Pueyo Estaún, Yolanda

Pueyo Estaún, Yolanda



Tenured Scientist

My research is mainly focused on the dynamic and functioning of semi-arid ecosystems. I am particularly interested in the biotic interactions between plants, the spatial patterns they generate and how these interactions are modified by different external factors, such as aridity, grazing and hydrological properties of the ecosystem.

Among the semi-arid regions, gypsum environments are one of my research lines. I investigate the adaptations of plants to live in such restrictive soils, and how human activities, mainly grazing and fragmentation, modify gypsum plant communities.

In the last years, I have incorporated mechanistic models of plant and water dynamics in semi-arid ecosystems as a research tool to simulate the patterns and processes that we observe in the field. I intend to predict trends in plant succession and stability of plant communities in semi-arid environments, and understand the potential role of different plant traits and biotic interactions in restoration of degraded lands.


  • Moret-Fernández, D., Latorre, B., López, M.V., Pueyo, Y., Tormo, J., Nicolau, J.M. (2021) Hydraulic properties characterization of undisturbed soil cores from upward infiltration measurements. Catena, 196:104816. Doi: 10.1016/j.catena.2020.104816

  • Moret-Fernández, D., Latorre, B., López, M.V., Pueyo, Y., Lassabatere, L., Angulo-Jaramilo, R., Rahmati, M., Tormo, J., Nicolau, J.M. (2020) Three- and four-term approximate expansions of the Haverkamp formulation to estimate soil hydraulic properties from disc infiltrometer measurements. Hydrological Processes, 34(26):5543-5556. Doi: 10.1002/hyp.13966

  • Foronda, A., Pueyo, Y., Reiné, R., Arroyo, A.I., de la Luz Giner, M., Alados, C.L. (2020) The role of shrubs in spatially structuring the soil seed bank of perennial species in a semi-arid gypsum plant community. Plant Ecology, 221(10):913-923. Doi: 10.1007/s11258-020-01050-z

  • Foronda, A., Pueyo, Y., Castillejo, J.M., Giner, M.D.L.L., Alados, C.L. (2020) Substrate-specialist plants for restoring vegetation in post-mining gypsum substrates. Catena, 186:104308. Doi: 10.1016/j.catena.2019.104308

  • Moret-Fernández, D., Latorre, B., Giner, M.L., Ramos, J., Alados, C.L., Castellano, C., López, M.V., Jimenez, J.J., Pueyo, Y. (2019) Estimation of the soil hydraulic properties from the transient infiltration curve measured on soils affected by water repellency. Catena, 178:298-306. Doi: 10.1016/j.catena.2019.03.031

  • Alados, C.L., Saiz, H., Nuche, P., Gartzia, M., Komac, B., De Frutos, Á., Pueyo, Y. (2019) Clearing vs. Burning for restoring Pyrenean grasslands after shrub encroachment. Geographical Research Letters, 45(2):441-468. Doi: 10.18172/cig.3589

  • Foronda, A., Pueyo, Y., Arroyo, A.I., Saiz, H., Giner, M.D.L.L., Alados, C.L. (2019) The role of nurse shrubs on the spatial patterning of plant establishment in semi-arid gypsum plant communities. Journal of Arid Environments, 160:82-90. Doi: 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2018.09.003

  • Foronda, A., Ehlers, B.K., Alados, C.L., Pueyo, Y. (2018) Species-specific interference exerted by the shrub Cistus clusii Dunal in a semi-arid Mediterranean gypsum plant community. BMC Ecology, 18(1):49. Doi: 10.1186/s12898-018-0204-x

  • Henry, H.A.L., Abedi, M., Alados, C.L., Beard, K.H., Fraser, L.H., Jentsch, A., Kreyling, J., Kulmatiski, A., Lamb, E.G., Sun, W., Vankoughnett, M.R., Venn, S., Werner, C., Beil, I., Blindow, I., Dahlke, S., Dubbert, M., Effinger, A., Garris, H.W., Gartzia, M., Gebauer, T., Arfin Khan, M.A.S., Malyshev, A.V., Morgan, J., Nock, C., Paulson, J.P., Pueyo, Y., Stover, H.J., Yang, X. (2018) Increased Soil Frost Versus Summer Drought as Drivers of Plant Biomass Responses to Reduced Precipitation: Results from a Globally Coordinated Field Experiment. Ecosystems, 21(7):1432-1444. Doi: 10.1007/s10021-018-0231-7

  • Arroyo, A.I., Pueyo, Y., Pellissier, F., Ramos, J., Espinosa-Ruiz, A., Millery, A., Alados, C.L. (2018) Phytotoxic effects of volatile and water soluble chemicals of Artemisia herba-alba. Journal of Arid Environments, 151:1-8. Doi: 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2017.11.010

  • Arroyo, A.I., Pueyo, Y., Giner, M.L., Foronda, A., Sanchez-Navarrete, P., Saiz, H., Alados, C.L. (2018) Evidence for chemical interference effect of an allelopathic plant on neighboring plant species: A field study. PLoS ONE, 13(2):e0193421. Doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0193421

  • Arroyo, A.I.;Pueyo, Y.;Reiné, R.;Giner, M.L.;Alados, C.L. (2017) Effects of the allelopathic plant Artemisia herba-alba Asso on the soil seed bank of a semi-arid plant community. Journal of Plant Ecology, 10(6):927–936. Doi: 10.1093/jpe/rtw120

  • 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):e01915. Doi: 10.1002/ecs2.1915

  • Saiz, H., Gómez-Gardeñes, J., Nuche, P., Girón, A., Pueyo, Y., Alados, C.L. (2017) Evidence of structural balance in spatial ecological networks. Ecography, 40(6):733-741. Doi: 10.1111/ecog.02561

  • Moret-Fernández, D., Peña-Sancho, C., Latorre, B., Pueyo, Y., López, M.V. (2017) Estimating the van Genuchten retention curve parameters of undisturbed soil from a single upward infiltration measurement. Soil Research, 55(7):682-691. Doi: 10.1071/SR16333

  • Pueyo, Y., Moret-Fernández, D., Arroyo, A.I., De Frutos, A., Kéfi, S., Saiz, H., Charte, R., Giner, M.D.L.L., Alados, C.L. (2016) Plant nurse effects rely on combined hydrological and ecological components in a semiarid ecosystem. Ecosphere, 7(10):e01514. Doi: 10.1002/ecs2.1514

  • De Frutos, Á., Navarro, T., Pueyo, Y., Alados, C.L. (2015) Inferring resilience to fragmentation-induced changes in plant communities in a semi-arid Mediterranean ecosystem. PLoS ONE, 10(3):e0118837. Doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0118837

  • 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. Doi: 10.1002/ece3.1770

  • 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(1):39-49. Doi: 10.5194/we-14-39-2014

  • Pueyo, Y., Moret-Fernández, D., Saiz, 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(3):452-466. Doi: 10.1007/s10021-012-9620-5

  • Pueyo, Y. (2013) Contributions of the eco-hydrological models incorporating feedbacks to the knowledge of arid and semi-arid ecosystems functioning. Cuadernos de Investigacion Geografica, 39(2):243-258. Doi: 10.18172/cig.1990

  • Moret-Fernández, D., Castañeda, C., Pueyo, Y., Bueno, C.G., Herrero, J. (2013) Hydro-Physical Behavior of Gypseous Soils Under Different Soil Management in a Semiarid Region of NE Spain. Arid Land Research and Management, 27(1):1-16. Doi: 10.1080/15324982.2012.719573

  • Vicente-Serrano, S.M., Zouber, A., Lasanta, T., Pueyo, Y. (2012) Dryness is accelerating degradation of vulnerable shrublands in semiarid mediterranean environments. Ecological Monographs, 82(4):407-428. Doi: 10.1890/11-2164.1

  • 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(12):1822-1827. Doi: 10.1016/j.agwat.2011.07.001

  • KéFi, S., Alados, C.L., Chaves, R.C.G., Pueyo, Y., Rietkerk, M. (2010) Is the patch size distribution of vegetation a suitable indicator of desertification processes? Comment. Ecology, 91(12):3739-3742. Doi: 10.1890/09-1915.1

  • Pueyo, Y., Kéfi, S., Díaz-Sierra, R., Alados, C.L., Rietkerk, M. (2010) The role of reproductive plant traits and biotic interactions in the dynamics of semi-arid plant communities. Theoretical Population Biology, 78(4):289-297. Doi: 10.1016/j.tpb.2010.09.001

  • Pueyo, Y., Alados, C.L., García-Ávila, B., Kéfi, S., Maestro, M., Rietkerk, M. (2009) Comparing direct abiotic amelioration and facilitation as tools for restoration of semiarid grasslands. Restoration Ecology, 17(6):908-916. Doi: 10.1111/j.1526-100X.2008.00474.x

  • Weber, K.T., Alados, C.L., Bueno, C.G., Gokhale, B., Komac, B., Pueyo, Y. (2009) Modeling bare ground with classification trees in Northern Spain. Rangeland Ecology & Management, 62(5):452-459. Doi: 10.2111/REM-D-09-00065.1

  • Alados, C.L., Pueyo, Y., Escós, J., Andujar, A. (2009) Effects of the spatial pattern of disturbance on the patch-occupancy dynamics of juniper-pine open woodland. Ecological Modelling, 220(12):1544-1550. Doi: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2009.03.029

  • 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(2):197-207. Doi: 10.1016/j.ecocom.2008.10.015

  • Beguería, S., Pueyo, Y. (2009) A comparison of simultaneous autoregressive and generalized least squares models for dealing with spatial autocorrelation. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 18(3):273-279. Doi: 10.1111/j.1466-8238.2009.00446.x

  • Pueyo, Y., Kefi, S., Alados, C.L., Rietkerk, M. (2008) Dispersal strategies and spatial organization of vegetation in arid ecosystems. Oikos, 117(10):1522-1532. Doi: 10.1111/j.0030-1299.2008.16735.x

  • 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. Doi: 10.1890/07-1770.1

  • Pueyo, Y., Beguería, S. (2007) Modelling the rate of secondary succession after farmland abandonment in a Mediterranean mountain area. Landscape and Urban Planning, 83(4):245-254. Doi: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2007.04.008

  • Kéfi, S., Rietkerk, M., Alados, C.L., Pueyo, Y., Papanastasis, V.P., ElAich, A., De Ruiter, P.C. (2007) Investigating patchiness of spatially organized ecosystems using field and simulated data. Protocol Exchange, 2007. Doi: 10.1038/nprot.2007.387

  • Kéfi, S., Rietkerk, M., Alados, C.L., Pueyo, Y., Papanastasis, V.P., ElAich, A., De Ruiter, P.C. (2007) Spatial vegetation patterns and imminent desertification in Mediterranean arid ecosystems. Nature, 449(7159):213-217. Doi: 10.1038/nature06111

  • Pueyo, Y., Alados, C.L. (2007) Abiotic factors determining vegetation patterns in a semi-arid Mediterranean landscape: Different responses on gypsum and non-gypsum substrates. Journal of Arid Environments, 69(3):490-505. Doi: 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2006.10.008

  • Pueyo, Y., Alados, C.L., Maestro, M., Komac, B. (2007) Gypsophile vegetation patterns under a range of soil properties induced by topographical position. Plant Ecology, 189(2):301-311. Doi: 10.1007/s11258-006-9185-5

  • 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(2):158-170. Doi: 10.1016/j.baae.2006.03.009

  • Alados, C.L., Aich, A.E., Komac, B., Pueyo, Y., García-Gonzalez, R. (2007) Self-organized spatial patterns of vegetation in alpine grasslands. Ecological Modelling, 201(2):233-242. Doi: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2006.09.014

  • Alados, C.L., Giner, M.L., Pueyo, Y. (2006) An assessment of the differential sensitivity of four summer-deciduous chamaephytes to grazing and plant interactions using translational asymmetry. Ecological Indicators, 6(3):554-566. Doi: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2005.08.019

  • Pueyo, Y., Alados, C.L., Barrantes, O. (2006) Determinants of land degradation and fragmentation in semiarid vegetation at landscape scale. Biodiversity and Conservation, 15(3):939-956. Doi: 10.1007/s10531-004-2936-5

  • Pueyo, Y., Alados, C.L., Ferrer-Benimeli, C. (2006) Is the analysis of plant community structure better than common species-diversity indices for assessing the effects of livestock grazing on a Mediterranean arid ecosystem?. Journal of Arid Environments, 64(4):698-712. Doi: 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2005.06.016

  • Alados, C.L., Pueyo, Y., Navas, D., Cabezudo, B., Gonzalez, A., Freeman, D.C. (2005) Fractal analysis of plant spatial patterns: A monitoring tool for vegetation transition shifts. Biodiversity and Conservation, 14(6):1453-1468. Doi: 10.1007/s10531-004-9669-3

  • Alados, C.L., Pueyo, Y., Barrantes, O., Escós, J., Giner, L., Robles, A.B. (2004) Variations in landscape patterns and vegetation cover between 1957 and 1994 in a semiarid Mediterranean ecosystem. Landscape Ecology, 19(5):545-561. Doi: 10.1023/B:LAND.0000036149.96664.9a

  • Alados, C.L., Pueyo, Y., Giner, M.L., Navarro, T., Escos, J., Barroso, F., Cabezudo, B., Emlen, J.M. (2003) Quantitative characterization of the regressive ecological succession by fractal analysis of plant spatial patterns. Ecological Modelling, 163(1-2):1-17. Doi: 10.1016/S0304-3800(02)00294-6


  • Erradicación de especies invasoras de gran impacto y efectos sobre la resiliencia ecológica: el caso de la rata negra en la isla de Dragonera
    IP: Oro, D. (CEAB, CSIC)

  • Promoting research on gypsum ecology in South Africa
    CSIC. Programa I-Coop. COOPB20464
    IP: Pueyo Estaún, Y.

  • Mid-mountain adaptation to climate change
    EU. Programa LIFE. LIFE18 CCA/ES/001099
    IP: Retana, J. (CREAF, CSIC-UAB)

  • GYPWORLD - A global initiative to understand gypsum ecosystem ecology
    European Comission. MSCA-RISE. H2020-MSCA-RISE/0350
    IP: Palacio Blasco, S. (IPE, CSIC)

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