For all researches, please visit our "Peer-reviewed publications" page.
Araújo R, Assis J, Aguillar R, Airoldi L, Bárbara I, Bartsch I et al. (2016)
Biodiversity and Conservation 25(7) 1319-1348.
A comprehensive expert consultation was conducted in order to assess the status, trends and the most important drivers of change in the abundance and geographical distribution of kelp forests in European waters. This consultation included an on-line questionnaire, results from a workshop and data provided by a selected group of experts working on kelp forest mapping and eco-evolutionary research. Differences in status and trends according to geographical areas, species identity and small-scale variations within the same habitat where shown by assembling and mapping kelp distribution and trend data. Significant data gaps for some geographical regions, like the Mediterranean and the southern Iberian Peninsula, were also identified. The data used for this study confirmed a general trend with decreasing abundance of some native kelp species at their southern distributional range limits and increasing abundance in other parts of their distribution (Saccharina latissima and Saccorhiza polyschides). The expansion of the introduced species Undaria pinnatifida was also registered. Drivers of observed changes in kelp forests distribution and abundance were assessed using experts’ opinions. Multiple possible drivers were identified, including global warming, sea urchin grazing, harvesting, pollution and fishing pressure, and their impact varied between geographical areas. Overall, the results highlight major threats for these ecosystems but also opportunities for conservation. Major requirements to ensure adequate protection of coastal kelp ecosystems along European coastlines are discussed, based on the local to regional gaps detected in the study.
Keyword: Kelp forests Expert consultation Status and tempor
Calleja J, Mingorance L, Lara F (2016)
Epiphytic Bryophyte Communities of Prunus lusitanica Iberian Forests: Biogeographic Islands Shaped by Regional Climates
Cryptogamie, Bryologie 37(1) 53-85.
Epiphytic communities of Iberian forests remain partly unknown and most studies have focused on the dominant oak forests. We provide a comprehensive analysis and interpretation of the epiphytic bryophyte communities of forests dominated by the Tertiary relict evergreen cherry Prunus lusitanica. This type of forest, scattered in the western and northern half of the Iberian Peninsula, harbours a noticeable richness of epiphytic bryophytes, including an outstanding number of liverwort species. Their floristic composition varies markedly across the Peninsula yet is driven by the main climate patterns prevailing in the area. Multivariate analyses (TWINSPAN, CCA) render two main groups of epiphytic communities with their respective indicator species. Both groups share a high proportion of non-Mediterranean species, a circumstance that is most remarkable in the forests that fall within the Mediterranean Region, which could be considered as ecological refuges or biogeographic islands.
Keywords: Bryoflora, Iberian Peninsula, biodiversity, biogeographic elements, distribution, epiphytes, liverworts, mosses, species richness
Cardador L, Carrete M, Gallardo B, Tella J (2016)
Combining trade data and niche modelling improves predictions of the origin and distribution of non-native European populations of a globally invasive species
Journal of Biogeography.
Aim Although propagule pressure and environmental constraints are among the most important factors determining invasion success, studies considering both factors simultaneously are scarce. Moreover, while recent evidence suggests that the environmental requirements of individuals from different geographical ranges may be different, the role of propagule origin in invasions has been largely overlooked. Our aim was to disentangle the relative role of niche requirements, propagule origin and propagule pressure on the distribution of an invasive bird species. Location Europe, Asia and Africa. Methods We used species distribution models, niche and deviance partitioning analyses to investigate the relative roles of propagule pressure (international trade), origin of individuals (Asian or African), and environmental constraints in determining the distribution of invasive ring-necked parakeets across 25 European countries. Results Differences between niches of native Asian and African parakeets were found, with the Asian niche matching the European niche more closely. In the invasive European range, distribution of parakeets was mainly explained by the pure effect of year of first importation (as a proxy of time since first introduction), the pure effect of geographical origin of propagules and the joint effect of environmental suitability and year of first importation, but not by overall propagule pressure. Only when taking into account the fraction of individuals whose native niche fitted better the European conditions – Asian parakeets – was the role of propagule pressure highlighted by models. Main conclusions While environmental-based predictions calibrated on native ranges can constitute a useful first-screening tool, incorporating information about propagule pressure and especially about the variability in its geographical origin may result in a much more thorough assessment of invasion risk. Trade data reveal as a valuable proxy of propagule origin and pressure that can be combined with niche modelling for predicting the fate of trade-mediated invasions in a variety of organisms.
Keywords: Psittacula krameri, geographical origin, habitat suitability, international trade, invasive risks, propagule pressure, ring-necked parakeet
Delgado-Baquerizo M, Reich P, García-Palacios P, Milla R (2016)
We lack both a theoretical framework and solid empirical data to understand domestication impacts on plant chemistry. We hypothesised that domestication increased leaf N and P to support high plant production rates, but biogeographic and climate patterns further influenced the magnitude and direction of changes in specific aspects of chemistry and stoichiometry. To test these hypotheses, we used a data set of leaf C, N and P from 21 herbaceous crops and their wild progenitors. Domestication increased leaf N and/or P for 57% of the crops. Moreover, the latitude of the domestication sites (negatively related to temperature) modulated the domestication effects on P (+), C (-), N : P (-) and C : P (-) ratios. Further results from a litter decomposition assay showed that domestication effects on litter chemistry affected the availability of soil N and P. Our findings draw attention to evolutionary effects of domestication legacies on plant and soil stoichiometry and related ecosystem services (e.g. plant yield and soil fertility).
Keywords: T-physiology hypothesis, decomposition, growth rate hypothesis, nutrient cycling, rops, soil age hypothesis
Duan R, Kong X, Huang M, Varela S, Ji X (2016)
The potential effects of climate change on amphibian distribution, range fragmentation and turnover in China
Many studies predict that climate change will cause species movement and turnover, but few studies have considered the effect of climate change on range fragmentation for current species and/or populations. We used MaxEnt to predict suitable habitat, fragmentation and turnover for 134 amphibian species in China under 40 future climate change scenarios spanning four pathways (RCP2.6, RCP4.5, RCP6 and RCP8.5) and two time periods (the 2050s and 2070s). Our results show that climate change will cause a major shift in the spatial patterns of amphibian diversity. Suitable habitats for over 90% of species will be located in the north of the current range, for over 95% of species in higher altitudes, and for over 75% of species in the west of the current range. The distributions of species predicted to move westwards, southwards and to higher altitudes will contract, while the ranges of the species not showing these trends will expand. Amphibians will lose 20% of their original ranges on average; the distribution outside current ranges will increase by 15%. Climate change will likely modify the spatial configuration of climatically suitable areas. Changes in area and fragmentation of climatically suitable patches are related, which means that species may be simultaneously affected by different stressors as a consequence of climate change.
Keywords: Amphibians, Climate impacts, Dispersal, Distribution, Fragmentation, MaxEnt, Range shifts, Turnover
Fried G, Caño L, Brunel S, Beteta E, Charpentier A, Herrera M et al. (2016)
Botany Letters 1-27.
AbstractThis account presents information on all aspects of the biology and ecology of Baccharis halimifolia L. that are relevant to understanding its invasive behaviour. The main topics are presented within the framework of the new series of Botany Letters on Monographs on invasive plants in Europe: taxonomy, distribution, history of introduction and spread, ecology (including preferred climate and habitats, responses to abiotic and biotic factors, ecological interactions), biology (including physiology, phenology and reproductive biology), impacts and management. Baccharis halimifolia L. (Asteraceae), groundsel bush, is a broad-leaved shrub native to the coastal area of southeastern North America. Introduced for ornamental and amenity purposes during the nineteenth century, it has become naturalized in several coastal habitats, as well as in disturbed areas of western Europe. The shrub is now common on the Atlantic coast of Europe from northern Spain to Belgium and it is an emerging problem on the Medit...
Keywords: Biogeography, climate, ecophysiology, environmental impacts, germination, habitats, invasion history, management strategies, natural enemies, reproductive biology, salinity, species distribution modelling
García-Redondo V, Bárbara I, Díaz-Tapia P (2016)
First Record of Sexual Structures in Pterosiphonia Parasitica (Rhodomelaceae, Rhodophyta) from the Iberian Peninsula
Thalassas: An International Journal of Marine Sciences 1-4.
Pterosiphonia parasitica is a species of the family Rhodomelaceae that inhabits in the lower intertidal and subtidal of the Atlantic Iberian Peninsula. The first observation of spermatangial branches, procarps and cystocarps in the Iberian Peninsula is reported in this paper
Keyword: Life history Reproductive morphology Sexual reprod
Ja G (2016)
Brachyuran crabs (Crustacea: Decapoda) from the Canary Islands (eastern Atlantic): checklist, zoogeographic considerations and conservation
Scientia Marina 80(1).
Just 20 years have passed since González (1995) finished one of his seminal works on decapod crustaceans of the Canary Islands, thanks to the help of the reputed carcinologists L.B. Holthuis and C.H.J.M. Fransen. This publication allowed d’Udekem d’Acoz (1999) to include the Canarian decapods in his inventory of the NE Atlantic. No checklists of decapod fauna specifically covering this area have been published since then, and an update is needed. The current list of Canarian brachyuran crabs comprises 132 species. Additional species have been recorded thanks to intensified research into deep water, natural range expansions from nearby areas, introduction by anthropogenic activities and description of new taxa; several of these changes are detailed in this review. Although the description of new brachyuran species is not expected to occur at a significant rate, an increase in the number of species from the Canaries is expected to result from trawling and dredging sampling, as well as from introduction of non-native species. For the first time, some zoogeographic comments on the Canarian brachyuran carcinofauna are made. Finally, crab species of commercial interest are listed, their current threats are identified and some updated conservation measures are proposed
Keywords: Brachyura, Canary Islands, Crustacea, Decapoda, checklist, conservation, eastern Atlantic, zoogeography
Nicolas V, Martínez-Vargas J, Hugot J (2016)
Molecular data and ecological niche modelling reveal the evolutionary history of the common and Iberian moles (Talpidae) in Europe
According to mitochondrial data, the common mole, Talpa europaea, is paraphyletic. This could be explained by either an ancient introgression of mtDNA from the Iberian blind mole T. occidentalis to T. europaea, or the existence of a differentiated taxonomic entity in northern Spain that needs to be described. In this study, we combined mitochondrial (Cytb) and nuclear (HDAC2) data to investigate these two alternative hypotheses. Based on both mitochondrial and nuclear data and an extensive geographical sampling (399 sequenced individuals), we show that the populations of T. europaea from Spain and south-western France (south of the Loire River) are phylogenetically closer to T. occidentalis than to T. europaea. The Spanish–French lineage has some morphological characters resembling more to T. occidentalis (e.g. eyes) and others resembling more to T. europaea (external measurements, mesostyle of the first upper molar). It also seems to have several distinctive dental characters, suggesting that it should be recognized as a new species. Within the three lineages, we found a marked phylogeographical pattern, with several allopatric or parapatric lineages, dating from the Pleistocene. Our genetic data combined with species distribution models support the presence of several putative glacial refugia during glacial maxima for each species.
Keywords: Brachyura, Canary Islands, Crustacea, Decapoda, checklist, conservation, eastern Atlantic, zoogeography
Nogué S, Long P, Eycott A, de Nascimento L, Fernández-Palacios J, Petrokofsky G et al. (2016)
Ecological Economics 128 1-7.
Crop pollination by bees has long been recognized as an ecosystem service of huge economic value; a large number of food crops depend upon pollination. Features across landscapes that are important for pollination delivery include: nesting habitats, floral resource availability at foraging distance, and climate. The conditions for presence/absence of pollinators are therefore complex and rely upon a combination of biotic and abiotic factors. To date there has been no easily available method for landowners to determine the potential of pollination delivery across the land effectively and rapidly. In this paper we develop a method that uses freely available datasets to remotely estimate the relative provision of pollination service delivery provided by bees across Europe at a 300m-pixel resolution. We then identify the potential pollination delivery and efficiency across Europe at country and regional level. This study illustrates an approach that obtains a first approximation for land managers to identify potential areas across landscapes to protect in order to enhance pollination service delivery.
Keywords: Ecosystem services, Landscape management, Pollination, Pollinator-dependent crops, Species distribution modeling