Alados, Concepción L.

Alados, Concepción L.




Despite the conservation efforts developed in some countries land degradation continues, the species extinction intensifies, and the number of species lost or at risk of extinction increases. The reason is that most of the conservation programs are designed to conserve species at the risk of extinction and not to address processes that confer resistance and resilience, and to recognize when ecosystem have crossed the ecological threshold of sustainability towards a more degraded stage.

Ecosystem preservation must be based on the capacity of the ecosystem to maintain its functions and organization after regular disturbances. Understanding the mechanism of ecosystem preservation, requires two main components of interpretation: i) the extent of perturbation the ecosystem can undergo and still remain in the same stage; ii) the capacity of the system to self-organize and adapt.

My objective is not to indicate when the transition has occurred, but whether the system is being pushed towards a new trajectory, detecting threat to the ecosystem integrity. I integrated assessment methodologies that address multiple scales of ecological processes. This integrated approach includes across scaling tools from landscape (geographic information system) used to detect biophysical and socio-economic constraints, to the plot scale of community used to predict vegetation dynamic (spatial patterns, gap dynamic), to the level of biological resistance and resilience of the dominant species that characterize the ecosystem (developmental instability of target species). The final objective is to enhance functional integrity in Natural Ecosystems.


Outcome database

As a result of the research carried out, georeferenced databases of plant species located throughout the Iberian Peninsula (Pyrenees, Sierra de Guara, Sierra Nevada and Cabo de Gata) have been generated.


  • Alados, C.L. (1985). An analysis of vigilance in the Spanish ibex (Capra pyrenaica). Zeitschrift für Tierpsychiologie 68: 58-64.

  • Alados, C.L. (1986). Aggressive behaviour, sexual strategies and their relation to age in male Spanish ibex (Capra pyrenaica). Behavioural Processes 12, 145-158.

  • Alados, C.L. & Escós, J. (1987) Relationship between movement rate agonistic displacements and forage avaibility in Spanish ibexes (Capra pyrenaica). Biology of behaviour 12, 245-255.

  • Alados, C.L. & Escós, J. (1988). Parturition dates and mother-kid behavior in Spanish ibex (Capra pyrenaica) in Spain. Journal of Mammalogy, 69(1): 172-175. Q1

  • Alados, C.L. & Escós, J. (1988). Alarm calls and flight behaviour in Spanish ibex (Capra pyrenaica). Biology of behaviour 13, 11-21.

  • Alados, C.L. & Escós, J. (1991). Phenotipic and genetic characters affecting lifetime reproductive success in female Cuvier's, Dama and Dorcas gazelles. Journal of Zoology, (London) 223:307-321. Q1

  • Alados, C.L. y J. Escós (1992). The determinants of social status and the effect of female rank on reproductive success in Dama and Cuvier's gazelles. Ethology Ecology and Evolution 4(2): 151-164.

  • Alados, C.L.; Escós, J. & Emlen, J.M. (1993). Development instability as an indicator of natural stress in the pacific hake (Merluccius productus). U.S. Fisheries Bulletin 91: 587-593.

  • Escós, J.; Alados, C.L. & Boza, J. (1993). Leadership in a domestic goat herd. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 38: 41-47.

  • Escós, J.; Alados, C.L. & Emlen, J.M. (1994). An application of the stage-projection model with density dependent fecundity to the population dynamics of Spanish ibex. Canadian Journal of Zoology 72: 731-737. Q2

  • Alados, C.L. & Escós, J. (1994). Variation in the secondary sex-ratio of a low dimorphic polyginous species with high levels of material reproductive effort: Cuviers's gazelle. Ethology Ecology and Evolution 6:301-311.

  • Escós, J. Alados, C.L., & Emlen, J.M. (1995). Developmental instability as an indicator of natural stress in the Pacific Hake parasited by kudoe spp. Transactions of the American Fishery Society 124(6): 943-945.

  • Barroso, F.G., Alados, C.L., & Boza, J. (1995). Food selection by domestic goats in Mediterranean arid shrublands. Journal of Arid Environments 31 : 205-217.

  • Alados, C.L., Escós, J. & Emlen, J.M.(1995). Fluctuating asymmetry and fractal geometry of the saggital suture: two tools for detecting developmental instability caused y inbreeding depression in North African gazelles. Canadian Journal of Zoology 73: 1967-1974. Q2

  • Alados, C.L., Escós, J. & Emlen, J.M. (1996). Fractal structure of time distribution activities: an indicator of stress. Animal Behaviour 51: 437-443.

  • Escós, J., Alados, C.L., Emlen, J.M. (1995). Fractal structures and fractal functions as disease indicators. Oikos 74: 310-314.

  • Escós, J.M.; Alados, C.L. & Emlen, J.M. (1997). Grazing impact on plant fractal architecture and fitness of a Mediterranean shrub (Anthyllis cytisoides). Functional Ecology 11 : 66-78.

  • Alados, C.L.; Navarro, T.; Cabezudo B.; Emlen, J.M. & Freeman, C.D. (1998). Developmental instability in gynodioecicus Teucrium lusitanicum. Evolutionary Ecology 12: 21-34.

  • Alados, C.L.; Navarro, T.; & Cabezudo B. (1999). Tolerance assessment of Cistus ladanifer to serpentine soils by developmental stability analyses. Plant Ecology 143: 51-66.

  • Alados, C.L. & Weber, D. (1999). Lead effects on the predictability of reproductive behavior in fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas): a Mathematical model. Environmental Toxicology and Chemestry. 18 (10): 2392-2399

  • Alados, C.L., Escós,J., Emlen, J.M., & Freeman, DC. (1999). Characterization of branching patterns by fractal analyses to detect plant adaptative strategies. Internatinal Journal of Plant Sciences. Suppl.160: (6) S147-S155.

  • Freeman, DC., Graham, J.H., Tracy, M., Emlen, J.M., & Alados, C.L., (1999).Developmental instability as a means of assessing stress in plants: a case study using electromagnetic fields and soybean. International Journal of Plant Sciences. Suppl. 160: (6) S157-S166

  • Alados, C.L. & Huffman, M. 2000. Fractal long-range Correlations in Behavioral Sequences of Wild Chimpanzees: A Non-invasive Analytical Tool for the Evaluation of Health. Ethology. 106: 105-116.

  • Escós, J.M.; Alados, C.L., Pugnaire, F.I., & Puigdefábregas J & Emlen, J. (2000) Stress resistance strategy in arid land shrub: interaction between developmental instability and fractal dimension. Journal of Arid Environments. 45: 325-336.

  • Barroso, F.G., Alados, C.L. Boza, J. (2000). Social hierarchy in the domestic goat: effect on food habits and production. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 69: 35-53.

  • Alados, C.L.; Navarro, T.; Escós, J., Cabezudo B. & Emlen J.M. (2001). Translational and fluctuating asymmetry as tools to detect stress in stress-adapted and –non-adapted plants. International Journal of Plant Sciences 162: 607-616.

  • Alados C.L., Giner M.L., Dehesa L., Escós J., Barroso F.G., Emlen J.M., & Freeman D.C. (2002) Developmental instability and fitness in Periploca laevigata experiencing grazing disturbance. International Journal of Plant Sciences. 163 (6) 969-978.

  • Sirkou, D., C. L. Alados, V. P. Papanastasis, M. S. Vrahnakis, K. Iovi, M. L. Giner and I. Ispikoudis (2002). Assessment of grazing effects on the Mediterranean shrubs Phillyrea latifolia L. and Cistus monspeliensis L. with developmental instability and fractal dimension. Journal of Mediterranean Ecology 3 (4): 19-29

  • Alados C.L., Pueyo, Y., Giner, M.L., Navarro, T., Escós, J., Barroso, F., Cabezudo, B., & Emlen, J. M. (2003). Quantitative characterization of the regressive ecological succession by fractal analysis of plant spatial pattern. Ecological Modelling. 163: 1-17

  • Alados, C. L., El Aich, A., Papanastasis, V. P., Ozbek, H., Navarro, T., Freitas, H., Vrahnakis, M., Larrosi, D. & Cabezudo, B. (2004). Change in plant spatial patterns and diversity along the successional gradient of Mediterranean grazing ecosystems. Ecological Modelling 180: 523-535.

  • Alados, C. L., Pueyo, Y., Barrantes, O., Escós, J., Giner, L., and Robles, A.B. (2004) Variations in landscape patterns and vegetation cover between 1957 and 1994 in a semiarid Mediterranean ecosystem. Landscape Ecology 19: 543-559.

  • Alados, C. L., Pueyo, Y., Navas,D., Cabezudo, B., González, A. & Freeman, D.C. 2005. Fractal análisis of plant spatial patterns: a monitoring tool for vegetation transition shifts. Biodiversity and Conservation. 14: 1453-1468.

  • Alados, C. L., Gotor, P., Ballester, P., Navas, D., Escós, J.M., Navarro, T. & Cabezudo, B. (2006). Association between competition and facilitation processes and vegetation spatial patterns in alpha steppes. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.87: 103-113.

  • Alados, C. L., Giner, M.L., Pueyo, Y., (2006). An assessment of differential sensitivity of four summer-deciduous chamaephytes to grazing and plant interactions using translational asymmetry. Ecological Indicators. 6: 556-566.

  • Pueyo, Y. Alados, C.L. (2007). Effects of fragmentation, abiotic factors and land use on vegetation recovery in a semi-arid Mediterranean area. Basic and Applied Ecology. 8: 158-170. Q2

  • Kéfi, S., Rietkerk, M, Alados, C.L., Pueyo, Y., Papanastasis, V., El Aich, A., De Ruiter, C. 2007.Spatial vegetation patterns and imminent desertification in Mediterranean arid ecosystems. Nature. 449 (7159): 213-218. Portada de revista.

  • Pueyo, Y. Alados C. L., Barrantes, O., Komac, B., Rietkerk, M. (2008). Differences in gypsum plant communities associated with habitat fragmentation and livestock grazing. Ecological Applications 18 (4): 954-964.

  • Escós, J. M., Alados, C. L., Pulido, A., Romera, J., González-Sánchez, N., & Mártinez, F. 2008. Estimating population trends using population viability analyses for the conservation of Capra pyrenaica. Acta Theriologica 53 (3) : 275-286.

  • Alados., C.L., Navarro, T., Komac, B., Pascual, V., Martinez, F., Cabezudo, B., Pueyo,Y. (2009). Do vegetation patch spatial patterns disrupt the spatial organization of plant species? Ecological Complexity. 6: 197-207.

  • Alados, C.L., Pueyo, Y., Escos, J., Andujar, A. (2009).Effects of the spatial pattern disturbance on the patch-occupancy dynamics of juniper–pine open woodland. Ecological Modelling. 220: 1544–1550.

  • Weber, K. T., Alados, C. L., Bueno, G.C, Gokhale, B., Komac, B., Pueyo, Y. (2009). Modeling Bare Ground with Classification Trees in Northern Spain. Rangeland Ecology and Management. 62:452–459

  • Kéfi, S., Alados, C.L. , Chaves, R.C.G., Pueyo, Y., and Rietkerk, M. (2010). Is the patch size distribution of vegetation a suitable indicator of desertification processes?: Ecology 91(12), 2010, pp. 3739–3742.

  • Alados, C.L., Navarro, T., Komac, B., Pascual, V. & Rietkerk, M. (2010) Dispersal abilities and spatial organization in fragmented landscapes. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 100, 935–947.

  • Komac, B., Alados, C. L., Bueno, C. G. and Gómez, D. (2011) Spatial patterns of species distributions in grazed subalpine grasslands. Plant Ecology. 212(3): 519-529.

  • Kouba, Y, Alados, C. L: Bueno, G. (2011) Effects of abiotic and anthropogenic factors on the spatial distribution of Quercus faginea in the Spain Central Pyrenees. Plant Ecology. 212(6): 999-1007.

  • Alados, C.L., Puigdefábregas, J. Martínez-Fernández, J. (2011) Ecological and socio-economical thresholds of land and plant-community degradation in semi-arid Mediterranean areas of southeastern Spain. Journal of Arid Environments. 75 (2011) 1368-1376. Q2

  • Komac B., Alados C.L. & Camarero J.J. (2011) Influence of topography on the colonization of subalpine grasslands by Echinospartum horridum. Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research. 43: 601-611

  • Sáiz, H. & Alados, C. L. (2011). Effect of Stipa tenacissima L. on the structure of plant co-occurrence networks in a semi-arid community. Ecological Research. Volume 26, Number 3, 595-603, DOI: 10.1007/s11284-011-0818-3

  • Sáiz, H. & Alados, C. L. (2011). Structure and spatial self-organization of semi-arid communities through plant-plant co-occurrence networks. Ecological Complexity. Volume 8, Issue 2, June 2011, Pages 184-191.

  • MacIntosh, A. J., Alados, C. L., & Huffman, M. A. (2011). Fractal analysis of behaviour in a wild primate: behavioural complexity in health and disease. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 2011. 8(63):1497-1509.

  • Moret-Fernández; D. Pueyo, Y., Bueno, C. G., Alados C. L. (2011) Hydro-physical responses of gypseous and non-gypseous soils to livestock grazing in a semi-arid region of NE Spain. Agricultural Water Management 98:1822-1827.

  • 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 DOI 10.1007/s10342-011-0509-1.

  • Sáiz, H., Alados, C. L. 2012. Changes in semi-arid plant species associations along a livestock grazing gradient. Plos One. 7(7): e40551. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0040551.

  • 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.

  • 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. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0155193

  • 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

  • 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 7(10), 1-18.

  • Dinca, L., Nita, M., Hofgaard, A., Alados, C. L., Brolle, G. Borz, S. A., Wertz, B., Monteiro. A. T. (2017). Forests dynamics in the montane–alpine boundary: a comparative study using satellite imagery and climate data. Climate Research 73: 97-110.

  • Saiz, H., Gartzia, M., Errea, P., Fillat, F. & Alados, C.L. (2017). Structure of stockmen collaboration networks under two contrasting touristic regimes in the Spanish Central Pyrenees. Rangeland Ecology & Management 70: 281-289.

  • Nuche, P. & Alados, C.L. (2017). Shrub interactions drive vegetation succession of subalpine grasslands under two climatic conditions. Journal of Plant Ecology. 1-11. doi:10.1093/jpe/rtx002

  • Alados, C.L., Saiz, H., Gartzia, M., Nuche, P., Escós, J., Navarro, T. Pueyo, Y. 2017. Plant–plant interactions scale up to produce vegetation spatial patterns: the influence of long- and short-term process. Ecosphere 8(8): Article e01915

  • Nuche, P., Gartzia, M., Vilellas, J., Reiné, R., Alados, C.L. (2018). Assessment of prescribed fire and cutting as means of controlling the invasion of subalpine grasslands by Echinospartum horridum. Applied Vegetation Science. 2018, 1-10. DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12354

  • Hugh A.L. Henry, Mehdi Abedi, Concepción L. Alados, Karen H. Beard, Lauchlan H. Fraser, Anke Jentsch, Juergen Kreyling, Andrew Kulmatiski, Eric G. Lamb, Wei Sun1, Mathew R. Vankoughnett1, Susanna Venn, Christiane Werner, Ilka Beil, Irmgard Blindow, Sven Dahlke, Maren Dubbert, Alexandra Effinger, Heath W. Garris, Maite Gartzia, Tobias Gebauer, Mohammed A. S. Arfin Khan, Andrey V. Malyshev, Charles Nock, Janelle P. Paulson, Yolanda Pueyo, Holly J. Stover and Xuechen Yang (2018). Increased soil frost versus summer drought as drivers of plant biomass responses to reduced precipitation: results from a globally-coordinated field experiment. Ecosystems.

  • Alados, C. L., Saiz, H., Nuche, P., Gartzia, M., Komac, B., de Frutos, A., Pueyo, Y. 2019. Clearing vs. burning for restoring grasslands after shrub encroachment. Cuadernos de Investigación Geográfica.45.


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

  • Soporte al Diseño detallado del sistema de vallado electrónico y software de gestión.
    Grupo operativo Ganadería Extensiva en el Pirineo en el marco del Programa de Desarrollo Rural para Aragón
    Project coordinator: Sergio García Atarés