Projects

We develop fundamental and applied research projects, funded by public agencies, foundations and private companies. 

Current projects


Protection of key ecosystem services by adaptive management of climate change endangered mediterranean socioecosystems (ADAPTAMED)

EU-LIFE (Climate Change Adaptation). IP for EBD-CSIC: X. Cerdà. 2015-2020.

Current levels of aridity in the Mediterranean appear to be unprecedented in the last 500 years and most climate models predict an increase in temperature and a substantial decrease in rainfall. Mediterranean socio-ecosystems (such as wetlands, high mountain ranges and coasts) and the services they provide are negatively affected by Climate Change and this affection is expected to increase significantly in the future. The AdaptaMED project aims at developing, implementing, monitoring, evaluating and disseminating adaptative management measures for socio-ecosystems identified providing key services such as soil retention, pollination, pasture production, temperature regulation, water provision, and the prevention of forest fires and  desertification. Read more




Improving future ecosystem benefits through earth observations - ECOPOTENTIAL

EU-H2020. Project Coordinator: A. Provenzalle, CNR, Italy. PI for EBD-CSIC: J. Bustamante. 2015-2018.

The ECOPOTENTIAL project focuses its activities and pilot actions on a targeted set of internationally recognised protected areas (PA) in Europe, European Territories and beyond, including mountain, arid and semi-arid, and coastal and marine ecosystems. Building on the knowledge gained in individual PAs, the ECOPOTENTIAL project will address cross-scale ecological interactions and landscape-ecosystem dynamics at regional to continental scales, using geostatistical methods and the emerging novel approaches in Macrosystems Ecology. Read more

Have a look at Doñana's Storyline and Study Site
or at this video explaining the ECOPOTENTIAL project through simple animations.


Sustainable livestock production in protected areas with high inter-annual variation in plant productivity: cows, horses and deer in Doñana National Park - GRAZE

Spanish Ministry of Economy. PI: L. Santamaria. 2017-2019.

In Mediterranean and semiarid areas, large uncertainty in rainfall levels and the associated levels of plant primary production represent a strong constrain for the optimal, sustainable and environmentally-responsible management of free-ranging livestock production, particularly for conservation areas with high abundances of wild ungulates. This project aims at developing long-term criteria and modelling tools for the management of free-ranging livestock in Mediterranean protected areas with high climatic variability, taking the Doñana Protected Area (Espacio Natural Doñana, END) as a case study. Read more 




Do native communities determine the success and impact of biological invasions? - NATALIEN

Spanish Ministry of Economy. PIs: E. Angulo and L. Santamaria. 2014-2016.

Invasive species represent a driver of global change and biodiversity loss, causing extinctions of native species, changes in ecosystem structure and function, and loss of ecosystem services worldwide. Their ability to successfully invade areas in which they have not evolved represents an intriguing ecological and evolutionary paradox. Understanding the reasons behind such paradox will improve our capacity for preventing, controlling and mitigating the impacts of invasions... Read more

Past projects

Genetic Structure of Coastal Phoenicean Juniper forests at Cabrera’s Archipelago: contributions of historical effects and contemporary dispersal by frugivorous birds (GENSABINA).

Spanish Ministry of Environment. PI: L. Santamaría. 2011-2014.

GENSABINA aims at evaluating the combined effect of recent historical events, caused by changes in human activities, and current ecological processes (focusing on see dispersal by frugivores) on the genetic structure of the populations of coastal Phoenicean Juniper (Juniperus phoenicea turbinata) at the Cabrera Archipelago National Park. Read more


Color vision in pollinating insects: beyond the honeybee paradigm (COLVISPOL).
Spanish Ministry of Education. IP: M.A. Rodríguez-Gironés. 2010-2013.
Vision plays a key role in the detection of resources by diurnal pollinators. The anatomy of the eye, the nature of the photoreceptors and the neural connectivity of the visual system differ between insect pollinator groups. This suggests that each insect group could see the world in different shapes and colours, a result that could have important implications for the ecology and evolution of plant-pollinator networks. Read more


Developing a Knowledge Network for European expertise on biodiversity and ecosystem services to inform policy making economic sectors (KNEU). 
Coordination Action, EU FP7 project (grant no. 265299). Project coordinator: C. Nesshowever, UFZ, Germany. PI for IMEDEA-CSIC: L. Santamaria. 2011-2013
KNEU is an initiative by researchers and practitioners to help all societal actors in the field of biodiversity and ecosystem services to make better informed decisions. It aims at developing a recommended design for a scientific biodiversity Network of Knowledge (NoK) to inform policy-makers and other societal actors. Read more

Contribution of remote nutrients and contaminants to atmospheric and biotic deposition at Cabrera’s Archipelago (CONCORDA). 
Spanish Ministry of Agriculture and Environment. PI: A. Jordi. 2011-2013

CONCORDA focus on studying the deposition of  nutrients and contaminants from remote sources, transported by atmospheric and biotic vectors, into the Cabrera Archipelago (E Spain) - as well as their effects on key biotic processes, such as marine and terrestrial productivity. Read more (in Spanish)

The influence of animal mutualists and historical processes on the genetic structure of Levantine-Balearic populations of the ancient Mediterranean shrub Ephedra fragilis (SEAGRAPE).
Spanish Ministry of Education. PI: L. Santamaría. 2011-2012.
In this study, data from genetic markers with different temporal depth resolution will be combined with GIS-based, process-driven, spatially-explicit models of pollen transport and seed dispersal to assess the relative contribution of current ecological processes and relatively recent historical factors (within the last 5,000 years) to the genetic structure of the Levantine-Balearic populations of this ancient Mediterranean shrub. Read more

Environmental effects of the Moulouya River on Morocco’s coastal ecosystems (QueMomar).
Spanish International Cooperation Agency (AECID). PI: Antonio Tovar. 2012-2013.
QUEMOMAR is an interdisciplinary project that analizes the effect of the Oued Moluluya River on moroccan coastal ecosystems. Work includes chemical analyses of water and sediments, as well as a characterization of the physical and biological characteristics of coastal waters. The project also aims at facilitating the transfer of knowledge between the team members and local researchers and environmental managers, to strengthen their own capacity to study physical proceses and trace levels of chemical parameters in marine and coastal waters... Read more (in Spanish and French)

Conservation of seed dispersal mutualism between the rare arboreal marsupial Dromiciops gliroides and the fleshy-fruited epiphytes of austral temperate forests (DOSEL)
BBVA Foundation. PI: L. Santamaría. 2007-2010.
The austral temperate forest from Southern Chile is the privileged habitat of one of the world's rarest mammal: the "monito del monte" (Dromiciops gliroides). This small, arboreal species is probably the world's most primitive marsupial, and the single representative of the order of mammals (the Microbiotheria) with the most restricted distribution worldwide. Dromiciops gliroides inhabits the relict forests of austral Chile, an habitat characterized by an exceptional ecological and evolutive history , which survived tectonic processes and large climatic changes, maintaining an ancestral botanical and ecological legacy with numerous plant and animal endemisms. Read more