Lourdes Morillas

Lourdes Morillas
Università degli Studi di Sassari | UNISS · Dipartimento di Scienze della Natura e del Territorio

PhD

About

34
Publications
28,966
Reads
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659
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2012 - October 2012
Estonian University of Life Sciences
Position
  • University of Buenos Aires
May 2012 - August 2012
November 2010 - January 2011
Universidad de Buenos Aires
Position
  • Fellow

Publications

Publications (34)
Article
Full-text available
Climate change and atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition on drylands are greatly threatening these especially vulnerable areas. Soil biocrust-forming lichens in drylands can provide early indicators of these disturbances and play a pivotal role, as they contribute to key ecosystem services. In this study, we explored the effects of different long-ter...
Article
Full-text available
This article enhances some ideas and opinions related with the challenges that women across the world face nowadays to pursue a professional career. The route they take has frequent obstacles of a distinct nature, which are not always comparable with those faced by men. The starting point of this work is the conclusions of the workshop “Women empow...
Article
Full-text available
Atmospheric nitrogen (N) inputs in the Mediterranean Basin are projected to increase due to fossil fuel combustion, fertilizer use, and the exacerbation of agricultural production processes. Although increasing N deposition is recognized as a major threat to ecosystem functioning, little is known about how local environmental conditions modulate ec...
Article
Full-text available
Lichens are classified into different functional groups depending on their ecological and physiological response to a given environmental stressor. However, knowledge on lichen response to the synergistic effect of multiple environmental factors is extremely scarce, although vital to get a comprehensive understanding of the effects of global change...
Article
Soil microbial communities (SMCs) are important drivers of forest ecosystem functions and services. To optimize afforestation practices, it is important to understand how pure and mixed plantations can affect SMCs and their functioning. Therefore, the objective of this work was to investigate the SMC structure and function of six Mediterranean wood...
Article
Full-text available
Through litter decomposition enormous amounts of carbon is emitted to the atmosphere. Numerous large-scale decomposition experiments have been conducted focusing on this fundamental soil process in order to understand the controls on the terrestrial carbon transfer to the atmosphere. However, previous studies were mostly based on site-specific litt...
Article
Full-text available
Through litter decomposition enormous amount of carbon is emitted to the atmosphere. Numerous large-scale decomposition experiments have been conducted focusing on this fundamental soil process in order to understand the controls on the terrestrial carbon transfer to the atmosphere. However, previous studies were mostly based on site-specific litte...
Article
Full-text available
Through litter decomposition enormous amounts of carbon is emitted to the atmosphere. Numerous large-scale decomposition experiments have been conducted focusing on this fundamental soil process in order to under-stand the controls on the terrestrial carbon transfer to the atmosphere. However, previous studies were mostly based on site-specific litt...
Article
Reforestation with multiple tree species is a promoted strategy to mitigate global change and to improve forest resistance against natural hazards. Dryland reforestation often fails because seedlings suffer from harsh conditions in degraded areas. Positive species interactions can overcome recruitment drawbacks by ameliorating environmental stress,...
Article
Full-text available
Increased atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition is known to alter ecosystem carbon source-sink dynamics through changes in soil CO2 fluxes. However, a limited number of experiments have been conducted to assess the effects of realistic N deposition in the Mediterranean Basin, and none of them have explored the effects of N addition on soil respiratio...
Article
Full-text available
This study assesses which factors are involved in the soil respiration (Sr) response to wetting-drying cycles in two Mediterranean ecosystems. We analysed Sr, mineral nitrogen, ion-exchange resin mineral nitrogen, and phosphate levels at weekly intervals over one year in two Mediterranean ecosystems with contrasting characteristics: a pine forest w...
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...
Article
In Mediterranean ecosystems, the soil biological crust (hereafter biocrust) plays a crucial role in maintaining ecosystem functioning. In these ecosystems, soil water content can often be a stronger driver of soil CO2 efflux than soil temperature, or at least comparable. However, little is known on the contribution of the biocrust to soil CO2 efflu...
Conference Paper
Despite the importance of establishing networks of experimental sites to investigate the functional response of the ecosystem to global change and help the formulation of sustainable resource management policies, Mediterranean and semi-arid ecosystems are underrepresented in international networks, including those focusing on the effects of nitroge...
Article
Full-text available
Parasitic plants are important drivers of community and ecosystem properties. In this study, we identify different mechanisms by which mistletoe (Viscum album subsp. austriacum) can affect soil chemical and biological properties at different temporal stages of parasitism. We quantified the effect of parasitism on host growth and the number of frugi...
Article
Full-text available
Carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling under future climate change is associated with large uncertainties in litter decomposition and the turnover of soil C and N. In addition, future conditions (especially altered precipitation regimes and warming) are expected to result in changes in vegetation composition, and accordingly in litter species and chem...
Article
Full-text available
Projection of carbon and nitrogen cycles to future climates is associated with large uncertainties, in particular due to uncertainties how changes in climate alter soil turnover, including litter decomposition. In addition, future conditions are expected to result in changes in vegetation composition, and accordingly in litter type and quality, but...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change and atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition are two of the most important global change drivers. However, the interactions of these drivers have not been well studied. We aimed to assess how the combined effect of soil N additions and more frequent soil drying-rewetting events affects carbon (C) and N cycling, soil-atmosphere greenhouse...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition and climate change are among the most relevant drivers of biodiversity loss, also affecting ecosystem functions and services. Consequently, there is a growing need to improve our understanding of their isolated and combined effects. Atmospheric N deposition can alter plant functionality and diversity because of s...
Article
Full-text available
To improve our knowledge of how nutrient cycling in Mediterranean environments responds to climate change, we evaluated the effects of the continuous changes in soil nitrogen (N) pools during natural wetting and drying events. We measured soil N pools (microbial biomass [MB-N], dissolved organic nitrogen [DON], NH 4 + and NO 3 − ) and N ion exchang...
Article
Full-text available
• Context The amount and chemistry of litterfall have been known to strongly vary among the years with important implications for ecosystem nutrient cycles, but there are few quantitative data describing such variations. • Aims We studied the climatic implications on the variation in litterfall and its C and N input to soil in two distinct European...
Article
Full-text available
Aims Human activities are causing imbalances in the nutrient cycles in natural ecosystems. However, we have limited knowledge of how these changes will affect the soil microbial functional diversity and the nitrogen (N) cycle in drylands, the biggest biome on Earth. Communities dominated by lichens, mosses and cyanobacteria (biocrusts) influence mu...
Article
Full-text available
‘Los Alcornocales’ Natural Park (southwest Spain), one of the most important Mediterranean cork oak (Quercus suber) forests in Europe, has experienced a substantial tree dieback in the past decades. We hypothesize that areas experiencing high eutrophication should exhibit higher leaf nitrogen (N) concentrations and lower N resorption efficiency and...
Article
Full-text available
The biogeochemical cycles of carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) modulate the primary production, respiration and decomposition from molecular to global scales on Earth, and constrain organismal responses to global change. Human activities are changing the ratios of those nutrients on soil, but our knowledge about how these cycles modulate...
Article
Full-text available
Los ecosistemas mediterráneos son clásicamente considerados como pobres en nutrientes. La disponibilidad de nutrientes para las plantas depende de varios mecanismos complejos y mutuamente dependientes. En primer lugar dependerá del retorno de necromasa al suelo, y de la eficiencia que las plantas muestren en la conservación de los nutrientes en sus...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
The strategic objectives of Med-N-Change are: i) to investigate the synergistic effects of Nitrogen status and climate change on soil processes in Mediterranean ecosystems and ii) to assess the role of the biocrust and its components as key factors modulating the way these global change drivers interact.
Project
Understanding the impact of ozone, nitrogen deposition and claimte change on terrestrial ecoystems
Project
Global environmental change (GEC) will have major impacts on the functioning of biotic communities, and will foster important changes in their current composition and diversity. Given that crucial ecosystem functions and services, such as productivity, nutrient cycling and carbon storage, depend on biodiversity, biodiversity losses associated to GEC are predicted to be accompanied by yet further extreme ecological events and potential catastrophic shifts in natural ecosystems. However, large uncertainty exists about how GEC-induced alterations in the composition and diversity of biotic communities will impact ecosystem functioning and the ability of ecosystems to provide goods and services. This is particularly true for terrestrial microbial communities, as we are only starting to understand the role that environmental factors play in determining their abundance, distribution and diversity. This project aims to understand how multiple biotic communities (vascular plants, biocrusts and microbial communities) modulate the impacts of two major GEC drivers (climate change and N deposition) on ecosystem functioning in drylands at multiple spatial scales (from local to global). Drylands, which are highly sensitive to GEC, are the largest terrestrial biome, covering also over two thirds of the Spanish territory. Because of the extent of dryland ecosystems globally, and the dependence of an important part of the human population on them for goods and services, it is crucial to understand how drylands may be affected by GEC and, more specifically, to know how their biotic communities will modulate ecosystem responses to GEC. This project has four specific objectives: i) to evaluate the composition and diversity of soil microbial communities in global drylands, ii) to determine the relative importance of microbial and plant communities and abiotic factors as drivers of ecosystem multifunctionality in drylands at regional and global scales, iii) to test how climate change- and N deposition-induced changes in biocrust and microbial communities affect key ecosystem processes related with nutrient and with the exchange of trace gases between the soil and the atmosphere, and iv) to assess how soil biotic legacy effects of climate change affect vascular plants and ecosystem processes, as well as the resistance and resilience of soil microbial communities to climate change. Our proposed use of different experimental approaches, multiple biotic communities and spatial scales to test the same core ideas is novel, and will add further value to the project by allowing wider generalizations of the results obtained. Such integrated framework has not been tackled before when studying the impacts of GEC on terrestrial ecosystems, and constitutes a ground breaking advance over current research efforts on this key environmental issue, which is a priority research topic for both the European Union and Spain. This project will provide key insights to answer pressing questions regarding the effects of GEC on biodiversity and associated ecosystem processes. The data obtained will also improve our ability to predict the ecological consequences of GEC, allow the development of new technologies to mitigate predicted impacts of GEC in terrestrial ecosystems, and will help managers, policy makers and companies to improve the management and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystem services in drylands.