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Fitosociologia 44 (2) S1 2007

pag. 23-28: The application of the Habitats Directive in Portugal

J.C. Costa1, T. Monteiro-Henriques1, C. Neto2, P. Arsénio1 & C. Aguiar 3

1Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Technical University of Lisbon, Tapada da Ajuda 1300-017 Lisboa, Portugal; e-mail: jccosta @isa.utl.pt; tmh@isa.utl.pt; arseniop@isa.utl.pt

2Dept. Geography, University of Lisbon, Alameda da Universidade 1600-214, Lisboa, Portugal; e-mail: carlosneto@fl.ul.pt

3Escola Superior Agrária de Bragança, Campus de Santa Apolónia, Apartado 1172, 5301-855 Bragança, Portugal; e-mail: cfaguiar@ipb.pt

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A succinct review of the application of the Habitats Directive in Portugal is presented. Since 1971 until 2000 Portugal has defined approximately 8,8% of its territory as national protected areas. With the application of the Habitats Directive nature conservation policies extended to more than 17,4 % of the territory increasing by 98% and the knowledge on vegetation community’s habitats was certainly deepened. Including special protection areas (Birds Directive) the Portuguese territory under one or more conservation status totals 21,5%. Finally, the support given by the Portuguese Phytosociology Association – ALFA in the detailed description of the Directive habitats is divulged, showing the importance, usefulness and efficacy of phytosociologic studies.


Habitats Directive, nature conservation, Portugal