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Feedback and perspective: modernising the traditional management of hay meadows so as to associate profitability and nature preservation

Axis 5: Environment and resource efficiency
Reinforcing the cooperation of the SUDOE stakeholders of the natural sites through the development and the use of joint methods.
STATE: Terminado
CODE: SOE1/P5/E0376
Tomás Emilio Diáz Gonzalez


SECTORS: Integrated management of the ressources and natural sites, Management of natural heritage, Management of the cultural heritage
1 July, 2016
30 June, 2019
RESULTS: 0000-00-00
Universidad de Oviedo. Departamento de Biología de Organismos y Sistemas (BOS) y INDUROT. (ES)

2. Consorcio Parque Nacional Picos de Europa. Área de Conservación. ES
3. Instituto Politécnico de Bragança. Mountain Research Centre. PT
4. Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Veterinária, I.P. Banco Português de Germoplasma Vegetal. PT
5. Conservatoire botanique national des Pyrénées et de Midi-Pyrénées. FR
6. Semillas Silvestres, S.L. ES
7. Diputación General de Aragón. Departamento de Desarrollo Rural y Sostenibilidad. Dirección General de Sostenibilidad. ES

Mown meadows are agricultural ecosystems maintained by the age-old action of human beings that are now disappearing all over Europe, and with them a wide associated biodiversity. SOS PRADERAS aims to recover the traditional knowledge of mown meadows by associating it with modern tools to encourage their preservation. By means of collaboration between Spain, France, and Portugal the project will promote their assessment, their proper management, the application of agro-environmental subsidies, and the marketing of seed mixtures. These actions are intended to benefit farmers, entrepreneurs of the seed sector, and the general population.



SOS PRADERAS deals with the loss of biodiversity due to the disappearance of mountain mowing meadows and the changes suffered by traditional modes of exploitation. Regarding the latter, two trends are observed: intensification and extensive abandonment. Thus, the project provides complementary solutions to improve the management of these habitats by the environmental administrations, promote the design of adapted agro-environmental supports and achieve the profitability of markets based on the collection and production of mowing meadow seeds.

SOS PRADERAS allows improving the knowledge of these agro-systems and developing methodologies to diagnose conservation states. In this sense, it generated a database of managers of protected areas of the Sudoe and collected good practices of livestock management and management of these meadows. Likewise, it conserved geoplasms of mountain mowing meadows of northern Portugal, Cantabrian Mountains and the Pyrenees to deepen the biology of its seeds. Thus, there are representative seed mixtures that can be used for the recovery of the meadows. On the other hand, it evaluated the production methods of mowing seed seeds and their species through in situ and ex situ tests.

Among the tools developed, the following stand out:

  • Active management actions in mowing meadows.
  • Manual of good practices for the management of mowing meadows aimed at the conservation of its biodiversity.
  • Diagnosis methods on the state of the meadows.
  • Strategy and biodiversity conservation plan in Germplasm Banks.
  • Characterization tool for seeds and fruits of flowering meadow species for certification and seed conservation purposes.
  • Basic protocol in certification processes for seed mixtures.
  • Methods and calendars of seed collection and cultivation protocols.

SOS PRADERAS has contributed to raising society's awareness on the disappearance of mowing meadows and their effects on biodiversity so that this problem falls within the agenda of local-regional priorities. Thanks to the project, the area of ??floristically diversity in at least 10 protected natural areas of the Sudoe territory was increased proposals aimed at each local and regional reality were developed that allow the use of CAP funds in the transformation of the management model of the target meadows and a pilot of a commercial product was developed consisting of a mixture of certified native seeds.