Ana Benítez-López

Ana Benítez-López
Spanish National Research Council | CSIC · Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales

PhD
https://www.anabenitezlopez.com/

About

78
Publications
41,267
Reads
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2,430
Citations
Citations since 2017
59 Research Items
2037 Citations
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Introduction
I am an ecologist with broad interests in spatial ecology, macroecology, biodiversity conservation and global change biology. I am interested in the factors that determine species distributions and species abundance, with an emphasis on the effect of anthropogenic drivers and how these may drive local populations or species to extinction. I serve as Senior Editor in the journal Diversity and Distributions. More info: www.anabenitezlopez.com
Additional affiliations
April 2022 - December 2022
University of Granada
Position
  • Senior Researcher
February 2022 - April 2022
Spanish National Research Council
Position
  • Postdoc researcher
April 2019 - November 2021
Spanish National Research Council
Position
  • Juan de la Cierva-Incorporacion Postdoc researcher
Education
April 2009 - December 2014
September 2005 - October 2007
Utrecht University
Field of study
  • Natural Resources Management
September 1999 - June 2005
University of Cordoba (Spain)
Field of study
  • Environmental Science

Publications

Publications (78)
Article
Hunting is a major driver of biodiversity loss, but a systematic large-scale estimate of huntinginduced defaunation is lacking.We synthesized 176 studies to quantify hunting-induced declines of mammal and bird populations across the tropics. Bird and mammal abundances declined by 58% (25 to 76%) and by 83% (72 to 90%) in hunted compared with unhunt...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical forests are increasingly degraded by industrial logging, urbanization, agriculture, and infrastructure, with only 20% of the remaining area considered intact. However, this figure does not include other, more cryptic but pervasive forms of degradation, such as overhunting. Here, we quantified and mapped the spatial patterns of mammal defau...
Article
Full-text available
Island faunas can be characterized by gigantism in small animals and dwarfism in large animals, but the extent to which this so-called ‘island rule’ provides a general explanation for evolutionary trajectories on islands remains contentious. Here we use a phylogenetic meta-analysis to assess patterns and drivers of body size evolution across a glob...
Article
Full-text available
Population density is a key parameter in ecology and conservation, and estimates of population density are required for a wide variety of applications in fundamental and applied ecology. Yet, in terrestrial mammals these data are available for only a minority of species, and their availability is taxonomically and geographically biased. Here, we pr...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract While linear infrastructures, such as roads and power lines, are vital to human development, they may also have negative impacts on wildlife populations up to several kilometres into the surrounding environment (infrastructure‐effect zones, IEZ). However, species‐specific IEZs are not available for the vast majority of species, hampering g...
Article
Full-text available
Habitat destruction and overexploitation are the main threats to biodiversity and where they co-occur, their combined impact is often larger than their individual one. Yet, detailed knowledge of the spatial footprints of these threats is lacking, including where they overlap and how they change over time. These knowledge gaps are real barriers for...
Article
Full-text available
Whether intraspecific spatial patterns in body size are generalizable across species remains contentious, as well as the mechanisms underlying these patterns. Here we test several hypotheses explaining within‐species body size variation in terrestrial vertebrates including the heat balance, seasonality, resource availability and water conservation...
Article
Full-text available
Invasion biology is founded on the idea that introduced species cause extinctions because they have not undergone sufficiently long periods of coevolution with native species for more stable relations to develop. The prey naivety hypothesis applies this to predator‐prey interactions, positing that prey are vulnerable to introduced predators because...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding how species respond to climate change is key to informing vulnerability assessments and designing effective conservation strategies, yet research efforts on wildlife responses to climate change fail to deliver a representative overview due to inherent biases. Bats are a species‐rich, globally distributed group of organisms that are th...
Article
Full-text available
Biodiversity is severely threatened by habitat destruction. As a consquence of habitat destruction, the remaining habitat becomes more fragmented. This results in time-lagged population extirpations in remaining fragments when these are too small to support populations in the long term. If these time-lagged effects are ignored, the long-term impact...
Article
Full-text available
We thank the authors of the commentary of our paper “Where might we find ecologically intact communities” (Grantham et al., 2022) for their interest in our paper (Plumptre et al., 2021) and their critique of some of the methods and conclusions. We here respond to their commentary, where many of their points have been well-made, with the aim of adva...
Article
Global biodiversity is under high and rising anthropogenic pressure. Yet, how the taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional facets of biodiversity are affected by different threats over time is unclear. This is particularly true for the two main drivers of the current biodiversity crisis: habitat destruction and overexploitation. We provide the first...
Article
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species is central in biodiversity conservation, but insufficient resources hamper its long-term growth, updating, and consistency. Models or automated calculations can alleviate those challenges by providing standardised estimates required for assessments, or prioriti...
Article
Full-text available
Seed dispersal by frugivorous bird species involves a fine temporal tuning between fruiting plants and birds. However, this interaction may be severely threatened by anthropogenic climate and land-use change, which may result in phenological mismatches and pervasive ecological consequences for avian communities. In this study, we evaluate changes a...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Climate change will likely modify the global distribution of biomes, but the magnitude of change is debated. Here, we followed a trait‐based, statistical approach to model the influence of climate change on the global distribution of biomes. Location Global. Methods We predicted the global distribution of plant community mean specific leaf ar...
Article
Full-text available
• The partition of the ecological niche can enhance the coexistence of predators due to differences in how they exploit three main resources: food, space, and time, the latter being an axis that often remains unexplored. • We studied niche segregation in a Mediterranean mesocarnivore community composed by Vulpes vulpes, Genetta genetta, Meles meles...
Book
Full-text available
Results of the 2019 national census of Pin-tailed Sandgrouse (Pterocles achata) and Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Pterocles orientalis) in Spain
Article
Several hundred species are hunted for wild meat in the tropics, supporting the diets, customs, and livelihoods of millions of people. However, unsustainable hunting is one of the most urgent threats to wildlife and ecosystems worldwide and has serious ramifications for people whose subsistence and income are tied to wild meat. Over the past 18 yea...
Article
Several hundred species are hunted for wild meat in the tropics, supporting the diets, customs, and livelihoods of millions of people. However, unsustainable hunting is one of the most urgent threats to wildlife and ecosystems worldwide and has serious ramifications for people whose subsistence and income are tied to wild meat. Over the past 18 yea...
Article
Full-text available
Human activities are altering the structure of ecosystems, compromising the benefits they provide to nature and people. Effective conservation actions and management under ongoing global change rely on a better understanding of socio-ecological patterns and processes across broad spatiotemporal scales. Both macroecology and conservation science con...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Forecasting changes in species distribution under future scenarios is one of the most prolific areas of application for species distribution models (SDMs). However, no consensus yet exists on the reliability of such models for drawing conclusions on species' distribution response to changing climate. In this study, we provide an overview of com...
Article
Full-text available
Aim The stress-gradient hypothesis (SGH) postulates that species interactions shift from negative to positive with increasing abiotic stress. Interactions between species are increasingly being recognized as important drivers of species distributions, but it is still unclear whether stress-induced changes in interactions affect continental-to-globa...
Article
Full-text available
1. To be effective, the next generation of conservation practitioners and managers need to be critical thinkers with a deep understanding of how to make evidence-based decisions and of the value of evidence synthesis. 2. If, as educators, we do not make these priorities a core part of what we teach, we are failing to prepare our students to make an...
Chapter
Full-text available
Transcurridos 14 años del primer censo nacional sobre la especie, en 2019, con la inestimable colaboración de las comunidades autónomas y miles de voluntarios, se ha vuelto a repetir el trabajo que actualiza la situación poblacional de la especie.
Chapter
Full-text available
Transcurridos 14 años del primer censo nacional sobre la especie, en 2019, con la inestimable colaboración de las comunidades autónomas y miles de voluntarios, se ha vuelto a repetir el trabajo que actualiza la situación poblacional de la especie.
Article
Full-text available
Conservation efforts should target the few remaining areas of the world that represent outstanding examples of ecological integrity and aim to restore ecological integrity to a much broader area of the world with intact habitat and minimal species loss while this is still possible. There have been many assessments of “intactness” in recent years bu...
Article
Full-text available
Aim The recent recovery of large carnivores in Europe has been explained as resulting from a decrease in human persecution driven by widespread rural land abandonment, paralleled by forest cover increase and the consequent increase in availability of shelter and prey. We investigated whether land cover and human population density changes are relat...
Article
Human population growth and the activities resulting in habitat destruction are a threat to biodiversity worldwide. Despite the recognized importance of dung beetles in supporting tropical forest ecosystems, our understanding of their susceptibility to anthropogenic pressures remains limited. Previous research detailed the overall consequences of h...
Article
Full-text available
1. To be effective, the next generation of conservation practitioners and managers need to be critical thinkers with a deep understanding of how to make evidence‐based decisions and of the value of evidence synthesis. 2. If, as educators, we do not make these priorities a core part of what we teach, we are failing to prepare our students to make an...
Article
Full-text available
Global biodiversity is under high and rising anthropogenic pressure. Yet, how the taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional facets of biodiversity are affected by different threats over time is unclear. This is particularly true for the two main drivers of the current biodiversity crisis: habitat destruction and overexploitation. We provide the first...
Preprint
Full-text available
The partition of the ecological niche can enhance the coexistence of predators due to differences in how they exploit three main resources: food, space, and time, the latter being an axis that remains often unexplored. We studied niche segregation in a Mediterranean mesocarnivore community in sites where the top predator, the Iberian lynx, is abse...
Preprint
Full-text available
Under current global change context, climate change is driving substantial phenological mismatches between plant species and the organisms that rely on them. Given that frugivorous birds are fundamental for forest regeneration, and most of them are migrant species, identifying the effect of global change over them must be a priority. In this study...
Article
Understanding spatiotemporal variations of movements and habitat selection by animals living in changing, heterogeneous environments under increasing human pressure is crucial for biodiversity conservation. We report here on shifts in habitat selection and movements during the breeding and non-breeding periods in a vulnerable and specialist bird, t...
Preprint
Full-text available
Island faunas can be characterized by gigantism in small animals and dwarfism in large animals, but the extent to which this so-called ‘island rule’ provides a general explanation for evolutionary trajectories on islands remains contentious. Here we use a phylogenetic meta-analysis to assess patterns and drivers of body size evolution across a glob...
Preprint
Full-text available
Aim Forecasting changes in species distribution under future scenarios is one of the most prolific areas of application for species distribution models (SDMs). However, no consensus yet exists on the reliability of such models for drawing conclusions on species distribution response to changing climate. In this study we provide an overview of commo...
Article
Full-text available
Packaging materials can be a source of chemical contaminants in food. Process-based migration models (PMM) predict the chemical fraction transferred from packaging materials to food (FC) for application in prioritisation tools for human exposure. These models, however, have a relatively limited applicability domain and their predictive performance...
Article
Full-text available
Habitat destruction and overexploitation are the main threats to biodiversity and where they co-occur, their combined impact is often larger than their individual one. Yet, detailed knowledge of the spatial footprints of these threats is lacking, including where they overlap and how they change over time. These knowledge gaps are real barriers for...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Predictions of plant traits over space and time are increasingly used to improve our understanding of plant community responses to global environmental change. A necessary step forward is to assess the reliability of global trait predictions. In this study, we predict community mean plant traits at the global scale and present a systematic eval...
Article
Full-text available
Field ecologists and macroecologists often compete for the same grants and academic positions, with the former producing primary data that the latter generally use for model parameterization. Primary data are usually cited only in the supplementary materials, thereby not counting formally as citations, creating a system where field ecologists are r...
Article
Full-text available
Land use and hunting are 2 major pressures on biodiversity in the tropics. Yet, their combined impacts have not been systematically quantified at a large scale. We estimated the effects of both pressures on the distributions of 1884 tropical mammal species by integrating species' range maps, detailed land-use maps (1992 and 2015), species-specific...
Article
Full-text available
Scenario‐based biodiversity modelling is a powerful approach to evaluate how possible future socio‐economic developments may affect biodiversity. Here, we evaluated the changes in terrestrial biodiversity intactness, expressed by the mean species abundance (MSA) metric, resulting from three of the shared socio‐economic pathways (SSPs) combined with...
Preprint
Full-text available
AimField ecologists and macroecologists often compete for the same grants and academic positions, with the former producing original data that the latter generally use for model parameterization. Original data are usually cited only in the supplementary materials thereby not counting formally as citations, creating an unfair system where field ecol...
Article
Full-text available
The IUCN Red List categories and criteria are the most widely used framework for assessing the relative extinction risk of species. The criteria are based on quantitative thresholds relating to the size, trends and structure of species’ distributions and populations. However, data on these parameters are sparse and uncertain for many species and un...
Poster
Full-text available
Santini et al. 2019. Applying habitat and population density models to land cover time series to inform IUCN Red List assessments. Conservation Biology doi: 10.1111/cobi.13279
Poster
Full-text available
Overhunting is a main driver of biodiversity loss in the tropics, yet there is virtually no information about the spatial variation of hunting-induced defaunation and the areas where impacts might be most severe. Here we: 1) Assess spatial patterns of mammal defaunation due to hunting pressure across the pantropical forest area. 2) Assess the deg...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Experimental nitrogen (N) addition (fertilization) studies are commonly used to quantify the impacts of increased N inputs on plant biodiversity. However, given that plant community responses can vary considerably among individual studies, there is a clear need to synthesize and generalize findings with meta‐analytical approaches. Our goal was...
Article
Full-text available
About 75% of Earth’s land surface is currently modified by human activities (1). The expanding footprint of human activities is not only causing the loss of habitat and biodiversity but also affecting the dynamics of wildlife populations. Researchers have long examined human-induced spatial shifts in the distribution of wildlife, but temporal adjus...
Article
Large variations in removal efficiencies (REs) of chemicals have been reported for monitoring studies of activated sludge wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). In this work, we conducted a meta-analysis on REs (1539 data points) for a set of 209 chemicals consisting of fragrances, surfactants, and pharmaceuticals in order to assess the drivers of th...
Article
Full-text available
Our study provides an integrated analysis of the variability of greenhouse gas (GHG) footprints of field grown tomatoes for processing. The global farm-specific dataset of 890 observations across 14 countries over a three-year period (2013-2015) was obtained from farms grown under Unilever’s sustainable agricultural code. It repre-sents on average...
Article
Full-text available
Body mass is rarely recorded in amphibians, and other body measurements (e.g. Snout to vent length, SVL) are generally collected instead. However length measurements, when used as proxies of body mass in comparative analyses, are problematic if different taxa and morphotypes are included. We developed allometric relationships to derive body mass fr...
Article
Full-text available
Habitat selection is an inherently scale-sensitive process in which detected selection patterns frequently depend on the scale of analysis employed. We used a multi-scale modelling approach to identify how the distributions of two sympatric birds are shaped by differential selection at the landscape, land use and microhabitat scales and by human in...
Article
Full-text available
Voor veel vleermuissoorten is stedelijke omgeving belangrijk leefgebied. Voor een goed advies bij ruimtelijke ordening willen we de samenhang tussen urbane kenmerken en vleermuizen beter be-grijpen. We hebben daartoe bestaande data uit 'hopping detector'-projecten geanalyseerd op ver-banden tussen vleermuisactiviteit en omgevingskenmerken en versch...
Article
Full-text available
Human recreational activities are becoming increasingly widespread and frequent, a fact that may potentially exacerbate their effects on wildlife. These human-related disturbances on animals may induce behavioural and physiological changes that can ultimately affect their fitness. Here we combine the use of behavioural and physiological approaches...
Article
Full-text available
ABSTRACT.--- Knowledge about the distribution and frequency of color aberrations in wild birds is still relatively poor. Here we report for the first time the observation of an aberrantly colored Pin-tailed Sandgrouse Pterocles alchata, a threatened steppe bird with cryptic plumage and behavior. The bird displayed a not bilaterally symmetrical whit...
Article
Survival and the underlying causes of mortality are key demographic parameters for understanding animal population dynamics and identifying conservation needs. Here we use a large data set of tagged wild pin-tailed sandgrouse (Pterocles alchata) to examine the influence of individual traits (age, sex, size, movements and reproduction), and of tempo...
Article
Animals may perceive humans as a form of predatory threat, a disturbance, triggering behavioral changes together with the activation of physiological stress responses. These adaptive responses may allow individuals to cope with stressful stimuli, but a repeated or long-term exposure to disturbances may have detrimental individual- and population-le...
Article
Capturing and marking free-living birds permits the study of important aspects of their biology but may have undesirable effects. Bird welfare should be a primary concern, so it is necessary to evaluate and minimize any adverse effects of procedures used. We assess short-term effects associated with the capture, handling and tagging with backpack-m...
Article
Full-text available
Ascertaining which niche processes allow coexistence between closely related species is of special interest in ecology. We quantified variations in the environmental niches and densities of two congeneric species, the pin-tailed and the black-bellied sandgrouse (Pterocles alchata and Pterocles orientalis) in allopatry and sympatry under similar abi...
Article
Full-text available
Knowledge of the factors determining species distributions is essential for developing conservation strategies. Sandgrouse Pterocles alchata and P. orientalis are threatened in Spain, the stronghold of European populations. Spatial modelling was used to: (1) assess the relative importance of abiotic, anthropogenic and geographical factors in the di...