This paper aims to contribute to a better understanding of the history of biology and forestry in Portugal. It will focus on the one state-owned cork oak station devoted to forestry research, showing how its foresters and scientists shaped, and relied on, the state-controlled unions, both for producing and distributing varieties of cork oak and for controlling the seeds and plants forest owners used. Portugal played a very special role in the international development of Mediterranean forest genetics during the first half of the twentieth century. Forestry genetics were decisive for the Estado Novo government, and the Alcobaça Station became a model for the future organization of other countries’ applied forestry research centers. The paper shows how the milieu of forestry scientists and breeders played an important role in the development and institutionalization of genetics in Portugal. The paper will explore how these relationships made it possible for the scientists to test, multiply, and distribute the seeds and plants they produced at the laboratory throughout the Portuguese landscape, thus demonstrating the role of scientists as active agents of state formation and landscape transformation within a corporate political economy. The history of the Alcobaça Forest Station is an important example of fascist institution building.
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