Rodrigo Méndez-Alonzo

Rodrigo Méndez-Alonzo
Ensenada Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education | CICESE · Department of Conservation Biology

Dr

About

30
Publications
10,732
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Introduction
I am a plant ecologist and ecophysiologist. My main objective is to extrapolate the knowledge from basic ecology and plant physiology into developments to contribute to the accomplishment of the UN SDG
Additional affiliations
October 2013 - September 2014
Institute of Ecology INECOL
Position
  • PostDoc Position
October 2011 - September 2013
University of California, Los Angeles
Position
  • PostDoc Position
October 2011 - September 2013
University of California, Los Angeles
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (30)
Article
Given the outstanding global progress of research on the hydraulic pathway in plants, and its important role as an indicator of plant mortality risk, we reviewed: (1) the adaptive basis of hydraulic traits and their importance for overall plant function; (2) the number of primary scientific articles on plant hydraulics that have been produced in Me...
Article
Full-text available
Evaluating how meteorological drought affects areas covered by natural ecosystems is challenging due to the lack of ground-based climate data, historical records, and weather station observation with limited coverage. This research tests how the surface reflectance–derived indices (SRDI) may solve this problem by assessing the condition and vegetat...
Article
In tropical deciduous forests (TDF), the scaling relations between size attributes in columnar cacti vary across species, partially because of environmental pressures to reach the canopy. This study aims to compare the growth-related allometric relationships between Pilosocereus leucocephalus (Poselg.) Byles & G.D. Rowley and Cephalocereus scopariu...
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We have studied the external surface (elytra) of the Sonoran Desert beetle (Eleodes eschscholtzii). Our aim was to assess whether this species has similar traits to some beetles from the Namibian Desert that are known to have hierarchical micropatterns that allow for water harvesting. We have conducted scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and apparen...
Article
Plants from arid environments display covarying traits to survive or resist drought. Plant drought resistance and ability to survive long periods of low soil water availability should involve leaf phenology coordination with leaf and stem functional traits related to water status. This study tested correlations between phenology and functional trai...
Article
Full-text available
Although drylands cover >40% of the land surface, models of ecosystem gross primary productivity (GPP) generally have been designed for mesic temperate ecosystems. Arguably, GPP models often lack a good representation of vegetation phenology, particularly not estimating the ecosystem effects of the prolonged foliage senescence which may be common i...
Article
The exploration of unexploited geothermal resources is required to encourage the use of renewable energy. This study focuses on La Jolla beach, Ensenada, Mexico. The beach hosts a thermal anomaly with temperatures of up to 52 °C at the surface and up to 93 °C at 20 cm depth. The objectives were to: map the thermal anomaly, understand the impact of...
Article
Full-text available
In urban Mediterranean ecosystems, invasive alien plants should have characteristics that enable faster resource acquisition and utilization than native species. We tested this hypothesis by comparing stem and leaf functional traits from five abundant native woody shrubs and five of the most abundant alien species within an urban coastal scrub comm...
Article
Owing to periodic inundation, wetland plants may have adapted to minimize leaf gas exchange impairments. Increasing the leaf cuticle surface roughness might contribute to buffer flooding stress, since it might increase both leaf water repellency (i.e. leaf hydrophobicity) and the presence of gas films. Thus, a higher leaf hydrophobicity, as well as...
Article
Full-text available
Key message Leaf density links the resistance to mechanical and hydraulic stress in Mediterranean shrubs as it is associated with the water potential at turgor loss and the moduli of elasticity and strength. Abstract Understanding the patterns of hydraulic and mechanical trait variation in vascular plants is critical to predicting species’ stress...
Article
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Understanding how plants survive drought and cold is increasingly important as plants worldwide experience dieback with drought in moist places and grow taller with warming in cold ones. Crucial in plant climate adaptation are the diameters of water-transporting conduits. Sampling 537 species across climate zones dominated by angiosperms, we find t...
Article
Salinity tolerance in plant species varies widely due to adaptation and acclimation processes at the cellular and whole-plant scales. In mangroves, extreme substrate salinity induces hydraulic failure and ion excess toxicity and reduces growth and survival, thus suggesting a potentially critical role for physiological acclimation to salinity. We te...
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Rhizophora species of mangroves have a conspicuous system of stilt-like roots (rhizophores) that grow from the main stem and resemble flying buttresses. As such, the development of rhizophores can be predicted to be important for the effective transmission of dynamic loads from the top of the tree to the ground, especially where the substrate is un...
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Along an altitudinal gradient of 2000 m in a semi-tropical mountain, we explored the relation between tree specific diversity and community functional composition by studying variations in tree allometry, stem and leaf functional traits, and their relationship with temperature and precipitation. Tequila Volcano, Jalisco, Mexico (20°48′ N, 103°51′ W...
Article
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It has been recently proposed that leaf vein length per area (VLA) is the major determinant of leaf mass per area (LMA), and would thereby determine other traits of the leaf economic spectrum (LES), such as photosynthetic rate per mass (A mass), nitrogen concentration per mass (N mass) and leaf lifespan (LL). In a previous paper we argued that this...
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Full-text available
• Premise of the study: Xylem sap osmolality and salinity is a critical unresolved issue in plant function with impacts on transport efficiency, pressure gradients, and living cell turgor pressure, especially for halophytes such as mangrove trees.• Methods: We collected successive xylem vessel sap samples from stems and shoots of Avicennia germinan...
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Understanding the response of species to land-use change is necessary for the improvement of management and conservation policies. We assessed the impact of vegetation cover and land-use change on More let's crocodile populations in nine wetlands located in central Veracruz, Mexico, to test the hypothesis that higher forest cover and lower anthropo...
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The role of plant polyphenols as defenses against insect herbivores is controversial. We combined correlative field studies across three geographic regions (Northern Mexico, Southern Mexico, and Costa Rica) with induction experiments under controlled conditions to search for candidate compounds that might play a defensive role in the foliage of the...
Article
The causes underlying bark diversity are unclear. Variation has been frequently attributed to environmental differences across sites. However, variation may also result from tradeoffs and coordination between bark's multiple functions. Bark traits may also covary with wood and leaf traits as part of major dimensions of plant variation. To assess hy...
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Full-text available
Leaf vein traits are implicated in the determination of gas exchange rates and plant performance. These traits are increasingly considered as causal factors affecting the ‘leaf economic spectrum’ (LES), which includes the light-saturated rate of photosynthesis, dark respiration, foliar nitrogen concentration, leaf dry mass per area (LMA) and leaf l...
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In tropical dry forests, spatial heterogeneity in soil water availability is thought to determine interspecific differences in key components of resource use strategies, such as leaf phenology and xylem function. To understand the environmental drivers of variation in leaf phenology and xylem function, we explored the relation of soil water potenti...
Article
Summary 1. The mechanical resistance of leaves has key ecological implications but its basis has not been well understood, particularly at the tissue scale. We tested the hypotheses that leaf mechanical resistance should be a function of tissue density, increasing from the lamina to the midrib, and higher in drought-tolerant than drought-avoiding s...
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Abstract: In tropical latitudes, the analysis of leaf phenology in tree species of lineages with temperate origin can help better understanding the potential effects of climate change on these forests. Over three years (2008–2010), we recorded the timing of bud burst (BB), leaf unfolding (LU), and leaf spreading (LS) and their relation to temperatu...
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With data from 15 species in eight families of tropical dry forest trees, we provide evidence of coordination between the stem and leaf economic spectra. Species with low-density, flexible, breakable, hydraulically efficient but cavitationally vulnerable wood shed their leaves rapidly in response to drought and had low leaf mass per area and dry ma...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods The mechanical resistance of leaves is critically related to plant performance within and across habitats. A new understanding of leaf biomechanics will clarify our understanding of plant-animal relations, resource-use strategies, and ecosystem function. Even though leaf biomechanics is central to leaf carbon balance a...
Article
Full-text available
The competition for resources increases size inequality in trees, particularly under low abiotic stress. Because mangrove communities are subject to site-specific salinity (and therefore abiotic stress) gradients, these habitats should differ in height–diameter allometry and size inequality. The size inequality (by the Gini Coefficient, G) and maxi...
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Full-text available
The variation in leaf mass per area, leaf nutrients (% carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus), and the allometric relation between tree height and diameter of the black mangrove, Avicennia germinans, were explored in nine mangrove forests in similar environments along a 5° latitudinal gradient in the central region of the Gulf of Mexico, as indicated by...
Article
Full-text available
En la actualidad se considera que el caos se presenta en muchos fenómenos ecológicos que conducen a la estructura anidada típica de los fractales. Podría esperarse que este comportamiento sea tan ubicuo que permita llegar a una teoría unificada de los sistemas biológicos.

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Project (1)
Project
The objectives focused on identifying long-term temporal changes in climatic conditions and assessing the meteorological drought in the semi-arid Mediterranean wine region of the Guadalupe Valley (at meso-betha scale) and establishing whether local climatic conditions are in line with regional climate projections.