María Almagro

María Almagro
Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IFAPA) | IFAPA

Ph D

About

55
Publications
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Introduction
I am a soil ecologist and biogeochemist with leading experience in the field of soil carbon fluxes in terrestrial and semi-terrestrial ecosystems, with particular interest in soil respiration, plant litter decomposition, and soil water erosion and sediment dynamics. I combine observational and experimental studies with modelling to investigate the impacts of changes in climate, land use and land management on soil and water resources and their associated ecosystem services. I perform basic and applied research to propose improved soil management practices in agricultural systems that increase soil health and mitigate climate change.

Publications

Publications (55)
Article
The implementation of alley cropping in orchards can be a sustainable strategy to increase farm productivity by crop diversification and contribute to climate change mitigation. In this research, we evaluated the short-term effect of alley cropping with reduced tillage on soil CO2 and N2O emissions and soil total organic carbon (TOC) in an almond o...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Diversification practices such as intercropping in woody cropping systems have recently been proposed as a promising management strategy for addressing problems related to soil degradation, climate change mitigation and food security. In this study, we assess the impact of several diversification practices in different management regimes on...
Article
Full-text available
Temperate grassland soils store significant amounts of carbon (C). Estimating how much livestock grazing and manuring can influence grassland soil organic carbon (SOC) is key to improve greenhouse gas grassland budgets. The Rothamsted Carbon (RothC) model, although originally developed and parameterized to model the turnover of organic C in arable...
Poster
Full-text available
Soil salinization is an emerging problem worldwide as a result of unsustainable land management practices and climate change. However, salt-affected soils under agricultural use could act as a C sink if these negative effects can be offset by combination of sustainable land management practices (SLM). In this study, we assessed the effect of (i) in...
Article
Soil salinization is an emerging problem worldwide as a result of unsustainable land management practices and climate change. However, salt-affected soils under agricultural use could act as a C sink if these negative effects can be offset by combination of sustainable land management practices (SLM). In this study, we assessed the effect of (i) in...
Article
Full-text available
Protected areas (PAs) are a key strategy to reverse global biodiversity declines, but they are under increasing pressure from anthropogenic activities and concomitant effects. Thus, the heterogeneous landscapes within PAs, containing a number of different habitats and ecosystem types, are in various degrees of disturbance. Characterizing habitats a...
Article
Full-text available
Corrigendum to “Carbon emissions and economic assessment of farm operations under different tillage practices in organic rainfed almond orchards in semiarid Mediterranean conditions” [Sci. Hortic. 261 (2020) 108978]
Article
Soils play a major role in the global carbon cycle and are crucial to the management of climate change. Changes in plant cover derived from different agricultural practices induce variations in the quality of plant residue inputs and in the soil microbial community structure and activity, which may enhance the storage and protection of organic carb...
Article
Full-text available
The long-term effects of conservation agriculture on soil physical and chemical properties and their relationship with crop yields are still relatively poorly understood. In addition, the effects of those practices ranged widely depending on climatic and edaphic conditions and so they cannot be generalized for all agro-ecological regions and crop t...
Preprint
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Temperate grasslands are of paramount importance in terms of soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics. Globally, research on SOC dynamics has largely focused on forests, croplands and natural grasslands, while intensively managed grasslands has received much less attention. In this regard, we aimed to improve the prediction of SOC dynamics in managed gra...
Article
In the European Union, the setting of Operational Groups (OG) is supported by the European Innovation Partnership to tackle specific problems and favor innovation in agriculture. They constitute an important aspect of the current Common Agricultural Policy. Increasing or maintaining soil organic carbon (SOC) content under arable farming has been ac...
Article
Sustainable land management practices can be suitable vehicles to simultaneously address the causes and consequences of land degradation, desertification, and climate change in land managed systems. Here, we assess the potential of a variety of sustainable land management practices that, beyond addressing specific and local issues, assist in tackli...
Book
Full-text available
We are listed contributors in an FAO-authored book: FAO. 2020. A protocol for measurement, monitoring, reporting and verification of soil organic carbon in agricultural landscapes – GSOC-MRV Protocol. Rome. DOI: 10.4060/cb0509en This document provides a conceptual framework and standard methodologies for the monitoring, reporting and verificatio...
Article
The use of check-dams in mountain environments to regulate fluxes of water and sediments is widely applied across Mediterranean mountains. Besides the use of “grey infrastructures” such as check-dams, other restoration and hydrological control measures rely more on the use of “green infrastructures” or “nature-based solutions” (e.g. reforestation,...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is a worldwide threat to biodiversity and ecosystem structure, functioning, and services. To understand the underlying drivers and mechanisms, and to predict the consequences for nature and people, we urgently need better understanding of the direction and magnitude of climate‐change impacts across the soil–plant–atmosphere continuum...
Article
The study of soil suppressiveness is of great interest in the field of sustainable agriculture. In the current study, eight soils located in the Region of Murcia (Spain) were sampled, evaluated and categorized according to their suppressiveness against Pythium irregulare in baby-leaf lettuce plants. We analyzed the chemical and biological propertie...
Article
Sustainable land management practices, such as reduced tillage or crop diversification, are potentially efficient measures to fight against soil degradation and desertification. The decision to approve these practices must be justified by both integrated environmental and economic assessment studies. In this work, we analysed the carbon emissions a...
Article
Full-text available
Mediterranean environments are especially susceptible to soil erosion and to inappropriate soil management, leading to accelerated soil loss. Sustainable Land Management (SLM) practices (such as reduced tillage, no-tillage, cover crops, etc.,) have the potential to reduce soil, organic carbon (OC), and nutrient losses by erosion. However, the effec...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Agriculture can significantly contribute to climate change mitigation by storing carbon in plants and soils. Worldwide, soil contains about three times as much organic carbon as plants and twice as much as the atmosphere. However, arable soils, especially in the most intense cropping regions have lost much of their soil carbon. The knowledge on man...
Article
Full-text available
The drainage basin of the Turrilla river (SE of Spain) went through important land cover changes since 1950s; from mainly an agrarian scenario in 1956 to other depopulated and forested in 2015. This study analyzes the effects of land use changes on fluvial dynamics and their relationship with the organic carbon (OC) stock in fluvial sedimentary dep...
Article
1.Leaf litter decomposition is a key component of global biogeochemical cycles that influences soil carbon storage, nutrient availability and plant productivity. Ongoing climate change will lead to warmer and drier conditions in many dryland regions, potentially affecting litter decomposition and nutrient dynamics. Climate change effects can be dir...
Article
Full-text available
The role of fluvial sedimentary areas as organic carbon sinks remains largely unquantified. Little is known about mechanisms of organic carbon (OC) stabilization in alluvial sediments in semiarid and subhumid catchments where those mechanisms are quite complex because sediments are often redistributed and exposed to a range of environmental conditi...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropic changes in the drainage area of catchments can influence dominant erosion processes and sediment sources and mobilize specific carbon pools. It also causes changes in the sedimentary dynamics and thus in the fluvial morphology. At the same time fluvial morphologies can create the conditions for stabilizing organic carbon (OC) in sediments...
Article
Intermittent rivers and ephemeral streams (IRES) encompass fluvial ecosystems that eventually stop flowing and run dry at some point in space and time. During the dry phase, channels of IRES consist mainly of dry riverbeds (DRBs), prevalent yet widely unexplored ecotones between dry and wet phases that can strongly influence the biogeochemistry of...
Article
Full-text available
The role of fluvial sedimentary areas as organic carbon sinks remains largely unquantified. Little is known about mechanisms of organic carbon (OC) stabilization in alluvial sediments in semiarid and sub-humid catchments where those mechanisms are quite complex because sediments are often redistributed and exposed to a range of environmental condit...
Article
Full-text available
The Baixo Vouga Lagunar (BVL) is part of Ria de Aveiro coastal lagoon in Portugal, which is classified as a Special Protection Area under the European Habitats and Birds Directives. This part of the system, corresponding to the confluence of the Vouga River with the lagoon, is very important culturally and socioeconomically for the local communitie...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The report provides scientifically sound practical guidance for selecting SLM practices that help address DLDD, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and for creating an enabling environment for their large-scale implementation considering local realities. It targets a broad audience from scientists, policy makers, landowners, community stakeho...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Sustainable Land Management (SLM) represents a holistic approach to achieving long-term productive ecosystems by integrating biophysical, socio-cultural and economic needs and values. SLM is one of the main mechanisms to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN).To foster and facilitate the adoption of SLM practices that address DLDD while mitigati...
Article
Improved soil management in rainfed Mediterranean agroecosystems can be a powerful strategy to mitigate the current atmospheric CO2 increase, through soil carbon sequestration and stabilization. In this work, we assess the effects of different soil management practices (conventional tillage, CT, reduced tillage, RT, reduced tillage plus green manur...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding how UV radiation interacts with prevailing climatic conditions and litter quality to determine leaf litter decomposition is fundamental for understanding soil carbon cycling pathways and ecosystem functioning in drylands. We carried out a field manipulative experiment to investigate how litter quality (labile and nitrogen-rich Retama...
Article
Full-text available
Little is known about the multiple impacts of sustainable land management practices on soil and water conservation, carbon sequestration, mitigation of global change and crop yield productivity in semiarid Mediterranean agroecosystems. We hypothesized that a shift from intensive tillage to more conservative tillage management practices (reduced til...
Article
Full-text available
Little is known about the multiple impacts of sustainable land management practices on soil and water conservation, carbon sequestration, mitigation of global change and crop yield productivity in semiarid Mediterranean agroecosystems. We hypothesized that a shift from intensive tillage to more conservative tillage management practices (reduced til...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Little is known about the multiple impacts of sustainable land management practices on soil and water conservation, carbon sequestration, mitigation of global warming, and crop yield productivity in semiarid Mediterranean agroecosystems.We hypothesized that a shift from intensive tillage to more conservative tillage management practices (reduced ti...
Article
Full-text available
Terrestrial sedimentation buries large amounts of organic carbon (OC) annually, contributing to the terrestrial carbon sink. The temporal significance of this sink will strongly depend on the attributes of the depositional environment , but also on the characteristics of the OC reaching these sites and its stability upon deposition. The goal of thi...
Article
Full-text available
To date, only few studies have compared the soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration potential between perennial woody and herbaceous crops. The main objective of this study was to assess the effect of perennial woody (poplar, black locust, willow) and herbaceous (giant reed, miscanthus, switchgrass) crops on SOC stock and its stabilization level af...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The increasing demand for energy and food, climate change and land availability are causing concerns over land-use conflicts within the “food- energy- environment trilemma”. The HEDGE-BIOMASS project addresses the promotion of a new perennial linear landscape element: bioenergy buffers. Bioenergy buffer strips (BBS) are narrow arable field margins...
Article
Full-text available
Terrestrial sedimentation buries large amounts of organic carbon (OC) annually, contributing to the terrestrial carbon sink. The temporal significance of this sink will strongly depend on the attributes of the depositional environment, but also on the characteristics of the OC reaching these sites and its stability upon deposition. The goal of this...
Article
Full-text available
Aims Plant litter decomposition plays an important role in the storage of soil organic matter in terrestrial ecosystems. Conversion of native vegetation to agricultural lands and subsequent land abandonment can lead to shifts in canopy structure, and consequently influence decomposition dynamics by alterations in soil temperature and moisture condi...
Article
Sustainable farming practices can be beneficial or detrimental to crop production in the short-term, which will strongly determine their appeal to farmers. We evaluated the effects of several sustainable practices on soil properties, plant nutrition and ecophysiology and crop yield in a semiarid agroecosystem. A three-year randomised experiment was...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Soil respiration (R s) is controlled by abiotic soil parameters interacting with characteristics of the vegetation and the soil microbial community. Few studies have attempted a comprehensive approach that simultaneously addresses the roles of all the major factors known to influence R s. Our goal was to explore the links between heterogene...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose The sensitivity of soil organic carbon to global change drivers, according to the depth profile, is receiving increasing attention because of its importance in the global carbon cycle and its potential feedback to climate change. A better knowledge of the vertical distribution of SOC and its controlling factors—the aim of this study—will he...
Article
Full-text available
The results of an experiment to evaluate the effect of rainfall characteristics on organic carbon (OC) losses and on the type of particles mobilised by erosion under natural rainfall and under different land uses (non-disturbed forested area, and a non-irrigated olive cropland) at plot scale are presented. Labile (particulate organic carbon, POC) a...
Article
Total belowground C allocation (TBCA) accounts for a large fraction of gross primary production, it may overtake aboveground net primary production, and contributes to the primary source of detrital C in the mineral soil. Here, we measure soil respiration, water erosion, litterfall and estimate annual changes in C stored in mineral soil, litter and...
Article
Accumulation of soil carbon is mainly controlled by the balance between litter production and litter decomposition. While aboveground litter decomposition in mesic systems is thought to be controlled by climate, litter quality, and soil faunal interactions (Aerts, 1997), it is becoming increasingly evident that factors other than water availability...
Article
Extensive research has focused on the temperature sensitivity of soil respiration. However, in Mediterranean ecosystems, soil respiration may have a pulsed response to precipitation events, especially during prolonged dry periods. Here, we investigate temporal variations in soil respiration (Rs), soil temperature (T) and soil water content (SWC) un...
Article
The soil organic carbon (SOC) pool represents a dynamic equilibrium of gains and losses. Conversion of forest ecosystems into croplands causes depletion of the SOC pool by as much as 60% in soils of temperate regions. Alterations in the size of the soil C pool at a specific location are determined by the relative changes in the inputs (aboveground...
Article
An experiment to evaluate the impact of water erosion and cultivation on the soil carbon dynamic and carbon stock in a semiarid area of South-East Spain was carried out. The study was performed under three different land use scenarios: (1) forest; (2) abandoned agricultural field; and (3) non-irrigated olive grove. Experimental erosion plots (in ol...
Article
Full-text available
Monitoring the salt marsh vegetation and flora of the Baixo Vouga Lagunar (Ria of Aveiro, Portugal). The transitional biogeographic character of the Ria de Aveiro lagoon area confers it a singular floristic richness, integrating plant communities typical for the Eurosiberian as well as Mediterranean Region. The implementation of the Agricultural...

Questions

Question (1)
Question
Does anyone know the proportion (on average) of plant litterfall with respect to aboveground biomass in Mediterranean forests and/or shrublands? Is there any review paper on this topic? Any reference on the subject is very wellcome! Many thanks in advance!
María

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Projects

Projects (7)
Project
Frontiers in Environmental Science is an open access journal (IF 2.749) publishing rigorously peer-reviewed research to advance our knowledge of our natural world and its various intersections with society. Its section Soil Processes publishes articles covering experimental, theoretical, as well as model-based research at various spatial or temporal scales. Within this section, I am currently co-editing a Research Topic on Agricultural Diversification: Benefits and Barriers for Sustainable Soil Management. Original research articles from experimental, modeling, and integrated assessment (i.e., life cycle assessment, multi-criteria analyses) approaches, as well as review papers, including systematic reviews, are welcome. The main focus is on the themes below. 1. Soil nutrients, pollutants, and chemical characteristics 2. Biogeochemical cycles, carbon sequestration, ecosystem carbon stock 3. Greenhouse gases emissions 4. Soil structure and other soil physical properties, water availability, soil erosion 5. Studies on agricultural diversification and economic profitability I would be very glad if you would consider submitting a manuscript to this Research Topic. Please, register your interest via the homepage of the Research Topic (fro.ntiers.in/21052) and submit a preliminary abstract for consideration by 18 June 2021. Best regards, Rosa Francaviglia and co-editors María Almagro Bonmatí Roman Hüppi Heikki Lehtonenn Jesús Rodrigo-Comino
Project
We aim to analyze the current methodologies and emission factors (EF) to calculate and estimate GHG and NH3 from the Spanish agricultural sector for different objectives and stakeholders (e.g. inventories: national, carbon footprinting: agro-food sector, farm level: farmers...). We will co-develop with stakeholders guidelines to help measurement and estimation of GHG and NH3 for the Spanish agricultural sector .
Archived project
Working in soils and/or IRES?? Have a look at our special session at SIBECOL Barcelona 4-7 February 2019 xpanding drought due to climate change might affect nutrient cycling in dry soils and sediments from dry river beds…, especially in mediterranean, arid and semiarid watersheds. Key biogeochemical processes driving nutrient cycling may be compromised due to increasing dryness (reduction of water availability). However the drivers and constraints and their interactions that end up determining the biogeochemical responses to dryness still remain unclear. Drivers and constraints include physical factors such as irradiance, with its potential effect on organic matter decomposition, and soil/sediment structural parameters (i.e. texture, granulometry, origin, organic matter content) that may interact with the microbial community composition (bacteria, archaea, fungi) and its functional capabilities. The objective of this session is to get together soil, plant, and freshwater ecologists working in ecosystems under different dryness (deserts, intermittent freshwaters, mediterranean watersheds…) to decipher the biogeochemical, microbial and physical mechanisms driving responses of nutrient cycling in soils and sediments to increasing dryness. We believe that this necessary link between disciplines will bring relevant key mechanisms and interactions as well as distinct methodological approaches. This will help improve our understanding of the biogeochemical implications of dryness and to anticipate to potential effects of water scarcity on temperate areas.