Marta Pérez

Marta Pérez
University of Barcelona | UB · Department of Ecology

PhD

About

97
Publications
20,412
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5,028
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 1990 - present
University of Barcelona
Position
  • Professor (Full)

Publications

Publications (97)
Article
A mass mortality event (MME) impacting the bivalve Pinna nobilis was detected across a wide geographical area of the Spanish Mediterranean Sea (Western Mediterranean Sea) in early autumn 2016. Underwater visual censuses were conducted across several localities separated by hundreds of kilometers along the Spanish Mediterranean coasts and revealed w...
Article
Full-text available
Seagrass ecosystems, considered among the most efficient carbon sinks worldwide, encompass a wide variety of spatial configurations in the coastal landscape. Here we evaluated the influence of the spatial configuration of seagrass meadows at small scales (metres) on carbon storage in seagrass sediments. We intensively sampled carbon stocks and othe...
Article
Full-text available
Landscape (or seascape) attributes play an important role in modulating the flow rates of materials between habitats in the coastal marine environment. Seagrass meadows are known to both export and import organic matter, thus establishing links with other habitats. Most of those links remain unexplored, and little is known about the relevance of la...
Article
Interactions among species are essential in shaping ecological communities, although it is not always clear under what conditions they can persist when the number of species involved is higher than two. Here we describe a three-species assemblage involving the seagrass Cymodocea nodosa, the pen shell Pinna nobilis and the herbivore sea urchin Parac...
Article
We studied the recovery of the fast-growing seagrass Cymodocea nodosa from disturbances of different intensities (shoots removal or the entire plant), plot sizes (from 0.04 to 1 m²) and in different seasons (spring and autumn) in a shallow coastal bay. We monitored recovery over 27 months and measured plant traits at the end. Shoot density and cano...
Article
Apart from directly influencing individual life histories of species, climate change is altering key biotic interactions as well, causing community processes to unravel. With rising temperatures, disruptions to producer-consumer relationships can have major knock-on effects, particularly when the producer is a habitat-forming species. We studied ho...
Article
Full-text available
Coastal ecosystems, and especially estuaries, are subject to environmental fluctuations that can be amplified by anthropogenic changes. Under a future scenario of global warming, temperature and salinity are likely to be altered and the persistence of macrophyte-dominated ecosystems can be compromised, particularly native or local seagrass communit...
Article
Full-text available
Global warming is increasingly affecting our biosphere. However, in addition to global warming, a panoply of local stressors caused by human activities is having a profound impact on our environment. The risk that these local stressors could modify the response of organisms to global warming has attracted interest and fostered research on their com...
Article
Full-text available
Seagrass meadows, key ecosystems supporting fisheries, carbon sequestration and coastal protection, are globally threatened. In Europe, loss and recovery of seagrasses are reported, but the changes in extent and density at the continental scale remain unclear. Here we collate assessments of changes from 1869 to 2016 and show that 1/3 of European se...
Article
Coastal ecosystems, such as seagrasses, are subjected to local (e.g. eutrophication) and global (e.g. warming) stressors. While the separate effects of warming and eutrophication on seagrasses are relatively well known, their joint effects remain largely unstudied. In order to fill this gap, and using Cymodocea nodosa as a model species, we assesse...
Presentation
The effects of global warming are a matter of concern and are increasing study. All organisms are affected, especially habitat forming species among them marine plants. Besides temperature is among the most widely studied environmental factors, the predictions usually do not take into account that temperature increase rarely acts isolated from othe...
Article
Abstract Increased plant mortality in temperate seagrass populations has been recently observed after summer heatwaves, although the underlying causes of plant death are yet unknown. The potential energetic constrains resulting from anomalous thermal events could be the reason that triggered seagrass mortality, as demonstrated for benthic invertebr...
Poster
Full-text available
Mediterranean Sea is currently experiencing the impact of global warming. The frequency and duration of heat waves have increased in the last decades, and a number of key marine ecosystems, including seagrass meadows, are considered at risk. However, to obtain more accurate predictions about global warming impact on seagrasses, interspecific variab...
Article
Full-text available
Ecological research, particularly in marine environments, tends to focus on single habitats and often single spatial scales, and thus not account for ecological processes operating at multiple spatial scales. Here we aim to explore how coastal fish assemblages are influenced by landscape patterns integrating multiple spatial scales, to assess the s...
Article
Facilitative interactions are important forces in shaping community structure and function, and understanding how they respond to environmental changes has become an increasing concern in ecology. Lucinid bivalves play a significant role in seagrass meadows, through a mutualism in which the seagrass provides habitat and oxygen via the roots, while t...
Article
Sexual reproduction in predominantly clonal marine plants increases recombination favoring adaptation and enhancing species resilience to environmental change. Recent studies of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica suggest that flowering intensity and frequency are correlated with warming events associated with global climate change, but these studies h...
Article
Full-text available
There is increasing uncertainty of how marine ecosystems will respond to rising temperatures. While studies have focused on the impacts of warming on individual species, knowledge of how species interactions are likely to respond is scant. The strength of even simple two-species interactions is influenced by several interacting mechanisms, each pot...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change has increased interest in seagrass systems as natural carbon sinks and recent studies have estimated the carbon stocks associated with seagrass meadows. However, the factors that affect their variability remain poorly understood. This paper assesses how landscape-level attributes (patch size and matrix composition) influence carbon s...
Presentation
Full-text available
Coastal ecosystems are among the most productive, yet highly threatened, systems in the world. They face an increasing number of multiple stressors whose combined effects could lead to multiple consequences. For instance, predicted temperature increases or heat waves occurrence could worsen eutrophication effects if they act synergistically. Seagra...
Presentation
Full-text available
The capacity of species to efficiently recover after disturbances is a key component of ecosystem resilience and may depend on several aspects including species features and disturbance characteristics. Seagrass meadows are key, yet threatened, habitats that are affected by both large and small-scale disturbances. In the present study we evaluated...
Article
Full-text available
Seagrasses form some of the most important coastal habitats. They may be negatively affected by trace metal contamination in certain coastal areas. In this study we experimentally assessed selected morphological and physiological traits of the seagrass Cymodocea nodosa, with increasing concentrations of copper (Cu) under controlled laboratory condi...
Article
Seagrasses are flowering plants that inhabit coastal and transitional waters. They colonize sedimentary seabeds (and to a lesser extent rocky substrates) and present unique adaptations to the marine environment. Seagrasses are especially sensitive to environmental deterioration and live in a world that is particularly threatened by human activity....
Research
Full-text available
The relevance of seagrass meadows in blue carbon storage is now widely acknowledged. However, the evaluation of global budgets has been assessed with limited knowledge on their sources of variability. This might weaken the accuracy of global estimates and leading to estimates not comprehensive enough. Carbon storage capacity depends, primarily, on...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The relevance of seagrass meadows in blue carbon storage is now widely acknowledged. However, the evaluation of global budgets has been assessed with limited knowledge on their sources of variability. This might weaken the accuracy of global estimates and leading to estimates not comprehensive enough. Carbon storage capacity depends, primarily, on...
Chapter
Seagrasses are flowering plants that inhabit coastal and transitional waters. They colonize sedimentary seabeds (and to a lesser extent rocky substrates) and present unique adaptations to the marine environment. Seagrasses are especially sensitive to environmental deterioration and live in a world that is particularly threatened by human activity....
Article
Herbivory causes both direct and indirect damage to plants, with negative consequences for plant performance and fitness. Plants have thus evolved strategies to counteract or mitigate such negative effects. The strategies used by aquatic plants to cope with herbivore pressure are of key importance to better understand ecological and evolutionary pr...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Landscape attributes play an important role modulating flow rates of materials in marine coastal ecosystems, where movement of nutrients from donor to recipient habitats are important in shaping food webs and productivity. Seagrass meadows establish linkages with other coastal habitats of the coastal seascape that include multiple processes, both a...
Presentation
Full-text available
Understanding the role of species interactions in structuring ecological communities is one of the challenges of present-day ecology. Positive or facilitative interactions have recently been considered as important mechanisms in shaping communities. Positive interactions may involve engineer species that modify or create habitat for others species,...
Article
Genetic diversity in clonal organisms includes two distinct components, 1) the diversity of genotypes or clones (i.e., genotypic richness) in a population, and 2) that of the alleles (i.e., allelic and gene diversity within populations, and differentiation between populations). We investigated how population differentiation and genotypic components...
Article
In temperate regions, climatic factors impose a general seasonal pattern on seagrass growth that can be observed in leaf growth rates and, in small species, also in shoot density. Large variations in shoot density suggest a strong temporal uncoupling between shoot recruitment and shoot mortality, and the dependence of each of these processes on dif...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Seagrass meadows sediments accumulate high quantities of organic matter, whose decomposition potentially leads to anoxic sediments and increase sulphide levels that are toxic to the plants. An effective mechanism to counteract the deleterious effects of sediment anoxia is the oxygen transport from leaves through the aerenchyma to be released throug...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Seagrass meadows are important carbon sinks due to its high capacity to store organic carbon in the sediment. This capacity is a result of its high primary production, the refractory nature of its tissues and their capacity to induce deposition of particles from the water column and incorporate them into the sediment. The relative contribution of d...
Article
Full-text available
Summary The available data from experimental and descriptive studies on seagrass biomass and density responses to nutrient enrichment was analysed to assess the intraspecific mechanisms operating within seagrass populations and if biomass-density relationships can provide relevant metrics for monitoring seagrasses. The response of shoot biomass and...
Article
Full-text available
Identifying and quantifying the factors that contribute to the potential misclassification of the ecological status of water bodies is a major challenge of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). The present study compiles extensive biomonitoring data from a range of macrophyte-based classification methods developed by several European countries. The...
Data
The importance of detritus in carbon and nutrient fluxes in the coastal zone has been recognized for a long time. However, to which extent detritus dynamics can be affected by seascape attributes, such as habitat connectivity or fragmentation status remains poorly known. Yet those features have potential deep implications on carbon and nutrient exc...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The importance of detritus in carbon and nutrient fluxes in the coastal zone has been recognized for a long time. However, to which extent detritus dynamics can be affected by seascape attributes, such as habitat connectivity or fragmentation status remains poorly known. Yet those features have potential deep implications on carbon and nutrient exc...
Article
Differences in the accumulation of seven metallic elements, including micronutrients (Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni and Zn) and non-essential elements (Cd and Pb) among plant organs (leaves, roots and rhizomes) were examined in the seagrass Cymodocea nodosa. Samples were taken from two coastal bays (Catalonia, Western Mediterranean), with a total of nine sampling...
Article
The European Water Framework Directive commits partner countries to evolve uniform protocols for monitoring the environmental condition of natural water bodies, crucially integrating biological and ecological criteria from the associated ecosystems. This has encouraged considerable research on the development of bioindicator-based systems of water...
Article
Full-text available
The pervasive use of ecological indices is increasingly requiring actions of harmonisation. Specifically, within the EU Water Framework Directive, an important effort in methods intercalibration is being done. However, a significant limitation in comparability assessment arises from the datasets used, which have different geographic origins. The pu...
Article
In this study, the dispersal of wastes from offshore fish farms was evaluated by analyzing nitrogen stable isotope ratios (δ15N) in macroalgae incubated in the water column at sites located at an increasing distance from the fish cages. Bioassays were performed at three fish farms situated in separate localities with different nutritional condition...
Article
In this study we develop and evaluate a macroalgal bioassay tool for monitoring the spatial extent of dissolved wastes loaded from offshore fish farms into the marine coastal ecosystem. This tool is based on the analysis of the nitrogen stable isotope ratio (delta(15)N) in tissues of several benthic primary producers (macroalgae and Posidonia ocean...
Article
Marine water desalination is an emergent strategy to satisfy water demand in coastal regions. The brine originated as a by-product (60–90 psu) can have a significant impact on important marine ecosystems, yet the tolerance thresholds of most key species remain unknown. Therefore, with the aim of filling this gap and providing useful information to...
Article
Full-text available
A 6-month macrograzer exclusion field experiment was conducted in an altered Posidonia oceanica meadow affected by organic effluents from a fish farm. This experiment was carried out in order to ascertain whether or not overgrazing had contributed to the meadow degradation observed, because higher densities of macrograzers (mainly the sea urchin Pa...
Article
Full-text available
Assessment of ecosystem natural variability is a major goal in ecology, not only to better understand fluctua- tions, but also as a basis for distinguishing such natural variability from changes caused by human activities. We document here spatial variability of several Cymodocea nodosa attributes relevant to ecosystem functioning and indicative of...
Article
The effect of synergy between sediment organic enrichment and lack of night oxygen renewal in the water column on growth and survival of Zostera marina, and how it is reflected in the sulfur parameters in the plants (δ34S, TS and S0) was studied experimentally. An experiment consisting of Z. marina mesocosms with different levels of organic enrichm...
Article
Full-text available
This paper provides a synthesis of the EU project MedVeg addressing the fate of nutrients released from fish farming in the Mediterranean with particular focus on the endemic seagrass Posidonia oceanica habitat. The objectives were to identify the main drivers of seagrass decline linked to fish farming and to provide sensitive indicators of environ...
Article
The development of aquaculture along the Mediterranean coastline degrades the marine environment, in particular Posidonia oceanica meadows, which, in extreme cases, show high mortality. Here we studied the effects of organic matter and nutrient input from the effluents of three fish farms, located along the Mediterranean coast, on P. oceanica physi...
Article
Full-text available
Herbivory can induce changes in plant traits that may involve both tolerance mechanisms that compensate for biomass loss and resistance traits that reduce herbivore preference. Seagrasses are marine vascular plants that possess many attributes that may favour tolerance and compensatory growth, and they are also defended with mechanisms of resistanc...
Article
The effect of increased sediment sulfide concentrations on the sulfur isotopic composition (δ34S), total sulfur (TS) and elemental sulfur (S0) concentrations in plant tissues was studied for the two seagrasses Zostera marina (3 weeks in laboratory) and Posidonia oceanica (4 months in situ). Porewater sulfide concentrations were experimentally regul...
Article
Full-text available
The effects of induced hypoxic-anoxic conditions on the metazoan meiofaunal assemblages and nematode diversity were investigated with an in situ experiment in a Posidonia oceanica meadow. The experiment, of the duration of five months, was performed in three experimental sets of plots. Two of them were enriched with organic matter to induce anoxic...
Article
Here we studied the effects of adding organic carbon and nutrients to sediment on the physiology and survival of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica in a field experiment in the Medes Islands (NE Spain). Nine randomly selected plots were established at a depth of 10 m; three were enriched with organic carbon (OM treatment), three with organic carbon an...
Article
The influence of factors, both abiotic (light and nutrients) and biotic (meadow structure, herbivory and seagrass shoot length) in the abundance and distribution of epiphytes on the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica was investigated by means of a correlational approach over a spatial scale of ca. 500 km and at two different depths (5 and 15...
Article
We propose here a multivariate index based on structural and functional attributes of the Posidonia oceanica ecosystem (Posidonia oceanica multivariate index: POMI) to assess the ecological status of coastal waters following WFD requirements. POMI is based on the combination, through principal component analysis, of physiological, morphological, st...
Article
Full-text available
The objective of this study was to identify what types of substrata facilitate the establishment and development of the invasive macroalgae Caulerpa racemosa var. cylindracea at shallow (<3 m) depths. Our results show that the establishment and development of this species in the Bay of Palma (Mallorca) is favored in rocky substrta covered by photop...
Chapter
The term'nutrient' applies to any material that, taken into a living organism, serves to sustain it in its existence, promoting growth, replacing losses, or providing energy. In the framework of primary production ecology, the term'nutrients' is usually understood as 'inorganic nutrients', that is, inorganic salts or ions that provide the elements...
Chapter
The term‘nutrient’ applies to any material that, taken into a living organism, serves to sustain it in its existence, promoting growth, replacing losses, or providing energy. In the framework of primary production ecology, the term‘nutrients’ is usually understood as ‘inorganic nutrients’, that is, inorganic salts or ions that provide the elements...
Article
The effect of repeated N additions on a dense, shallow meadow of Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile in the NW Mediterranean was studied over a year. N was added biweekly both to the sediment and to the water column as ammonium and nitrate. The most obvious result of these additions was an overall increase in N content (% DW) in all tissues of fertilize...