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Asociación Botánica y Micológica de Jaén
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XXIth Meeting of the European Confederation of Mediterranean Mycology CEMM. Arroyo Frío-La Iruela, 3 to 8 November 2013
 
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The XXIth Meeting of CEMM is organized by the ASOCIACIÓN BOTÁNICA Y MICOLÓGICA DE JAÉN, which is an associative member of the European Confederation of MEDITERRANEAN MYCOLOGY, C.E.M.M.

This event will be held from 3 to 8 November 2013, starting with the opening ceremony and dinner on day 3 (Sunday) and ending with lunch on day 8 (Friday).

The venue is the Hotel Rural Montaña, situated in the hamlet of Arroyo Frio, in the municipality of La Iruela, of the Comarca of Cazorla, within the Sierras de Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas Natural Park. The address is:

Del Campillo Avenue, 45. 23478 Arroyo Frío-La Iruela (Jaén) Andalusia (Spain). http://www.hmontana.com and GPS coordinates are: N 37° 56.9179', W 2° 55.2523'.

 
Hotel Rural Montaña
 
SITUATION
 
Arroyo Frío is a hamlet in the municipality of La Iruela, 809 meters above sea level, located at 126 km. from Jaen and 377 Km. from Madrid, on the banks of the Guadalquivir River, a few kilometers from his birth.

La Iruela, at 932 meters above sea level, is the highest town in the whole region, and the one with more territory in the Natural Park, mainly a mountain area, largely repopulated with extensive pine forests.

The Comarca Sierra de Cazorla has a territory of 134,037 hectares and is composed of the municipalities of Cazorla, Chilluevar, Hinojares, Huesa, La Iruela, Peal de Becerro, Pozo Alcon, Quesada and Santo Tome, as well as numerous villages and farms which are distributed throughout the length and width of a stunning geography, crowned by the sierras of Cazorla, Quesada, El Pozo and La Cabrilla.

If anything characterizes the region is the variety of landscapes and ecosystems, with altitudes ranging from 2,100 meters in the Sierra de la Cabrilla to 360 meters in the vicinity of Puente de la Cerrada. High peaks are mixed with deep ravines, soft relief and broad valleys, forests, olive groves, high mountain pastures and orchards, wet, dry and semi-desertic zones.

The high average altitude, exceeding 1,000 meters, gives these mountains a spectacular beauty, finding numerous peaks exceeding 2,000 meters.

 
Situación Arroyo Frío
Navas de San Pedro
 
Altitude ascends West to East, not continuously, but creating saw teeth whose incoming and outgoing are progressively more pronounced, alternating between watercourses and lines of summits, both higher the more we delve into the mountains.

The climate is characterized by cold winters with abundant precipitation (snow above 1,200 meters) and hot dry summers. Rainfall ranging from 400 mm. in the lower areas of the southwestern part of the county and 1,600 mm. to even 2,000 mm. in summits. The average annual temperature shows a relatively mild climate.

At bird's eye view on the landscape of this region we can distinguish the sierras to the East, and the countryside and the depressions of the Guadalquivir and Guadiana Menor to the West.

From any point of entry to the comarca of Sierra de Cazorla we discover a wonderful landscape scenario. Several saws are aligned from East to West in decreasing altitude: La Cabrilla, Pozo Alcon, Cazorla and Quesada, separated by the valley of the Guadalentin River, the valley of the Guadalquivir River and by the fault of Tiscar.

Approximately 40 % of the regional territory belongs to the Sierras de Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas Natural Park, which is complemented by another good part of the Sierra de Segura and Las Villas County, totaling an extension that reaches nearly a fifth part of the province of Jaen. With 200,000 ha. of extension this Natural Park is the largest protected natural area of Spain.

 
Atardecer desde Gilillo
The surface of this park, including the other three that are in the province of Jaen (Andujar, Despeñaperros and Magina), as well as the 60 million cultivated olive trees, make this province the Europe's largest continuous forest.

 
HISTORY
 
In the vicinity of these lands, human presence has been documented from early times, despite the harsh geographical and physical conditions. 18 caves dating from the 4000-3000 B.C., with various prehistoric materials more or less relevant, has been discovered until today. But it will be during the final Copper Age (2,000 B.C.) near Cazorla, when the first stable settlements were established.

In 1998, UNESCO declared World Heritage Site the Mediterranean cave paintings, in which Andalusia is represented in Jaen, Granada and Almeria. There are eight caves of the region, all in the town of Quesada, which form part of this valuable set.

Already in the last millennium before our era, Iberian culture was widely developed in the province of Jaen, as is demonstrated by the importance of the sites being investigated across the province. This culture is well represented in the County, especially by the presence of two necropolis and tombs such as burial chambers of the village of Toya and Hornos de Peal (Peal de Becerro), unique elements within the Iberian world. Between Cazorla and Santo Tome is located Plaza de Armas village of Cañamares River or Cabeza del Rey hill, all within a chronology of V-III century B.C.

To these remnants we have to add one of the most important Iberian settlements of the County, the Castellones of Ceal, located next to the stream of Ceal, near Hinojares, and dated to the sixth century B.C.

 
Cámara de Toya
This Iberian village had to be very important, as shown by the significant wealth of the findings obtained: Athenian pottery in black lacquer and painted figures in red and, above all, numerous weapons.
Mosaico romano
 
The Alto Guadalquivir was a place of some importance in communications in the Roman period, given the proximity to the mines of Castulo on the one hand, and the important port of Cartago Nova on the other.
However, the im-portance of the Roman presence in this land has been discovered recently after confirming the hypothesis that the Battle of Baecula took place in the vicinity of Santo Tome.
Ejército romano
The battle was fought in the context of the Second Punic War between Romans and Carthaginians. The arrival of the Romans to the Iberian Peninsula was intended to starve Hannibal Carthaginian military, fighting in Italy, however, after the war, they did not leave, because the agricultural wealth and silver mines.

It will be from the Islamic occupation, and at a late time of the same, when in the Sierra de Cazorla appears what would be the first populations, especially after the Almohad presence and the start of the Kingdoms of Taifas. With the location of the border between the Christian and the Muslim world in the line of the Guadalquivir, Cazorla, Quesada and other neighboring towns will be fortified, and will be, for quite a few years, place of struggle to access the Nazari Kingdom of Granada and its reconquest. From this period comes most of the architectural heritage, represented by castles, watchtowers, churches, convents and palaces.

After the Reconquest, the Advancement of Cazorla lost its strategic value and was in fact a mere Lordship. In the centuries XVII and XVIII lawsuits between the Crown and the Mitre originated by issues of jurisdiction, privileges and rents impoverished tremendously the Lordship.

Iglesia San Tomás de Santo Tomé
 
As consequence of the approval of the Forestry Ordinance of 1748 and the establishment of the Navy's jurisdiction on the largest part of the forests of the region, justified by the poor condition of the same and the need to supply wood to the Navy, forestry activity implied economic recovering of the area and benefits for many families devoted to the taxiing of wood, until the War of Independence (1808-1814) which paralyzed the activity. That was a major problem, together with the burning of villages by the invaders that left the County in a critical situation.

After the abolition of the Bureau of woods, mountains above 1,200 meters became property of the State or municipalities, and the rest in private hands, giving rise to conflicts between farmers and ranchers because of the profits such lands could generate.

The Ecclesiastical Confiscations of Mendizabal and Madoz throughout the 19th century, had important consequences for these mountains, because it accounted for the repopulation of the area.

The first third of the 20th century is characterized by the organization of unions and worker movements. This would cause that the years of the Republic and the Civil War were especially hard for some of the people of this region, with a high number of casualties on both sides. Burning images, altarpieces and the assault of churches and convents was the cause of the loss of much of the ecclesiastical heritage.

 
MUSHROOMING PLACES
 
The collection sites are in various biotopes, all within 20/30 minutes from the Hotel. The excursions will be made in the cars of the participants.

The importance of the Natural Park in the context of biodiversity in the Iberian Peninsula is exceptional. To date 2,170 species of higher plants have been recorded, which represent 17 % of the European flora and 22 % of the Iberian flora. Among the endemic plants highlight: Cazorla geranium (Geranium cazorlense), Cazorla columbine (Aquilegia cazorlensis), erodio of Cazorla (Erodium cazorlanum), a variety of daffodils (Narcissus longispatus, Narcissus bugei...) and finally, the most emblematic, Cazorla violet (Viola cazorlensis).

 
Aquilegia cazorlensis
Erodium cazorlanum
Narcissus longispatus
Viola cazorlensis
 

Inside the Comarca of Sierra de Cazorla is located one of the areas of maximum protection in the Natural Park, the Natural Reserves of Guadahornillos and Navahondona, with an area of 23,151 hectares, which features a stunning Mediterranean forests at Fresnedilla and Roblehondo dominated by oak (Quercus ilex subsp. ballota), oaks (Quercus faginea), accompanied by juniper (Juniperus oxycedrus, Juniperus phoenicea) and madrone (Arbutus unedo).

The pinewoods are present in three fundamental types of pines: the black pine (Pinus nigra subsp. salzmannii), the Corsican or resinero (Pinus pinaster) and Aleppo (Pinus halepensis).

 
Pino Collado Tres Cruces
Pinus nigra subsp. salzmannii
Pinus pinaster
Pino Tres Cruces
 
The black pine, in the highest areas, is very resistant and supports extreme soil, water and temperature conditions. It has a straight pre-sence, with long, flexible needles and small co-nes, a much apprecia-ted wood and is very long-lived. He is accom-panied by creeping juniper (Juniperus sa-bina), juniper (Junipe-rus communis) and hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna).

At intermediate altitudes appears the European Black pine, which has a crust cracked with age, traversed by furrows between violet and red. Its needles are stiff and with a sharp end and sat pineapples. This pine forest undergrowth is associated with species, such as cornicabra or Cornita (Pistacia terebinthus), maples (Acer monspessulanum and A. granatense), juniper (Juniperus oxycedrus) and lavender (Lavandula latifolia).

In the lowest places, dry and sunny, we find the Aleppo pine, with the upper trunk and branches whitish, globular cup, thin, flexible sheets and elongated cones that turns on the stems. As always, they are not alone, and under their shadow we found: mastic (Pistacia lentiscus), Kermes oak (Quercus coccifera) and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), among others.

We also contemplate the passage of time in some ancient yew stumps (Taxus baccata), some of them, perhaps, the most long-lived and large in the entire European continent, as the one located in these mountains, with 6.20 meters of perimeter and an age of about 2,000 years.

Arces
Tejo milenario
 

Although predominant, the pines are not the only players. Oaks are part of this great forest. While the evergreen and coriaceous oaks (Quercus rotundifolia), will endure dry, sunny conditions, the gall oak (Quercus faginea), requires fresh areas, moist and deep soils.

 

As is the case in the pines, oaks are not isolated, but accompanied with many other species. In the oak we can find: barberry (Phillyrea latifolia) and madrone (Arbutus unedo). In areas with extreme conditions: Mastic (Pistacia lentiscus) and Kermes oak (Quercus coccifera).

 

Encina
By contrast, in the gall oak dominant areas maples (Acer monspessulanum and A. granatense) and Cerecinos (Prunus mahaleb) are common. In the wetter areas, the gall, or oak as called by the Highlanders, is associated with boxwood (Buxus sempervirens).

Finally, along the many streams, gallery forests made by ashes (Fraxinus angustifolia), willows (Salix atrocinerea and S. fragilis) and black poplar (Populus nigra) are accompanied by brambles and form a typical and beautiful riverside landscape.

Crataegus monogyna
Olmo
Olivar en Linares
 
If weather conditions are favorable, forests in both plains, hills or mountainous terrains, will provide rare and interesting species, for either the expert or simple amateur mycologist.
 
Arrhenia spathulata
Auriscalpium vulgare
Calocybe gambosa
Arrhenia spathulata.
Auriscalpium vulgare.
Calocybe gambosa.
Clavariadelphus flavoimmaturus
Clavulina rugosa
Dendrocollybia racemosa
Clavariadelphus flavoimmaturus.
Clavulina rugosa.
Dendrocollybia racemosa.
Galerina marginata
Ganoderma lucidum
Guepinia helvelloides
Galerina marginata.
Ganoderma lucidum.
Guepinia helvelloides.
Hygrocybe conica
Hygrophorus aureus
Macrotyphula juncea
Hygrocybe conica.
Hygrophorus aureus.
Macrotyphula juncea.
Merismodes anomala
Omphalotus olearius
Peziza violacea
Merismodes anomala.
Omphalotus olearius.
Peziza violacea.
Phaeomarasmius erinaceus
Pilobolus crystallinus var. kleinii
Pisolithus arhizus
Phaeomarasmius erinaceus.
Pilobolus crystallinus var. kleinii.
Pisolithus arhizus.
Psathyrella candolleana
Puccinia hordei-maritimi
Rimbachia arachnoidea
Psathyrella candolleana.
Puccinia hordei-maritimi.
Rimbachia arachnoidea.
Sarcosphaera coronaria
Sphaerobolus stellatus
Spinellus fusiger parasitando 
Mycena seynii
Sarcosphaera coronaria.
Sphaerobolus stellatus.
Spinellus fusiger parasitizing Mycena seynii.
Tarzetta catinus
Tricholoma caligatum
Tricholomopsis rutilans
Tarzetta catinus.
Tricholoma caligatum.
Tricholomopsis rutilans.
Verpa conica
Xerocomus ichnusanus
 
Xerocomus ichnusanus.
Xylaria hypoxylon
Unless otherwise indicated in the picture, the photographies are property of the Asociación Desarrollo Rural Sierra de Cazorla, to whom we are grateful because they ceeded photos.
Verpa conica.
Xylaria hypoxylon.
 
 
 
Asociación Botánica y Micológica de Jaén