Alice Nunes

Alice Nunes
Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes, Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon

PhD Biology and Ecology of Global Change

About

40
Publications
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811
Citations

Publications

Publications (40)
Article
Full-text available
Ecological indicators based on biodiversity metrics are valuable and cost-effective tools to quantify, track and understand the effects of climate change on ecosystems. Studying changes in these indicators along climatic gradients in space is a common approach to infer about potential impacts of climate change over time, overcoming the limitations...
Article
Full-text available
Seed dispersal by ants is an important ecological process that maintains the structure and diversity of natural communities, however, it is vulnerable to biological invasions. Argentine ants are one of the worst invasive ant species and cause severe changes in ecosystem processes and native ant biodiversity declines in invaded sites. Here, we studi...
Article
Full-text available
Forests contribute directly to ecosystem structure and functioning, maintaining biodiversity, acting as a climate regulator and reducing desertification. To better manage forests, it is essential to have high-resolution forest models and appropriate spatial-explicit variables able to explain tree cover at different scales, including the management...
Article
Quarrying activities cause profound modifications on ecosystems, such as removal of vegetation cover, biodiversity loss and depletion of ecosystem services. Ecological restoration stands as a solution to revert such effects. Concomitantly, awareness is currently being given on ecosystem services and ecological processes to evaluate restoration effi...
Article
Full-text available
Grazing exclusion may be used to promote the recovery of disturbed ecosystems. A promising way for the evaluation of its effectiveness is through the monitoring of key biological groups, particularly those more responsive to disturbance and playing key roles in ecosystem functioning. Ants have been used as ecological indicators as they are abundant...
Article
Adaptation Pathways is a decision support tool designed to create adaptation policies under different climate change scenarios. This tool has been used successfully in several sectors and contexts such as coastal and river adaptation, urban heat waves, floods and rural livelihoods but its use in natural resource management, has faced several challe...
Article
Full-text available
Planning the adaptation of agriculture and forestry landscapes to climate change remains challenging due to the need for integrating substantial amounts of information. This information ranges from climate scenarios, geographical site information, socio-economic data and several possible adaptation measures. Thus, there is an urgent need to have a...
Article
Full-text available
The decomposition of beta-diversity (β-diversity) into its replacement (βrepl) and richness (βrich) components in combination with a taxonomic and functional approach, may help to identify processes driving community composition along environmental gradients. We aimed to understand which abiotic and spatial variables influence ant β-diversity and i...
Article
Aridity is a critical driver of the diversity and composition of plant communities. However, how aridity influences the phylogenetic structure of functional groups (i.e. annual and perennial species) is far less understood than its effects on species richness. As perennials have to endure stressful conditions during the summer drought, as opposed t...
Article
Passive restoration is acknowledged as a cost-effective approach to restore forest ecosystems. In this approach, restoration implies simply ceasing the disturbance causing degradation. But an efficient allocation of restoration efforts requires an understanding of the recovery trajectories of different ecosystem components. In Mediterranean oak ope...
Article
Drylands are experiencing an overall increase in aridity that is predicted to intensify in the future due to climate change. This may cause changes in the structure and functioning of dryland ecosystems, affecting ecosystem services and human well-being. Therefore, detecting early signs of ecosystem change before irreversible damage takes place is...
Article
Mediterranean drylands are particularly vulnerable to predicted increases in aridity which are expected to have negative consequences for biodiversity. To understand the effects of climate change on ecosystems, a framework for the selection of indicators based on the essential biodiversity variables (EBV) was proposed. In this framework, a function...
Article
Species abundance data is essential to understand ecosystems structure and functioning and to support species and habitat conservation. However, most regional to global databases provide only presence or presence/ab-sence data. The main aim of this paper is to develop a methodology to estimate plant species abundances from a presence/absence databa...
Article
In assessing the effectiveness of ecological restoration actions, outcomes evaluation using a multi‐taxa approach can greatly contribute to a clearer understanding of their success/failure. Since comprehensive biodiversity assessments are rarely possible, choosing taxa groups that are indicative of the ecosystem's structural and functional recovery...
Chapter
Full-text available
Land restoration and rehabilitation in the urban context can help countries attain SDG 11 targets by restoring important ecosystem services in the urban, as well as peri-urban, and rural areas that support urban areas with food, water, energy and raw materials for dwellings and infrastructure. These ecosystem services support a more resilient urban...
Chapter
Full-text available
Understanding and predicting the impact of global change drivers on biodiversity, the basis of the delivery of goods and services to humans, is a critical task in the Anthropocene Era. This has led to the development of international monitoring networks and frameworks to evaluate changes in biodiversity, the Essential Biodiversity Variables, though...
Article
Full-text available
Shrub encroachment influences several ecosystem services in drylands worldwide. Yet, commonly used strategies to reduce encroachment show a low medium-term success, calling for a better understanding of its causes. Previous works identified multiple drivers responsible for this phenomenon, including anthropogenic and environmental causes. However,...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic activities are increasing nutrient availability and altering precipitation regimes. This may lead to critical changes in grasslands functioning. This is particularly important for grasslands in the Mediterranean Basin that have evolved in nutrient poor soils, and where more frequent and prolonged droughts are projected to occur. Howev...
Article
In High Nature Value Farmland areas such as the woodlands locally known as 'montado', increasing tree cover is a nature-based solution to mitigate land degradation which leads to loss of productivity and increase susceptibility to climate change. In the Mediterranean dryland areas, native tree species such as Holm-oak provide important ecosystem se...
Article
• Lichens have been used to efficiently track major drivers of global change from the local to regional scale since the beginning of the industrial revolution (sulphur dioxide) to the present (nitrogen deposition and climate change). Currently, the challenge is to universalize monitoring methodologies to compare global change drivers’ simultaneous...
Article
Aridity acts as a strong environmental filter to plants, limiting major ecosystem processes. Climate change models predict an overall increase of aridity in drylands. This could lead to changes in plant communities, particularly in the dominance and range of plant functional traits, which largely determine ecosystem functioning. However, to study h...
Article
Mediterranean Basin ecosystems, their unique biodiversity, and the key services they provide are currently at risk due to air pollution and climate change, yet only a limited number of isolated and geographically-restricted studies have addressed this topic, often with contrasting results. Particularities of air pollution in this region include hig...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Climate adaptation plan to the agriculture and forestry of the municipality of Mertola, in the southeast of Portugal. The plan was developed with a participary approach using SWAP methodology and was signed in a joint declaration by the president of the Municipality of Mertola Jorge Rosa, the president of the Natural Park, Pedro Rocha, the presiden...
Article
Full-text available
Restoration efforts in the Mediterranean Basin have been changing from a silvicultural to an ecological restoration approach. Yet, to what extent the projects are guided by ecological restoration principles remains largely unknown. To analyse this issue, we built an on-line survey addressed to restoration practitioners.
Article
Full-text available
Soil indicators may be used for assessing both land suitability for restoration and the effectiveness of restoration strategies in restoring ecosystem functioning and services. In this review paper, several soil indicators, which can be used to assess the effectiveness of ecological restoration strategies in dryland ecosystems at different spatial...
Article
Full-text available
Soil indicators may be used for assessing both land suitability for restoration and the effectiveness of restoration strategies in restoring ecosystem functioning and services. In this review paper, several soil indicators, which can be used to assess the effectiveness of ecological restoration strategies in dryland ecosystems at different spatial...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The aim of this report is to illustrate by means of a series of case studies the implementation of mapping and assessment of forest ecosystem services in different contexts and geographical levels. Methodological aspects, data issues, approaches, limitations, gaps and further steps for improvement are analysed for providing good practices and decis...
Book
Full-text available
The aim of this report is to illustrate by means of a series of case studies the implementation of mapping and assessment of forest ecosystem services in different contexts and geographical levels. Methodological aspects, data issues, approaches, limitations, gaps and further steps for improvement are analysed for providing good practices and decis...
Article
Climate change is expected to cause several impacts at the global scale, and drylands will be amongst the most affected areas. Thus, investigating how these changes will affect the composition, structure and functioning of dryland ecosystems has become a priority. From an ecological indicator point of view, several works have shown that functional...
Article
Full-text available
Semi-arid areas are particularly susceptible to the loss of biodiversity as a consequence of global change. Species functional traits are key drivers of functioning and resilience of ecosystems, thus monitoring of functional trait diversity is urgently needed. The assessment of functional diversity requires the quantification of species and/or thei...
Article
Understanding forest regeneration at sites previously used for agriculture underlies the establishment of science-based woodlands management policies. This is especially relevant in semi-arid areas, where the tree cover is critical in ameliorating the effects of aridity and in preventing desertification and land degradation. Natural regeneration in...
Article
QuestionsHow do native species perform when included in seed mixtures to re-vegetate degraded areas? Is their germination and establishment affected by seeding density? LocationLimestone quarry spoil, SW Portugal. MethodsA glasshouse experiment simulating usual hydroseeding procedures (substrate, time of the year, slurry composition, seed mixture)...
Article
To ensure the success and sustainability of restoration actions, native plant species are increasingly recommended due to their presumed ability to adapt to local abiotic and biotic conditions. However, topography, substrate characteristics and water shortage are known to cause failure of native species in Mediterranean areas, and even when such fa...
Article
The germination performance of native species and their suitability for a rapid erosion control are uncertain. Together with their relatively low commercial availability and high costs, these are still strong reasons prevent- ing their common use in hydroseeding for restoration of Mediterranean degraded slopes, despite the increas- ing number of st...
Article
a b s t r a c t Resilience against sudden changes in the environment is a very desirable trait in plants used for ecosystem restoration. Mediterranean-like vegetation exhibits particularly strong fire resilience. There are two main functional groups of fire-prone species among Mediterranean-like vegetation: seeders and resprouters. Our aims were to...
Article
Loss of soil is a major problem that restoration actions must solve in Mediterranean quarries. Soil replacement by a low-quality substrate is often inadequate for revegetation and limits plant establishment and growth in these degraded areas, which are also subject to drought recurrent stress.In 1998, a field experiment was performed in a limestone...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
To use complementary biodiversity metrics - taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity -as indicators of resilience to climate of key ecological functions in semi-arid agroforestry systems to promote their resilience to a more arid future and inform land management strategies and policies at the national (and international) level. This is being done using a spatiotemporal correlational approach, studying these indicators along space from global to local scales, and over time from a period of years, to intra-annual seasonality, as well as drought-induced manipulative experiments.
Project
At present, an estimated 80% of all species on Earth still await discovery. At the same time, we are losing biodiversity at an alarming rate https://www2.helsinki.fi/en/projects/lifeplan. There is an urgent need to make sense of patterns and processes in biodiversity – while dealing with the unknown in an efficient way. Through LIFEPLAN, we aim to establish the current state of biodiversity across the globe, and to use our insights for generating accurate predictions of its future state under future scenarios. In LIFEPLAN, we thus characterize biological diversity through a worldwide sampling program, and develop the bioinformatic and statistical approaches needed to make the most out of these data. Together, we will generate the most ambitious, globally distributed and systematically collected data set to date on a broad range of taxonomical groups. Importantly, we will employ modern sampling methods that do not require taxonomical expertise from those collecting the data, and that will result in data that are directly comparable among different locations. We are now looking for collaborators, and hope that you will join our endeavor.
Project
Assess and model effects of global change drivers on dryland open woodlands, namely climate, grazing, and nitrogen using indicators of vegetation structure and functional diversity, and key ecosystem functions. Ultimately, contribute to the guidelines to mitigate, restore or adapt these ecosystems.