Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 93, Issue 1, pp 355–368 | Cite as

Is research supporting sustainable management in a changing world? Insights from a Mediterranean silvopastoral system

  • Ana I. LealEmail author
  • Ricardo A. Correia
  • Jorge M. Palmeirim
  • Miguel N. Bugalho


Science-based sustainable management of agroforestry and silvopastoral systems is essential for their maintenance in a changing world. Using bibliometric and network analyses, we characterized how research is addressing the ecological and socio-economic dimensions of sustainable management of cork oak (Quercus suber) silvo pastoral systems, Mediterranean ecosystems of high nature conservation and socio-economic value. We retrieved publications on cork oak from the Web of Science. More than 60 countries contributed with research on this system. Retrieved papers addressed a great diversity of topics and were published in a variety of journals, highlighting the multidisciplinary character of cork oak research. Research grew exponentially after the 1990’s, possibly stimulated by the establishment of the European Forest Ecosystem Research Network. Our analysis shows that most research priorities identified for the Mediterranean region are being well addressed in cork oak systems, although research on the interactions between ecological and socio-economic components remains underrepresented. Less research has been published in North Africa compared to Europe, which is worrisome because it hosts a large area of cork oak that faces major sustainability challenges, often different from those prevailing in Europe. Our study shows that, despite constraints, the global scientific community is contributing to fill relevant knowledge gaps on the sustainability of cork oak systems across their range. Bibliographic and network analyses proved effective to uncover patterns, gaps, and potential constraints on cork oak scientific research and can be easily used to analyze research in other agroforestry and silvopastoral systems worldwide.


Montado Dehesa Network analysis Quercus suber Scientometrics Sustainable forest management 



AIL and RAC were supported by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) through grants SFRH/BPD/88056/2012 and SFRH/BPD/118635/2016. MNB is supported by FCT Principal Investigator contract IF01171/2014.

Supplementary material

10457_2018_231_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (114 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 114 kb)
10457_2018_231_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (108 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 108 kb)
10457_2018_231_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (166 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (PDF 166 kb)


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Biologia Animal, Faculdade de Ciências, cE3c – Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental ChangesUniversidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.School of Agriculture, Centro de Ecologia Aplicada “Professor Baeta Neves” (CEABN/InBIO)University of LisbonLisbonPortugal
  3. 3.DBIO & CESAM-Centre for Environmental and Marine StudiesUniversity of AveiroAveiroPortugal
  4. 4.Institute of Biological Sciences and HealthFederal University of AlagoasMaceióBrazil

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