Pueyo Estaún, Yolanda

Pueyo Estaún, Yolanda

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 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.



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

  • ≈ Arroyo, A.I., Pueyo, Y., Reiné, R., Giner, M.L. and Alados, C.L. 2016. Effects of the allelopathic plant Artemisia herba-alba Asso on the soil seed bank of a semi-arid plant community. Journal of Plant Ecology. doi:10.1093/jpe/rtw120

  • ≈ Saiz, H., Gómez-Gardeñes, J., Nuche, P., Girón, A., Pueyo, Y., Alados, C.L. (2016). Evidence of structural balance in spatial ecological networks. Ecography, 39: 1-9

  • ≈ 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

  • ≈ 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

  • ≈ 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

  • ≈ Pueyo, Y., Moret, 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

  • ≈ 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: 1-16    CLAVE: A

  • ≈ Vicente-Serrano, S., Zouber, A., Lasanta, T.; Pueyo, Y. (2012). Dryness is accelerating degradation of vulnerable shrublands in semiarid Mediterranean environments. Ecological Monographs, 82: 407-428

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

  • Pueyo, Y.; Kéfi, S.; Diaz-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: 289-297

  • ≈ Kéfi, S.; Alados, C.L.; Chaves, R.C.G.; Pueyo, Y.; Rietkerk, M.(2010) Is the patch size distribution of vegetation a suitable indictor of desertification processes?: Comment. Ecology, 91: 3739-3742

  • ≈ Weber, C.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: 452-459

  • ≈ 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: 273-279

  • 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 of disturbance on the patch-occupancy dynamics of juniper-pine open woodland. Ecological Modelling, 220: 1544-1550

  • 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 semi-arid grasslands. Restoration Ecology (portada), 17: 908-916

  • Pueyo, Y.; Kéfi, S.; Alados, C.L.; Rietkerk, M. (2008) Dispersal strategies and spatial organization of vegetation in arid ecosystems. Oikos, 117: 1522-1532

  • 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: 954-964

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

  • ≈ 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: 213-217 (y portada)

  • ≈ 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. Nature Protocols. 10.1038/nprot.2007.387

  • Pueyo, Y.; Alados, C. L.; Maestro, M; Komac, B. (2007) Plant community and soil patterns under a range of topographical conditions on gypsum substrate. Plant Ecology, 189: 301-311

  • ≈ Alados, C.L.; El Aich, A.; Komac, B.; Pueyo, Y.; García-Gonzalez, R. (2007) Self-organized spatial patterns of vegetation in alpine grasslands. Ecological Modelling, 201: 233-242

  • Pueyo, Y.; Alados, C. L. (2007) Abiotic factors determining plant communities in a semi-arid Mediterranean landscape: differential response of vegetation on gypsum and non-gypsum substrates. Journal of Arid Environments, 69: 490-505

  • 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

  • ≈ Alados, C. L.; Giner, M. L.; Pueyo, Y. (2006) An assessment of the differential sensitivity of four summer-deciduous chamaephytes to grazing disturbance and plant interactions using translational asymmetry. Ecological indicators, 6: 554-566

  • 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: 698-712

  • Pueyo, Y.; Alados, C. L.; Barrantes, O. (2006) Determinants of land degradation and fragmentation in semiarid vegetation at landscape scale.Biodiversity and Conservation, 15: 939-956

  • ≈ 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: 1453-1468

  • ≈ 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: 543-559

  • ≈ 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: 1-17



Current Projects



  • 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.
    IPs: Pueyo Estaún, Y. y Alados, C.L.

  • Importancia de la alelopatía respecto a otras interacciones bióticas entre plantas en la estructura y dinámica de las comunidades vegetales de zonas semi-áridas.
    Plan Nacional de I+D. CGL2012-37508.
    IP: Pueyo Estaún, Y.

  • Cuantificación y modelado del balance de agua y sales del suelo y su influencia sobre las comunidades de halófitos en los agroecosistemas del semiárido aragonés bajo diferentes escenarios de cambio climático.
    Gobierno de Aragón-La Caixa. 2012/GA-LC-074
    IP:Moret Fernández, D.

  • Interacciones del cambio climático y los cambios de uso del suelo en la conservación de los ecosistemas pastorales de la Depresión Media del Ebro (GA-LC020/2010)
    Gobierno de Aragón-La Caixa. GA-LC020/2010
    IP: Yolanda Pueyo Estaún

  • Interspecific facilitation and critical transitions in arid ecosystems
    NWO-Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research
    IP: Prof. Max Rietkerk

  • Dinámica de la interacción pasto-arbusto y su efecto en la conservación de las comunidades vegetales subalpinas del Parque Nacional de Ordesa y Monte Perdido
    Organismo Autónomo Parques Nacionales
    IP: Alados, Concepción L.

  • Land and ecosystem degradation and desertification: assessing the fit of responses – LEDDRA
    FP7 – European Commission
    IP: Alados, Concepción L.
    Coordinador: Briassoulis, H.