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Multifunctional agro-sylvo-pastoral system / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A dehesa (Spanish pronunciation: [de'esa]) is a multifunctional, agrosylvopastoral system (a type of agroforestry) and cultural landscape of southern and central Spain and southern Portugal; in Portugal, it is known as a montado. Its name comes from the Latin 'defensa' (fenced) referring to land that was fenced, and usually destined for pasture.[1] Dehesas may be private or communal property (usually belonging to the municipality). Used primarily for grazing, they produce a variety of products, including non-timber forest products such as wild game, mushrooms, honey, cork, and firewood. They are also used to raise the Spanish fighting bull and the Iberian pig. The main tree component is oaks, usually holm (Quercus rotundifolia) and cork (Quercus suber). Other oaks, including melojo (Quercus pyrenaica) and quejigo (Quercus faginea), may be used to form dehesa, the species utilized depending on geographical location and elevation. Dehesa is an anthropogenic system that provides not only a variety of foods, but also wildlife habitat for endangered species such as the Spanish imperial eagle.[2]

A dehesa in Badajoz, southwest Spain

By extension, the term can also be used for this style of rangeland management on estates.[citation needed]