Alejandro Martínez

Alejandro Martínez
Italian National Research Council | CNR · Institute of Water Research IRSA

PhD

About

163
Publications
63,479
Reads
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1,583
Citations
Introduction
I am trying to understand how information flows through the Biosphere generating complexity || Lately, I've been quite excited about functional ecology || I like using Phylogenetics as a tool, but not only || My favourite models are microscopic animals, specially those living between sand grains, and animals from marine or freshwater flooded caves || I love systematics of Animals || I am fascinated by words and their meanings as a window to other people's world view
Additional affiliations
November 2017 - present
Italian National Research Council
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Marie Curie individual fellowship
June 2016 - October 2017
Italian National Research Council
Position
  • PostDoc Position
July 2015 - August 2015
Italian National Research Council
Position
  • Researcher
Education
September 2004 - May 2010
Universidad de La Laguna
Field of study
  • Biology

Publications

Publications (163)
Article
Protodrilidae is a group of small, superficially simple-looking annelids, lacking chaetae and appendages, except for two prostomial palps. Originally considered to be one of the primitive “archiannelid” families, its affinity within Annelida is still highly debated. Protodrilids are found worldwide in the interstices of intertidal and subtidal mari...
Article
Protodrilidae belongs in a lineage that until now entirely consisted of deposit-feeding, highly adapted interstitial annelids. Except for a pair of anterior palps, all protodrilids lack appendages, parapodia and chaetae; and have slender bodies adapted to glide between the sand grains by ciliary motion. The first exception to these characteristics...
Article
Superstition has it that tossing coins into wells or fountains brings good luck, thereby causing a potential accumulation of microbially contaminated metal particles in the water. Here, we characterized the microbiota and the resistance profile in biofilm on such coins and their surrounding sediments. The study site was a tidal marine lake within a...
Article
Full-text available
Whereas most work to understand impacts of humans on biodiversity on coastal areas has focused on large, conspicuous organisms, we highlight effects of tourist access on the diversity of microscopic marine animals (meiofauna). We used a DNA metabarcoding approach with an iterative and phylogeny-based approach for the taxonomic assignment of meiofau...
Article
Words are the building blocks of communicating science. As our understanding of the world progresses, scientific disciplines naturally enrich their specialized vocabulary (jargon). However, in the era of interdisciplinar-ity, the use of jargon may hinder effective communication among scientists that do not share a common scientific background. The...
Article
Full-text available
1. Coastal aquifers are vital water sources for humanity. Their quality and the ecosystem services they provide depend on the integrity of their subterranean biota. However, current anthropogenic impacts such as climate change effects and coastal population growth place enormous pressure on the sustainability of these environments. 2. Despite the...
Article
Full-text available
Human-induced water level fluctuations (WLFs) are among the major pressures threatening lake ecosystems. Their effect on meiobenthic species of the littoral zone has been poorly investigated. In this study, we aimed at assessing the effects of human-induced WLFs on the composition and functionality of the benthic copepod assemblages of the littoral...
Article
Full-text available
In the internet era, the digital architecture that keeps us connected and informed may also amplify the spread of misinformation. This problem is gaining global attention, as evidence accumulates that misinformation may interfere with democratic processes and undermine collective responses to environmental and health crises. In an increasingly poll...
Article
Full-text available
We describe Loimia davidi sp. nov. (Annelida, Terebellidae) from São Miguel Island (Azores). It resembles Loimia gigantea (Montagu, 1819) (English Channel) in having very large adults, the ventral shield shape and the types of capillary notochaetae (three), while differing in shape and colour of the lateral lappets, branchiae length, the arrangemen...
Article
We present a data set on marine mites (family Halacaridae) in European waters. The data set gathers all the published records of marine mites from the North European Seas, Lusitania, Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea marine provinces, all belonging to the temperate North Atlantic geographical realm. The database includes 3006 records collected from 2...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The specialised subterranean fauna is often described as an iconic example of convergent evolution driven by environmental constraints, representing therefore an ideal model system for eco-evolutionary studies. During the colonization of subterranean environments, behavioural plasticity likely plays a fundamental role, as the quick behavioural resp...
Article
Full-text available
Subterranean ecosystems are among the most widespread environments on Earth, yet we still have poor knowledge of their biodiversity. To raise awareness of subterranean ecosystems, the essential services they provide, and their unique conservation challenges, 2021 and 2022 were designated International Years of Caves and Karst. As these ecosystems h...
Preprint
Full-text available
Using subterranean fauna in the Canary Islands as a simplified natural laboratory, we explored how the interplay of eco-evolutionary processes shape taxonomic and functional diversity patterns in oceanic archipelagos through geological times. First, we demonstrated an overall convergence in the trait spaces of subterranean communities across island...
Article
Full-text available
The ecosystem formed by the marine flowering plant Posidonia oceanica is a biodiversity reservoir and provides many ecosystem services in coastal Mediterranean regions. Marine meiofauna is also a major component of that biodiversity, and its study can be useful in addressing both theoretical and applied questions in ecology, evolution, and conserva...
Article
Full-text available
We report for the first time the occurrence of at least two species of the phylum Gnathostomulida in the Southern Ocean, along the shores of the Ross Sea in Antarctica. At least one species for each of the orders of the phylum (Filospermoidea and Bursovaginoidea) was found using both morphological inspection and DNA metabarcoding of the shallow mar...
Preprint
Full-text available
Climate change is rearranging the mosaic of biodiversity on our planet. These broad-scale species re-distributions will affect the structure of communities across multiple biodiversity facets (taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional diversity). The current challenges to understand such effects involve focusing on organisms other than vertebrates an...
Article
Full-text available
Mass media plays an important role in the construction and circulation of risk perception associated with animals. Widely feared groups such as spiders frequently end up in the spotlight of traditional and social media. We compiled an expert-curated global database on the online newspaper coverage of human-spider encounters over the past ten years...
Article
Brazil’s caves, home to diverse species and minerals, were stripped of protections by a recent presidential decree.
Preprint
Full-text available
In the Internet era, the digital architecture that keeps us connected and informed may collaterally amplify the spread of misinformation and falsehood1,2. The magnitude of this problem is gaining global relevance3, as evidence accumulates that misinformation interferes with democratic processes and undermines collective responses to environmental a...
Article
Full-text available
In July 2019 an international team of 39 senior and junior researchers from nine countries met at the University of the Azores in Ponta Delgada, São Miguel for a 10-days workshop/summer school to explore the meiofaunal biodiversity in marine sediments of the Azores. In total, we sampled intertidal and subtidal sediments from 54 localities on 14 ma...
Article
Full-text available
RESUMEN Se relacionan los diferentes tipos de medios subterráneos habitables existentes en los terrenos volcánicos, con especial énfasis en los distintos tipos de redes de mesocavernas (medio subterráneo superficial, depósitos de piroclastos) y de macrocavernas (tubos volcánicos, simas y diques vaciados). Se presenta una tabla de riqueza de cuevas...
Article
Full-text available
Research in Macaronesia has led to substantial advances in ecology, evolution and conservation biology. We review the scientific developments achieved in this region, and outline promising research avenues enhancing conservation. Some of these discoveries indicate that the Macaronesian flora and fauna is composed of rather young lineages, not Terti...
Article
Full-text available
The 15th UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) (COP15) will be held in Kunming, China in October 2021. Historically, CBDs and other multilateral treaties have either alluded to or entirely overlooked the subterranean biome. A multilateral effort to robustly examine, monitor, and incorporate the subterranean biome into future conservation targ...
Article
Full-text available
The 15th UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) (COP15) will be held in Kunming, China in October 2021. Historically, CBDs and other multilateral treaties have either alluded to or entirely overlooked the subterranean biome. A multilateral effort to robustly examine, monitor, and incorporate the subterranean biome into future conservation targ...
Article
Full-text available
Jargon is the specialised vocabulary of any science: it allows the creation of new terms to define concepts and it removes ambiguity from scientific communication. Yet, it may also hinder understanding for a broader audience. Given that the Journal of Limnology has jargon in its title, we here investigate the impact of the term ‘limnology’ on the w...
Article
Cladocera (Crustacea: Branchiopoda) is a key group of invertebrates. Despite a long history of phylogenetic research, relationships within this group remain disputed. We here provide new insights based on 15 new mitochondrial genomes obtained from high-throughput sequencing (HTS) and 40 mitogenomes extracted from published HTS datasets. Together wi...
Article
Full-text available
We describe a dataset on the crustacean Order Tanaidacea from the coasts of the Iberian Peninsula and surrounding seas, including the archipelagos of the Azores, Madeira, Savage, and the Canary Islands. The dataset gathers the records from all available sources published between 1828 to 2019, which were collected following a standardized Google Sch...
Article
Full-text available
A new genus and species of Nerillidae, Nipponerilla irabuensis gen. nov., sp. nov., is described from an anchialine cave in Shimoji Island, west of Irabu Island (Miyako Islands, Southwestern Japan). Its morphology was examined with light, scan- ning electron, and confocal laser scanning microscopy. This new species, along with two putative new cave...
Article
Full-text available
• Caves and other subterranean habitats fulfill the requirements of experimental model systems to address general questions in ecology and evolution. Yet, the harsh working conditions of these environments and the uniqueness of the subterranean organisms have challenged most attempts to pursuit standardized research. • Two main obstacles have syner...
Article
Full-text available
We are starting to appreciate that microscopic animals are not as widespread as previously thought, but we still ignore to what extent and through which mechanisms the environment selects for specific communities or traits in microscopic animals. We here analyse the functional diversity of marine mite communities living in a seagrass meadow across...
Article
Full-text available
Across Annelida, accessing the water column drives morphological and lifestyle modifications-yet in the primarily "benthic" scale worms, the ecological significance of swimming has largely been ignored. We investigated genetic, morphological and behavioural adaptations associated with swimming across Polynoidae, using mitogenomics and comparative m...
Preprint
Full-text available
Posidonia oceanica meadows are biodiversity reservoirs and provide many ecosystem services in coastal Mediterranean regions. Marine meiofauna, on the other hand, not only represents a major component of regional marine biodiversity, but also a useful tool to address both theoretical and applied questions in ecology, evolution, and conservation. We...
Article
Full-text available
Sedentarian annelids are a diverse and heterogeneous group of marine worms representing more than 8600 species gathered in ca. 43 families. The attention brought to these organisms is unevenly distributed among these families, and the knowledge about them sometimes scarce. We review here the current knowledge about the families Acrocirridae, Cirrat...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we review the systematics, diversity, and ecology of two related annelid families: Opheliidae Malmgren, 1867 and Scalibregmatidae Malmgren, 1867. Opheliids are deposit-feeders and that are mainly found as burrowers in sandy sediments. Morphologically, opheliids are characterized by the smooth cuticle, as well as the presence of a cons...
Article
Full-text available
Members of the following marine annelid families are found almost exclusively in the interstitial environment and are highly adapted to move between sand grains, relying mostly on ciliary locomotion: Apharyngtidae n. fam., Dinophilidae, Diurodrilidae, Nerillidae, Lobatocerebridae, Parergodrilidae, Polygordiidae, Protodrilidae, Protodriloididae, Psa...
Article
Full-text available
Many believe that the quality of a scientific publication is as good as the science it cites. However, quantifications of how features of reference lists affect citations remain sparse. We examined seven numerical characteristics of reference lists of 50,878 research articles published in 17 ecological journals between 1997 and 2017. Over this peri...
Article
Full-text available
We here provided the first records of interstitial annelids from the Azores based on the results of the workshop "Meiozores2019: Exploring the marine meiofauna of the Azores-from discovery to scientific publication". A total of 12 species belonging to the families Diurodrilidae, Microphthalmidae, Nerillidae, Protodrilidae, and Saccocirridae were re...
Article
The tubeworm Riftia pachyptila is a key primarily producer in hydrothermal vent communities due to the symbiosis with sulphur-oxidizing bacteria, which provide nourishment to the worm from sulphides, oxygen and carbon dioxide. These substances diffuse from the vent water into the bloodstream of the worm through their tentacular crowns, and then to...
Preprint
Full-text available
(1) Caves and other subterranean habitats fulfill the requirements of experimental model systems to address general questions in ecology and evolution. Yet, the harsh working conditions of these environments and the uniqueness of the subterranean organisms have challenged most attempts to pursuit standardized research (2) Two main obstacles have sy...
Chapter
Full-text available
ECOLOGICAL TRAITS: Anchialine caves contain bodies of saline or brackish waters with subterranean connections to the sea. Since virtually all anchialine biota is marine in origin, these caves have a larger and more diverse species pool than underground freshwaters. The trophic network is truncated and dominated by heterotrophs (scavenging and filte...
Article
Full-text available
Whereas scientists interested in subterranean life typically insist that their research is exciting, adventurous, and important to answer general questions, this enthusiasm and potential often fade when the results are translated into scientific publications. This is because cave research is often written by cave scientists for cave scientists; thu...
Article
Five decades ago, a landmark paper in Science titled The Cave Environment heralded caves as ideal natural experimental laboratories in which to develop and address general questions in geology, ecology, biogeography, and evolutionary biology. Although the 'caves as laboratory' paradigm has since been advocated by subterranean biologists, there are...
Preprint
Full-text available
Whereas the study of patterns of distribution of microscopic animals has long been dominated by the ubiquity paradigm, we are starting to appreciate that microscopic animals are not as widespread as previously thought and that habitat preferences may have a strong role in structuring their patterns of occurrence. However, we still ignore to what ex...
Preprint
Full-text available
Words are the building blocks of science. As our understanding of the world progresses, scientific disciplines naturally enrich their specialized vocabulary (jargon). However, in the era of interdisciplinarity, the use of jargon may hinder effective communication amongst scientists that do not share a common linguistic background. The question of h...
Article
Full-text available
Meiofauna includes an astonishing diversity of organisms, whose census is far from being complete. Most classic ecological studies have focused on hard-bodied Ecdysozoan taxa (notably Copepoda and Nematoda), whose cuticle allows determination at species-level after fixation, rather than soft-bodied, Spiralian taxa, which most often lose any diagnos...
Article
Full-text available
Lying at the southernmost point of the Lucayan Archipelago, the Turks and Caicos Islands are amongst the better studied localities for anchialine cave biodiversity. For nearly five decades, novel invertebrate fauna, comprised primarily of crustaceans, have been collected from these tidally influenced pools – but new findings are always on the horiz...