para proteger de las heladas

Pino carrasco

Necesita de suelos con un buen drenaje, riego semanal en el verano y menos en el invierno

5-8cm de acolchado orgánico de grano grueso evitando cubrir las raíces principales por enfermedades

No soporta inundaciones ni temperaturas extremas

Algarrobo

Suelos fértiles

Acolchado con astillas de madera es lo mejor.

Le gusta los nutrientes que provienen de la descomposición del acolchado

Olivo

Ambiente húmedo

10-15cm de acolchado. Paja es lo mejor. Evitar cubrir la base del árbol

Le gusta los nutrientes que provienen de la descomposición del acolchado. También se beneficia de la retención de humedad por el acolchado y enfriamiento del suelo

Alcornoque

Clima mediterráneo

Acolchado pero lejos del tronco

No usar fertilizantes ya que es suficiente con los nutrientes que obtiene de la descomposición del acolchado

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This month we planted medicinal plants in the Arboretum. For that, we previously made a trench to irrigate and we covered the soil around each plant with biomass to avoid evaporation. Stones were set along the trench to keep moisture and let the water go through them. plantation 2 Then, we made some small signs including the latin name of the plant, the family, and the common name in English and Spanish. Hierba Luisa 200kb These plants have several benefits for health. For example, Aloe Vera is very famous in cosmetic. Sunseed had recently an Aloe Vera workshop ran by Aloe de Sorbas. There volunteers learned how to use it and how protects from radiation and sun burns. Also appears that drinking Aloe Vera provides vitamins, minerals and amino acids that your body need for keeping good health. It is interesting to notice – specially for the “vegetarian community” – that Aloe Vera is a  B12 vitamin precursor. It also helps eliminate toxic minerals and neutralizes free radicals. YarrowOther interesting example is the plant known by Yarrow. Says the myth that Achillis used Achillea millefolium for his soldiers as it stops the bleeding quickly and it has strong healing properties. Medicinal plant books that we recommend for you to learn about the healing power of the plants; Thomas Bartram’s book “Bartram’s Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine” and “Pio Font Quer book “Dioscórides”. In the following table you will find the medicinal plants we planted. This table  provides some information about the properties, uses, pars of the plant to use and the habitats of these plants.
Scientific name Common name Properties Uses Part of the plant Habitat
Lavandula dentata L. Lavender Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic and antispasmodic. Ornamental, medicinal, culinary, fragrance, soil erosion control. flowers Rocky mountainous areas
Rosmarinus officinalis Rosemary Antispasmodic, antibacterial, antidepressant , antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, neurological protection. ornamental, medicinal , culinary, fragrance, soil erosion control. leaves Mediterraneo, calcarium soil
Achillea millefolium Yarrow Diaphoretic, astringent, anti-inflammatory and tonic. medicinal, soil erosion control. leaves Temperate regions
Cymbopogon citritus Lemongrass Anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, antifungal and anti-congestion. Culinary, medicinal, pesticide, preservative, insect repellent. leaves Tropical grasslands
A. barbadensis Mill. Aloe Vera Antibiotic, demulcent, coagolant, astringent, vitamin B12, growth stimulator and free radical neutralizer. For protection  against radiantion and sunburn squeeze the gel in the skin/ the afected area. Drink combined with fruits.  leaves Rockeries and other low water-use gardens
Aloysia triphylla Lemon verbena Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and  antioxidant. medicinal, culinary, fragrance. All the plant Tropical climes,  frost-free areas

Este mes hemos estado plantando plantas medicinales en el Arboretum. Para ello, se ha preparado el suelo haciendo una pequeña zanja de irrigación alrededor de las plantas que hemos plantado. Cubrimos el suelo con biomasa para así evitar la evaporación y utilizamos piedras para rellenar la zanja y permitir mantener la humedad y dejar que el agua pase a través.
plantation 2

Las plantas se ha acompañado de un cartel que incluye el nombre científico, la familia y el nombre común.

Hierba Luisa 200kb

Estas plantas medicinales poseen varios beneficios para la salud. Por ejemplo, el Aloe Vera es muy famoso en cosmética. De hecho, Sunseed tuvo recientemente un taller a cerca el aprovechamiento del Aloe Vera impartido por “Aloe de Sorbas”. El Aloe protege de las quemaduras y de la radiación solar. A su vez, el consumo de Aloe Vera proporciona vitaminas, minerales y aminoácidos que nuestro cuerpo necesita para mantenerse sano. Es un precursor de la vitamina B12, también ayuda a eliminar minerales tóxicos y neutraliza los radicales libres.

YarrowOtro ejemplo interesante, es la planta conocida por la Milenrama. Dice el mito, que Aquiles utilizaba esta planta para que sus soldados pudieran tratar sus heridas en batalla. Es una planta que detiene hemorragias y tiene fuertes propiedades curativas.

Recomendamos los siguientes libros para aprender sobre el poder curativo de las plantas; “Bartram’s Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine” (Thomas Bartram) y “Dioscórides” (Pio Font Quer).

En la siguiente tabla se encuentran las plantas medicinales que plantamos. Se incluye información sobre las propiedades, usos, partes de la planta a utilizar y su distribución y entorno.

Scientific name Common name Properties Uses Part of the plant Habitat
Lavandula dentata L. Lavanda Antiséptico, anti-inflamatorio, anxiolytico, antiespasmódico. Ornamental, medicinal, culinario, fragancia, control de la erosión del suelo. Flores Zonas rocosas montañosas.
Rosmarinus officinalis Romero Antiespasmódico, antibacterial, antidepresivo, antioxidante, anti-inflammatorio y protector neurológico. Ornamentales, medicinales, culinarias, la fragancia, el control de la erosión del suelo. Hojas Mediterráneo, suelos calcáreos.
Achillea millefolium Milenrama Diaforético, astringente, anti-inflamatorio y tónico. Medicinal, control de la erosión del suelo. Hojas Regiones templadas.
Cymbopogon citratus Cañita de Limón Anti-inflamatorio, anxiolytico, antifúngico y anti-congestión. Culinary, medicinales, pesticidas, conservantes, repelente de insectos. Hojas Prados tropicales.
A. barbadensis Mill. Aloe Vera Antibiotico, demulcente, coagolante, astringente, vitamin B12, estimulante de crecimiento y neutralizante de radicales libres. Para la protección contra las quemaduras solares y radiantion exprimir el gel en la piel / el área de lado afecto. Beba combinado con frutas.  Hojas Roquedos y regiones de secano.
 Aloysia triphylla Hierba luisa Antibacteriano, anti-inflamatorio y   antioxidante. Medicinal, culinario y fragancia. Toda la planta Climas tropicales.

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