Mario Mairal

Mario Mairal
Complutense University of Madrid | UCM · Departamento de Biodiversidad, Ecología y Evolución

PhD

About

56
Publications
14,241
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416
Citations
Introduction
I am an evolutionary biologist and naturalist, interested in evolution, biodiversity, phylo/biogeography, ecology, island Biology and conservation. My research focuses on the study of biodiversity from both evolutionary and ecological perspectives. Happy to discuss about this topics. I am passionate about natural history and field expeditions. www.mariomairal.com
Additional affiliations
January 2016 - April 2016
PQ
Position
  • independent
September 2010 - present
Spanish National Research Council
Position
  • PhD Student
Education
September 2010 - November 2015
Real Jardín Botánico, Madrid. University Rey Juan Carlos
Field of study
  • Biodiversity
September 2009 - June 2010
Complutense University of Madrid
Field of study
  • Conservation Biology
September 2003 - June 2008

Publications

Publications (56)
Article
Full-text available
The link between the successful establishment of alien species and propagule pressure is well‐documented. Less known is how humans influence the post‐introduction dynamics of invasive alien populations. The latter requires studying parallel invasions by the same species in habitats that are differently impacted by humans. We analysed microsatellite...
Article
Full-text available
Plant conservation is still routinely neglected in conservation plans and receives limited attention, making it difficult to have an up-to-date knowledge of the threatened status of many plant species. To alleviate this situation arises the SICAF project (Save the Iberian & Canarian Flora): a citizen science project with the aim of creating a netwo...
Article
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Editorial Conservación Vegetal n°25
Article
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Con objeto de fomentar el interés por la botánica, surgió la idea de organizar el I Biomaratón de Flora Española: un evento de ciencia ciudadana en el que personas de todo el país salieron a fotografiar el mayor número posible de plantas. Se realizó utilizando la plataforma de ciencia ciudadana iNaturalist, y se vertebró por medio de coordinadores...
Article
Full-text available
Premise: Genera that are widespread, with geographically discontinuous distributions and represented by few species, are intriguing. Is their achieved disjunct distribution recent or ancient in origin? Why are they species-poor? The Rand Flora is a continental-scale pattern in which closely related species appear codistributed in isolated regions...
Article
Full-text available
Geographic range shifts are one major organism response to climate change, especially if the rate of climate change is higher than that of species adaptation. Ecological niche models (ENM) and biogeographic inferences are often used in estimating the effects of climatic oscillations on species range dynamics. ENMs can be used to track climatic suit...
Data
Supplementary material for: Multiple mountain-hopping colonization of sky-islands on the two sides of Tropical Africa during the Pleistocene: the afroalpine Festuca grasses. Journal of Biogeography.
Article
Full-text available
Aim The afroalpine sky‐islands present one of the most interesting models to study discrete biogeographic patterns in a terrestrial island system. Here, we performed range‐wide sampling of the afroalpine clade of fine‐leaved Festuca grasses and address a set of hypotheses on its origin and dispersal. We focus on the widespread species F. abyssinica...
Article
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Aim Species with widespread distributions offer excellent opportunities for investigating recent biogeographical patterns across broad scales. Here, we tested the hypothesis that, due to its intermediate geographical location, NW Africa is pivotal in explaining the phylogeographical patterns of taxa with Mediterranean–Macaronesian distributions usi...
Presentation
Full-text available
Invited seminar at Charles University (Prague): Extinction debt threatens to collapse biodiversity in island systems. Full talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yl5kt6y8YZc Extinction debt is the delay between the loss of habitat and the total collapse of populations; although the extinction effects are imperceptible in the short term, they...
Presentation
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Conferencia de Apertura de las XXVII Jornadas Forestales de Gran Canaria: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4OBsSvbLX8&t=2152s Charla divulgativa "El ocaso invisible de la laurisilva: biogeografía, declive y propuestas de conservación y gestión" En Canarias han sucedido grandes eventos climático y geológicos en los últimos millones de años. Algu...
Article
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The flora of sub-Antarctic Marion Island forms part of the unique South Indian Ocean Biogeographic Province, and is under threat from climate change and invasive species. Current information on the flora is necessary to rapidly identify and manage future changes. We conducted a literature search on the taxonomy of indigenous vascular plant species...
Chapter
Full-text available
Ecological interactions, especially those that are beneficial (i.e. mutualism) or detrimental (i.e. parasitism), play important roles during the establishment and spread of alien species. This chapter explores the role of these interactions during biological invasions in South Africa, covering a wide range of taxonomic groups and interaction types....
Article
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Cuesta imaginar que hace tan solo siete millones de años, cuando el Mioceno estaba llegando a su fin, el norte de África era un territorio húmedo, donde se extendía una ve-getación de carácter subtropical. Sin embargo, un intenso periodo de actividad tectónica estaba a punto de comenzar: la Placa Africana se estaba elevando en su parte este, en un...
Presentation
Full-text available
Full talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqXzTKCRzfI&t=123s ------------------------------------------------------ The South African Prince Edward archipelago stands out as one of the most remote and pristine places in Earth, giving shelter to both an impressive endemic flora and the largest colonies in the world for seabirds and marine mamm...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Recent island colonists are expected to represent the fraction of the mainland source population with greater dispersal ability. After colonization, the loss of dispersal on islands hypothesis (LDIH) predicts that island populations will experience a rapid reduction in dispersal ability due to negative selective pressures imposed by loss of propagu...
Presentation
Full-text available
Recent island colonists are expected to represent the fraction of the mainland source population with greater dispersal ability. After colonization, the loss of dispersal on islands hypothesis (LDIH) predicts that island populations will experience a rapid reduction in dispersal ability due to negative selective pressures imposed by loss of propagu...
Article
The distribution of genetic variation in species is governed by factors that act differently across spatial scales. To tease apart the contribution of different processes, especially at intermediate spatial scales, it is useful to study simple ecosystems such as those on sub‐Antarctic oceanic islands. In this study, we characterize spatial genetic...
Article
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Subtropical islands are often viewed as refuges where Quaternary climatic shifts driving global episodes of extinction were buffered. Island biodiversity, however, may have been impacted by climatic fluctuations at local scales, particularly in spatially heterogeneous island systems. In this study, we generated a conceptual framework for predicting...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The high degree of isolation and altitude of the Tropical African mountains has led to consider them as "within-continent" islands or sky islands – geographically isolated high-altitude habitats occurring alongside different mountain ranges. Furthermore, Afroalpine sky-islands present one of the most interesting systems to study discrete biogeograp...
Article
Full-text available
Background and aims: Archipelagos provide a valuable framework for investigating phenotypic evolution under different levels of geographical isolation. Here, we analysed two co-distributed, widespread plant lineages to examine if incipient island differentiation follows parallel patterns of variation in traits related to dispersal and colonization...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Southern Ocean presents one of the most interesting arenas in which to study phylogeographic patterns linked to dispersal and the drivers of propagules. This area stands in stark contrast to the Arctic circle in the northern hemisphere, given the very different land to water ratios present in these two polar regions, highlighting the huge dista...
Article
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Background and Aims The origin of different cytotypes by autopolyploidy may be an important mechanism in plant diversification. Although cryptic autopolyploids probably comprise the largest fraction of overlooked plant diversity, our knowledge of their origin and evolution is still rather limited. Here we study the presumed autopolyploid aggregate...
Article
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Background and aims: Various studies and conservationist reports have warned about the contraction of the last subtropical Afro-Macaronesian forests. These relict vegetation zones have been restricted to a few oceanic and continental islands around the edges of Africa, due to aridification. Previous studies on relict species have generally focused...
Article
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The loss of dispersal on islands hypothesis (LDIH) posits that wind-dispersed plants should exhibit reduced dispersal potential, particularly if island populations are old. In this study, we tested this hypothesis using a detailed phylogeographical framework across different geographical scales. Mainland and island areas of the Atlantic and Mediter...
Article
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The Eastern African Afromontane forest is getting increased attention in conservation studies because of its high endemicity levels and shrinking geographic distribution. Phylogeographic studies have found evidence of high levels of genetic variation structured across the Great Rift System. Here, we use the epiphytic plant species Canarina eminii t...
Article
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The disjunct distribution patterns of sister taxa can arise when previously continuous distribution ranges are fragmented by environmental changes such as major climatic events. Populations become isolated on either side of the newly established environmental barrier, and absence of gene flow promotes allopatric speciation, in a process that is kno...
Article
Varias especies vegetales emparentadas entre sí habitan lados opuestos del continente africano, aisladas unas de otras. El origen de esta distribución peculiar, denominada Rand Flora, intriga desde hace tiempo a los botánicos
Thesis
Full-text available
Global change and the current biodiversity crisis have increased the need to understand the effect of climate change on patterns of biodiversity distribution and the mechanisms or factors underlying them. To understand the origin of these biodiversity patterns, scientists have resorted to macroevolutionary explanations studying the relationships be...
Article
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Geographical isolation by oceanic barriers and climatic stability has been postulated as some of the main factors driving diversification within volcanic archipelagos. However, few studies have focused on the effect that catastrophic volcanic events have had on patterns of within-island diversification in geological time. This study employed data f...
Article
Full-text available
The Rand Flora is a well-known floristic pattern in which unrelated plant lineages show similar disjunct distributions in the continental margins of Africa and adjacent islands—Macaronesia-northwest Africa, Horn of Africa-Southern Arabia, Eastern Africa, and Southern Africa. These lineages are now separated by environmental barriers such as the ari...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Here, we investigate the evolutionary origin and timing of the Rand Flora pattern —a continent-wide geographic pattern where taxa present extreme disjunctions and are found on, e.g., either side of the Sahara— since the Late Miocene until now. Using phylogenetic inference, we dated the disjunction of major Rand flora lineages and quantified their c...
Article
Full-text available
Transoceanic distributions have attracted the interest of scientists for centuries. Less attention has been paid to the evolutionary origins of "continent-wide" disjunctions, in which related taxa are distributed across isolated regions within the same continent. A prime example is the "Rand Flora" pattern, which shows sister-taxa disjunctly distri...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Rand flora is a disjunct floristic pattern relating semiarid and subtropical floras between Macaronesia and East Africa. One of the best examples is the bellflower genus Canarina, comprising one species in the Canary Islands (C. canariensis), and two other species endemic to the Afromontane region of East Africa (C. eminii and C. abyssinica). T...
Conference Paper
The “Rand Flora” is a disjunct floristic pattern that relates plant species distributed in the continental margins of Africa (Eastern and South Africa, Northwest Africa) and Macaronesia. One of the most extreme examples is genus Canarina (Platycodoneae, Campanulaceae), a small genus of three species, one of them endemic to the laurel forests of the...
Article
Full-text available
Existe un enigmático patrón florístico que ha intrigado a científicos y naturalistas desde hace décadas. Consiste en una distribución de linajes de plantas emparentados que se encuentran distribuidos en regiones florísticas alrededor del continente africano, y separados por áreas de clima hostil. En biogeografía este tipo de distribuciones fragment...

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Projects (2)
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
Consequences of polyploidization: from single traits to population dynamics