Reunion Supper

Last Sunday, we received the visit of Ainhoa Magrach - a former PhD from the Lab who is now working at Laurance's Lab in Cairns, Australia. This, together with the return of Lucía and Martin (who had been away for a few months), was the perfect excuse to have a long lunch. A good occasion to remember that having good fun together is a key element for doing good work together.


La verdad a secas de los humedales

This strip, stressing the ecosystem services provided by wetlands, conmemorate the World Wetlands Day. It was done by one of the coolest enviornmental and science-cartoonists in Europe: Seppo Leinonen.

Follow the link to his page, where Spanish and French versions of the strip - as well as many other great cartoons are posted:


Some dry facts of wetlands


Impact of fragmentation on forest epiphytes

This autumn we are reaping the fruits of a long period of work - by a bunch of fantastic PhD students and postdoctoral researchers. Here goes another one, from Ainhoa Magrach's thesis:

Magrach, A., Larrinaga A.R. & Santamaría L. (2012) Internal habitat quality, rather than the configuration of remnant patches, determines the effects of fragmentation on Austral forest epiphytes. PLoS One 7: e48743.

(In the picture, the mistletoe Tristerix corymbosus, one of the study species.)

Ainhoa is now at the Laurance Lab in Cairns, Australia, where she keeps doing work on the effects of fragmentation on interspecific interactions -  and making us jealous with awesome pictures of her study systems...


Our Lab supports Open Access

Even if we have difficulties to afford it, at current prices...

Have a look at this video that explains, with cunning and humour, the why's and how's of Open Access Journals

Rats resistant to control

A still-ongoing study reported in BBC News and Science Daily shows that repeated control using rodenticides (such as Bromadiolone and Difenacoum) is causing the evolution of resistance in rats: up to 75% of rats in Bristol, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire (UK) had built up a resistance. Besides representing a telling example of real-time evolution, these results suggest that traditional approaches to pest control may - by ignoring evolutionary processes, backfire and promote further the invasion process (as bites become food for resistant rat individuals and  rodenticides harm their predators).

Rats are the most ubiquitous invasive species on insular ecosystems, being present in almost 90% of the world's islands. At the LSE, the PhD thesis of Lucía Latorre focuses on the impact and management of "invasion complexes", groups of co-occurring invasive species that establish positive or negative inter-relations (e.g., as predator and prey - such as black rats and feral cats). We'll keep you updated of her results.


In Brussels, for a meeting of the BiodiversityKnowledge Project

Luis Santamaría is in Brussels, for a meeting of the BiodiversityKnowledge Project.

The Laboratory of Spatial Ecology participates in the project, bringing in its expertise in collaborative adaptive management. At this point, we are actively engaged in the Marine Biodiversity case study, which incorporates a comparative use of the three methodologies outlines in the NoK protocol (expert assessment, systematic review and collaborative adaptive management).


Pablo Guitian joins us to complete the sampling of Coastal Juniper at Cabrera Archipelago

Pablo Guitian joined us last week to complete the sampling of the last populations of Coastal Juniper (Juniperus phoenicea turbinata) at Conillera Islet, Cabrera Archipelago, and desitgn the autumn-winter survey and experiments of project GENSABINA.

Conillera's terrein was about the roughest we encountered to date at the islands, but we enjoyed the great weather, the calmed sea - and the early bloom of a few individuals of Narcisus tazetta.

Asier and Pablo georeferencing Coastal Junipers at Conillera. Behind are the L'Esponga, Na Plana, Na Pobra and Na Foradada Islets and, far away, the highest peaks of Mallorca's Tramuntana Mountains.


Back from Cornell - and right into the field

Luis Santamaría was back from his six-month sabbatical leave at Cornell University, right on time to join the first field survey of the PARIS project, together with Elena Gomez Díaz (Institut de Biologia Evolutiva, CSIC-UPF); Jordi Figuerola, David Roiz y Carlos Moreno (Estación Biológica de Doñana, CSIC); and Asier R. Larrinaga (from the LSE at IMEDEA).

The PARIS project, coordinated by Elena Gomez Díaz, analyzes the blood parasites of Balearic wall lizards Podarcis lilfordii and P. pityusensis, as well as the role of their vectors (mosquitos, mites and tics) and the ecological setting in which the interaction takes place. The field survey included sites at Ibiza, Formentera, Sa Dragonera and Cabrera Islands.

Clockwise: One of our field sites, at Sa Dragonera Islet. David, handling his MosquitoBuster in search of fed females; next to him, one of the suction traps used to sample mosquitos.Elena taking a small blood sample from introduced Podarcis pityusensis at Illetes. A large male of Podarcis lilfordi from Sa Dragonera.