Esquema TesisEnrique García de la Riva has defended his doctoral thesis entitled “Composition and functional diversity of Mediterranean woody plants: from the leaf to the community” in the University of Córdoba (Spain), on April 11th 2016. The thesis has been supervised by Professor Rafael Villar (UCO) and by the IRNAS researchers Teodoro Marañón and Ignacio Pérez Ramos.

The main objective was to understand better the strategies developed by different woody species to persist in a given environment, as well as the rules governing community assembly, from the conceptual framework of functional ecology.

Functional traits have been studied at different organization levels: leaf anatomy, coordination of plant organs (leaf, stem and root), economics spectrum at whole plant level, and community weighted means. The variation of functional traits along environmental gradients has been explored at local scale (Sierra Morena) and regional scale (Andalusia). The relationship between functional structure and stability mechanisms (resistance and resilience) has been evaluated in response to an extreme climatic event of drought and cold in Doñana National Park.

This Ph.D. thesis is a result of the coordinated research project DIVERBOS. It has been presented as a compendium of the following publications:

de la Riva EG, M Olmo, H Poorter, JL Ubera & R. Villar (2016). Leaf mass per area (LMA) and its relationship with leaf structure and anatomy in 34 Mediterranean woody species along a water availability gradient. PloS one, 11(2), e0148788

de la Riva EG, A Tosto, IM Pérez-Ramos, CM Navarro-Fernández, M Olmo, NPR Anten, T Marañón & R Villar (2016). A plant economics spectrum in Mediterranean forests along environmental gradients: is there coordination among leaf, stem and root traits? Journal of Vegetation Science, 27: 187–199.

de la Riva EG, IM Pérez-Ramos, A Tosto, CM Navarro-Fernández, M Olmo, T Marañón & R Villar (2016). Disentangling the relative importance of species occurrence, abundance and intraspecific variability in community assembly: a trait-based approach at the whole-plant level in Mediterranean forests. Oikos 125: 354–363.

de la Riva EG, F Lloret, IM Pérez-Ramos, T Marañón, S Saura-Mas, R Díaz-Delgado & R Villar (2016). The importance of functional diversity on the stability of Mediterranean shrubland communities after the impact of extreme climatic events. Journal of Plant Ecology (en prensa) doi: 10.1093/jpe/rtw027

de la Riva EG, C Violle, IM Pérez-Ramos, T Marañón, CM Navarro-Fernández, M Olmo & R Villar (2016). A multidimensional functional trait approach reveals the imprint of environmental stress in Mediterranean woody plant communities. Global Ecology and Biogeography (in preparation).

Enrique G. de la Riva and Ph. D. Cosupervisors. Photo: M. Olmo.

Enrique G. de la Riva and Ph. D. Cosupervisors. Photo: M. Olmo.


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