Publicaciones más recientes


Detecting early-warning signals of concern in plant populations with a Citizen Science network. Are threatened and other priority species for conservation performing worse?

María B. García | José L. Silva | Pablo Tejero | Iker Pardo. Journal of Applied Ecology
DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.13890

1. Long-term monitoring of biodiversity is a fundamental part of environmental management, and Citizen Science (CS) approaches are increasing their contribution to such endeavour. CS plant monitoring programmes, however, almost exclusively report on the species presence, which can be used to detect changes in distribution or occupancy areas, but not to assess their local extinction risk. To anticipate the collapse of local populations, we need information on population sizes, trends, temporal fluctuations and threats. This is particularly important in the case of priority species (threatened, endangered and those that need special protection). 2. Here we describe the working protocol of the ‘Adopt a plant’ programme, a collaborative network that is currently monitoring 332 populations of 204 plant taxa (threatened, of community interest, common, rare and habitat indicators) across a heterogeneous landscape in NE Spain. Coordinated by scientists, participants estimate population sizes, record disturbances and follow scientifically rigorous sampling methods to track plant abundances year after year in fixed representative areas within populations. Two simple indices are estimated from that information: the overall trend (mean population abundance change, as percentage; PAch) and temporal fluctuations (standard deviation of annual changes; PAchsd). 3. The potential of this ongoing high-quality dataset is demonstrated through the analysis of 242 populations monitored over 3–10 years. Stability is the dominant trend (mean PAch: +0.14%), with priority species having similar PAch and lower PAchsd than non-priority ones. Regardless of the priority status, small populations performed worse than large ones. Only 8% of studied populations faced direct human threats. 4. Synthesis and applications. The ‘Adopt a plant’ collaborative monitoring programme was launched in NE of Spain to produce standardized indices of abundance change and other early-warning signals of concern or risk of population collapse. Such information is crucial to report the conservation status of threatened plants, and plants of Community interest (Habitats Directive). By analysing hundreds of populations, we found that priority plants experienced few threats and did not perform worse than non-priority ones. This unexpected finding evidences the importance of gathering massive demographic information to refine conservation priorities and to achieve a more comprehensive assessment of flora's vulnerability.


A critical comparison of integral projection and matrix projection models for demographic analysis. 

Doak DF; E Waddle; RE Langendorf; AM Louthan; NI Chardon; RR Dibner; DA Keinath; E Lombardi; C Steenbock; RK Shriver; C Linares; MB Garcia; WC Funk; SW Fitzpatrick; WF Morris; and ML Peterson. 2021.

Structured demographic models are among the most common and useful tools in population biology. However, the introduction of integral projection models (IPMs) has caused a profound shift in the way many demographic models are conceptualized. Some researchers have argued that IPMs, by explicitly representing demographic processes as continuous functions of state variables such as size, are more statistically efficient, biologically realistic, and accurate than classic matrix projection models, calling into question the usefulness of the many studies based on matrix models. Here, we evaluate how IPMs and matrix models differ, as well as the extent to which these differences matter for estimation of key model outputs, including population growth rates, sensitivity patterns, and life spans. First, we detail the steps in constructing and using each type of model. Second, we present a review of published demographic models, concentrating on size-based studies, which shows significant overlap in the way IPMs and matrix models are constructed and analyzed. Third, to assess the impact of various modeling decisions on demographic predictions, we ran a series of simulations based on size-based demographic data sets for five biologically diverse species. We found little evidence that discrete vital rate estimation is less accurate than continuous functions across a wide range of sample sizes or size classes (equivalently bin numbers or mesh points). Most model outputs quickly converged with modest class numbers (≥10), regardless of most other modeling decisions. Another surprising result was that the most commonly used method to discretize growth rates for IPM analyses can introduce substantial error into model outputs. Finally, we show that empirical sample sizes generally matter more than modeling approach for the accuracy of demographic outputs. Based on these results, we provide specific recommendations to those constructing and evaluating structured population models. Both our literature review and simulations question the treatment of IPMs as a clearly distinct modeling approach or one that is inherently more accurate than classic matrix models. Importantly, this suggests that matrix models, representing the vast majority of past demographic analyses available for comparative and conservation work, continue to be useful and important sources of demographic information.


Long-term monitoring of NDVI changes by remote sensing to assess the vulnerability of threatened plants 

L. Matas-Granados, M. Pizarro, L. Cayuela, D. Domingo, D. Gomez, M.B.García

Little is known about how much continuous landscape transformation might affect the most vulnerable elements of biodiversity. In this study, we quantified changes in the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) over the past 35 years across locations with threatened plants and in Natura 2000 (N2000) protected areas, in an environmentally heterogeneous region of Southern Europe. First, we estimated the intensity and duration of NDVI gains and losses based on Landsat time series using the LandTrendr algorithm in Google Earth Engine. Then, we tested: 1) whether populations of threatened plants were located in more stable sites than non-threatened plants (i.e., lower NDVI changes); 2) whether NDVI changes around populations of threatened plants differed across habitats and inside/outside N2000 areas, and 3) whether lower NDVI changes occurred in N2000 areas than unprotected areas, thereby indicating their effectiveness at preserving biodiversity. Threatened plants tended to be concentrated in sites with less change irrespective of the habitat where they occurred and their location within protected areas. Occurrence in stable sites also reduced the risk associated with small-sized populations. N2000 areas were in line with the overall greening trend but they experienced less loss events than the unprotected areas, thereby supporting their role in slowing down human-induced land cover changes. Our approach demonstrates how long-term remote sensing monitoring can help to assess the effects of both slow processes and drastic landscape transformation events on priority plants in a comprehensive and rapid manner. This method can identify hidden patterns in extensive regions and guide effective conservation management

Publicaciones incluidas en el JCR

Miranda H, C Roquet, X Font, M Pizarro, MB García. In press. Inferring the vulnerability of plant richness and phylogenetic diversity in habitats of the Pyrenean range through rarity patterns. Conservation Science and Practice

Pironon S, D Gómez, X Font, MB García. 2022. Living at the limit in the Pyrenees: peripheral and endemic plants are rare but under-represented in protection lists. Diversity and Distributions.

Lembrechts, J, …. MB García….R Hoffrén … 2022. Global maps of soil temperature. Global change and Biology. See also Preprint: 

Ameztegui A; A Morán-Ordóñez; A Márquez; A Blázquez; M Pla; D Villero; MB García; MP Errea; L Coll. 2022. Forest expansion in mountain protected areas: trends and consequences for the landscape. Landscape and Urban Planning, 216.

Matas-Granados, L, M Pizarro, L Cayuela, D Domingo, D Gómez, MB García. 2022. Long-term monitoring of NDVI changes by remote sensing to assess the vulnerability of threatened plants. Biological Conservation, 265 10.1016/j.biocon.2021.109428

Domingo, D, MT Lamelas, & MB García. 2021. Caracterización de cambios estructurales en la vegetación y su relación con la severidad del fuego mediante datos LiDAR multi-temporales. Ecosistemas

García MB, JL Silva, P Tejero, I Pardo. 2021. Detecting early warning-signals of concern in plant populations with a Citizen Science network. Are threatened and priority species for conservation performing worse?. Journal of Applied Ecology. DOI:10.1111/1365-2664.13890

Villellas J, J Ehrlén, EE Crone, AM Csergo, MB Garcia, A-L Laine, DA Roach, R Salguero-Gómez, GM Wardle, DZ Childs, BD Elderd, A Finn, S Munné-Bosch, B Bachelot, J Bódis, A Bucharova, CM Caruso, J Catford, M Coghill, A Compagnoni, RP Duncan, JM Dwyer, A Ferguson, L Fraser, E Griffoul, R Groenteman, LN Hamre, A Helm, R Kelly, L Laanisto, M Lonati, Z Munzbergová, P Nuche, SL Olsen, A Oprea, M Pärtel, WK Petry, S Ramula, PU Rasmussen, SR Enri, A Roeder, C Roscher, C Schultz, O Skarpaas, AL Smith, JP Töpper, PA Vesk, GE Vose, E Wandrag, A Wingler and YM Buckley. Phenotypic plasticity masks range-wide genetic differentiation for vegetative but not reproductive traits in a short-lived plant. Ecology Letters 10.1111/ele.13858

Doak DF; E Waddle; RE Langendorf; AM Louthan; NI Chardon; RR Dibner; DA Keinath; E Lombardi; C Steenbock; RK Shriver; C Linares; MB Garcia; WC Funk; SW Fitzpatrick; WF Morris; and ML Peterson. 2021. A critical comparison of integral projection and matrix projection models for demographic analysis. Ecological Monographs. 

Doak, D. F., M. B. Garcia, C. Linares, S. W. Fitzpatrick, W. C. Funk, M. L. Peterson, E. Waddle, R. K. Shriver, and W. F. Morris. 2021. Testing Demographic Methods Using Field Studies of Five Dissimilar Species. Bull Ecol Soc Am 102(2):e01870.

Smith, Annabel L., Trevor R. Hodkinson, Jesus Villellas, Jane A. Catford, Anna Mária Csergő, Simone P. Blomberg, Elizabeth E. Crone, Johan Ehrlén, Maria B. Garcia, Anna-Liisa Laine, Deborah A. Roach, Roberto Salguero-Gómez, Glenda Wardle, Dylan Z. Childs, Bret D. Elderd, Alain Finn, Sergi Munné-Bosch, Maude E.A. Baudraz, Judit Bódis, Francis Q. Brearley, Anna Bucharova, Christina M. Caruso, Richard P. Duncan, John M. Dwyer, Ben Gooden, Ronny Groenteman, Liv Norunn Hamre, Aveliina Helm, Ruth Kelly, Lauri Laanisto, Michele Lonati, Joslin L. Moore, Melanie Morales, Siri Lie Olsen, Meelis Pärtel, William K. Petry, Satu Ramula, Pil U. Rasmussen, Simone Ravetto Enri, Anna Roeder, Christiane Roscher, Marjo Saastamoinen, Ayco J. M. Tack, Joachim Paul Töpper, Gregory E. Vose, Elizabeth M. Wandrag, Astrid Wingler and Yvonne M. Buckley. Global gene flow releases plants from environmental constraints on genetic diversity. Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences 117: 4218-4227.

Cotado A, Garcia MB, Munné-Bosch S. 2020. Physiological seed dormancy increases at high altitude in Pyrenean saxifrage (Saxifraga longifolia Lapeyr.). Environmental and Experimental Botany 171.

García MB, J Arroyo, J Ehrlén. 2020 The climatic change. Learning from past survivors and present outliers. Environmental and Experimental Botany 170, Article 103971 10.1016/j.envexpbot.2019.103931

Sherman D., JP Dahlgren, J Ehrlén, MB García. 2019. Sex and the cost of reproduction through the life course of an extremely long-lived herb. Oecologia 191:369-375. doi: 10.1007/s00442-019-04491-0

García MB, P Errea, D Gómez, M Pizarro. 2019. Winners and losers of landscape changes over the last sixty years in one of the oldest and Southernmost National Parks of the European Alpine region: Ordesa and Monte Perdido. Geographical Research Letters 45: 123-141.

Bascompte*, J, MB García*, R Ortega, E Rezende, S Pironon. 2019. Mutualistic interactions reshuffle the effects of climate change on plants across the tree of life. Science Advances 5: eaav2539. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aav2539

Villellas, J., García, M. B., & Morris, W. F. (2019). Geographic location, local environment, and individual size mediate the effects of climate warming and neighbors on a benefactor plant. Oecologia, 189(1), 243-253.
García, M. B., Silva, J. L., Tejero, P., Pardo, I., & Gómez, D. (2019). Tracking the long-term dynamics of plant diversity in Northeast Spain with a network of volunteers and rangers. Regional Environmental Change, 19(2), 391-401.
Pironon, S., Villellas, J., Thuiller, W., Eckhart, V. M., Geber, M. A., Moeller, D. A., & García, M. B. (2018). The ‘Hutchinsonian niche’as an assemblage of demographic niches: implications for species geographic ranges. Ecography, 41(7), 1103-1113.
Canelles, Q., Saura-Mas, S., Brotons, L., García, M. B., Lloret, F., Villellas, J., & Morris, W. F. (2018). Environmental stress effects on reproduction and sexual dimorphism in the gynodioecious species Silene acaulis. Environmental and Experimental Botany, 146, 27-33.
Villellas, J., & García, M. B. (2018). Life‐history trade‐offs vary with resource availability across the geographic range of a widespread plant. Plant Biology, 20(3), 483-489.
Pironon, S., Papuga, G., Villellas, J., Angert, A. L., García, M. B., & Thompson, J. D. (2017). Geographic variation in genetic and demographic performance: new insights from an old biogeographical paradigm. Biological Reviews, 92(4), 1877-1909.
Villellas, J., & García, M. B. (2017). Intrinsic and extrinsic drivers of recruitment across the distribution range of a seed-dimorphic herb. Plant ecology, 218(5), 529-539.
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Publicaciones (1993-2016)
Ilves, A., Metsare, M., Seliškar, A., García, M. B., Vassiliou, L., Pierce, S., ... & Kull, T. (2016). Genetic diversity patterns of the orchid Anacamptis pyramidalis at the edges of its distribution range. Plant systematics and evolution, 302(9), 1227-1238.
Munné-Bosch, S., Cotado, A., Morales, M., Fleta-Soriano, E., Villellas, J., & Garcia, M. B. (2016). Adaptation of the long-lived monocarpic perennial Saxifraga longifolia to high altitude. Plant physiology, 172(2), 765-775.
Villellas, J., Cardós, J. L., & García, M. B. (2016, June). Contrasting population dynamics in the boreo-alpine Silene acaulis (Caryophyllaceae) at its southern distribution limit. In Annales Botanici Fennici (Vol. 53, No. 3–4, pp. 193-205). Finnish Zoological and Botanical Publishing Board.
Lehtilä, K., Dahlgren, J. P., Garcia, M. B., Leimu, R., Syrjänen, K., & Ehrlén, J. (2016). Forest succession and population viability of grassland plants: long repayment of extinction debt in Primula veris. Oecologia, 181(1), 125-135. 
Berjano, R., Villellas, J., García, M. B., & Terrab, A. (2015). Phylogeography reveals latitudinal population structure in the common herb Plantago coronopus. Botanical journal of the Linnean Society, 179(4), 618-634.
Pardo, I., Doak, D. F., García-González, R., Gómez, D., & García, M. B. (2015). Long-term response of plant communities to herbivore exclusion at high elevation grasslands. Biodiversity and Conservation, 24(12), 3033-3047.
Villellas, J., Doak, D. F., García, M. B., & Morris, W. F. (2015). Demographic compensation among populations: what is it, how does it arise and what are its implications?. Ecology letters, 18(11), 1139-1152.
Silva, J. L., Mejías, J. A., & García, M. B. (2015). Demographic vulnerability in cliff-dwelling Sonchus species endemic to the western Mediterranean. Basic and applied ecology, 16(4), 316-324.
Valiente‐Banuet, A., Aizen, M. A., Alcántara, J. M., Arroyo, J., Cocucci, A., Galetti, M., ... & Medel, R. (2015). Beyond species loss: the extinction of ecological interactions in a changing world. Functional Ecology, 29(3), 299-307.
Pironon, S., Villellas, J., Morris, W. F., Doak, D. F., & García, M. B. (2015). Do geographic, climatic or historical ranges differentiate the performance of central versus peripheral populations?. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 24(6), 611-620.
Villellas, J., Berjano, R., Terrab, A., & García, M. B. (2014). Divergence between phenotypic and genetic variation within populations of a common herb across Europe. Ecosphere, 5(5), 1-14.
Valdés, A., García, D., García, M. B., & Ehrlén, J. (2014). Contrasting effects of different landscape characteristics on population growth of a perennial forest herb. Ecography, 37(3), 230-240.
Jones, O. R., Scheuerlein, A., Salguero-Gómez, R., Camarda, C. G., Schaible, R., Casper, B. B., ... & Quintana-Ascencio, P. F. (2014). Diversity of ageing across the tree of life. Nature, 505(7482), 169.
Barrio, I. C., Bueno, C. G., Nagy, L., Palacio, S., Grau, O., Munilla, I., ... & Lara-Romero, C. (2013). Alpine ecology in the Iberian Peninsula: What do we know, and what do we need to learn?. Mountain Research and Development, 33(4), 437-443.
Pardo, I., Camarero, J. J., Gutiérrez, E., & García, M. B. (2013). Uncoupled changes in tree cover and field layer vegetation at two Pyrenean treeline ecotones over 11 years. Plant Ecology & Diversity, 6(3-4), 355-364.
Hansen, C. F., García, M. B., & Ehlers, B. K. (2013). Water availability and population origin affect the expression of the tradeoff between reproduction and growth in P lantago coronopus. Journal of evolutionary biology, 26(5), 993-1002.
Villellas, J., & García, M. B. (2013). The role of the tolerance–fecundity trade‐off in maintaining intraspecific seed trait variation in a widespread dimorphic herb. Plant Biology, 15(5), 899-909.
Morales, M., Oñate, M., García, M. B., & Munné‐Bosch, S. (2013). Photo‐oxidative stress markers reveal absence of physiological deterioration with ageing in Borderea pyrenaica, an extraordinarily long‐lived herb. Journal of Ecology, 101(3), 555-565.
Villellas, J., Morris, W. F., & García, M. B. (2013). Variation in stochastic demography between and within central and peripheral regions in a widespread short‐lived herb. Ecology, 94(6), 1378-1388.
Villellas, J., Ehrlén, J., Olesen, J. M., Braza, R., & García, M. B. (2013). Plant performance in central and northern peripheral populations of the widespread Plantago coronopus. Ecography, 36(2), 136-145.
Pardo, I., Pata, M. P., Gómez, D., & García, M. B. (2013). A novel method to handle the effect of uneven sampling effort in biodiversity databases. PloS one, 8(1), e52786.
García, M. B., Espadaler, X., & Olesen, J. M. (2012). Extreme reproduction and survival of a true cliffhanger: the endangered plant Borderea chouardii (Dioscoreaceae). PloS one, 7(9), e44657.
Pisanu, S., Farris, E., Filigheddu, R., & García, M. B. (2012). Demographic effects of large, introduced herbivores on a long-lived endemic plant. Plant ecology, 213(10), 1543-1553. 
Oñate, M., García, M. B., & Munné-Bosch, S. (2012). Age and sex-related changes in cytokinins, auxins and abscisic acid in a centenarian relict herbaceous perennial. Planta, 235(2), 349-358.
Garcia, M. B., Dahlgren, J. P., & Ehrlén, J. (2011). No evidence of senescence in a 300‐year‐old mountain herb. Journal of Ecology, 99(6), 1424-1430.
Dahlgren, J. P., García, M. B., & Ehrlén, J. (2011). Nonlinear relationships between vital rates and state variables in demographic models. Ecology, 92(5), 1181-1187.
Braza, R., & García, M. B. (2011). Spreading recruitment over time to cope with environmental variability. Plant Ecology, 212(2), 283-292.
Csergő, A. M., Molnár, E., & García, M. B. (2011). Dynamics of isolated Saponaria bellidifolia Sm. populations at northern range periphery. Population ecology, 53(2), 393-403.
Braza, R., Arroyo, J., & García, M. B. (2010). Natural variation of fecundity components in a widespread plant with dimorphic seeds. Acta Oecologica, 36(5), 471-476.
Garcia, M. B., Goni, D., & Guzman, D. (2010). Living at the edge: Local versus positional factors in the long‐term population dynamics of an endangered orchid. Conservation Biology, 24(5), 1219-1229.
García, M. B., Pico, F. X., & Ehrlén, J. (2008). Life span correlates with population dynamics in perennial herbaceous plants. American Journal of Botany, 95(2), 258-262.
García, M. B. (2008). Life history and population size variability in a relict plant. Different routes towards long‐term persistence. Diversity and Distributions, 14(1), 106-113.
Buston, P. M., & García, M. B. (2007). An extraordinary life span estimate for the clown anemonefish Amphiprion percula. Journal of Fish Biology, 70(6), 1710-1719.
Lehtilä, K., Syrjänen, K., Leimu, R., Garcia, M. B., & Ehrlén, J. (2006). Habitat change and demography of Primula veris: identification of management targets. Conservation Biology, 20(3), 833-843.
Ehrlén, J., Syrjänen, K., Leimu, R., Begona Garcia, M., & Lehtilä, K. (2005). Land use and population growth of Primula veris: an experimental demographic approach. Journal of Applied Ecology, 42(2), 317-326. 
Manzaneda, A. J., Sperens, U., & García, M. B. (2005). Effects of microsite disturbances and herbivory on seedling performance in the perennial herb Helleborus foetidus (Ranunculaceae). Plant Ecology, 179(1), 73-82.
García, M. B. (2003). Demographic viability of a relict population of the critically endangered plant Borderea chouardii. Conservation Biology, 17(6), 1672-1680.
García, M. B. (2003). Sex allocation in a long-lived monocarpic plant. Plant Biology, 5(02), 203-209.
Herrera, C. M., Medrano, M., Rey, P. J., Sánchez-Lafuente, A. M., García, M. B., Guitián, J., & Manzaneda, A. J. (2002). Interaction of pollinators and herbivores on plant fitness suggests a pathway for correlated evolution of mutualism-and antagonism-related traits. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 99(26), 16823-16828.
García, M. B., & Ehrlén, J. (2002). Reproductive effort and herbivory timing in a perennial herb: fitness components at the individual and population levels. American Journal of Botany, 89(8), 1295-1302.
Herrera, C. M., Cerdá, X., Garcia, M. B., Guitián, J., Medrano, M., Rey, P. J., & Sánchez‐Lafuente, A. M. (2002). Floral integration, phenotypic covariance structure and pollinator variation in bumblebee‐pollinated Helleborus foetidus. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 15(1), 108-121.
Garcı́a, M. B., Guzmán, D., & Goñi, D. (2002). An evaluation of the status of five threatened plant species in the Pyrenees. Biological Conservation, 103(2), 151-161.
Hogan, K. P., Garcia, M. B., Cheeseman, J. M., & Loveless, M. D. (1998). Inflorescence photosynthesis and investment in reproduction in the dioecious species Aciphylla glaucescens (Apiaceae). New Zealand Journal of Botany, 36(4), 653-660.
García, M. B., & Antor, R. J. (1995). Age and size structure in populations of a long-lived dioecious geophyte: Borderea pyrenaica (Dioscoreaceae). International Journal of Plant Sciences, 156(2), 236-243.
García, M. B., & Antor, R. J. (1995). Sex ratio and sexual dimorphism in the dioecious Borderea pyrenaica (Dioscoreaceae). Oecologia, 101(1), 59-67.
Garcia, M. B., Antor, R. J., & Espadaler, X. (1995). Ant pollination of the palaeoendemic dioeciousBorderea pyrenaica (Dioscoreaceae). Plant Systematics and Evolution, 198(1-2), 17-27.
Antor, R. J., & García, M. B. (1995). A new mite-plant association: mites living amidst the adhesive traps of a carnivorous plant. Oecologia, 101(1), 51-54.
Antor, R. J., & Garcia, M. B. (1994). Prey capture by a carnivorous plant with hanging adhesive traps: Pinguicula longifolia. American Midland Naturalist, 128-135.
García, M. B., Antor, R. J., & Villar, L. (1994). Phenomorphology and reproductive biology of Pinguicula longifolia Ramond ex DC. subsp. longifolia (Lentibulariaceae), a carnivorous endemic plant of the Pyrenees. Acta botanica gallica, 141(3), 343-349.
Garcia, M. B., Antor, R. J., & Villar, L. (1993). Reproductive biology of Petrocoptis crassifolia Rouy (Caryophyllaceae), a chasmophilous endemic plant of the Central Pyrenes. Botanica helvetica, 103(2), 133-140.
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