Alberto Vilagrosa

Alberto Vilagrosa
Centro de Estudios Ambientales del Mediterráneo | CEAM · Joint Research Unit University of Alicante - CEAM

PhD.
Research in ecological restoration of degraded ecosystems focused on the effects of global change and extreme events

About

120
Publications
63,935
Reads
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Introduction
I conduct research in plant physiological ecology in relation to ecological restoration of degraded ecosystems. Research lines: A. Plant stock quality for resforestation B. Ecological restoration of degraded Mediterranean ecosystems C. Functional ecology of Mediterranean plants For more information: http://avilagrosa.weebly.com/
Additional affiliations
August 2019 - November 2020
Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL
Position
  • Fellow
August 2016 - October 2016
Los Alamos National Security
Los Alamos National Security
Position
  • PostDoc Position
September 2013 - present
Universidad de Alicante
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)

Publications

Publications (120)
Article
Monospecific pine forests are widespread due to extensive afforestation efforts and natural colonization of abandoned croplands in the Mediterranean Basin. It was originally thought that pines would facilitate the natural colonization of native late-successional resprouter species (e.g., hardwoods), but these species can be compromised if competiti...
Article
Understanding plant trait coordination and variance across climatic gradients is critical for assessing forests’ adaptive potential to climate change. We measured eleven hydraulic, anatomical and leaf-level physiological traits in European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) along a moisture and temperature gradient in the French Alps. We assessed how trait...
Article
Drought-related tree mortality is a global phenomenon that currently affects a wide range of forests. Key functional variables on plant hydraulics, carbon economy, growth and allocation have been identified and play a role in tree drought responses. However, tree mortality thresholds based on such variables are difficult to identify, especially und...
Article
Full-text available
Adaptive forest management (AFM) is an urgent need because of the uncertainty regarding how changes in the climate will affect the structure, composition and function of forests during the next decades. Current research initiatives for the long-term monitoring of impacts of silviculture are scattered and not integrated into research networks, with...
Article
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Melon (Cucumis melo L.) is a crop with important agronomic interest worldwide. Because of the increase of drought and salinity in many cultivation areas as a result of anthropogenic global warming, the obtention of varieties tolerant to these conditions is a major objective for agronomical improvement. The identification of the limiting factors for...
Article
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Background Salt stress is one of the main constraints determining crop productivity, and therefore one of the main limitations for food production. The aim of this study was to characterize the salt stress response at the physiological and molecular level of different Broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. Italica Plenck) cultivars that were previousl...
Chapter
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Water scarcity is the main limiting factor for Mediterranean pine forests and its availability conditions both forest functionality and ecosystem services. In a global change context, the predicted increments in aridity in these areas render the need for in-depth ecohydrological knowledge. In this chapter, we review the main functional characterist...
Article
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Broccoli is a cruciferous crop rich in health-promoting metabolites. Due to several factors, including anthropogenic global warming, aridity is increasing in many cultivation areas. There is a great demand to characterize the drought response of broccoli and use this knowledge to develop new cultivars able to maintain yield under water constraints....
Article
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Minimum water potential (Ψmin ) is a key variable to characterize dehydration tolerance and hydraulic safety margins (HSM) in plants. Ψmin is usually estimated as the absolute minimum tissue Ψ experienced by a species, but this is problematic because sample extremes are affected by sample size and by the underlying probability distribution. We comp...
Article
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Open-pit mining results in profound modifications at different environmental scales that may persist for very long time periods, or even indefinitely. Considerable research efforts in mine reclamation strategies have been made, although reclamation failures are still common. In dry climates, such as in the Mediterranean Basin, successful actions ma...
Article
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Plant functioning and survival in drylands are affected by the combination of high solar radiation, high temperatures, low relative humidity, and the scarcity of available water. Many ecophysiological studies have dealt with the adaptation of plants to cope with these stresses in hot deserts, which are the territories that have better evoked the id...
Article
Droughts can have strong environmental and socioeconomic impacts in the Mediterranean region, in particular for countries relying on rain-fed agricultural production, but also in areas in which irrigation plays an important role and in which natural vegetation has been modified or is subject to water stress. The purpose of this review is to provide...
Article
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Research Highlights: Seedlings of different Quercus suber L. populations and half-sib families differ in their response to multiple stressors, which may have consequences on the future distribution of this Mediterranean species. Background and Objectives: Global change will likely increase the frequency and severity of drought in drylands. Plant sp...
Article
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Cork oak (Quercus suber L.) is a suitable species for restoring Mediterranean ecosystems due to its capacity to resprout after wildfires and its economic importance for the use of cork. Several studies have focused on improving the seedling quality and abiotic conditions at the outplanting site to favour the field performance of Q. suber, however,...
Article
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Assessing differences in plant functional traits (PFTs) along climatic gradients is potentially useful for understanding variation within and across populations, and for predicting their responses to climate change. This study investigates the intraspecific variability of several PFTs in Stipa tenacissima (Alpha grass) seedlings from different popu...
Preprint
Full-text available
Under the ongoing climate change with more frequent and prolonged drought and heat waves, the future of the forests ecosystems in the Mediterranean is unpredictable. Pinus halepensis, a native tree species forms large forests in extensive areas. Its morpho-functional characteristics show high plasticity to tolerate the variability and the severity...
Article
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Introduction: Resprouter species, by regenerating rapidly, can maintain an optimal carbon balance and improve the resilience of ecosystems that have been disturbed or are at high risk of fire. Objective: To assess the effect of light availability and soil moisture on the ecophysiological variables of six resprouter species planted under cover of P...
Article
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Climate models predict increasing mean temperatures and reduced precipitation for Mediterranean ecosystems already subjected to major hydrological fluctuations. Forest decline phenomena relate extreme droughts or heat waves with other organisms, e.g., insects or microorganisms acting as pests, but their role needs to be elucidated. A biotic factor...
Poster
Full-text available
In recent years, a big concern has arisen over large-scale climate-induced reductions on forest growth and survival (Allen et al., 2015), and their impact on the water cycle (Mekonnen & Hoekstra, 2011). Specifically, the higher drought frequency under warmer temperatures (known as "hotter-droughts" or "global change-type droughts") has been related...
Article
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Predictions of warmer droughts causing increasing forest mortality are becoming abundant, yet fewer studies have investigated the mechanisms of forest persistence. To examine the resistance of forests to warmer droughts, we used a five-year precipitation reduction (~45% removal), heat (+4°C above ambient) and combined drought and heat experiment in...
Article
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Background Forest species ranges are confined by environmental limitations such as cold stress. The natural range shifts of pine forests due to climate change and proactive-assisted population migration may each be constrained by the ability of pine species to tolerate low temperatures, especially in northern latitudes or in high altitudes. The aim...
Article
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Forests provide many environmental services, especially those related to the water cycle. In semiarid areas where water is a limiting factor for ecosystem functioning, forested areas can have a strong impact on ground water recharge. In these areas, proper knowledge of forests’ water balance is necessary to promote management practices that may ens...
Article
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Climate warming should result in hotter droughts of unprecedented severity in this century. Such droughts have been linked with massive tree mortality and data suggest warming interacts with drought to aggravate plant performance. Yet, how forests will respond to hotter droughts remains unclear, as does the suite of mechanisms trees use to deal wit...
Article
Identifying the degree of adaptation to particular environmental constraints at small geographical scales (e.g., intra-population variability) is particularly valuable to select plant reproductive material in restoration projects. We analyzed possible differences among progeny characteristics of Quercus coccifera L. a species of interest in forest...
Chapter
Oak forests can naturally regenerate from seed or from sprouts. Both strategies result in the establishment of a tree layer, but they involve a crucial difference: i.e. regeneration from seeds affects population genetics while sprouting assures the recovery of biomass after a disturbance but it does not involve sexual reproduction. In addition the...
Chapter
Oak forests can naturally regenerate from seed or from sprouts. Both strategies result in the establishment of a tree layer, but they involve a crucial difference: i.e. regeneration from seeds affects population genetics while sprouting assures the recovery of biomass after a disturbance but it does not involve sexual reproduction. In addition the...
Article
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Resumen. Las proyecciones del cambio climático indican que en el área mediterránea se producirá un aumento en la frecuencia de sequías extremas, lo que causará impactos en sus masas forestales y en los servicios ecosistémicos que estas prestan. En los últimos años se han registrado eventos de decaimiento y mortalidad asociados a fuertes sequías, lo...
Poster
Full-text available
Mediterranean plants are subjected to high levels of drought stress during summer periods and, in some cases, dry conditions surpass security levels producing xylem cavitation. One of the key questions when analyzing the capacity of survival is: what is the capacity to recover xylem functionality after intense drought events with high levels of xyl...
Article
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In a climate variability context, knowledge about Alpha grass (Stipa tenacissima) seed germination and seedling establishment requirements is a key factor given the relevance of this species in wide areas of North Africa and southern Europe. Such knowledge can help to collect information about current S. tenacissima populations allowing the conserv...
Article
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Drought is one of the main constraints determining forest species growth, survival and productivity, and therefore one of the main limitations for reforestation or afforestation. The aim of this study is to characterize the drought response at the physiological and molecular level of different Pinus halepensis (common name Aleppo pine) seed sources...
Article
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Disentangling the relative impacts of precipitation reduction and vapor pressure deficit (VPD) on plant water dynamics and determining whether acclimation may influence these patterns in the future is an important challenge. Here, we report sap flux density (FD), stomatal conductance (Gs), hydraulic conductivity (KL) and xylem anatomy in piñon pine...
Article
Tropical Andean ecosystems have been identified as very vulnerable to climate change. Changes in climatic conditions, especially drought as envisaged by climate change projections, could affect the establishment of new individuals that are responsible for ensuring the persistence of species and plant communities. The aim was to study the main morph...
Poster
Full-text available
The frequency and magnitude of climate extremes are expected to increase in the future according to climate change forecasts.Forest mortality is, among others, a consequence of extreme drought events caused by of the increase of temperature and the decrease of precipitation. In the last years, forest mortality induced by events of extreme drought w...
Article
The adoption of sustainable land management strategies and practices that respond to current climate and human pressures requires both assessment tools that can lead to better informed decision-making and effective knowledge-exchange mechanisms that facilitate new learning and behavior change. We propose a learning-centered participatory approach t...
Article
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El presente trabajo consiste en el seguimiento y evaluación de los resultados de la restauración forestal ecológica realizada en la cuenca de Albatera durante los años 2003 y 2004, poniendo énfasis en la supervivencia después del verano de 2014 comparada con la supervivencia registrada en los años anteriores. Para la toma de los datos ha sido nece...
Article
Understanding and predicting plant response to disturbance is of paramount importance in our changing world. Resprouting ability is often considered a simple qualitative trait and used in many ecological studies. Our aim is to show some of the complexities of resprouting while highlighting cautions that need be taken in using resprouting ability to...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Key message Pine mortality was related to water stress, which caused xylem cavitation. Hydraulic failure and carbon starvation are likely interrelated, and bark beetles attacks did not seem to be directly involved. Abstract Forests are extremely important for society given the many services they provide. Climate models reflect increases in...
Article
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Key message Aleppo pine stands resilience can be increased by introducing local resprouting hardwood species. Pine density management impacts seedlings establishment by modifying resources availability and abiotic stress. Under Mediterranean conditions moderate pine density should be preferred to promote seedlings establishment. Abstract Context:...
Article
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III Reunión del Grupo de Trabajo de Hidrología Forestal: La hidrología forestal: ciencia y técnicas útiles Balance hídrico del suelo en pinares con diferente densidad de arbolado. Efectos sobre el establecimiento de brinzales de especies rebrotadoras bajo el dosel Resumen El objetivo del presente trabajo fue determinar el balance hídrico del suelo...
Article
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This protocol describes the construction of Vulnerability to Embolism Curves for plants via the bench dehydration method. The method involves naturally dehydrating detached samples on the bench top and measuring loss of hydraulic conductivity as a function of xylem water potential.
Conference Paper
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Transformational socioeconomic changes during the last decades of the 20th century led to the abandonment of mountainous areas in western Mediterranean countries (Puigdefábregas and Mendizábal, 1998). This process was accelerated in the Ayora Valley (inland Valencia province, E Spain) by a major forest fire in 1979. Restoration and management actio...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
El objetivo del presente trabajo fue determinar el balance hídrico del suelo en bosques de pino carrasco con diferente densidad de arbolado utilizando el modelo ecohidrológico HYDROBAL, y evaluar sus efectos sobre la introducción y establecimiento bajo el dosel, de brinzales de especies ampliamente utilizadas en la restauración forestal. En est...
Article
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Water stress: ecophysiology and scales of drought. Mediterranean climate imposes a double adversity to the biological systems: drought and erratic (unpredictable) rainfalls. And this double adversity is expected to be increased by global climate change. Plants exhibit responses to drought aimed at either avoiding or tolerating it, and both strategi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
El objetivo general del proyecto PRACTICE consistió en vincular los avances científicos y tecnológicos con el conocimiento tradicional, el aprendizaje y la gestión adaptativa en las prácticas de restauración para combatir la desertificación. El proyecto desarrolló una serie de metodologías para la evaluación de alternativas de gestión incorporando...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
http://medpine5.ctfc.es/ Session Stand dynamics and forest management, Thursday 25 th Sept 56 Developing silvicultural methods to adapt pine forests to climate change has become a priority. Recommended management include in particular stand thinning in order to reduce competition for water and re-introduction of resprouting hardwood species to prom...
Article
Full-text available
Background and aims: Several studies show apparently contradictory findings about the functional convergence within the Mediterranean woody flora. In this context, this study evaluates the variability of functional traits within holm oak (Quercus ilex) to elucidate whether provenances corresponding to different morphotypes represent different ecot...
Article
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Fire and drought are selective driving forces in Mediterranean plants, and thus their ability to resprout or recruit after these disturbances is of paramount importance. The contrast in regeneration niche between resprouters and seeders, and each group's different root characteristics, suggest that they are subjected to different degrees of environ...
Article
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Forest plantations have been extensively used to combat desertification. In drylands, harsh climate conditions and unfertile soils often preclude seedling establishment. The improvement in seedling quality by manipulating nutrient availability could contribute to increase planting success. However, morpho-functional traits defining optimum seedling...
Article
Heavy metal contamination and drought are expected to increase in large areas worldwide. However, their combined effect on plant performance has been scantly analyzed. This study examines the effect of Zn supply at different water availabilities on morpho-physiological traits of Quercus suber in order to analyze the combined effects of both stresse...
Chapter
Full-text available
Resumen La reforestación es uno de los métodos más ampliamente utilizados para la recuperación de los ecosistemas degradados. En ambientes mediterráneos, las limitaciones impuestas por el clima y, en algunos casos, la severidad de los procesos de degradación hacen que los resultados de las reforestaciones sean pobres. Por otro lado, el seguimiento...