Miguel G Matias

Miguel G Matias
The National Museum of Natural Sciences · Biogeography and Global Change

PhD University of Sydney

About

55
Publications
9,781
Reads
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737
Citations
Introduction
I am an ecologist trying to understand the mechanisms underlying species’ responses to loss or changes in their natural habitats at different scales. I believe that, in order to understand the consequences of such changes, we must be able to explain why those same species were supposed to be in their habitats in the first place! I use experimental and theoretical approaches that range from microcosms to macro-ecological models.
Additional affiliations
October 2014 - December 2016
Imperial College London
Position
  • Research Associate
January 2011 - December 2012
French National Centre for Scientific Research
Position
  • PostDoc Position
January 2007 - December 2010
The University of Sydney
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (55)
Article
Full-text available
Food webs represent the energy fluxes and the nutrient cycling between interacting species that underpin several ecosystem functions. Whether and how interactions vary across environmental gradients is still largely unknown. We reviewed the literature searching for systematic relationships between structural food-web properties and environmental gr...
Article
Full-text available
The widespread salinisation of freshwater ecosystems poses a major threat to the biodiversity, functioning, and services that they provide. Human activities promote freshwater salinisation through multiple drivers (e.g., agriculture, resource extraction, urbanisation) that are amplified by climate change. Due to its complexity, we are still far fro...
Article
Full-text available
A variety of organisms can colonize microplastic surfaces through biofouling processes. Heterotrophic bacteria tend to be the focus of plastisphere research; however, the presence of epiplastic microalgae within the biofilm has been repeatedly documented. Despite the relevance of biofouling in determining the fate and effects of microplastics in aq...
Article
Humans have made such dramatic and permanent changes to Earth's landscapes that much of it is now substantially and irreversibly altered from its preanthropogenic state. Remote islands, until recently isolated from humans, offer insights into how these landscapes evolved in response to human-induced perturbations. However, little is known about whe...
Article
Full-text available
Accurate quantification of biodiversity can be demanding and expensive. Although environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding can facilitate biodiversity assessments through non‐invasive, cost‐efficient, and rapid surveys, the approach struggles to outperform traditional morphological approaches in providing reliable quantitative estimates for surveyed s...
Preprint
Food webs represent energy fluxes and nutrient cycling between interacting species, underpinning ecosystem functioning. Whether and how interactions vary over environmental gradients is still largely unknown. We reviewed the literature searching for systematic relationships between structural food-web properties and environmental gradients. Tempera...
Conference Paper
The discovery and settlement of the Azores archipelago is generally attributed to the Portuguese during the XVth century, but recent insights have raised questions about whether the islands were discovered earlier. Paleolimnological data from São Miguel suggest that the island was settled 150 years before the official Portuguese arrival date. To pi...
Article
Full-text available
The complexity of ecological systems is a major challenge for practitioners and decision-makers who work to avoid, mitigate and manage environmental change. Here, we illustrate how metaecology – the study of spatial interdependencies among ecological systems through fluxes of organisms, energy, and matter – can enhance understanding and improve man...
Poster
Full-text available
The study of food webs started as early as the 1920s. One of the many areas of research explores the relationship between aspects of the environment and the structural characteristics of the food webs. Yet published studies have focused mainly on the study of food webs in specific locations or ecosystems and a general synthesis of the relationships...
Article
The relative importance of deterministic and neutral processes in shaping assembly of communities remains controversial, partly due to inconsistencies between theoretical, empirical, and experimental studies. We investigate the interplay between local (productivity) and regional (size of species pool) assembly mechanisms in communities of phytoplan...
Preprint
Full-text available
The complexity of ecological systems is a major challenge for practitioners and decision-makers who work to avoid, mitigate and manage environmental change. Here, we illustrate how metaecology - the study of spatial interdependencies among ecological systems through fluxes of organisms, energy, and matter - can enhance understanding and improve man...
Article
Full-text available
[This corrects the article DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0197877.].
Article
Full-text available
Understanding what determines species’ geographic distributions is crucial for assessing global change threats to biodiversity. Measuring limits on distributions is usually, and necessarily, done with data at large geographic extents and coarse spatial resolution. However, survival of individuals is determined by processes that happen at small spat...
Data
Further detailed information about plot characterization, environmental variables, climatic variables, geological information, network inference, variables selection, and “Env+Bio” and”Env” comparison. (DOC)
Data
Sampling area and location of the plots used in the study. (EPS)
Data
Sp. syndrome. Names of the species and code used for each of them, syndrome assigned and reference supporting the assignment to that syndrome. (XLSX)
Data
Env+Bio and Env models. Summary of the SDMs constructed used for each species. Spearman correlation between their predictions and the observed abundance for each species, considering the validated plots (“validate”) and those used in the analysis (“test”), the deviance and deviance explained for each model, and the difference between the correlatio...
Data
Links. Summary for all the significant links inferred between species. Species involved (from: parent node, to: children node), strength and direction of the association based on the number of times that the link appears in the resampled networks, sign and significance of the sign based on the Jonckheere trend test and the syndrome code for the int...
Poster
Full-text available
Our planet has seen an unprecedented rise in temperatures over the past 50 years. This increase in global ambient temperature will have a wide variety of effects on all extant species. Today, it has become crucial to understand how this change in temperature will affect biodiversity and species interactions. Many biotic and abiotic factors are affe...
Article
Changes in natural habitats and the community response to such changes have important impacts on the distribution of diversity. Theoretical advances have highlighted the importance of including dispersal traits to predict responses to habitat loss, but empirical evidence is lacking. We investigated the effect of metacommunity size (by manipulating...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The EU water framework directive (WFD), adopted in 2000, considers the fish fauna as a biological quality element in the evaluation of inland surface waters ecological status. The monitoring of fish communities on inland surface water bodies of Azores has never been implemented because traditional methods, such as electrical fishing or multi-mesh g...
Article
Full-text available
Habitat structure influences the diversity and distribution of organisms, potentially affecting their response to disturbances by either affecting their ‘susceptibility’ or through the provision of resources that can mitigate impacts of disturbances. Chemical disturbances due to contamination are associated with decreases in diversity and functioni...
Article
Following environmental changes, communities disassemble and reassemble in seemingly unpredictable ways. Whether species respond to such changes individualistically or collectively (e.g. as functional groups) is still unclear. To address this question, we used an extensive new dataset for the lake communities in the Azores' archipelago to test whet...
Article
Full-text available
Habitat structure influences the diversity and distribution of organisms, potentially affecting their response to disturbances by either affecting their ?susceptibility? or through the provision of resources that can mitigate impacts of disturbances. Chemical disturbances due to contamination are associated with decreases in diversity and functioni...
Article
Full-text available
Habitat structure influences the diversity and distribution of organisms, potentially affecting their response to disturbances by either affecting their ?susceptibility? or through the provision of resources that can mitigate impacts of disturbances. Chemical disturbances due to contamination are associated with decreases in diversity and functioni...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the consequences of fragmentation of coastal habitats is an important topic of discussion in marine ecology. Research on the effects of fragmentation has revealed complex and context-dependent biotic responses, which prevent generalizations across different habitats or study organisms. The effects of fragmentation in marine environmen...
Article
Full-text available
Antagonistic interactions such as competition and predation shape the structure and dynamics of ecological communities. Their combined effects can affect the species richness within a particular trophic level. Despite theory linking the complementarity of interactions across trophic levels and ecosystem functioning, there is a shortage of empirical...
Article
Full-text available
Antagonistic interactions such as competition and predation shape the structure and dynamics of ecological communities. Their combined effects can affect the species richness within a particular trophic level. Despite theory linking the complementarity of interactions across trophic levels and ecosystem functioning, there is a shortage of empirical...
Article
Inferring biotic interactions from functional, phylogenetic and geographical proxies remains one great challenge in ecology. We propose a conceptual framework to infer the backbone of biotic interaction networks within regional species pools. First, interacting groups are identified to order links and remove forbidden interactions between species....
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The structure of local communities is generally thought to be the result of local responses to environmental and biotic factors. Recent theoretical advances have, however, emphasized the role of dispersal in structuring communities. In this study we examined the effects of habitat isolation and habitat size in structuring macroinvertebrate benthic...
Article
Full-text available
Species–area (SAR) and endemics–area (EAR) relationships are amongst the most common methods used to forecast species loss resulting from habitat loss. One critical, albeit often ignored, limitation of these area-based estimates is their disregard of the ecological context that shapes species distributions. In this study, we estimate species loss u...
Article
Full-text available
Despite edges being common features of many natural habitats, there is little general understanding of the ways assemblages respond to them. Every edge between two contrasting habitats has characteristics governed by the composition of adjoining habitats and/or by the nature of any transitions between them. To develop better explanatory theory, we...
Article
Full-text available
Investigating the context that surrounds each habitat is crucial to understand local responses of assemblages of species to habitats. Here, I tested whether responses of benthic macroinvertebrates to the structural complexity of experimental habitats were mediated by the characteristics of their surrounding habitats (i.e. rockpools or emergent-rock...
Article
Full-text available
Although it is well-known that dispersal of organisms within a metacommunity will influence patterns of coexistence and richness, theoretical and experimental studies generally assume that dispersal rates are constant through time. However, dispersal is often a highly variable process that can vary seasonally and/or when stochastic events (e.g. win...
Article
Full-text available
One of the simplest hypotheses used to explain species coexistence is the competition-colonization trade-off, that is, species can stably coexist in a landscape if they show a trade-off between competitive and colonization abilities. Despite extensive theory, the dynamics predicted to result from competition-colonization trade-offs are largely unte...
Article
Full-text available
Many assemblages contain numerous rare species, which can show large increases in abundances. Common species can become rare. Recent calls for experimental tests of the causes and consequences of rarity prompted us to investigate competition between co-existing rare and common species of intertidal gastropods. In various combinations, we increased...
Article
Full-text available
Biodiversity is thought to provide insurance for ecosystem functioning under heterogeneous environments; however, such insurance potential is under serious threat following unprecedented loss of biodiversity. One of the key mechanism underlying ecological insurance is that niche differentiation allows asynchronous responses to fluctuating environme...
Article
Full-text available
Loss of habitat is commonly identified as a reduction in area (or patch size) and its effects are often investigated using species−area relationships to evaluate loss of biodiversity. In many habitats, however, area alone is not sufficient to explain the decline of populations because natural habitats are rarely homogeneous. In fact, reductions in...
Article
A fundamental problem in ecology, regardless of habitat or system, is understanding the relationship between habitats and assemblage of organisms. It is commonly accepted that differences in composition and surrounding landscape of habitats affect the diversity of assemblages, although there is not much empirical evidence because of difficulties of...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the relationship between biodiversity and stability is a central issue in ecology. This is particularly needed under current scenarios of biodiversity loss due to multiple anthropogenic stressors. In this study, we experimentally examined the combined effects of the loss of key functional species (canopy-forming macroalgae) and mechan...
Article
Despite a long history of work on relationships between area and number of species, the details of mechanisms causing patterns have eluded ecologists. The general principle that the number of species increases with the area sampled is often attributed to a sampling artifact due to larger areas containing greater numbers of individuals. We manipulat...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Understanding responses of assemblages to modification or destruction of coastal habitats is limited by our knowledge about how attributes of habitat influence the diversity and abundances of organisms. Habitat structure is usually defined specifically for each habitat, compromising comparisons of different habitats. Sev...
Article
Full-text available
1. The nature and resources supplied by different components of habitats influence species, creating variability from place to place within a habitat. 2. Experiments were done to investigate the effects of altering components of habitats on the variability of assemblages of numerous species of intertidal gastropods. 3. Artificial habitats with thre...

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Projects

Project (1)
Project
The goals of AQUACOSM are to: 1. Establish a Network integrating scattered know-how between freshwater and marine research infrastructures to further improve mesocosm experimental approaches 2. Promote ground-breaking developments in mesocosm and other research technology such as new high-frequency measurements and real-time data processing, to provide more accurate results. 3. Train a new generation of scientists conducting advanced collaborative research integrating scientific disciplines across mesocosm infrastructures in Europe 4. Offer researchers from around the world a chance to propose and test new scientific hypotheses at the world-leading European facilities. AQUACOSM will offer Transnational Access (economical support) to at least 340 scientists for more than 11,500 person-days, to collaborate and exchange ideas between scientists, enterprises and decision makers 5. Coordinate Joint Research Activities using the latest mesocosm technologies along geographical gradients from the Arctic to the Mediterranean and across salinity boundaries to investigate aquatic ecosystem responses to multiple environmental climate-related key stressors