Bryophytes (mosses and liverworts) are highly useful as bioindicators of the state of ecosystems. In addition to their sensitivity to pollution, they depend on the thermal and water environmental balance. Thus, they are capable of providing very valuable information on the state of functioning of ecosystems under climate change conditions. In addition, they provide several key ecosystem services, including the possibility of retaining water and acting as living aquifers, stabilizing soils and reducing the loss of nutrients through erosion. This project aims to identify several indicator species of Mediterranean mosses, and determine their adaptability to climate change, and then estimate the vulnerability of moss communities throughout the Iberian Peninsula. To do this, an experimental study protocol will first be developed that allows evaluating the variations in the growth of these species under changing climate conditions. In this sense, an impedancemeter will be developed as an effective growth sensor, and it will be used to measure the growth of indicator species along climate variations in an altitude gradient and in culture chambers subject to various climate change scenarios. Subsequently, response curves to changes in temperature will be developed, which will be used to determine the areas of vulnerability to climate change for each species, with special attention to those that have a key role in soil stabilization. These data will be used to classify the species based on their vulnerability, and the rest of the moss species will be assigned to these categories. In addition, particularly vulnerable geographic areas will be identified, and specific actions will be proposed to preserve the proper functioning of Iberian moss communities.
Project “Desarrollo de protocolos para evaluar cambios en las tasas de crecimiento, vulnerabilidad y medidas de adaptación en diferentes escenarios de cambio climático para especies de musgos mediterráneos de la Península Ibérica” (Ref. DOC20090092), was a project led by Joaquín Hortal from Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (CSIC), in collaboration with researchers from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, funded by Fundación Biodiversidad (Spanish Ministry for Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment, MAPAMA).
I am a biogeographer and community ecologist, working as scientific researcher at the Department of Biogeography and Global Change of the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (CSIC).
I am also scientific collaborator at the Postgraduate Course on Ecology and Evolution of the Universidade Federal de Goiás and the Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes (cE3c) of the Universidade de Lisboa, and member of eBryo – Research Group on Experimental Bryology.