Goals, Organization & Historical Overview


Our Goals

In today’s knowledge society, a developed and sustainable future for Galician forestry sector is inconceivable without scientific research.


Our centre tries to contribute to that future by producing a forestry research that is useful to our community. We think that task must address the forestry productive sector issues based on a strong collaboration with it. At the same time, we aim to improve the intangible property provided by forest areas (biodiversity, carbon fixation, quality water availability, natural resources preservation, soils, landscape, etc.), since it is necessary for the welfare of the whole community. Another goal is to ensure the forest ecosystems durability, adaptability and resistance against disturbance factors (climate change, fires, diseases and plagues). In addition, that research must have a verified scientific quality, derived from the close interaction with other research centres –from this area and others.



To improve the forest areas productivity and multifunctionality.


To increase the goods, services and forest products quality.



To encourage the management sustainability of forest resources.


To boost the forest ecosystem sustainability against disturbances.



Historical Overview

Nowadays, the Centro de Investigación Forestal de Lourizán (“Lourizán Forestry Research Centre,” also known as CIF) is part of a regional subdirectorate-general, the Subdirección Xeral de Innovación e Experimentación Agroforestal, that belongs to the Galician department for rural areas Consellería do Medio Rural e Mar da Xunta de Galicia.

It was created in 1943 under the name of Centro Rexional de Ensinanzas, Investigacións e Experiencias Forestais (CREIEF), that is, “Regional Centre of Teaching, Research and Forest Experiences.” It was placed in the Lourizán civil parish –more precisely, in the Granxa da Serra e Touza; Lourizán parish is located in the Province of Pontevedra (images of 1954 from filmoteca nacional), which belongs to the Spanish northwestern region known as Galicia. For this purpose, the estate was ceded in 1943 by the provincial council (“Deputación de Pontevedra”) to install the research laboratory, which was associated with the forestry institute Instituto Forestal de Investigacións e Experiencias (IFIE). The centre was integrated into the National Institute for Agricultural Research (INIA) in 1973. However, in 1984, it was handed over to the Galician government, the Xunta de Galicia.

The centre is located in a 52 hectares estate, in the Morrazo Peninsula north side, in a hill next to the Pontevedra estuary. In front of the estate, Tambo Island and Combarro village can be seen. This land initially belonged to Mr. Eugenio Montero Ríos, who had a manor house, a greenhouse and several gardens built there between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. They all have important Art Nouveau influences; however, Lourizán estate also has architectural elements from previous epochs, such as an hórreo –a granary typical from the Northwest of the Iberian Peninsula, from 1978, and a fountain from 1804. In the following years, new buildings for laboratories and greenhouses were built and new plantations of forest species were made. All of them are linked to the current use of the manor as a research centre.

During its long history, the Lourizán CIF has developed many different research projects in many different forestry research areas. It has also been an efficient popularizer of compelling ideas in the forestry area. Furthermore, it has participated in many programmes, forums and technical committees related to the forestry area within Galicia and abroad. CIF researchers had a very active role at the start of the Galician forest owners’ association. From the beginning, the centre got involved in the development of university studies on forestry in Galicia by collaborating intensely in teaching and providing the opportunity of doing a traineeship –as well as developing a PhD or a MA thesis, inside its facilities. Through research personnel training fellowships, the CIF was a source of researchers and teachers that work –nowadays, in other institutions within and outside the region. In addition, the CIF had a distinguished role in the creation and expansion of the Spanish Forestry Sciences Society (“Sociedad Española de Estudios Forestales”).

The transfer of research results was a constant during these years. We acted as a consultant to the forestry administration as well as to managers, technicians, nurserymen, owners and forest holdings, by means of reports, attention to queries, demonstration projects, pilot sites, collaborative works, courses and many publications of any type. We also participated in conferences and collaborated in forums, congresses and workshops. Besides, a wide outreach of the technological progress achieved during forestry research as well as transfer of genetic material have been done. Those technological transfers were sometimes useful to create companies or to improve their technological process.

The “CIF Lourizán” was the pioneer in our country in the development and implementation of multiple forest products and technologies. Some of the most remarkable contributions are: a boost for the improvement of the maritime pine (P.pinaster), the creation of strip-till pastures and the improvement of pasture species in the 50’s, the development of forest fertiliser tablets in the 60’s, the creation of models for estimating the site quality of P.pinaster, the identification of new botanical species and varieties, the introduction of forest species with scientific basis, the obtaining of chestnut clones resistant to diseases and mycorrhiza, the identification of new forest diseases and plagues and their treatment, the valuation and boost to the mycological sector, the creation of gardens for seed production, the beginning of silvopastoralism and the development of forestry fire prevention, silvicultural improvements for burned forests regeneration, as well as the development of new technics for evaluate fire damage and restore burned areas.

The “CIF Lourizán” made an effort to establish a strong relation with other similar centers from different countries through mutual projects, concerted actions, virtual laboratories and researchers stay. This allowed to increase the research quality of the center by participating in the latest innovative initiatives in some of the different forest research areas, destined to improve the development of the forest sector of Galicia.

One of the most distinctive features of the “CIF” over time, was the wish of maintain a wide network of devices and experimental areas, in and out of Galicia, with the intention of obtain a wide variety of situations that would allow to get results for use under a wide range of environmental situations, considering the long-term response of forest species and the existence of a wide diversity of ecosystems in Galicia.

Statue at the Lourizán manor house entrance, in the CIF.



Forest Protection Department Forest Protection Department

Research on forest protection started at the beginning of the 70’s. Until recently, this research has been focused on the forest species diseases and pests –as well as mycorrhizae and fungi. Besides, research on the forest fires area started in the second half of the above-mentioned decade. In Spain, the CIF was a pioneer in […]

Departamento de ecosistemas forestales Department of Forest Ecosystems

Continuous contribution with information to increase the understanding of the different natural ecosystems components. Evaluation of the ecosystem response to changes in natural environmental conditions or to changes due to anthropogenic disturbances. Proposal of alternatives for silvicultural improvement, preservation [...]

Departamento de silvicultura e mellora Department of Silviculture and Improvement

Current research is aimed at: Increasingknowledge about the geographic variability of some species population to plan the preservation and use of their genetic resources. Makingthe improvement and reproductive material selection of forest species that are of interest for a planted forest. Characterizing chestnut varieties oriented to the chestnut fruit production, their pollinators and rootstock. Background 1955: Provenance tests on [...]