Ecological biogeography and macroecology

This group strives to discover and interpret historic and spatial patterns in nature, i.e., biodiversity, their causes and the processes that have given rise to them. We have looked at the different levels on which geographical patterns are manifested —landscapes and plant and animal communities, species (mainly vascular plants and birds), and populations— and used molecular tools to detect phylogeographic patterns.

Biogeography often involves aspects related to endemic species with a restricted distribution, and also diversity or endemism, which has often led us along a conservationist line with the application of what has come to be called conservation biogeography.

We also work on the reconstruction of landscapes and plant communities on the basis of sedimentary sequences of pollen, spores and other fossil evidence (palaeoecology). These tools allow us to study the evolution of floristic assemblages and vegetation landscapes, and the climatic and anthropic factors that have influenced them.

Some of our major projects:

  • CGL2010-22119. Fragmentación de bosques en España y Europa y probabilidades de extinción de especies forestales de animales y plantas, IP: M.Á. Rodríguez Fernández (UAM, UAH, UC Irvine, UF Goias) 2011-2013.
  • CGL2013-48768-P. Identificando síndromes de sensibilidad a la Fragmentación de hábitats en plantas y aves holárticas, IP: M.Á. Rodríguez Fernández (UAM, UAH, UC Irvine, UF Goias) 2014-2017.
  • CGL2011-28177. Mecanismos bióticos y abióticos que determinan la distribución y coexistencia de especies en gradientes altitudinales, IP Paola Laiolo (UNIOVI, UAM) 2012-2014.
  • CGL2012-33063. Dinámica de la vegetación Mediterránea: Los cambios climáticos abruptos y la influencia del fuego en el N.E. de la Península Ibérica durante el Pleistoceno Superior y el Holoceno, IP P. González Sampériz (IPE-CSIC, UAM) 2013-2015.
  • CGL2015-69160-R. Dinámica, monitorización y calibración de la vegetación mediterránea en respuesta al calentamiento en series temporales largas. IP: P. González Sampériz (IPE-CSIC, UAM) 2016-2019.