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(CIDE) Artículos post-print
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Facilitation can increase the phylogenetic diversity of plant communities - Valiente-Banuet, Alfonso; Verdú, M.
With the advent of molecular phylogenies the assessment of community assembly processes has become a central topic in community ecology. These processes have focused almost exclusively on habitat filtering and competitive exclusion. Recent evidence, however, indicates that facilitation has been important in preserving biodiversity over evolutionary time, with recent lineages conserving the regeneration niches of older, distant lineages. Here we test whether, if facilitation among distant-related species has preserved the regeneration niche of plant lineages, this has increased the phylogenetic diversity of communities. By analyzing a large worldwide database of species, we showed that the regeneration niches were strongly conserved...
Temporal shifts from facilitation to competition occur between closely related taxa - Valiente-Banuet, Alfonso; Verdú, M.
1. The relative contribution of positive and negative interactions to the organization of ecological communities is an important area, though poorly understood because of the complexity inherent to long-term interactions. For example, positive interactions like plant facilitation turn into negative interactions (competition) along the ontogeny of a plant or in response to temporal fluctuations in the environment. Furthermore, when many plants grow together indirect effects are usually positive and alleviate direct competitive effects.
2. The large number of direct and indirect interactions potentially occurring in natural communities and the temporal scale necessary to account for the ontogenetic shifts in the...
Early to rise makes a plant healthy, wealthy, and wise - Luis, Martín de; Verdú, M.; Raventós, José
Seedling emergence time is a crucial event in the life cycle of a plant, determining its fitness via different components including survival, growth, and fecundity. Precocious emergents usually survive, grow, and/or reproduce earlier in the life cycle, but for perennials it is unknown whether these benefits are maintained throughout the life of the plant. Here, we examine for the first time whether fitness benefits due to the early emergence of perennial plants are perpetuated or vanish with time. For nine years, in a Mediterranean gorse community, we followed the fate of 2118 seedlings belonging to the four dominant woody species....
Meta-analysis of meta-analyses in plant evolutionary - Castellanos, María Clara; Verdú, M.
After two decades of meta-analyses on plant traits, we can now look for global emergent patterns in plant evolutionary ecology. Hundreds of meta-analyses have focused on
the effects of specific selection pressures on plant fitness, and the buildup of such results allows us to ask general questions regarding selection pressures and plant responses, a major focus of evolutionary ecology. Plant traits are affected by both abiotic and biotic factors. For example, biotic pressures like herbivory may affect physiological (i.e. secondary defences)
and reproductive (i.e. seed predation) traits. Similarly, abiotic pressures such as increased CO2 may affect both plant physiology and reproduction. We...
The role of seed traits in determining the phylogenetic structure of temperate plant communities - Vandelook, Filip; Verdú, M.; Honnay, Olivier
Phylogenetic clustering of species within plant communities can be expected to result from environmental filtering acting on an evolutionary-conserved plant trait. One such a candidate trait is the embryo to seed-size ratio (E:S). A high E:S may allow faster germination immediately after imbibition, and is therefore assumed to be advantageous in dry habitats. In this study the hypothesis was tested that habitat filtering driven by soil moisture conditions and acting on seed germination and seedling establishment is an important ecological mechanism in structuring temperate plant communities. Vegetation samplings were performed in three habitats located within 200 km of each other...
Genders in Juniperus thurifera have different functional responses to variations in nutrient availability - Montesinos, D.; Villar Salvador, Pedro; García-Fayos, P.; Verdú, M.
Differences in reproductive investment can trigger asymmetric, context-dependent, functional strategies between genders in dioecious species. However, little is known about the gender responses of dioecious species to nutrient availability. We experimentally fertirrigated a set of male and female Juniperus thurifera trees monthly for 2 yr. Water potential, photosynthesis rate and stomatal conductance were measured monthly for 2 yr, while shoot nitrogen (N) concentration, carbon isotopic composition (d13C), branch growth, trunk radial growth and reproductive investment per branch were measured yearly. Control males had lower gas exchange rates and radial growth but greater reproductive investment and higher water use efficiency (WUE;...
The network structure of plant-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi - Montesinos-Navarro, Alicia; Segarra-Moragues, José G.; Valiente-Banuet, Alfonso; Verdú, M.
Ecological network theory predicts that in mutualistic systems specialists tend to interact with a subset of species with which generalists interact (i.e. nestedness). Approaching plant-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) association using network analyses will allow the generality of this pattern to be expanded to the ubiquitous plant-AMF mutualism. • Based on certain plant-AMF specificity recently suggested, networks are expected to be nested as a result of their mutualistic nature, and modular, with certain species interacting more tightly than others. Network analyses were used to test for nestedness and modularity and to compare the different contribution of plant and AMF to the...
Influence of organic matter transformations on the bioavailability of heavy metals - Ingelmo Sánchez, Florencio; Molina, M. J.; Soriano, María Desamparados; Gallardo, Antonio
The agricultural use of anaerobically digested sewage sludge (ADSS) as stable, mature compost implies knowing its total content in heavy metals and their bioavailability. This depends not only on the initial characteristics of the composted substrates but also on the organic matter transformations during composting which may influence the chemical form of the metals and their bioavailability.
The objective of this work was to examine the relationships between the changes in the organic matter content and humus fractions, and the bioavailability of heavy metals.
A detailed sampling at 0, 14, 84, and 140 days of the composting process was performed to measure...
Soil saturated hydraulic conductivity assessment from expert evaluation of field characteristics using an ordered logistic regression model - Ingelmo Sánchez, Florencio; Molina, M. J.; Paz Bécares, José Miguel de; Visconti Reluy, Fernando
The knowledge of the soil saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) is essential for irrigation management purposes and for hydrological modelling. Several attempts have been done to estimate Ks in base of a
number of soil parameters. However, a reliable enough model for qualitative Ks estimation based on the expert assessment of field characteristics had not been developed up to date. Five field characteristics,
namely macroporosity (M), stoniness (S), texture (T), compaction (C) and sealing (L), in addition to tillage (G) were carefully assessed according to three classes each, in 202 sites in an agricultural irrigated area in Eastern Mediterranean Spain. After the evaluation...
Mediterranean cork oak savannas require human use to sustain biodiversity and ecosystem services - Bugalho, Miguel N.; Caldeira, María C.; Pereira, João Santos; Aronson, James; Pausas, J.G.
Mediterranean cork oak savannas, which are found only in southwestern Europe and northwestern Africa, are ecosystems of high socioeconomic and conservation value. Characterized by sparse tree cover and a diversity of understory vegetation - ranging from shrub formations to grasslands - that support high levels of biodiversity, these ecosystems require active management and use by humans to ensure their continued existence. The most important product of these savannas is cork, a non-timber forest product that is periodically harvested without requiring tree felling. Market devaluation of, and lower demand for, cork are causing a decline in management, or even abandonment, of...
Long-term deforestation in NW Spain: linking the Holocene fire history to vegetation change and human activities - Kaal, Joeri; Carrión Marco, Yolanda; Asouti, Eleni; Martín Seijo, Maria; Martínez Cortizas, Antonio; Costa Casáis, Manuela; Criado Boado, Felipe
The Holocene fire regime is thought to have had a key role in deforestation and shrubland expansion in Galicia (NW Spain) but the contribution of past societies to vegetation burning remains poorly understood. This may be, in part, due to the fact that detailed fire records from areas in close proximity to archaeological sites are scarce. To fill this gap, we performed charcoal analysis in five colluvial soils from an archaeological area (Campo Lameiro) and compared the results to earlier studies from this area and palaeo-ecological literature from NW Spain. This analysis allowed for the reconstruction of the vegetation and...
Holocene vegetation changes in NW Iberia revealed by anthracological and palynological records from a colluvial soil - Carrión Marco, Yolanda; Kaal, Joeri; López-Sáez, José Antonio; López-Merino, Lourdes; Martínez Cortizas, Antonio
Macroscopic charcoal, pollen and non-pollen palynomorphs were isolated from a colluvial soil located on a small hill in Campo Lameiro (NW Spain) in order to elucidate the vegetation history of the area and its relation to fire and human activities. The presence of macroscopic charcoal throughout the 2.10 m thick soil (42 samples) is evidence of frequent fires during the last c. 6300 years. The charcoal record was dominated by Quercus (probably Q. robur), Ericaceae (probably Arbutus unedo and Erica arborea) and Fabaceae (mainly Genista type). Abrupt changes in the charcoal assemblage are less explicit in the pollen sequence, probably...
Holocene fire activity and vegetation response in South-Eastern Iberia - Gil-Romera, Graciela; Carrión, José S.; Pausas, J.G.; Sevilla-Callejo, Miguel; Lamb, Henry F.; Fernández, Santiago; Burjachs, Francesc
Since fire has been recognized as an essential disturbance in Mediterranean landscapes, the study of long-term fire ecology has developed rapidly. We have reconstructed a sequence of vegetation dynamics and fire changes across south-eastern Iberia by coupling records of climate, fire, vegetation and human activities. We calculated fire activity anomalies (FAAs) in relation to 3 ka cal BP for 10-8 ka cal BP, 6 ka cal BP, 4 ka cal BP and the present. For most of the Early to the Mid-Holocene uneven, but low fire events were the main vegetation driver at high altitudes where broadleaved and coniferous trees...
Modelling soil moisture at SMOS scale by use of a SVAT model over the Valencia Anchor Station - Juglea, S.; Kerr, Y.; Mialon, A.; Wigneron, J.P.; López-Baeza, E.; Cano, A.; Albitar, A.; Millán-Scheiding, C.; Antolín, M.C.; Delwart, S.
The main goal of the SMOS (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity) mission is to deliver global fields of surface soil moisture and sea surface salinity using L-band (1.4 GHz) radiometry. Within the context of the Science preparation for SMOS, the Valencia Anchor Station (VAS) experimental site, in Spain, was chosen to be one of the main test sites in Europe for Calibration/Validation (Cal/Val) activities. In this framework, the paper presents an approach consisting in accurately simulating a whole SMOS pixel by representing the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of the soil moisture fields over the wide VAS surface (50x50 km(2)). Ground...
Root traits explain different foraging strategies between resprouting life histories - Paula, S.; Pausas, J.G.
Drought and fire are prevalent disturbances in Mediterranean ecosystems. Plant species able to regrow after severe disturbances (i. e. resprouter life history) have higher allocation to roots and higher water potential during the dry season than coexisting non-resprouting species. However, seedlings of non-resprouters have a higher survival rate after summer drought. We predict that, to counteract their shallow-rooting systems and to maximize seedling survival, non-resprouters have root traits that confer higher efficiency in soil resource acquisition than resprouters. We tested this prediction in seedlings of less than 1.5 months old. We select 13 coexisting woody species (including both resprouters and...
Morphological traits and water use strategies in seedlings of Mediterranean coexisting species - Hernández, E.I.; Vilagrosa, A.; Pausas, J.G.; Bellot, J.
The distribution of plants is associated with their different patterns of response to their environment. Mediterranean plants have evolved a number of morphological and physiological adaptations that determine their ability to survive and grow, being an effective water uptake and use important factors for drought resistance. In this article, we evaluated interspecific differences in morphology, biomass allocation, and architectural traits and their relationship with water use strategies in seedlings of seven co-occurring Mediterranean species (Anthyllis cytisoides L., Genista scorpius L. DC., Myrtus communis L., Pistacia lentiscus L., Rosmarinus officinalis L., Spartium junceum L. and Ulex parviflorus Pourr.). The results showed...
Ecological interactions are evolutionarily conserved across the entire tree of life - Gómez, J.M.; Verdú, M.; Perfectti, F.
Ecological interactions are crucial to understanding both the ecology and the evolution of organisms(1,2). Because the phenotypic traits regulating species interactions are largely a legacy of their ancestors, it is widely assumed that ecological interactions are phylogenetically conserved, with closely related species interacting with similar partners(2). However, the existing empirical evidence is inadequate to appropriately evaluate the hypothesis of phylogenetic conservatism in ecological interactions, because it is both ecologically and taxonomically biased. In fact, most studies on the evolution of ecological interactions have focused on specialized organisms, such as some parasites or insect herbivores(3-7), belonging to a limited subset of...
Water repellency and moisture content spatial variations under Rosmarinus officinalis and Quercus cocciferanext term in previous terma Mediterranean burned soil - Gimeno-García, Eugenia; Pascual, Juan Antonio; Llovet, Joan
Variations in the distribution pattern of soil water repellency (SWR) and soil moisture are of major importance for the hydrological and geomorphological processes in Mediterranean burned areas, and also for
their ecological implications concerning to re-establishment of the vegetation cover. This paper studies the influence of Rosmarinus officinalis L. and Quercus coccifera L. vegetated patches on SWR and their relationships with soil moisture content (SMC) and soil organic matter (SOM) in burned and unburned calcareous soils of a
Mediterranean shrubland ecosystem, considering the first rainfall event occurred after the wildfire in Les Useres (Castellón, eastern Spain).
In a burnt SSE facing hillslope (739605...
Olea europaea L. in the North Mediterranean basin during the Pleniglacial and the Early–Middle Holocene - Carrión Marco, Yolanda; Ntinou, Maria; Badal, Ernestina
The paper aims to define the natural distribution of Olea europaea L. var sylvestris (Miller) Lehr. in the North Mediterranean basin during the Pleniglacial and the Early-Middle Holocene by means of the identification of its wood-charcoal and/or wood at prehistoric sites For this purpose we have reviewed the previously available information and we have combined it with new wood-charcoal analyses data We have taken under consideration the presence and frequency of 0 europaea L in the available wood-charcoal sequences, the characteristics of the accompanying flora, the associated chrono-cultural contexts, the broader biogeographical context and the AMS dates provided by Olea...