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Biological feedbacks and ecosystem resilience under global change: a new perspective on dryland desertification

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "BIODESERT" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 3690

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Spain [ES]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙894˙450 €
 EC max contribution 1˙894˙450 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-CoG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-01-01   to  2020-12-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSIDAD DE ALICANTE ES (ALICANTE) coordinator 1˙102˙967.00
2    UNIVERSIDAD REY JUAN CARLOS ES (MOSTOLES) participant 791˙482.00


 Project objective

Changes in climate and land use (e.g., increased grazing pressure), are two main global change components that also act as major desertification drivers. Understanding how drylands will respond to these drivers is crucial because they occupy 41% of the terrestrial surface and are home to over 38% of the world’s human population. Land degradation already affects ~250 million people in the developing world, which rely upon the provision of many ecosystem processes (multifunctionality). This proposal aims to develop a better understanding of the functioning and resilience of drylands (i.e. their ability to respond to and recover from disturbances) to major desertification drivers. Its objectives are to: 1) test how changes in climate and grazing pressure determine spatiotemporal patterns in multifunctionality in global drylands, 2) assess how biotic attributes (e.g., biodiversity, cover) modulate ecosystem resilience to climate change and grazing pressure at various spatial scales, 3) test and develop early warning indicators of desertification, and 4) forecast the onset of desertification and its ecological consequences under different climate and grazing scenarios. I will use various biotic communities/attributes, ecosystem services and spatial scales (from local to global), and will combine approaches from several disciplines. Such comprehensive and highly integrated research endeavor is novel and constitutes a ground breaking advance over current research efforts on desertification. This project will provide a mechanistic understanding on the processes driving multifunctionality under different global change scenarios, as well as key insights to forecast future scenarios for the provisioning of ecosystem services in drylands, and to test and develop early warning indicators of desertification. This is of major importance to attain global sustainability and key Millennium Development Goals, such as the eradication of poverty.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Gianalberto Losapio, Alicia Montesinos-Navarro, Hugo Saiz
Perspectives for ecological networks in plant ecology
published pages: 87-102, ISSN: 1755-0874, DOI: 10.1080/17550874.2019.1626509
Plant Ecology & Diversity 12/2 2019-09-17
2018 Antonio I. Arroyo, Yolanda Pueyo, M. Luz Giner, Ana Foronda, Pedro Sanchez-Navarrete, Hugo Saiz, Concepción L. Alados
Evidence for chemical interference effect of an allelopathic plant on neighboring plant species: A field study
published pages: e0193421, ISSN: 1932-6203, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0193421
PLOS ONE 13/2 2019-09-17
2019 Yoann Le Bagousse-Pinguet, Santiago Soliveres, Nicolas Gross, Rubén Torices, Miguel Berdugo, Fernando T. Maestre
Phylogenetic, functional, and taxonomic richness have both positive and negative effects on ecosystem multifunctionality
published pages: 8419-8424, ISSN: 0027-8424, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1815727116
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 116/17 2019-09-17
2018 Concha Cano-Díaz, Pilar Mateo, M. Ángeles Muñoz-Martín, Fernando T. Maestre
Diversity of biocrust-forming cyanobacteria in a semiarid gypsiferous site from Central Spain
published pages: 83-89, ISSN: 0140-1963, DOI: 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2017.11.008
Journal of Arid Environments 151 2019-05-31
2018 Angela Lafuente, Miguel Berdugo, Mónica Ladrón de Guevara, Beatriz Gozalo, Fernando T. Maestre
Simulated climate change affects how biocrusts modulate water gains and desiccation dynamics after rainfall events
published pages: e1935, ISSN: 1936-0584, DOI: 10.1002/eco.1935
Ecohydrology 2019-05-31
2018 Alberto Benavent-González, Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, Laura Fernández-Brun, Brajesh K. Singh, Fernando T. Maestre, Leopoldo G. Sancho
Identity of plant, lichen and moss species connects with microbial abundance and soil functioning in maritime Antarctica
published pages: 35–52, ISSN: 0032-079X, DOI: 10.1007/s11104-018-3721-7
Plant and Soil 429 2019-05-31
2018 Hugo Saiz, Yoann Le Bagousse-Pinguet, Nicolas Gross, Fernando T. Maestre
Intransitivity increases plant functional diversity by limiting dominance in drylands worldwide
published pages: , ISSN: 0022-0477, DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.13018
Journal of Ecology 2019-05-31
2018 Kelly S. Ramirez, Christopher G. Knight, Mattias de Hollander, Francis Q. Brearley, Bede Constantinides, Anne Cotton, Si Creer, Thomas W. Crowther, John Davison, Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, Ellen Dorrepaal, David R. Elliott, Graeme Fox, Robert I. Griffiths, Chris Hale, Kyle Hartman, Ashley Houlden, David L. Jones, Eveline J. Krab, Fernando T. Maestre, Krista L. McGuire, Sylvain Monteux, Caroline H. Orr, Wim H. van der Putten, Ian S. Roberts, David A. Robinson, Jennifer D. Rocca, Jennifer Rowntree, Klaus Schlaeppi, Matthew Shepherd, Brajesh K. Singh, Angela L. Straathof, Jennifer M. Bhatnagar, Cécile Thion, Marcel G. A. van der Heijden, Franciska T. de Vries
Detecting macroecological patterns in bacterial communities across independent studies of global soils
published pages: 189-196, ISSN: 2058-5276, DOI: 10.1038/s41564-017-0062-x
Nature Microbiology 3/2 2019-05-31
2018 Lupe León-Sánchez, Emilio Nicolás, Marta Goberna, Iván Prieto, Fernando T. Maestre, José Ignacio Querejeta
Poor plant performance under simulated climate change is linked to mycorrhizal responses in a semi-arid shrubland
published pages: 960-976, ISSN: 0022-0477, DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12888
Journal of Ecology 106/3 2019-05-31
2018 Pablo García-Palacios, Cristina Escolar, Marina Dacal, Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, Beatriz Gozalo, Victoria Ochoa, Fernando T. Maestre
Pathways regulating decreased soil respiration with warming in a biocrust-dominated dryland
published pages: 4645-4656, ISSN: 1354-1013, DOI: 10.1111/gcb.14399
Global Change Biology 24 2019-05-31
2018 Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, Fernando T. Maestre, David J. Eldridge, Matthew A. Bowker, Thomas C. Jeffries, Brajesh K. Singh
Biocrust-forming mosses mitigate the impact of aridity on soil microbial communities in drylands: observational evidence from three continents
published pages: , ISSN: 0028-646X, DOI: 10.1111/nph.15120
New Phytologist 2019-05-31
2018 Yanchuang Zhao, Xinyuan Wang, Carlos J. Novillo, Patricia Arrogante-Funes, René Vázquez-Jiménez, Fernando T. Maestre
Albedo estimated from remote sensing correlates with ecosystem multifunctionality in global drylands
published pages: , ISSN: 0140-1963, DOI: 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2018.05.010
Journal of Arid Environments 2019-05-31
2018 Mónica Ladrón de Guevara, Beatriz Gozalo, José Raggio, Angela Lafuente, María Prieto, Fernando T. Maestre
Warming reduces the cover, richness and evenness of lichen-dominated biocrusts but promotes moss growth: insights from an 8 yr experiment
published pages: , ISSN: 0028-646X, DOI: 10.1111/nph.15000
New Phytologist 2019-05-31
2018 Pablo García-Palacios, Nicolas Gross, Juan Gaitán, Fernando T. Maestre
Climate mediates the biodiversity–ecosystem stability relationship globally
published pages: 8400-8405, ISSN: 0027-8424, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1800425115
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115/33 2019-05-31
2018 Miguel Berdugo, Fernando T. Maestre, Sonia Kéfi, Nicolas Gross, Yoann Le Bagousse-Pinguet, Santiago Soliveres
Aridity preferences alter the relative importance of abiotic and biotic drivers on plant species abundance in global drylands
published pages: , ISSN: 0022-0477, DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.13006
Journal of Ecology 2019-05-31
2018 Jorge Durán, Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, Andrew J. Dougill, Reginald T. Guuroh, Anja Linstädter, Andrew D. Thomas, Fernando T. Maestre
Temperature and aridity regulate spatial variability of soil multifunctionality in drylands across the globe
published pages: 1184-1193, ISSN: 0012-9658, DOI: 10.1002/ecy.2199
Ecology 99/5 2019-05-31
2017 Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, David J. Eldridge, Victoria Ochoa, Beatriz Gozalo, Brajesh K. Singh, Fernando T. Maestre
Soil microbial communities drive the resistance of ecosystem multifunctionality to global change in drylands across the globe
published pages: 1295-1305, ISSN: 1461-023X, DOI: 10.1111/ele.12826
Ecology Letters 20/10 2019-05-31
2018 Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, David J. Eldridge, Fernando T. Maestre, Victoria Ochoa, Beatriz Gozalo, Peter B. Reich, Brajesh K. Singh
Aridity Decouples C:N:P Stoichiometry Across Multiple Trophic Levels in Terrestrial Ecosystems
published pages: 459-468, ISSN: 1432-9840, DOI: 10.1007/s10021-017-0161-9
Ecosystems 21/3 2019-05-31
2018 Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, David J. Eldridge, Fernando T. Maestre, Senani B. Karunaratne, Pankaj Trivedi, Peter B. Reich, Brajesh K. Singh
Response to comment on “Climate legacies drive global soil carbon stocks in terrestrial ecosystem”
published pages: eaat1296, ISSN: 2375-2548, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aat1296
Science Advances 4/3 2019-05-31
2018 Peter Manning, Fons van der Plas, Santiago Soliveres, Eric Allan, Fernando T. Maestre, Georgina Mace, Mark J. Whittingham, Markus Fischer
Redefining ecosystem multifunctionality
published pages: 427-436, ISSN: 2397-334X, DOI: 10.1038/s41559-017-0461-7
Nature Ecology & Evolution 2/3 2019-05-31
2017 Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, Andrew Bissett, David J. Eldridge, Fernando T. Maestre, Ji-Zheng He, Jun-Tao Wang, Kelly Hamonts, Yu-Rong Liu, Brajesh K. Singh, Noah Fierer
Palaeoclimate explains a unique proportion of the global variation in soil bacterial communities
published pages: 1339-1347, ISSN: 2397-334X, DOI: 10.1038/s41559-017-0259-7
Nature Ecology & Evolution 1/9 2019-05-31
2018 Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, Angela M. Oliverio, Tess E. Brewer, Alberto Benavent-González, David J. Eldridge, Richard D. Bardgett, Fernando T. Maestre, Brajesh K. Singh, Noah Fierer
A global atlas of the dominant bacteria found in soil
published pages: 320-325, ISSN: 0036-8075, DOI: 10.1126/science.aap9516
Science 359/6373 2019-05-31
2018 Raúl Ochoa-Hueso, David J. Eldridge, Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, Santiago Soliveres, Matthew A. Bowker, Nicolas Gross, Yoann Le Bagousse-Pinguet, José L. Quero, Miguel García-Gómez, Enrique Valencia, Tulio Arredondo, Laura Beinticinco, Donaldo Bran, Alex Cea, Daniel Coaguila, Andrew J. Dougill, Carlos I. Espinosa, Juan Gaitán, Reginald T. Guuroh, Elizabeth Guzman, Julio R. Gutiérrez, Rosa M. Hernández, Elisabeth Huber-Sannwald, Thomas Jeffries, Anja Linstädter, Rebecca L. Mau, Jorge Monerris, Aníbal Prina, Eduardo Pucheta, Ilan Stavi, Andrew D. Thomas, Eli Zaady, Brajesh K. Singh, Fernando T. Maestre
Soil fungal abundance and plant functional traits drive fertile island formation in global drylands
published pages: 242-253, ISSN: 0022-0477, DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12871
Journal of Ecology 106/1 2019-05-31
2018 Hugo Saiz, Jesús Gómez-Gardeñes, Juan Pablo Borda, Fernando T. Maestre
The structure of plant spatial association networks is linked to plant diversity in global drylands
published pages: 1443-1453, ISSN: 0022-0477, DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12935
Journal of Ecology 106/4 2019-05-31
2018 César Plaza, Claudio Zaccone, Kasia Sawicka, Ana M. Méndez, Ana Tarquis, Gabriel Gascó, Gerard B. M. Heuvelink, Edward A. G. Schuur, Fernando T. Maestre
Soil resources and element stocks in drylands to face global issues
published pages: 13788, ISSN: 2045-2322, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-32229-0
Scientific Reports 8/1 2019-05-07
2018 Miguel Berdugo, Santiago Soliveres, Sonia Kéfi, Fernando T. Maestre
The interplay between facilitation and habitat type drives spatial vegetation patterns in global drylands
published pages: , ISSN: 0906-7590, DOI: 10.1111/ecog.03795
Ecography 2019-05-07
2018 Benoit Kéraval, Sébastien Fontaine, Audrey Lallement, Sandrine Revaillot, Hermine Billard, Gaël Alvarez, Fernando Maestre, Christian Amblard, Anne-Catherine Lehours
Cellular and non-cellular mineralization of organic carbon in soils with contrasted physicochemical properties
published pages: 286-289, ISSN: 0038-0717, DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2018.07.023
Soil Biology and Biochemistry 125 2019-05-07
2018 Selina Baldauf, Mónica Ladrón de Guevara, Fernando T. Maestre, Britta Tietjen
Soil moisture dynamics under two rainfall frequency treatments drive early spring CO 2 gas exchange of lichen-dominated biocrusts in central Spain
published pages: e5904, ISSN: 2167-8359, DOI: 10.7717/peerj.5904
PeerJ 6 2019-05-07
2016 Fernando T. Maestre, David J. Eldridge, Santiago Soliveres
A multifaceted view on the impacts of shrub encroachment
published pages: 369-370, ISSN: 1402-2001, DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12254
Applied Vegetation Science 19/3 2019-05-31
2017 Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, David J. Eldridge, Fernando T. Maestre, Senani B. Karunaratne, Pankaj Trivedi, Peter B. Reich, Brajesh K. Singh
Climate legacies drive global soil carbon stocks in terrestrial ecosystems
published pages: e1602008, ISSN: 2375-2548, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1602008
Science Advances 3/4 2019-05-31
2017 Nicolas Gross, Yoann Le Bagousse-Pinguet, Pierre Liancourt, Miguel Berdugo, Nicholas J. Gotelli, Fernando T. Maestre
Functional trait diversity maximizes ecosystem multifunctionality
published pages: 132, ISSN: 2397-334X, DOI: 10.1038/s41559-017-0132
Nature Ecology & Evolution 1/5 2019-05-31
2016 Fernando T. Maestre, David J. Eldridge, Santiago Soliveres, Sonia Kéfi, Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, Matthew A. Bowker, Pablo García-Palacios, Juan Gaitán, Antonio Gallardo, Roberto Lázaro, Miguel Berdugo
Structure and Functioning of Dryland Ecosystems in a Changing World
published pages: 215-237, ISSN: 1543-592X, DOI: 10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-121415-032311
Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 47/1 2019-05-31
2017 ZY Yuan, F Jiao, XR Shi, Jordi Sardans, Fernando T Maestre, Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, Peter B Reich, Josep Peñuelas
Experimental and observational studies find contrasting responses of soil nutrients to climate change
published pages: e23255, ISSN: 2050-084X, DOI: 10.7554/eLife.23255
eLife 6 2019-05-31
2017 Fernando T. Maestre, Ricard Solé, Brajesh K. Singh
Microbial biotechnology as a tool to restore degraded drylands
published pages: 1250-1253, ISSN: 1751-7915, DOI: 10.1111/1751-7915.12832
Microbial Biotechnology 10/5 2019-05-31

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