9 Works

Data from: Vascular plants mediate the effects of aridity and soil properties on ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea

Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, Antonio Gallardo, Matthew D. Wallenstein & Fernando T. Maestre
An integrated perspective of the most important factors driving the abundance of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and archaea (AOA) in natural ecosystems is lacking, especially in drylands. We evaluated how different climatic, abiotic, and nutrient-related factors determine AOA and AOB abundance in bare and vegetated microsites from grasslands throughout the Mediterranean Basin. We found a strong negative relationship between the abundance of AOA genes and soil fertility (availability of C, N, and P). Aridity and other...

Data from: Shrub encroachment can reverse desertification in semi-arid Mediterranean grasslands

Fernando T. Maestre, Matthew A. Bowker, María D. Puche, M. Belén Hinojosa, Isabel Martínez, Pablo García-Palacios, Andrea P. Castillo, Santiago Soliveres, Arántzazu L. Luzuriaga, Ana M. Sánchez, José A. Carreira, Antonio Gallardo & Adrián Escudero
The worldwide phenomenon of shrub encroachment in grass-dominated dryland ecosystems is commonly associated with desertification. Studies of the purported desertification effects associated with shrub encroachment are often restricted to relatively few study areas, and document a narrow range of possible impacts upon biota and ecosystem processes. We conducted a study in degraded Mediterranean grasslands dominated by Stipa tenacissima to simultaneously evaluate the effects of shrub encroachment on the structure and composition of multiple biotic community...

Data from: Do changes in grazing pressure and the degree of shrub encroachment alter the effects of individual shrubs on understorey plant communities and soil function?

Santiago Soliveres & David J. Eldridge
1. Shrub encroachment has dramatically altered the structure and functioning of many dryland ecosystems worldwide. While positive effects of shrubs on their understorey are commonly found (patch-level effects), these effects can be either positive or negative when scaled up to the community or landscape level (landscape-level effects). These contrasting results are likely to be caused by differences in the degree of shrub encroachment or grazing pressure among studies. No study has addressed the relationship between...

Data from: Evolutionary relationships can be more important than abiotic conditions in predicting the outcome of plant-plant interactions

Santiago Soliveres, Rubén Torices & Fernando T. Maestre
Positive and negative plant–plant interactions are major processes shaping plant communities. They are affected by environmental conditions and evolutionary relationships among the interacting plants. However, the generality of these factors as drivers of pairwise plant interactions and their combined effects remain virtually unknown. We conducted an observational study to assess how environmental conditions (altitude, temperature, irradiance and rainfall), the dispersal mechanism of beneficiary species and evolutionary relationships affected the co-occurrence of pairwise interactions in 11...

Data from: Biological soil crusts modulate nitrogen availability in semi-arid ecosystems: insights from a Mediterranean grassland

Andrea P. Castillo-Monroy, Fernando T. Maestre, Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo & Antonio Gallardo
Biological soil crusts (BSCs) greatly influence the N cycle of semi-arid ecosystems, as some organisms forming them are able to fix atmospheric N. However, BSCs are not always taken into account when studying biotic controls on N cycling and transformations. Our main objective was to understand how BSCs modulate the availability of N in a semi-arid Mediterranean ecosystem dominated by the tussock grass Stipa tenacissima. We selected the six most frequent soil cover types in...

Data from: Remote sensing data predict indicators of soil functioning in semi-arid steppes, central Spain

Miguel García-Gómez & Fernando T. Maestre
A substantial part of current research efforts on desertification are devoted to establish monitoring systems to evaluate the status of natural resources and the onset of desertification processes. Methodologies based on ground-collected soil and plant indicators are being increasingly used for this aim because they are affordable yet do not compromise accuracy. Despite their inherent value, these methods have limitations regarding the extent of the area that can be monitored using them. Such limitations can...

Data from: Aridity Modulates N Availability in Arid and Semiarid Mediterranean Grasslands

Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, Fernando T. Maestre, Antonio Gallardo, José L. Quero, Victoria Ochoa, Miguel García-Gómez, Cristina Escolar, Pablo García-Palacios, Miguel Berdugo, Enrique Valencia, Beatriz Gozalo, Zouhaier Noumi, Mchich Derak, Matthew D. Wallenstein & Matteo Convertino
While much is known about the factors that control each component of the terrestrial nitrogen (N) cycle, it is less clear how these factors affect total N availability, the sum of organic and inorganic forms potentially available to microorganisms and plants. This is particularly true for N-poor ecosystems such as drylands, which are highly sensitive to climate change and desertification processes that can lead to the loss of soil nutrients such as N. We evaluated...

Data from: On the importance of shrub encroachment by sprouters, climate, species richness and anthropic factors for ecosystem multifunctionality in semi-arid mediterranean ecosystems

José L. Quero, Fernando T. Maestre, Victoria Ochoa, Miguel García-Gómez & Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo
One of the most important changes taking place in drylands worldwide is the increase of the cover and dominance of shrubs in areas formerly devoid of them (shrub encroachment). A large body of research has evaluated the causes and consequences of shrub encroachment for both ecosystem structure and functioning. However, there are virtually no studies evaluating how shrub encroachment affects the ability of ecosystems to maintain multiple functions and services simultaneously (multifunctionality). We aimed to...

Data from: Environmental conditions and biotic interactions acting together promote phylogenetic randomness in semi-arid plant communities: new methods help to avoid misleading conclusions

Santiago Soliveres, Rubén Torices & Fernando T. Maestre
QUESTIONS: Molecular phylogenies are increasingly used to better understand the mechanisms structuring natural communities. The prevalent theory is that environmental factors and biotic interactions promote the phylogenetic clustering and over-dispersion of plant communities, respectively. However, both environmental filtering and biotic interactions are very likely to interact in most natural communities, jointly affecting community phylogenetic structure. How do environmental filters and biotic interactions jointly affect the phylogenetic structure of plant communities across environmental gradients? LOCATION: Eleven...

Registration Year

  • 2013

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • King Juan Carlos University
  • Pablo de Olavide University
  • Colorado State University
  • University of Jaén
  • Technical University of Madrid
  • UNSW Sydney
  • University of Sfax
  • University of Coimbra