Luis R. Pertierra

Luis R. Pertierra
University of Pretoria | UP · Department of Plant and Soil Sciences

Ph.D., Ecology
Examining Polar Biodiversity Redistribution Processes linked to Global Change under the ASICS EU-Biodiversa Framework

About

49
Publications
17,078
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1,114
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2018 - present
King Juan Carlos University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
January 2018 - September 2020
King Juan Carlos University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
March 2017 - November 2017
The National Museum of Natural Sciences
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (49)
Article
Understanding the success factors underlying each step in the process of biological invasion provides a robust foundation upon which to develop appropriate biosecurity measures. Insights into the processes occurring can be gained through clarifying the circumstances applying to non-native species that have arrived, established and, in some cases, s...
Article
When an alien species establishes at a new location, it must spread to become an invader. The extent to which propagule pressure promotes the spread of invaders, especially at local scales, is often difficult to quantify because it requires a reliable measure of, and variation in, rate of spread, and of propagule pressure across similar areas. In t...
Article
Full-text available
The polar regions provide valuable insights into the functioning of the Earth’s regulating systems. Conducting field research in such harsh and remote environments requires strong international cooperation, extended planning horizons, sizable budgets and long-term investment. Consequently, polar research is particularly vulnerable to societal and e...
Article
Full-text available
Biological invasions are one of the most important threats to Antarctic biodiversity. Springtails (Collembola) make up most of the diversity in soil arthropod communities in Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems. However, the potential range expansion of already established alien springtails and their consequent impacts on Antarctic ecosystems remains l...
Article
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Global changes in soil surface temperatures are altering the abundances and distribution ranges of invertebrate species worldwide, including effects on soil microarthropods such as springtails (Collembola), which are vital for maintaining soil health and providing ecosystem services. Studies of thermal tolerance limits in soil invertebrates have th...
Article
Antarctic ecosystem services are rich and diverse and include global climate modulation, biodiversity and habitat protection, cultural heritage, scientific knowledge, education and recreation as well as the extraction of marine living resources. However, environmental protection studies have rarely examined the full complement of Antarctic values r...
Article
Uncontrolled biological invasions have direct and indirect impacts on the structure and functioning of soil invertebrate communities in Antarctica. Among others, invasion success is strongly determined by the ability of species to tolerate broad thermal ranges. Yet, few studies have compared the thermal niches of native and invasive species. Physio...
Article
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Penguins are the only extant family of flightless diving birds. They currently comprise at least 18 species, distributed from polar to tropical environments in the Southern Hemisphere. The history of their diversification and adaptation to these diverse environments remains controversial. We used 22 new genomes from 18 penguin species to reconstruc...
Article
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Aim The conservation of biodiversity is hampered by data deficiencies, with many new species and subspecies awaiting description or reclassification. Population genomics and ecological niche modelling offer complementary new tools for uncovering functional units of phylogenetic diversity. We hypothesize that phylogenetically delineated lineages of...
Article
1. Many animals invest a great amount of time and energy foraging. However, the sit‐and‐wait strategy is a common behaviour, which reduces the cost of moving by using perches. In the case of dung beetles, individuals of many species use leaves as perches. The factors for the selection of these perches are still unknown, but one hypothesis proposes...
Article
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Aim Antarctica's remote and extreme terrestrial environments are inhabited by only two species of native vascular plants. We assessed genetic connectivity amongst Antarctic and South American populations of one of these species, Colobanthus quitensis, to determine its origin and age in Antarctica. Location Maritime Antarctic, sub‐Antarctic islands...
Article
The great plasticity and diverse reproductive strategies of invasive alien plants are widely assumed to contribute to invasion success, even in extreme areas, often displacing native species. In this context, climate change creates new opportunities for biological invasions. Environmental variability and global warming are two of the climatic proce...
Article
Correlative species distribution models (SDMs) are subject to substantial spatio‐temporal limitations when historical occurrence records of data‐poor species provide incomplete and outdated information for niche modelling. Complementary mechanistic modelling techniques can, therefore, offer a valuable contribution to underpin more physiologically i...
Article
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Antarctica is a stressful ecosystem with few vascular plants, an ideal system to test positive interactions. Here, plants such as Deschampsia antarctica could generate more suitable micro-environmental conditions for the establishment of other plants (facilitation). We examined the co-occurrence of vascular plant species in the Antarctic Peninsula...
Article
Biological invasions are one of the major threats to Antarctic native biodiversity and to ecosystems integrity. Regional environmental change and increasing human activity in Maritime Antarctica facilitates the introduction, establishment and colonisation of an increasing number of non-indigenous species. Systematic monitoring is an essential tool...
Article
The distribution of terrestrial biodiversity within Antarctica is complex, with 16 distinct biogeographic regions (Antarctic Conservation Biogeographic Regions) currently recognised within the Antarctic continent, Peninsula and Scotia Arc archipelagos of the Antarctic Treaty area. Much of this diversity is endemic not only to Antarctica as a whole,...
Poster
Full-text available
Antarctica is the least invaded continent on the planet, but over the last few decades it has experienced increased occurrences of alien invasions. Here we investigate a terrestrial invader, the midge Eretmoptera murphyi (Chironomidae), and present an update on its distribution on Signy Island whilst evaluating its risk of expansion to the rest of...
Article
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Higher education institutions (HEIs) have been steadily progressing towards the integration of sustainable practices in their structures and operations. Several studies have reported the variety of drivers of change and the barriers to change that universities have found in the integration process. The present investigation is aimed at further char...
Article
Full-text available
Questions: Is rock climbing pressure, together with microtopographic conditions, disturbing cliff plant cover and composition? What are the climbing impacts on rock specialist and non-specialist species? Can a case-control approach, not previously implemented in cliff environments, offer additional value for actual and long-term ecological research...
Article
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The Antarctic Treaty recognizes the outstanding scientific values of the Antarctic environment through the designation of Antarctic Specially Protected Areas (ASPAs) that have rigorous management plans specific to each site. Deception Island has the largest concentration of rare bryophyte species and communities in Antarctica, while also offering s...
Article
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The main soil physical-chemical features, the concentrations of a set of pollutants, and the soil microbiota linked to penguin rookeries have been studied in 10 selected sites located at the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula (Maritime Antarctica). This study aims to test the hypothesis that biotransport by penguins increases the co...
Article
In recent years, there have been a considerable number of efforts to integrate sustainability into Higher Education Institutions; however, there are still a number of challenges that need to be overcome. A process that has received an increasing attention has been the Organisational Change Management for Sustainability. This article is aimed at rev...
Article
The two non-native grasses that have established long-term populations in Antarctica (Poa pratensis and Poa annua) were studied from a global multidimensional thermal niche perspective to address the biological invasion risk to Antarctica. These two species exhibit contrasting introduction histories and reproductive strategies and represent two ref...
Article
Full-text available
Species Distribution Models (SDMs) combine information on the geographic occurrence of species with environmental layers to estimate distributional ranges and have been extensively implemented to answer a wide array of applied ecological questions. Unfortunately, most global datasets available to parameterize SDMs consist of spatially interpolated...
Article
Full-text available
Human footprint models allow visualization of human spatial pressure across the globe. Up until now, Antarctica has been omitted from global footprint models, due possibly to the lack of a permanent human population and poor accessibility to necessary datasets. Yet Antarctic ecosystems face increasing cumulative impacts from the expanding tourism i...
Article
The on-going introduction of non-native species to Antarctica due to expanding human activity presents an increasing threat to biodiversity. Under the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, all introduced non-native species should be removed from the Antarctic Treaty area. The non-native grass Poa pratensis was first introduc...
Article
Full-text available
Two small swards of two grass species (Agrostis stolonifera and Agrostis capillaris) previously unrecorded on Macquarie Island (54°30′S, 158°56′E) were found during the 2013–2014 austral summer. Their discovery leads to an assessment of their introduction status and invasive risk. Several evaluations were conducted on the plants regarding their ext...
Article
Full-text available
Antarctic non-native species legislation is contained within the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, with 2016 marking the 25th anniversary of its adoption. We take this opportunity to evaluate the Antarctic Treaty signatory Parties' collective development and implementation of non-native species policy. In general, scient...
Article
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The preambles of the 1959 Antarctic Treaty and the 1991 Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic state that Antarctica is to be managed in the interest of all mankind. However, key phrases such as ‘interest of all mankind’ and ‘wilderness and aesthetic values’ are subject to interpretation. The objective of this study is to gain a bett...
Article
Thousands of tourists visit certain Antarctic sites each year, generating a wide variety of environmental impacts. Scientific knowledge of human activities and their impacts can help in the effective design of management measures and impact mitigation. We present a case study from Barrientos Island in which a management measure was originally put i...
Article
Full-text available
Antarctica is one of the most extreme environments for vascular plants occurrence worldwide, and only two native vascular plants have colonized this continent: Deschampsia antarctica and Colobanthus quitensis. Nevertheless, in recent years, several alien plant species has been found in Antarctica with negative effects on the native flora. In this s...
Article
Full-text available
Until recently the Antarctic continent and Peninsula have been little impacted by non-native species, compared to other regions of the Earth. However, reports of species introductions are increasing as awareness of biological invasions as a major conservation threat, within the context of increased human activities and climate change scenarios, has...
Article
The aim of this study was to develop a methodology to assess the degree of multidisciplinarity and international co-operation between scientists working on Deception Island, using techniques based on social network analysis. A database was built of the scientific output, as represented by published articles, on Deception Island between 1964–2012. F...
Chapter
Antarctic soils provide habitat for fauna and flora which are regionally important and, in some cases, include endemic representatives. Thus, protection of this component of the ecosystem should be a priority. In this chapter, our focus is on the vulnerability of Antarctic soils to foot traffic (heretofore referred to as trampling) and possible fut...
Chapter
Deception Island is an active volcano with a flooded caldera and numerous glaciers, providing a unique habitat to very rare biological assemblies. Deception Island has a long history of human activity and is currently one of the most visited locations in the Antarctic. Natural, scientific and tourism values coexist in a small area. Some activities...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract: Antarctic Specially Protected Areas (ASPAs) represent the highest level of area protection within the Antarctic Treaty area. To reduce environmental impacts, ASPA visitors must comply with the Area’s management plan and receive an entry permit from an appropriate national authority. Parties to the Protocol on Environmental Protection to t...
Article
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Abstract. The footprint of human activities within Antarctica is increasing, making it essential to consider whether current conservation/protection of environmental and scientific values is adequate. The Antarctic protected area network has developed largely without any clear strategy, despite scientific attempts to promote protection of represent...
Article
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A single colony of the non-native grass Poa pratensis L., which was introduced inadvertently to Cierva Point, Antarctic Peninsula, during the 1954–1955 season, was still present during a survey in February 2012, making it the longest surviving non-native vascular plant colony known in Antarctica. Since 1991, the grass cover has roughly tripled in s...
Article
Full-text available
This study explores the impact of human trampling on moss and lichen dominated communities of Maritime Antarctica. A simulation of trampling was performed on previously unaffected plots of different terricolous cryptogamic assemblages at Byers Peninsula, Livingston Island. The communities studied were: 1) a uniform moss carpet, 2) a heterogeneous m...
Article
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Byers Peninsula, Livingston Island, was one of the first sites in Antarctica designated for environmental conservation and scientific protection. Research on Byers Peninsula has been predominantly international, with 88 indexed publications (93% of them published during last 20 years) from 209 authors affiliated to 110 institutions from 22 nations,...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract: Currently, a substantial proportion of Antarctic research is carried out through deployment of field camps, but little detailed information on the running of these facilities is often available. The remoteness of camps and the fragility of local Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems make the running of sustainable, low impact field science and...
Article
Full-text available
Soil trampling is one of the most obvious direct negative human impacts in Antarctica. Through a range of experiments and field studies based on quantitative physical (soil penetration resistance) and biological (collembolan abundance) indicators, we evaluate the current codes of conduct relating to the protection of Antarctic soils from the conseq...
Article
Full-text available
Human activity and specifically tourism has been increasing in Antarctica over the last few years. Few studies have examined the indirect effects of human visits on Antarctic penguin rookeries. This work aims to study the differences between a highly visited (Hannah Point) and a rarely visited (Devil's Point, Byers Peninsula) gentoo penguin rookery...
Article
Full-text available
A pesar de la distancia y el elevado coste del viaje, los turistas llegan regularmente hasta la Antártida. El fuerte incremento de las visitas durante las dos últimas décadas ha generado nuevos retos de conservación para la que puede considerarse la última frontera virgen que queda en nuestro planeta.
Article
Full-text available
La Antártida es una de las zonas de nuestro planeta menos alteradas. Aún así, está sometida a una serie de impactos provocados por la presencia del hombre que son revisados brevemente en este artículo. Para cada tipo de alteración se citan los casos de estudio más representativos, las principales medidas de minimización y/o mitigación adoptadas, as...
Chapter
Full-text available
This paper addresses the contribution of the university to the provision and dissemination of sustainable forms of management in an attempt to adhere to the compromise of the Kyoto Protocol. A set of specific actions was developed and implemented by the university regarding issues such as energy efficiency and sustainable transportation. Thus, proj...

Projects

Projects (3)
Project
Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems are especially vulnerable to biological invasion processes in a context of global change that entails a higher degree of human accessibility at the local level and increased temperatures, availability of liquid water and ice-free areas. Habitat availability and the absence of certain ecological functions in these ecosystems involve that profound changes are expected in their structure and functioning under colonisation by non-native species. Although the number of non-native species documented in Antarctica has increased in recent years, there is a lack of knowledge regarding their geographical distribution, expansion capacities and possible negative interactions on native biotas. Specifically, physiological mechanisms of survival in non-native springtail species at Antarctic latitudes have been poorly documented. Previous findings on sub-Antarctic islands suggest that indigenous species exhibit much lower supercooling points than non-native ones, while the pattern reverses in the case of upper lethal temperatures. In addition, non-native species have faster development times under higher temperatures. The primary goal of this project is to assess the environmental responses in native and non-native springtails in Antarctica at micro- and macroclimatic levels. First, we will use a set of ecophysiological analyses to estimate lethal thermal tolerance limits (upper and lower) using experimental manipulation protocols. The relationship between thermal tolerance limits and distributional range boundaries over biogeographical scales will also be studied. We will continue the intense sampling activity to obtain soil samples and characterize the edaphic fauna in biogeographic regions of Maritime and Continental Antarctica that remain less explored. The results will improve our knowledge on Antarctic ecosystems and will be essential to ensure their integral protection.
Project
In recent years, rock climbing has grown tremendously in popularity, placing pressure on cliff ecosystems. Although limited, these ecosystems can support a great diversity of species. However, few studies have assessed the effects of climbing activity on the vegetation of these habitats. Furthermore, the few existing studies were conducted at local scales. For these reasons, we aim here to carry out the first comprehensive study of climbing effects on a large-scale ecosystem: the Mediterranean environment. This is one of the most fragile environments on the planet due to its varied climatic conditions, but at the same time, one of the most biodiverse. Mediterranean environmental conditions can be found in several regions around the world, including the Mediterranean basin, Southwest of Africa, California (USA), central Chile and Southwest Australia. It is therefore possible for us to study the climbing impacts on Mediterranean environments in different locations around the world. This study will allow us to evaluate if there is a common pattern of the climbing effect. Therefore, we expect that our study will unify the systematics to be used in this field, and that this will create a precedent for the management and long-term conservation of these ecosystems.
Project
Biological invasions are among the greatest threats to biodiversity conservation. The establishment of invasive species into new environments is not only favored by human transport (intentional or unintentional) of non-indigenous faunas and floras, but also by global climate change dynamics and local environmental disturbances. Invasive success is often linked to the replacement of unique endemic species by widespread generalists, leading to biotic homogenization processes. The Antarctic continent is not immune to this threat. The great distance from other landmasses, along with circumpolar atmospheric and oceanic patterns has acted as a barrier to the natural dispersal of organisms. On the other hand, extreme climatic conditions have acted as a second filter for colonization. However, the degree of biotic isolation observed in terrestrial Antarctica on geological and evolutionary time-scales, may be compromised on ecological time-scales. In recent decades, human activities have significantly increased the dispersion of non-native biotas. Early detection and rapid eradication have prevented the establishment of more invasive species, but the predicted increases in temperature and water availability associated with climate change could boost many introductions in coming years. Identifying potential invasive species and predicting their geographical distribution dynamics are essential to anticipate future impacts on the structure and functioning of the fragile Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems. The primary goal of this project is to assess introduction risk of animal and plant invasive species in terrestrial ecosystems of the Antarctic mainland, especially vulnerable to invasion processes. First, we will identify those non-indigenous species that are more likely to become established as invasive. This will involve compiling information about their global distribution, autecological characteristics and degree of phylogenetic relatedness to determine their invasive potential. At the biogeographical level, predictive species distribution modellling will be used to locate those areas that offer the greatest suitability for the establishment of invasive species under different climate change and human accessibility scenarios. These techniques will allow us to generate introduction risk maps and define areas that require special attention and implementation of preventive measures. At the local level, sites have been selected to track the introduction of alien species and quantify the degree of alteration on Antarctic ecosystems by human activities. A series of experiments are proposed to study the establishment of floral and faunal exotic species, as well as possible changes in the gene pool, population structure and composition of the soil arthropod community in disturbed areas. The results will improve our knowledge on Antarctic ecosystems and will contribute to ensure their integral protection as well as to introduce new scientific criteria to the discussion of management and mitigation measures of human impacts (direct and indirect) over this territory.