Joaquín Hortal

Joaquín Hortal
Spanish National Research Council | CSIC · Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales

Phd in Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity

About

257
Publications
101,860
Reads
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10,230
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Introduction
I'm a biogeographer and community ecologist with wide interests in identifying and understading the processes that determine the spatial (and temporal) distribution of biodiversity and the composition and structure of ecological communities and regional assemblages.
Additional affiliations
January 2011 - present
January 2010 - present
January 2008 - December 2012
Imperial College London

Publications

Publications (257)
Article
Full-text available
Ecologists and evolutionary biologists are increasingly using big-data approaches to tackle questions at large spatial, taxonomic, and temporal scales. However, despite recent efforts to gather two centuries of biodiversity inventories into comprehensive databases, many crucial research questions remain unanswered. Here, we update the concept of kn...
Article
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Ecology Letters (2011) 14: 741–748 Current climate and Pleistocene climatic changes are both known to be associated with geographical patterns of diversity. We assess their associations with the European Scarabaeinae dung beetles, a group with high dispersal ability and well-known adaptations to warm environments. By assessing spatial stationarity...
Article
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Species richness is commonly thought to increase with habitat diversity. However, a recent theoretical model aiming to unify niche and island biogeography theories predicted a hump-shaped relationship between richness and habitat diversity. Given the contradiction between model results and previous knowledge, we examine whether the relationship bet...
Article
It is well known that biodiversity data from historical inventories presents important geographic and taxonomic biases. Due to this, current knowledge on the distribution of most species could be incomplete and biased. We assess how the biases in historical biodiversity data might affect the description of the environmental niche of the species, us...
Article
Full-text available
Biodiversity data can be analysed to predict species distribution at various scales of time and space. However, survey completeness and temporal decay in data quality introduce uncertainty into biodiversity models. Researchers Joaquín Hortal, Juliana Stropp (National Museum of Natural Sciences, Spain), Richard Ladle (University of Porto, Portugal),...
Preprint
Approaching the consequences of climate change demands understanding how temperature controls species’ responses across key biological aspects, as well as the coordination of thermal responses across these aspects. We study the role of temperature in determining the species’ diel, seasonal, and geographical occurrence, using dung beetles as a model...
Article
Full-text available
Biddick & Burns (2021) proposed a null/neutral model that reproduces the island rule as a product of random drift. We agree that it is unnecessary to assume adaptive processes driving island dwarfing or gigantism, but several flaws make their approach unrealistic and thus unsuitable as a stochastic model for evolutionary size changes.
Article
Mountains present large climatic variations along elevational gradients, which can affect the distribution and abundance of species over space and time (e.g. reduction in richness towards higher elevations and seasonal variations). However, variations in biodiversity along elevational gradients within the Atlantic Forest – a hyperdiverse and highly...
Article
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Species distribution models (SDMs) are subject to many sources of uncertainty, limiting their application in research and practice. One of their main limitations is the quality of the distributional data used to calibrate them, which directly influences the accuracy of model predictions. We propose a standardized methodology to create maps, describ...
Article
Aim Adequate responses of species to climate changes require that thermal changes remain compatible across different key biological aspects (e.g. reproduction, feeding and development). However, limits of thermal compatibility to such biological aspects are largely unknown in extant ectotherm groups. To fill this gap, we studied the intraspecific c...
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The functioning of present ecosystems reflects deep evolutionary history of locally co‐occurring species if their functional traits show high phylogenetic signal (PS). However, we do not understand what drives local PS. We hypothesize that local PS is high in undisturbed and stressful habitats – either due to ongoing local assembly of species that...
Article
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Background A key challenge for conservation biology in the Neotropics is to understand how deforestation affects biodiversity at various levels of landscape fragmentation. Addressing this challenge requires expanding the coverage of known biodiversity data, which remain to date restricted to a few well-surveyed regions. Here, we assess the sampling...
Article
Biodiversity drives ecological functioning, ultimately providing ecosystem services. Ecosystem processes are favored by greater functional diversity, particularly when groups of functionally different species interact synergistically. Many of such functions are performed by insects, among which dung beetles stand out for their important role in dun...
Article
Aim The Island Rule—that is, the tendency for body size to decrease in large mammals and increase in small mammals on islands has been commonly evaluated through macroecological or macroevolutionary, pattern-orientated approaches, which generally fail to model the microevolutionary processes driving either dwarfing or gigantism. Here, we seek to id...
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Species diversity varies in space and time. Temporal changes in the structure and dynamics of communities can occur at different scales. We investigated the temporal changes of dung beetle assemblages in the Amazonian region along seasons, years, and successional stages. We evaluated if assemblage structure changes between temporal scales and wheth...
Article
Full-text available
Species distribution models (SDM) are widely used as indicators of different aspects of geographical ranges for many purposes, from conservation to biogeographical and evolutionary analyses. However, these techniques are susceptible to various sources of uncertainty. Data coverage, species’ ecology, and the characteristics of their geographic distr...
Article
COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly spread worldwide. Spain has suffered one of the largest nationwide bursts, particularly in the highly populated areas of Madrid and Barcelona (two of the five largest conurbations in Europe). We used segmented regression analyses to identify shifts in the evolution of the effective reproduction number (Rt) reported for...
Preprint
Full-text available
Studies focused on the drivers of change in species composition often fail to integrate several aspects of beta diversity and scale. Here, we assess the impact of species pool, environmental gradients, geographic distance, and spatial scale on the diversity of epiphytic bryophytes. We identify biogeographic modules of co-occurring species using net...
Article
Aim Nearly 40 different hypotheses have been put forward to explain the latitudinal diversity gradient, implying that geographical variations of biodiversity may be the result of a complex array of factors affecting organisms in different ways. Our main goal was to identify the most important drivers of local dung beetle species richness in the Neo...
Preprint
Full-text available
Understanding the consequences of climate change requires understanding how temperature controls species' responses across key biological aspects, as well as the coordination of thermal responses across these aspects. We study the role of temperature in determining the species' diel, seasonal, and geographical occurrence, using dung beetles as a mo...
Article
Full-text available
One of the largest nationwide bursts of the first COVID-19 outbreak occurred in Spain, where infection expanded in densely populated areas through March 2020. We analyse the cumulative growth curves of reported cases and deaths in all Spain and two highly populated regions, Madrid and Catalonia, identifying changes and sudden shifts in their expone...
Article
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Aim Studying species richness patterns by considering all species as equivalent units may prevent a deeper understanding of the origin and maintenance of biodiversity. Here, we deconstructed the species richness of Neotropical lianas by specific attributes of species to study richness–environment relationships. Location Neotropics. Taxon Tribe Bi...
Article
The Neotropics harbour the greatest diversity of freshwater fish on Earth. Despite recent advances in characterizing the fish fauna, the total number of species, distri-butional range, evolution and ecological traits remain uncertain. Thus, we quantify shortfalls in the knowledge of taxonomy (Linnean shortfall), geographic distribution (Wallacean s...
Article
Does the loss of species through habitat decline follow the same pattern whether the area lost is part of a large or a small habitat? An analysis sheds light on this long-running debate, with its implications for conservation strategies. Large and small areas of habitat have different patterns of species loss.
Article
Aim Historical climate variations, current climate and human impacts are known to influence current species richness, but their effects on phylogenetic and trait diversity have been seldom studied. We investigated the relationship of these three factors with the independent variations of species, phylogenetic and trait diversity of European mammals...
Article
The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning is often assessed through trait diversity. However, the relationship between traits and functions is typically assumed but seldom tested. We analyze the relationship between dung beetle traits and three ecological functions: dung removal, dung burial and seedling emergence. We set up a...
Data
Mapas de distribución de las especies de odonatos de Europa a escala de cuadrículas de 50 x 50 km, sintetizados a partir de la información disponible en tres publicaciones especializadas, una monografía (Askew 2004), una guía de campo (Dijkstra & Lewington 2006), y un atlas de distribución y estado de conservación (Boudot & Kalkman 2015). Dicha inf...
Preprint
Full-text available
COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly spread worldwide. Spain has suffered one of the largest nationwide bursts, particularly in the highly populated areas of Madrid and Barcelona (two of the five largest conurbations in Europe). We used segmented regression analyses to identify shifts in the evolution of the apparent reproductive number (Rt) reported for...
Preprint
Full-text available
COVID-19 pandemic has spread worldwide rapidly from its first outbreak in China, with different impacts depending on the age and social structure of the populations, and the measures taken by each government. Within Europe, the first countries to be strongly affected have been Italy and Spain. In Spain, infection has expanded in highly populated ar...
Article
The increase of free and open online biodiversity databases is of paramount importance for current research in ecology and evolution. However, little attention is paid to using updated taxonomy in these “biodiversity big data” repositories and the quality of their taxonomic information is often questioned. Here we assess how reliable is the current...
Article
Range expansion results from complex eco-evolutionary processes where range dynamics and niche shifts interact in a novel physical space and/or environment, with scale playing a major role. Obligate symbionts (i.e. organisms permanently living on hosts) differ from free-living organisms in that they depend on strong biotic interactions with their h...
Article
The study of biodiversity started as a single unified field that spanned both ecology and evolution and both macro and micro phenomena. But over the 20th century, major trends drove ecology and evolution apart and pushed an emphasis towards the micro perspective in both disciplines. Macroecology and macroevolution re‐emerged as self‐consciously dis...
Article
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According to the island rule, small-bodied vertebrates will tend to evolve larger body size on islands, whereas the opposite happens to large-bodied species. This controversial pattern has been studied at the macroecological and biogeographical scales, but new developments in quantitative evolutionary genetics now allow studying the island rule fro...
Article
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Tall and structurally complex forests can provide ample habitat and niche space for climbing plants, supporting high liana species richness. We test to what extent canopy height (as a proxy of 3‐D habitat structure), climate and soil interact to determine species richness in the largest clade of Neotropical lianas. We expect that the effect of cano...
Article
Although the description of bioregions dates back to the origin of biogeography, the processes originating their associated species pools have been seldom studied. Ancient historical events are thought to play a fundamental role in configuring bioregions, but the effects of more recent events on these regional biotas are largely unknown. We used a...
Article
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Background: We identified and classified damselfly (Zygoptera) and dragonfly (Anisoptera) metacommunities in Brazilian Amazonia, relating species distribution patterns to known biological gradients and biogeographical history. We expected a random distribution of both Zygoptera and Anisoptera within interfluves. At the Amazonian scale, we expected...
Article
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Rapid publication seems like an obvious imperative for scientific debate in the digital era. Most, if not all, science publishers aim to shorten the process between first submission and final publication of articles. However, while minimizing editorial handling and post-acceptance processing certainly reduces the time between research being conduct...
Article
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Communities of nonvascular cryptogams, such as mosses or lichens, are an important part of the Earth's biodiversity, contributing to the regulation of the carbon and nitrogen cycles in many ecosystems. Being poikilohydric organisms, they do not actively control their internal water content and need a humid environment to activate their metabolism....
Article
• Large Amazonian rivers may act as dispersal barriers for animals with low dispersal abilities, limiting their distribution to certain interfluves. Consequently, the distribution of these taxa would be less affected by macroclimatic gradients. Conversely, high‐dispersal taxa would be less constrained by large rivers and may track suitable climates...
Article
Full-text available
Background Assemblage responses to environmental gradients are key to understand the general principles behind the assembly and functioning of communities. The spatially and temporally uneven distribution of water availability in drylands creates strong aridity gradients. While the effects of spatial variations of aridity are relatively well known,...
Data
Definitions and summary values of environmental variables used. Table S1. Summary of grouped variables used (variables used in the final analyses have been marked with a tick mark ✓). Table S2. Localization (municipality and coordinates), altitude and amount of dung of each replicate and site sampled. Dung availability variables (cow dung and other...
Data
Dung beetle abundance per year (2013 and 2014) and season (wet and dry) along a transect from the Sahara desert to the semiarid Mediterranean coast (see map in Figure 1). Table S3. Names of species are grouped by subfamily. Totals per site (i.e. community) are given for each subfamily.
Data
Supplementary results. Table S4. Species with significant Indicator Values (IndVal, De Caceres & Legendre, 2009) per year (2013 and 2014) and season (wet and dry). Table S5. Summary of the GLRs evaluating the effects of the extracted PLS components on species richness and log abundance for the wet and dry seasons. Figure S1. Variation partitioning...
Article
Biodiversity databases are typically incomplete and biased. We identify their three main limitations for characterizing the geographic distributions of species: unknown levels of survey effort, unknown absences of a species from a region, and unknown level of repeated occurrence of a species in different samples collected at the same location. Thes...
Article
Full-text available
Islands harbour evolutionary and ecologically unique biota, which are currently disproportionately threatened by a multitude of anthropogenic factors, including habitat loss, invasive species and climate change. Native forests on oceanic islands are important refugia for endemic species, many of which are rare and highly threatened. Long-term monit...
Preprint
Full-text available
This preprint has been reviewed and recommended by Peer Community In Evolutionary Biology ( https://doi.org/10.24072/pci.evolbiol.100053 ). Despite the description of bioregions dates back from the origin of biogeography, the processes originating their associated species pools have been seldom studied. Ancient historical events are thought to play...
Article
Full-text available
Species richness is influenced by a nested set of environmental factors, but how do these factors interact across several scales? Our main aim is to disentangle the relative importance of environmental filters and the species pool on the richness of epiphytic bryophytes across spatial scales. To do so, we sampled epiphytic bryophytes in 43 oak fore...
Article
Full-text available
Insects play a key role in the regulation and dynamics of many ecosystem services (ES). However, this role is often assumed, with limited or no experimental quantification of its real value. We examined publication trends in the research on ES provided by insects, ascertaining which ES and taxa have been more intensively investigated, and which met...
Article
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Spatial and/or temporal biases in biodiversity data can directly influence the utility, comparability, and reliability of ecological and evolutionary studies. While the effects of biased spatial coverage of biodiversity data are relatively well known, temporal variation in data quality (i.e., the congruence between recorded and actual information)...
Article
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Background: Understanding the processes that determine community assembly and their dynamics is a central issue in ecology. The analysis of functional diversity can improve our understanding of these dynamics by identifying community assembly processes. Aims: We studied the effect of environment–community co-variations on both functional diversity...
Article
Frontiers of Biogeography launched eight years ago, merging the missions of a newsletter and a book, to deliver a series of integrative and interdisciplinary volumes to a diverse community of biogeographers. The journal purposefully was pitched as a 'magazine' aiming to distinguish itself from existing biogeography journals with syntheses and prosp...
Article
Nestedness is a common pattern in interaction networks. However, its ecological and evolutionary meaning is under debate. Evidence shows that nestedness in mutualistic networks may be just a consequence of the species–abundance distribution. This has been questioned as abundance itself could be influenced by differences in generalism between specie...
Article
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Aims The 50th anniversary of the publication of the seminal book, The Theory of Island Biogeography, by Robert H. MacArthur and Edward O. Wilson is a timely moment to review and identify key research foci that could advance island biology. Here, we take a collaborative horizon-scanning approach to identify 50 fundamental questions for the continued...
Article
Background and Aims The geographical distributions of species are constrained by their ecological requirements. The aim of this work was to analyse the effects of environmental conditions, historical events and biogeographical constraints on the diversification of the three species of the western Mediterranean shrub genus Stauracanthus, which have...
Article
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Background In this contribution we present detailed distribution and abundance data for arthropod species identified during the BALA – Biodiversity of Arthropods from the Laurisilva of the Azores (1999-2004) and BALA2 projects (2010-2011) from 18 native forest fragments in seven of the nine Azorean islands (all excluding Graciosa and Corvo islands,...