Silvia Fernández-Lugo

Silvia Fernández-Lugo
Universidad de La Laguna | ULL · Department of Parasitology, Ecology and Genetics

PhD

About

41
Publications
17,508
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633
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2006 - present
Universidad de La Laguna
Position
  • Researcher

Publications

Publications (41)
Article
Confined to the humid cloud belt of the Macaronesian Islands the Laurel-forests are sensitive to climate changes. Intense natural disturbances are rare and regeneration includes asexual regeneration and dominance of shade intolerant species in the seedling bank. Long-term monitoring of the seedling bank showed that even under these relatively stabl...
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Biotic homogenization reduces the regional distinctiveness of biotas with significant ecological and evolutionary consequences. The outcome of this process may depend on the spatial scale of inquiry (both resolution and extent), the selected taxon and dissimilarity index as well as on the contribution of species extinctions and introductions. In the...
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Understanding patterns of community structure and the causes for their variation can be furthered by comparative biogeographic analyses of island biotas. We used woody plant data at the local scale to investigate variations in species rarity, alpha, beta, and gamma diversity within and between three islands from the oceanic archipelagoes of Azores,...
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In Tenerife (Canary Islands), the laurel forest is considered one of the most biodiverse ecosystems of the archipelago. This study aims at providing useful information about tree species strategies and their natural dynamics in order to improve understanding of the functioning of this ecosystem. The knowledge gained would be of great importance for...
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Herbivores alter plant biodiversity (species richness) in many of the world’s ecosystems, but the magnitude and the direction of herbivore effects on biodiversity vary widely within and among ecosystems. One current theory predicts that herbivores enhance plant biodiversity at high productivity but have the opposite effect at low productivity. Yet,...
Article
With the aim of explaining the role that taxa and island features have in biogeographical patterns, we processed presence‐absence matrices of all the Macaronesian native species of ten different taxa (arthropods, birds, bryophytes, fungi, lichens, mammals, mollusks, pteridophytes, reptiles and spermatophytes) through simulated annealing analysis. D...
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The recovery and survival of the Macaronesian laurel forest depends on its regeneration strategies. After years of long-term monitoring, both sexual and asexual regeneration appear to be equally important. However, the mechanisms for each are just beginning to be understood. In order to contribute to the understanding of the laurel forest sexual re...
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The majority of documented extinctions world-wide in the last four centuries are of species endemic to islands. However, the phenomenon of delayed extinctions as a result of habitat loss has rarely been assessed on oceanic islands. In this study, we tested whether extinction debt (ED), in general, occurs on islands and for which taxonomical groups...
Article
Invasion by alien plant species may be rapid and aggressive, causing erosion of local biodiversity. This is particularly true for islands, where natural and anthropogenic corridors promote the rapid spread of invasive plants. Despite evidence shows that corridors may facilitate plant invasions, how their importance in the spread of alien species va...
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Although the role that Pleistocene glacial cycles have played in shaping the present biota of oceanic islands world-wide has long been recognized, their geographical, biogeographical and ecological implications have not yet been fully incorporated within existing biogeographical models. Here we summarize the different types of impacts that glacial...
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Historically, fire has played a dominant role in shaping many forest plant communities. Mediterranean-type vegetation is one of the world’s major fire-prone biomes, with conifer forests among the most flammable ecosystems in the Mediterranean region. Prescribed fires are a powerful tool for reducing fire hazards by decreasing amounts of fuel. The...
Article
Vegetation history in the Canary Islands, one of the most biodiverse regions within Europe, has recently and for the first time, been the subject of palaeoecological studies. The interpretation of fossil records may be limited by several uncertainties regarding how well the different vegetation types are represented in the pollen rain. In this stud...
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Sustainable grazing in natural protected areas is a complex planning target. In this work, research was done by three different approaches, 1) assessment of the stocking rate (SR), carrying capacity (CC) and utilization rate (UR) 2) spatial analysis and 3) participatory rural appraisal (PRA), aiming to determine the factors involved in the selectio...
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Prescribed fires are a powerful tool for reducing fire hazards by decreasing amounts of fuel. The main objective is to analyze the effects of prescribed burning on the understory vegetation composition as well as on the soil characteristics of a reforested stand of Pinus canariensis . The study attempts to identify the effects of the preburning tre...
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Invasion biology is an important element of global environmental change and represents one of the main threats to biodiversity. American species were introduced to Tenerife after the Spanish conquest during the eighteenth century, as is the case for Agave americana and Opuntia dillenii. The long period of naturalization and adaptation of these spec...
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Seedling dynamics of the Macaronesian laurel forest have been monitored for the first time in a long-term study to determine whether the survival of the seedling community is affected by slope aspect and forest structure. More than 4000 seedlings were monitored monthly from 2000 to 2003 in well-preserved laurel forest stands on Tenerife, Canary Isl...
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In this study, we analysed the effect of a wildfire that occurred in 2007 in a well-preserved Canarian pine forest located in the ‘Integral Natural Reserve of Inagua’. This reserve has the highest level of protection of the Canarian Network of Natural Protected Areas. In 2009, we established in an area that was affected by fire in the central part...
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In this study, we inquire into the effects of short-term goat grazing abandonment on plant species and functional composition, bare ground and net primary productivity (NPP) in two traditionally grazed pastures located in the Canarian Network of Natural Protected Areas and the Natura 2000 Network. In addition, we analyse soil chemical properties, b...
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Question How are semi-natural ecosystems affected by goat grazing regime (heavy, light and long-term abandonment)? Location Anaga Rural Park, Tenerife Island, Canary Islands (Spain). Methods We evaluated plant species composition, diversity and structure (frequencies of functional groups based on growth form and bare ground) for three goat gra...
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Global warming can be mitigated by carbon sequestration through forestry and agroforestry. For countries with low industrial development, carbon sequestration also represents an opportunity to fund sustainable development. In the Canary Islands, CO2 emissions are above the average for Spain, in fact, they are estimated to be three times higher. Aut...
Chapter
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Participatory appraisal (PA) is an approach or research procedure that seeks to incorporate the knowledge and opinions of a community with the aim of improving an area of concern. PA has several advantages over scientific discussions, as it can be used to share, analyse and evaluate diverse issues, and because it enhances creativity and group parti...
Chapter
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On an oceanic island, the positive relationship between livestock management and biodiversity conservation is not as clear as on the mainland. In the sensitive island’s ecosystems, introduced herbivores have been considered to cause devastating effects on vegetation, and be responsible for overgrazing, ecosystem degradation, and biodiversity loss....
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This work seeks to address several questions: Do plant functional groups respond differently to grazing? Can we use plant functional groups as tools for management, to support production and conservation efforts on the Canary Islands? We studied the effect of goat grazing on the contribution of frequency Of several plant functional groups on a Natu...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods In an attempt to determine if abandonment of goat grazing is negatively affecting traditionally managed landscapes, we evaluated how short-term grazing exclusion affects the species composition, soil nutrient content, percentage of bare soil, primary production and biomass nutritive value and tannin content on protecte...
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Grazing management is probably one of the most extensive land uses, but its effects on plant communities have in many cases been revealed to be contradictory. Some authors have related these contradictions to the stochastic character of grazing systems. Because of that, it is necessary to implement specific analyses of grazing effects on each commu...
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The effect of herbivores on species richness is important for the conservation of protected areas under grazing management but research findings on this are far from consistent. The main objective of this study is to analyze how the cessation of grazing by goats affects the diversity parameters at different scales over a 5-year period. The study wa...
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Goat grazing management is a powerful ecological force structuring plant communities which effects are highly different depending on factors such as climatic conditions, grazing intensity, type of plant community, etc. Pastures in the Canary Islands have important heritage, socioeconomic and landscape values because they are the remains of traditio...
Conference Paper
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Figure 1. Distribution of fossil remains of Pinus canariensis in the Mediterranean basin and current distribution. Figure 2. Phylogenetic relationships of Eurasian pines. Adapted from Geada et al., 2002. Table 1. Ecological traits of Mediterranean pines. Table 2. Reproductive traits of Mediterranean pines. Pinus brutia Pinus canariensis Pinus halep...
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Pinus canariensis Chr. Sm. Ex DC in Buch is an endemic conifer tree of the Canary Islands archipelago and its stands occupied much larger areas in the past. Plantation programs have been very common in the Canary Islands since the 1940s. The main objective of the plantations analyzed in this study is to restore the canarian pine forest which was he...
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Biological homogenization is defined as a process that occurs when native species are replaced by common and dominant exotic species or due to depletion and expansion of native species, reducing the beta diversity between areas or habitats. Islands are particularly vulnerable to plant invasion, and as a consequence, homogenization is a process that...
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Identifying the factors that influence the spread of exotic species is essential for evaluating the present and future extent of plant invasions and for the development of eradication programs. We randomly established a network of 250 plots on an exotic Pinus radiata D. Don plantation on Tenerife Island in order to determine if roads and urban cent...
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The question of how plant species foreign to a biological system can disperse and turn into an environmental problem is very important for the control of the invasive plant species, especially for insular ecosystems, which are more susceptible to biological invasions. We analyzed the role played by the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in the...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Extensive goat grazing has played an important role in the configuration of structure and specific composition of the pastures of the Canary Islands. An appropriate grazing management is necessary for maintaining the current species composition and high diversity values of these ecosystems. Due to the steady decline of g...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Wildfire is often considered an ecological catastrophe that should be prevented in Canary Islands. However, it is of ecological significance and little is known about its effects on the Pinus canariensis forest stand. The study sites were reforested with P. canariensis during the 1940s and 1950s, but they have been poo...
Article
Full-text available
Extensive goat production systems have played an important role in the structure and specific composition of Tenerife's pastures. Due to the steady decline of grazing goats in the Island, the study of the impact of removal of goat grazing on plant communities is of primary importance, in order to delineate a proper conservation strategy for these e...

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