Alados, Concepción L.

Alados, Concepción L.

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Pastures of the Pyrenees. Phd Thesis. Maite Gartzia



Mountain pastures represents one of the most important natural resource in the world and, it is one of the most important land uses influencing landscape formation. In Spanish society, mountain pastures play an important socio-economical role in the maintenance of rural life and it is also in the background of our cultural heritage. However, important and drastic changes taking place in our society are leading to pastures mismanagement and consequent land degradation.

The conservation of mountain ecosystems must be based on the capacity of the ecosystem to self-organize and to maintain its function and organization after regular disturbances. Our purpose is to understand the mechanisms underlying the livestock-plant-soil feedback and determine the importance of plant-soil interaction in the productivity and sustainability of mountain pastures along a rainfall gradient from semiarid to subalpine pastures. Pilot study areas are ranging from the high alpine grasslands to the dense matorral, low discontinuous matorral and semi-arid steppes.


Specific objectives:

1.- Identify positive and negative feedback processes operating in pastures ecosystem that determine the productivity and conservation of those fragile, complex and unstable ecosystems that depend on the interactions among plant and soil mediated by pastoral management.

2.- Most relevant plant-soil feedback includes plant-hydro-physical properties, plant-microbes-nutrients and plant-soil seed bank. Our aim is to determine the role of grazing on the productivity-microorganisms-nutrients interactions along a gradient of precipitation.

3.- To assess the optimal management strategy to ensures pastures preservation by developing monitoring tools and management practices to prevent pastures degradation due to either, the expansion of woody species or the loss of grassland quality, either by the increase in coarsening, or by the loss of biomass and productivity.




  • ≈ Komac, B., Alados, C. L (2012) Fluctuating Asymmetry and Fitness in Echinospartum horridum under intra- and inter specific competition. Ecological Indicators.18: 252-258. 

  • ≈ Kouba, Y., Camarero J.J. & Alados, C.L. (2012)  Roles of land-use and climate change on the establishment and regeneration dynamics of Mediterranean semi-deciduous oak forests. Forest Ecology and Management 274: 143-150.

  • ≈ Kouba, Y, Alados, C. L.  (2012) Spatio-temporal dynamics of Quercus faginea forests in the Spanish Central Pre-Pyrenees. European Journal of Forest Research 131, 369-379 

  • ≈ Sáiz, H., Alados, C. L. 2012. Changes in semi-arid plant species associations along a livestock grazing gradient. Plos One. 7(7): e40551. 

  • ≈ Pueyo, Y., Moret-Fernández, D., Sáiz, H., Bueno, C.G., Alados, C.L. (2013) Relationships between plant spatial patterns, water infiltration capacity and plant community composition in semi-arid Mediterranean ecosystems along stress gradients. Ecosystems. 16: 452–466. 

  • ≈ Komac, B., Kéfi, S., Escós, J. and Alados, C. L. (2013) Modeling shrub encroachment in alpine grasslands under different environmental and management scenarios. Journal of Environmental Management. 121: 160-169 

  • ≈ Gartzia, M., Alados, C. L. Pérez-Cabello, F. Bueno, G.C. (2013). Improving the accuracy of vegetation classifications in mountainous areas. Mountain Research and Development. 33: 63-74. 

  • ≈ Bueno,C.G., Azorín,  J., Gómez-García. D., Alados, C.L., and Badía, D.  (2013). Occurrence and intensity of wild boar disturbances, effects on the physical and chemical soil properties of alpine grasslands. Plant and Soil. 373:243–256. DOI 10.1007/s11104-013-1784-z.

  • ≈ Barrio, I. C., Bueno, C.G., Nagy, L., Palacio, S., Grau, O., Munilla, I., Garcia, M. B., Garcia-Cervigon, A. I., Gartzia, M., Gazol, A., Lara-Romero, C., Anadon-Rosell, A., Ninot, J. M,. Chocarro, C., Alados, C.L., Fillat, F., Zamora, R. (2013). Alpine ecology in the Iberian Peninsula: what do we know and what do we need to learn? Mountain Research and Development 33(4): 437-442.   

  • ≈ Gartzia, M., Alados, C. L., Pérez-Cabello, F. (2014). Assessment of the effects of biophysical and anthropogenic factors on woody plant encroachment in dense and sparse mountain grasslands based on remote sensing data. Progress in Physical Geography. 38: 201-217. 

  • ≈ Nuche P., Komac B., Camarero J.J., Alados C.L. (2014) Developmental instability as an index of adaptation to drought stress in a Mediterranean oak. Ecological Indicators.40: 68-75. 

  • ≈ Saiz, H., Alados, C. L. 2014. Effect of livestock grazing in the partitions of a semiarid plant-plant spatial signed network. Acta Oecologica. 59: 18-25 

  • ≈ Saiz, H., Alados, C. L, Pueyo, Y. (2014). Plant-plant spatial association networks in gypsophilous communities: The influence of aridity and grazing and the role of gypsophytes in its structure. Web Ecology.14: 39-49

  • ≈ Kouba, Y., Martínez-García, F., De Frutos, A.,  Alados, C. L. (2014). Plant β-diversity in human-altered forest ecosystems: The importance of the structural, spatial, and topographical characteristics of stands in patterning plant species assemblages. European Journal of Forest Research. DOI 10.1007/s10342-014-0822-6. 

  • Alados, C. L., Errea, P.,  Gartzia, M., Saiz, H  and Escós, J  (2014). Positive and negative feedbacks and free-scale pattern distribution in rural-population dynamics. Plos One 9(12): e114561.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0114561 

  • ≈ Kouba, Y., Martínez_García, F., De Frutos, Á., Alados, C.L., (2015) Effects of previous land-use on plant species composition and diversity in Mediterranean forests. PlosOne 10(9): e0139031.

  • ≈ De Frutos, A., Navarro, T., Pueyo, Y., Alados, C. L. (2015) Inferring resilience to fragmentation-induced changes in plant communities in a semiarid Mediterranean ecosystem. PlosONE, 10 (3): e0118837

  • ≈ Arroyo, A. I., Pueyo, Y. Saiz, H., Alados, C. L. (2015) Plant-plant interactions as a mechanism structuring plant diversity in a Mediterranean semi-arid ecosystem. Ecology and Evolution. 5(22): 5305–5317

  • ≈ Gartzia, M., Pérez-Cabello, F., Bueno, C.G., Alados, C. L., (2016) Physiognomic and physiologic changes in mountain grasslands in response to environmental and anthropogenic factors. Applied Geography 66: 1-11.

  • ≈ Gartzia, M., Fillat, F., Pérez-Cabello, F., Alados, C. L. (2016) Influence of agropastoral system components on mountain grassland vulnerability estimated by connectivity loss. Plos One 11(5): e0155193.

  • ≈ Lucas, P., Herrero, J.,  Fernández-Arberas, O.,  Prada, C., Saiz, H., C. L. Alados. (2016) Modelling the habitat of a wild ungulate in a semi-arid Mediterranean environment in southwestern Europe: small cliffs are key predictors of the presence of Iberian wild goat. J. Arid. Env. 129: 56-63

  • ≈ Saiz, H., Gómez-Gardeñes, J., Nuche-Gálvez, P., Andrea Girón, P., Pueyo, Y., Alados, C. L. (2016) Evidence of structural balance in ecological networks. Ecography

  • ≈ Pueyo, Y., Moret-Fernández, D., Arroyo, A. I., De Frutos, A., Kéfi, S., Saiz, H., Charte, R., Giner, M. L., Alados, C. L. (2016). Plant nurse effects rely on combined hydrological and ecological components in semiarid ecosystem. Ecosphere





  • Enhancing the resilience capacity of SENSitive mountain FORest ecosystems under environmental change. SENSFOR.  Action COST ES1203. 2012-2016. Research coordinator: Alados, C.L.

  • ≈ Papel de las interacciones planta-suelo en el  mantenimiento de la productividad y la diversidad de ecosistemas pastorales. 
    Plan Nacional. CGL2016-80783-R. (2016-2019). Research coordianator: Alados C. L. and Pueyo Estaún, Y.

  •  ≈ Mejora de los pastos e infraestructuras ganaderas en la Reserva de la Biosfera Ordesa Viñamala. Programa de Desarrollo Rural 2014-2020. Medida 16. (2016-2018)Project coordinator: Sergio García Atarés