Raul Ochoa-Hueso

Raul Ochoa-Hueso
Universidad de Cádiz | UCA · Dpt. Biology, Botany area

PhD

About

109
Publications
46,209
Reads
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2,287
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Introduction
I am interested in understanding the effects of global change on the biodiversity of terrestrial ecosystems and their functioning, for which I use a wide range of experimental and analytical approaches. In my studies, I typically consider communities of microorganisms, plants, soil invertebrates and crytogams (biocrusts), and usually focus on the role of soils and climate as modulators of community response. I am also interested in understanding how global change impacts affect key ecosystem services such as soil fertility, nutrient cycling and above-ground and below-ground carbon storage.
Additional affiliations
January 2019 - present
Universidad de Cádiz
Position
  • Researcher
July 2016 - June 2018
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
Position
  • Fellow
August 2013 - June 2016
Western Sydney University
Position
  • Fellow

Publications

Publications (109)
Preprint
Aims: While it is well-established that nitrogen (N) availability regulates elevated [CO 2 ] (eCO 2 ) effects on plant growth and soil carbon (C) storage in N-limited environments, there are fewer studies investigating the role of phosphorus (P) supply on such responses in P-limited environments. In this study, we explored whether P fertilization i...
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Soil carbon (C) stabilization partially depends on its distribution within soil structural aggregates, and on the physicochemical processes of C within these aggregates. Changes in precipitation can alter the size distribution of aggregate classes within soils, and C input and output processes within these aggregates, which have potential consequen...
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AimsAccurate predictions of plant responses to elevated CO2 (eCO2) levels require a better understanding of uptake and allocation of resources that affect growth. While it is well-established that plants can increase C transfer belowground to increase access to nutrients in N-limited environments, there is less studies investigating the role of the...
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Evaluation of restoration activities is indispensable to assess the extent to which targets have been reached. Usually, the main goal of ecological restoration is to restore biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, but validation is often based on a single indicator, which may or may not cope with whole‐ecosystem dynamics. Network analyses are, howe...
Article
The growing demand for timber and the boom in massive tree-planting programs could mean the spreading of mismanaged tree plantations worldwide. Here, we apply the concept of ecological intensification to forestry systems as a viable biodiversity-focused strategy that could be critical to develop productive, yet sustainable, tree plantations. Tree p...
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Soil life supports the functioning and biodiversity of terrestrial ecosystems. Springtails (Collembola) are among the most abundant soil animals regulating soil fertility and flow of energy through above- and belowground food webs. However, the global distribution of springtail diversity and density, and how these relate to energy fluxes remains un...
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Background Climate change models predict changes in the amount, frequency and seasonality of precipitation events, all of which have the potential to affect the structure and function of grassland ecosystems. While previous studies have examined plant or herbivore responses to these perturbations, few have examined their interactions; even fewer ha...
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Atmospheric nitrogen (N) inputs in the Mediterranean Basin are projected to increase due to fossil fuel combustion, fertilizer use, and the exacerbation of agricultural production processes. Although increasing N deposition is recognized as a major threat to ecosystem functioning, little is known about how local environmental conditions modulate ec...
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Global change frequently disrupts the connections among species, as well as among species and their environment, before the most obvious impacts can be detected. Therefore, we need to develop a unified conceptual framework that allows us to predict early ecological impacts under changing environments. The concept of coupling, defined as the multipl...
Article
Spatial rarity is often used to predict extinction risk, but rarity can also occur temporally. Perhaps more relevant in the context of global change is whether a species is core to a community (persistent) or transient (intermittently present), with transient species often susceptible to human activities that reduce niche space. Using 5‐12 years of...
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Despite their extent and socio‐ecological importance, a comprehensive biogeographical synthesis of drylands is lacking. Here we synthesize the biogeography of key organisms (vascular and non‐vascular vegetation and soil microorganisms), attributes (functional traits, spatial patterns, plant‐plant and plant‐soil interactions) and processes (producti...
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AimsWe evaluated the impacts of altered precipitation regimes on multiple aspects of the C cycle, including C fluxes, plant and soil microbial communities, and plant-soil interactions in a south-eastern Australian grassland.Methods Our experimental treatments, operated through an automated system, included: (i) reduced and (ii) increased rainfall a...
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Soil respiration (SRTOT) and its main components, soil heterotrophic (SRH) and autotrophic respiration (SRA), were monitored in response to within-season drought events of increasing duration and soil N enrichment in a semiarid meadow steppe. The experiment consisted of the combination of five drought periods (0 days, 15 days, 30 days, 45 days, and...
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The biogeochemical cycling of multiple soil elements is fundamental for life on Earth. Here, we conducted a global field survey across 16 chronosequences from contrasting biomes with soil ages ranging from centuries to millions of years. For this, we collected and analysed 435 topsoil samples (0–10 cm) from 87 locations. We showed that high levels...
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A Correction to this paper has been published: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-20985-z.
Article
Aims Given the key functional role of understorey plant communities and the substantial extent of forest cover at the global scale, investigating understorey community responses to elevated CO2 (eCO2) concentrations, and the role of soil resources in these responses, is important for understanding the ecosystem-level consequences of rising CO2 conc...
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Human activities are transforming grassland biomass via changing climate, elemental nutrients, and herbivory. Theory predicts that food-limited herbivores will consume any additional biomass stimulated by nutrient inputs (‘consumer-controlled’). Alternatively, nutrient supply is predicted to increase biomass where herbivores alter community composi...
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1. Understory plant communities comprise a large portion of biodiversity of forests and woodlands globally, where they contribute to tree species dynamics, biogeochemical cycling, and carbon sequestration. 2. Here, we evaluated the effects of elevated CO2 (400 vs. 550 ppm) on the spatial distribution of understory plant communities from a mature eu...
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Extensive livestock grazing is a major determinant of local biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in many regio1ns of the world. In sub-humid Mediterranean areas with long history of extensive grazing, abandonment of grazing has been linked to changes in the composition and structure of vegetation communities and decreases in soil multifunctionali...
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The size, frequency and timing of precipitation events are predicted to become more variable worldwide. Despite these predictions, the importance of changes in precipitation in driving multiple above‐ and below‐ground ecosystem attributes simultaneously remains largely underexplored. Here, we carried out three years of rainfall manipulations at the...
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Soil nitrogen (N) availability is critical for grassland functioning. However, human activities have increased the supply of biologically‐limiting nutrients, and changed the density and identity of mammalian herbivores. These anthropogenic changes may alter net soil N mineralization (soil net Nmin), i.e., the net balance between N mineralization an...
Article
Fine roots are a key component of carbon and nutrient dynamics in forest ecosystems. Rising atmospheric [CO2] (eCO2) is likely to alter the production and activity of fine roots, with important consequences for forest carbon storage. Yet empirical evidence of the role of eCO2 in driving root dynamics is limited, particularly for grassy woodlands, a...
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Motivation and aim Soil biodiversity is central to ecosystem function and services. It represents most of terrestrial biodiversity and at least a quarter of all biodiversity on Earth. Yet, research into broad, generalizable spatial and temporal patterns of soil biota has been limited compared to aboveground systems due to complexities of the soil s...
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Soil biocrusts (communities of cyanobacteria, algae, mosses, lichens, and heterotrophs living at the soil surface) are fundamental components of dryland ecosystems worldwide. There is increasing concern over the potential for increasing nitrogen (N) inputs to affect biocrusts. This is of special concern in Mediterranean Basin drylands that face the...
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The availability of metallic nutrients in dryland soils, many of which are essential for the metabolism of soil organisms and vascular plants, may be altered due to climate change-driven increases in aridity. Biocrusts, soil surface communities dominated by lichens, bryophytes and cyanobacteria, are ecosystem engineers known to exert critical funct...
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Lichens are the key to nutrient cycling and trophic networks in many terrestrial ecosystems and are good bioindicators of air pollution, including nitrogen (N) deposition. Experimental studies have shown that N deposition can reduce the abundance of lichens and alter their thallus chemistry and metabolism, but we currently lack information about ho...
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Microbial processing of aggregate‐unprotected organic matter inputs is key for soil fertility, long‐term ecosystem carbon and nutrient sequestration and sustainable agriculture. We investigated the effects of adding multiple nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium plus nine essential macro‐ and micro‐nutrients) on decomposition and biochemica...
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Soil nitrogen (N) availability is a key driver of soil-atmosphere greenhouse gas (GHG) exchange, yet we are far from understanding how increases in N deposition due to human activities will influence the net soil-atmosphere fluxes of the three most important GHGs: nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2). We simulated four levels...
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Coupled ecosystems may offer a wider array of highly valuable ecosystem services. However, empirical evidence supporting the role of ecosystem coupling for the functioning of ecosystems and the mechanisms driving the coupling-functioning relationship is scarce. Moreover, global environmental change may decouple ecological interactions and biogeoche...
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Atmospheric carbon dioxide enrichment (eCO2) can enhance plant carbon uptake and growth1–5, thereby providing an important negative feedback to climate change by slowing the rate of increase of the atmospheric CO2 concentration6. Although evidence gathered from young aggrading forests has generally indicated a strong CO2 fertilization effect on bio...
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In forests, the majority of fine roots are located within the upper soil horizons, and fine root biomass decreases with depth. We evaluated spatial patterns in the distribution of fine root biomass and determined relationships with soil properties and vegetation structure in a Eucalyptus tereticornis woodland in East Australia. Fine root biomass (0...
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1.Human activities have doubled, or even tripled, the amount of nitrogen (N) fixed globally, which alters the functioning and reduces the biodiversity of terrestrial ecosystems. 2.In this study, we used a 10‐year N addition experiment in a semi‐arid Mediterranean shrubland in central Spain to evaluate the effects of increased N deposition on biocru...
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Soil nitrogen mineralisation (Nmin), the conversion of organic into inorganic N, is important for productivity and nutrient cycling. The balance between mineralisation and immobilisation (net Nmin) varies with soil properties and climate. However, because most global-scale assessments of net Nmin are laboratory-based, its regulation under field-con...
Preprint
Species invasion and habitat degradation very often result in local species loss, which may result in a cascade of secondary extinctions that typically end up disrupting whole ecological netwroks. Herein, we used historical records and the natural abundance of stable isotopes (13C and 15N) of primary producers, aquatic animals and sediment/detritus...
Preprint
Wetlands provide a great variety of environmental services to society, but they are currently globally threatened by human activities. We evaluated the effects of anthropogenic disturbances on the ecological quality of semiarid wetlands from central Spain (La Mancha Húmeda) through the natural abundance of isotopes (13C and 15N) of aquatic plants....
Preprint
Approximately 95% of the total carbon (C) in wetlands is typically found as particulate organic matter (POM). In this study, we evaluated the main C sources of a semiarid floodplain wetland in central Spain under disturbance. For this, we used stable isotopes (13C and 15N) and the Bayesian mixing model SISUS. We show that the allochthonous C derive...
Article
1.Climate models project overall a reduction in rainfall amounts and shifts in the timing of rainfall events in mid‐latitudes and sub‐tropical dry regions, which threatens the productivity and diversity of grasslands. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi may help plants to cope with expected changes but may also be impacted by changing rainfall, either via...
Preprint
Climate models project overall a reduction in rainfall amounts and shifts in the timing of rainfall events in mid-latitudes and sub-tropical dry regions, which threatens the productivity and diversity of grasslands. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi may help plants to cope with expected changes but may also be impacted by changing rainfall, either via t...
Preprint
Full-text available
Atmospheric carbon dioxide enrichment (eCO2) can enhance plant carbon uptake and growth, thereby providing an important negative feedback to climate change by slowing the rate of increase of the atmospheric CO2 concentration. While evidence gathered from young aggrading forests has generally indicated a strong CO2 fertilization effect on biomass gr...
Article
Elevated atmospheric [CO2] (eCO2) is currently altering nutrient cycling and availability in ecosystems worldwide. If the availabilities and turnover rates of macro- and micronutrients are differentially affected, then nutrient cycles may become out of sync (i.e., decoupled). We evaluated the impacts of 3 years of eCO2 (550 µmol CO2/mol) on the ava...
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Litter decomposition is fundamental for nutrient and carbon (C) cycling, playing a major role in regulating the Earth's climate system. Climate change and fertilization are expected to largely shift litter decomposition rates in terrestrial ecosystems, however, studies contextualizing the relative importance of these major global change drivers ver...
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Increasing evidence suggests that community-level responses to human-induced biodiversity loss start with a decrease of interactions among communities and between them and their abiotic environment. The structural and functional consequences of such interaction losses are poorly understood and have rarely been tested in real-world systems. Here,...
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A trend of increasing woody plant density, or woody thickening, has been observed across grassland and woodland ecosystems globally. It has been proposed that increasing atmospheric [CO2] is a major driver of broad scale woody thickening, though few field-based experiments have tested this hypothesis. Our study utilises a Free Air CO2 Enrichment ex...
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Ammonia (NH3) emissions are linked to eutrophication, plant toxicity and ecosystem shifts from N to P limitation. Bryophytes are key components of terrestrial ecosystems, yet highly sensitive to N deposition. Hence, physiological responses ofmossesmay be indicative of NH3-related impacts, and thus useful to foresee future ecosystem damages and esta...
Article
The effects of short-term drought on soil microbial communities remain largely unexplored, particularly at large scales and under field conditions. We used seven experimental sites from two continents (North America and Australia) to evaluate the impacts of imposed extreme drought on the abundance, community composition, richness and function of so...
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Compared to tree responses to elevated (e)CO2, little attention has been paid to understorey plant community responses in forest ecosystem studies, despite their critical role in nutrient cycling and the regeneration of overstorey species. Here, we present data on understorey responses from a 3-year Free-Air CO2 Enrichment experiment in a native, p...
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1. Dryland vegetation is characterized by discrete plant patches that accumulate and capture soil resources under their canopies. These "fertile islands" are major drivers of dryland ecosystem structure and functioning, yet we lack an integrated understanding of the factors controlling their magnitude and variability at the global scale. 2. We cond...
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Increased atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition is known to alter ecosystem carbon source-sink dynamics through changes in soil CO2 fluxes. However, a limited number of experiments have been conducted to assess the effects of realistic N deposition in the Mediterranean Basin, and none of them have explored the effects of N addition on soil respiratio...
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Nitrogen (N) deposition due to anthropogenic pollution is a major driver of the global biodiversity loss. We studied the effect of experimental N and phosphorus (P) fertilization (0, 10, 20, and 50 kg N ha−1 year−1 and 14 kg P ha−1 year−1 over the background deposition levels) on plant cover dynamics of a rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) shrubl...
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Biocrusts are key drivers of the structure and functioning of drylands and are very sensitive to disturbance, including atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition. We studied the impacts of simulated N deposition on biocrust community composition and soil photosynthetic and photoprotective pigment content after five years of N application in a European se...
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Plant roots play a crucial role in regulating key ecosystem processes such as carbon (C) sequestration and nutrient solubilisation. Elevated (e)CO2 is expected to alter the biomass of fine, coarse and total roots to meet increased demand for other resources such as water and nitrogen (N), however, the magnitude and direction of observed changes var...
Article
Soils are being degraded at an alarming rate and thereby also crucial ecosystem goods and services. Nitrogen (N) enrichment is a major driver of this degradation. While the negative impacts of N enrichment on vegetation are well known globally, those on various ecological interactions, and on ecosystem functioning, remain largely unknown. Since Med...
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The importance of the gut and the soil microbiomes as determinants of human and ecosystem health, respectively, is gaining rapid acceptation in the medical and ecological literatures. This suggests that there is a wealth of highly transferable knowledge about the microbial ecology of human and non-human ecosystems that is currently being generated...
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Background and aimsRhizosphere processes are integral to carbon sequestration by terrestrial ecosystems in response to rising concentrations of atmospheric CO2. Yet, the nature and magnitude of rhizosphere responses to elevated CO2, particularly in nutrient and water-limited forest ecosystems, remain poorly understood. Methods We investigated rhizo...
Article
Mediterranean Basin ecosystems, their unique biodiversity, and the key services they provide are currently at risk due to air pollution and climate change, yet only a limited number of isolated and geographically-restricted studies have addressed this topic, often with contrasting results. Particularities of air pollution in this region include hig...