Current Research lines
Mediterranean forests have been suffering drought-induced tree defoliation and mortality (forest die-off) over the past two decades and the problem is likely to be exacerbated in coming decades, as extreme droughts are projected to become more frequent and intense. In 2013, I started to work on this issue at MNCN-CSIC in Madrid (Spain), and now I continue to do it at CFE in Coimbra (Portugal). I aim to understand how die-off affects plant-soil-microbe relationships, and ecosystem functioning to ultimately help to prevent and correct the problem.
The Brazilian Cerrado is a key but understudied biome with global relevance in terms of biodiversity and C cycle. In collaboration with colleagues from the Laboratoy of Ecology and Evolution of Plants (LEEP) at the University of Viçosa (Brasil) and CFE, we are carrying out a multidisciplinary study to understand the functioning, controls, and response to realistic climate change scenarios (through a rainfall exclusion) of ecosystem processes related to C and N cycling in this Brazilian savanna. This study is supported by the National Counsel of Technological and Scientific Development (CNPq) through the project CONCERN.