Facilitating transitions towards adaptive governance in the Doñana region

Next Thursday 11th 2014, at 11:00, Pablo Fernández Méndez will defend his PhD Thesis at the Universitat de les Illes Balears (Mallorca).

Pablo's thesis focuses on the need for transitions from command-and-control schemes towards more flexible, participatory and adaptive approaches to policy and decision making: specifically, adaptive governance and adaptive management.

If you are around Palma next month, please feel welcome to join us. If not, you can have a look at Pablo's papers at Ecology & Society and Evolutionary Applications - and keep an eye here for the ones to come.


Space, time and complexity in plant dispersal ecology

A review led by Juanjo Robredo-Arnuncio, in which eight different avenues for the development of plant dispersal research are discussed, has been published in Movement Ecology:

Robledo-Arnuncio JJ, Klein EK, Muller-Landau HC and Santamaría L Space, time and complexity in plant dispersal ecology. Movement Ecology 2014, 2:16

Movement Ecology is a young and thriving journal. It is also open access, so don't miss the chance to have a look at this paper.


High connectivity in European inland-water taxa

A new paper, included in Duarte Viana's PhD Thesis, is now in early view: 

Viana, D., Santamaría, L., Schwenk, K., Manca, M., Hobaek, A., Mjelde, M., Preston, C.D., Gornall, R.J., Croft, J., King, R., Green, A.J., Figuerola, J.(2014) Environment and biogeography drive aquatic plant and cladoceran species richness across Europe. Freshwater Biology.

The paper builds on a survey carried out during EU-project LAKES to show that environmental filters and biogeography, but not dispersal, are the two major drivers of species richness in two major inland-water taxa (waterfleas and aquatic plants) across Europe.


Eggs on ricefields

Spring is coming to an end and, with it, the breeding season of most waders here. But some of them go for a late round of breeding in the rice fields, which were recently flooded and sown.

Last week, we joined Jordi Figuerola for field work and found, along the dikes separating the different rice plots, numerous nests of Kentish plover, black-winged stilt and collared pratincoles. They ranged from rudimentary nests to mere excavations on the ground, with eggs rather difficult to spot - even in some of these close-ups.

Can you see them?


Long distance dispersal by migratory birds

Next Monday 28th 2014, at 11:00, Duarte Viana will defend his PhD Thesis at the Universidad Pablo de Olavide (Sevilla).

Duarte is a member of Jordi Figuerola's Group at EBD. His thesis focuses on the long-distance dispersal of plant seeds and animal resting eggs by migratory birds, and includes:
- 1D models of propagule dispersal by migratory birds
- an observational experiment testing for the actual occurrence of seeds in the guts of birds engaged in migratory flights
- the results of a continental-wide survey of aquatic biodiversity
- a manipulative experiment testing the role plaid by two components of biotic resistance (diversity resistance and priority effects) during the (re)colonization of Doñana's temporary ponds.

If you are around Sevilla next Monday, don't miss it. If not, you can check the two modelling papers in AmNat and Ecography - and keep posted for an update on the publication of chapters currently under review.


Metaanalysis on the effects of forest fragmentation on species interactions

A team of four led by Ainhoa Magrach, a former SEG PhD-er  now based at ETH Zürich, uses meta-analytical techniques to evaluate whether mutualisms are more sensitive than antagonisms to the negative effects of forest fragmentation.

The paper is on early view in Conservation Biology:

Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Forest Fragmentation on Interspecific Interactions


Sampling Phoenicean Juniper in Cabrera Island

Last week, a team of six researchers undertook the main field activity of project Gensabina in the 2013-14 wintering season: sampling the gentic structure of a population of Phoenicean Juniper (Juniperus phoenicea) in Cabrera Island.

The work took place at Cala Santa María, one of the most isolated Juniper populations present on the island. It  involved accurate geo-referencing and sampling >1,100 junipers of different life stages (from saplings to reproductive adults), a challenging task given rough slopes were they grow - as you may appreciate in some of the pictures.

The sampling team included three members of Gensabina: Carles Molina (who joined us as field and lab technician last October: welcome!), Pablo Guitian (USC) and Luis Santamría (EBD); and three Master students of the Anglia Ruskin University: Sarah J. Evans, Suzanne Makki and Martina J. Bristow.  It was a week of intense work but, despite a couple of days of heavy wind, we were able to enjoy Cabrera's sunny weather and awsome landscapes.