Cristina Branquinho

Cristina Branquinho
University of Lisbon | UL · Departamento de Biologia Vegetal

Ecology, Biology

About

253
Publications
103,557
Reads
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5,422
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2017 - December 2018
University of Lisbon
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
January 2017 - December 2018
University of Lisbon
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
November 2016 - December 2016
University of Lisbon
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (253)
Conference Paper
The word Sustainability is increasingly used in a myriad of different contexts. Nevertheless, there is still little knowledge about how lay individuals understand the concept and its broadness, and how they can link it to their own well-being. The aim of this research is to explore the creation of public interactive artistic media experiences based...
Article
Full-text available
Some plants are able to accumulate on their leaves metals taken from the soil, using this as a defence against herbivorous arthropods. However, herbivore response to metal accumulation in plants is known to be variable. While some species and taxonomic groups are less affected than others, hormetic effects have also been observed in spider mites, h...
Article
Unisexual bryophytes provide excellent models to study the mechanisms that regulate the frequency of sexual vs. asexual reproduction in plants, and their ecological and evolutionary implications. Here, we determined sex expression, phenotypic sex ratio, and individual shoot traits in 242 populations of the cosmopolitan moss Pseudoscleropodium purum...
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
Urbanization transforms environments in ways that alter biological evolution. We examined whether urban environmental change drives parallel evolution by sampling 110,019 white clover plants from 6169 populations in 160 cities globally. Plants were assayed for a Mendelian antiherbivore defense that also affects tolerance to abiotic stressors. Urban...
Preprint
Lichens, organisms resulting from a symbiosis between a fungus and an algae, are frequently used as age estimators, especially in recent geological deposits and archaeological structures, using the correlation between lichen size and age. Current non-automated manual lichen and measurement (with ruler, calipers or using digital image processing too...
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
Full-text available
Aboveground biomass (AGB) estimation plays a crucial role in forest management and carbon emission reporting, especially for developing countries wishing to address REDD+ projects. Both passive and active remote-sensing technologies can provide spatially explicit information of AGB by using a limited number of field samples, thus reducing the subst...
Preprint
Some plants are able to accumulate on their leaves metals taken from the soil, using this as a defence against herbivorous arthropods. However, herbivore response to metal accumulation in plants is known to be variable. While some species and taxonomic groups are less affected than others, hormetic effects have also been observed in spider-mites, h...
Article
Full-text available
Bryophytes are poikilohydric organisms that play a key role in ecosystems, while some of them are also resistant to drought and environmental disturbances but present a slow growth rate. Moss culture in the laboratory can be a very useful tool for ecological restoration or the development of urban green spaces (roof and wall) in the Mediterranean r...
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
Full-text available
Reviewing the ecological studies on the endangered endemic Plantago almogravensis Franco, an Al-hyperaccumulator plant, and combining these with morphological, physiological, biochemical, and molecular data, significant knowledge on the limiting factors that cause its narrow geographical distribution and rarity status is achieved, which can contrib...
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
Community ecology has experienced a major transition, from a focus on patterns in taxonomic composition, to revealing the processes underlying community assembly through the analysis of species functional traits. The power of the functional trait approach is its generality, predictive capacity such as with respect to environmental change, and, thro...
Preprint
Full-text available
There is a wealth of data on air pollution within several users' reach, including modelled concentrations and depositions as well as observations from air quality stations. However, data integration to perceive spatial and temporal trends at the national level is a complex undertaking. The difficulties are mainly related to the data sources (many f...
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
Cities are challenging environments for human life, because of multiple environmental issues driven by urbanization. These can sometimes be mitigated through ecosystem services provided by different functions supported by biodiversity. However, biodiversity in cities is affected by numerous factors, namely habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentati...
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
Climate change is impacting locally adapted species such as the keystone tree species cork oak (Quercus suber L.). Quantifying the importance of environmental variables in explaining the species distribution can help build resilient populations in restoration projects and design forest management strategies. Using landscape genomics, we investigate...
Article
Full-text available
Green roofs can be an innovative and effective way of mitigating the environmental impact of urbanization by providing several important ecosystem services. However, it is known that the performance of green roofs varies depending on the type of vegetation and, in drier climates, without resorting to irrigation, these are limited to xerophytic plan...
Chapter
Full-text available
Despite covering only 0.82% of the ocean’s surface, the Mediterranean Sea supports up to 18% of all known marine species, with 21% being listed as vulnerable and 11% as endangered. The acceler- ated spread of tropical non-indigenous species is leading to the “tropicalization” of Mediterranean fauna and flora as a result of warming and extreme heat...
Article
The lichen Cladonia portentosa is generally considered to be sensitive to increased environmental nitrogen (N) deposition. However, the presence of this lichen in impacted environments suggests that it can cope with prolonged exposure to high N availability. To test the tolerance of this species to N, photosynthetic parameters, carbon and N concent...
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...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Mediterranean Ecosystem report on Climate and Global changes. Balzan MV, Hassoun AER, Aroua N, Baldy V, Bou Dagher M, Branquinho C, Dutay J-C, El Bour M, Médail F, Mojtahid M, Morán-Ordóñez A, Roggero PP, Rossi Heras S, Schatz B, Vogiatzakis IN, Zaimes GN, Ziveri P 2020 Ecosystems. In: Climate and Environmental Change in the Mediterranean Basin –...
Chapter
Full-text available
Marine ecosystems: Despite covering only 0.82% of the ocean’s surface, the Mediterranean Sea supports up to 18% of all known marine species, with 21% being listed as vulnerable and 11% as endangered. The accelerated spread of tropical non-indigenous species is leading to the “tropicalization” of Mediterranean fauna and flora as a result of warming...
Article
Smaller oceanic islands, often hosting endangered native habitats, are particularly vulnerable to the impact of human activities. Using lichens as bioindicators, this study aimed to test if agricultural (AGR) and artificial (ART) land uses are noticeably more impacted than forest (FOR) land use on an oceanic island (São Miguel, Azores). Livestock a...
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
Wood-pastures are grazed systems resulting from a long-term use of natural woodlands by humans. These social-ecological systems, covering vast areas of Europe and other temperate regions, have both high biodiversity and economic values, so many are classified as High Nature Value Farmlands. However, in some regions a loss of spatial heterogeneity t...
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
Modern cars have an array of sensors that allow different objects to be recognized, including large and small animals. They thus have the potential to become a tool for monitoring biodiversity and improving driver safety. But to achieve this various challenges in computing, communications and privacy need to be addressed.
Article
Full-text available
Green roofs have been more thoroughly investigated in the last few years due to the potential benefits they offer to ecosystems in urban areas (e.g., carbon sequestration, particle retention, heat island effect attenuation). However, current climate change models predict an increase in desertification, with an increase in temperature and decrease i...
Article
Tsunamis and storms cause considerable coastal flooding, numerous fatalities, destruction of structures, and erosion. The characterization of energy and frequency associated with each wave contribute to the risk assessment in coastal regions. Coastal boulder deposits represent a physical proof of extreme inundation and allow us to study the effects...
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
Wood-pastures are grazed systems, widespread across Europe, where natural and economic values often co-exist. Social and economic changes in Europe generate both threats and opportunities to these systems, calling for new or improved management strategies. We studied the potential of increasing the biodiversity of wood-pastures through the promotio...
Article
There is a need to resolve methods to determine native versus non‐native plant use in drylands and indeed in more temperate areas around the world. This is because whilst plant introductions may have positive objectives, they can have significant negative landscape and environmental impacts. A key discussion on this issue focuses on whether the use...
Article
Adopting an integrative approach that explicitly includes the different facets of biodiversity is crucial to assess the response of biological communities to changing environments. The identification of the optimal climatic conditions where communities maximize their functional, phylogenetic and taxonomic diversity is useful to compare whether the...
Article
We hypothesize that the thalli of the green-algal, CO2-sensitive lichen Usnea rubicunda (Stirton) undergo significant structural alterations as a biological response indicating increased CO2 emissions. To test that, U. rubicunda thalli were transplanted from a reference site with no volcanism into 36 sites distributed within the volcanically active...
Article
Although covering less than 1% of the land surface, extraction activities have long‐lasting impacts on local ecosystems, inevitably damaging biological diversity and depleting ecosystem services. Many extractive companies are now aware of their impacts and, while pressured by society, demand concrete solutions from researchers to reverse the effect...
Article
The urban heat island effect creates warmer and drier conditions in urban areas than in their surrounding rural areas. This effect is predicted to be exacerbated in the future, under a climate change scenario. One way to mitigate this effect is to use the urban green infrastructure as a way to promote the cooling island effect. In this study we aim...
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
Air quality affects both ecosystems and human health. To assess the effects of air pollution, spatially explicit information of pollutants is needed. Atmospheric chemistry transport models are the best option to estimate concentrations and deposition of pollutants, from local to regional scales. However, concentration and deposition maps derived fr...
Article
Full-text available
Humans are changing Earth’s biodiversity at unprecedent rates, mainly by destroying or degrading ecosystems. Large old trees can be both a symbol of cultures, as well as an ecosystem per se. They play essential ecological roles in e.g. hydrologic and micro/meso-climatic regimes, carbon storage and nutrient cycling while also providing habitat for a...
Article
Full-text available
In the last decade, several works showed that even bryophytes from aquatic environments, if slowly dehydrated, can cope with desiccation in a response like the one from desert bryophytes. This led to the hypothesis that, if bryophytes from contrasting habitats can have similar responses, desiccation tolerance (DT) is partially inductive and not onl...
Article
Green Walls (GWs) have been increasingly recognized as an important restoration technique for steep slopes resulting from quarrying activities or major infrastructure construction projects. In practice, GW irrigation is considered essential, although studies evaluating vegetation establishment under different irrigation regimes are lacking. Besides...
Article
In the Mediterranean climate, during the hot and dry summer, small streams dry out exposing the aquatic bryophyte Fontinalis antipyretica L. ex Hedw. to desiccation, losing all cellular water content. Previous works showed that fast dehydration (less than two hours) is extremely severe, unabling recovery upon rehydration. On the other hand, slow de...
Article
Human populations living in volcanically active areas are chronically exposed to volcanogenic air pollution, potentially contributing to long-term adverse health effects. However, mapping chronic exposure is difficult due to low spatial resolution of monitoring data on air pollutants and the need for time integration. To overcome these problems, li...
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
Resumo Com a presente dominância do Homem sobre os ecossistemas, a sociedade enfrenta agora novos desafios do foro social, ético e ambiental. A Ecologia, como ciência transversal e holística, tem muito a contribuir para a construção do conhecimento científico, aquisição de dados e elaboração de propostas de resolução de problemas ambientais com vis...
Article
Full-text available
Green roofs are important infrastructures to address the effects of climate change in urban areas. However, most studies and applications have been done in cooler and wetter regions of the northern hemisphere. Climate change will lead to more extreme weather events, such as increased drought and decreased precipitation with intense flash rain event...
Article
Urban environments are densely populated areas buzzing with a wide range of anthropic activities that cause disturbances like air pollution or the heat island effect, threatening both human and environmental health. Mitigating its impacts implies understanding the integrated effects that those disturbances exert on urban environments. Lichen biodiv...
Article
In an increasingly urbanized world, urban green spaces (UGS) are critical for ensuring residents’ health and well-being, due to the ecosystem services provided. Urban planning is being instigated to maximize the potential of UGS to increase responsiveness to major societal and environmental challenges and emerging policy demands. While city-wide pe...
Article
Full-text available
The impact of allergens emitted by urban green spaces on health is one of the main disservices of ecosystems. The objective of this work is to establish the potential allergenic value of some tree species in urban environments, so that the allergenicity of green spaces can be estimated through application of the Index of Urban Green Zones Allergeni...
Conference Paper
Bryophytes are a key group of freshwaters providing multiple ecological functions, especially in headwaters. Worldwide, recent efforts were directed at characterizing the functional composition of vascular aquatic communities, but few studies have addressed bryophyte functional responses to environmental conditions. Our study was conducted in head...
Article
The UN Sustainable Development Goals states that urban air pollution must be tackled to create more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities. Urban green infrastructures can mitigate air pollution, but a crucial step to use this knowledge into urban management is to quantify how much air-quality regulation can green spaces provide and to u...
Article
Full-text available
As a Nature-Based Solution, urban forests deliver a number of environmental ecosystem services (EESs). To quantify these EESs, well-defined, reliable, quantifiable and stable indicators are needed. Based on literature analysis and expert knowledge gathered within COST Action FP1204 GreenInUrbs, we propose a classification of urban forest EESs into...
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,...