Biogeography of species richness gradients: Linking adaptive traits, demography and diversification

Carnicer J., Brotons L., Stefanescu C., Peñuelas J. (2012) Biogeography of species richness gradients: Linking adaptive traits, demography and diversification. Biological Reviews. 87: 457-479.
Doi: 10.1111/j.1469-185X.2011.00210.x


Here we review how adaptive traits contribute to the emergence and maintenance of species richness gradients through their influence on demographic and diversification processes. We start by reviewing how demographic dynamics change along species richness gradients. Empirical studies show that geographical clines in population parameters and measures of demographic variability are frequent along latitudinal and altitudinal gradients. Demographic variability often increases at the extremes of regional species richness gradients and contributes to shape these gradients. Available studies suggest that adaptive traits significantly influence demographic dynamics, and set the limits of species distributions. Traits related to thermal tolerance, resource use, phenology and dispersal seem to play a significant role. For many traits affecting demography and/or diversification processes, complex mechanistic approaches linking genotype, phenotype and fitness are becoming progressively available. In several taxa, species can be distributed along adaptive trait continuums, i.e. a main axis accounting for the bulk of inter-specific variation in some correlated adaptive traits. It is shown that adaptive trait continuums can provide useful mechanistic frameworks to explain demographic dynamics and diversification in species richness gradients. Finally, we review the existence of sequences of adaptive traits in phylogenies, the interactions of adaptive traits and community context, the clinal variation of traits across geographical gradients, and the role of adaptive traits in determining the history of dispersal and diversification of clades. Overall, we show that the study of demographic and evolutionary mechanisms that shape species richness gradients clearly requires the explicit consideration of adaptive traits. To conclude, future research lines and trends in the field are briefly outlined. © 2011 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2011 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

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The world at a crossroads: Financial scenarios for sustainability

Carnicer J., Peñuelas J. (2012) The world at a crossroads: Financial scenarios for sustainability. Energy Policy. 48: 611-617.
Doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2012.05.065


The global financial system is a major component of our global society. The available analyses of sustainability, however, have poorly assessed the role of the financial system in scenarios of future global change. Here we contrast current global flows in the financial system with the future economic costs of a worldwide transition to renewable energies under the baseline and 450. ppm scenarios for emissions of greenhouse gases proposed by the IPCC. We show that annual global financial flows are three orders of magnitude greater than the annual economic costs of policies for global sustainability. A small global tax on financial transactions of 0.05% could thus provide the required funds for the deployment of renewable energies. To assess the roles of the financial sector in future policies for sustainability, we identified 14 key international actors and enumerated 16 key policies for sustainability that should be implemented to achieve effective global ecological and financial sustainability. We conclude that the proposed structural reforms to the financial system are essential steps urgently required for financing a global transition to a sustainable economy. Consequently, we suggest that the international scientific community should urgently pursue an academic consensus on policy recommendations for the financial sector. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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Mecanismos para financiar la transición a las renovables del modelo energético mundial.

Carnicer J, Peñuelas J (2012) Mecanismos para financiar la transición a las renovables del modelo energético mundial. Eolus 60: 28-30.

Second report on climate change in Catalonia

Llebot JE, Carnicer J, Curiel J, Coll M, Díaz de Quijano M, Estiarte M, Filella I, Garbulsky M, Jump A, Llusià J, Ogaya R, Peñuelas J, Rico L, Rivas-Ubach A, Rutishauser T, Sardans J, Seco R, Silva J, Stefanescu C, Terradas J (2012) Second report on climate change in Catalonia. Executive summary. Institut d'Estudis Catalans. Generalitat de Catalunya. pp. 1-36. ISBN9788499650975.

Ecosystemic and biospheric interactions with carbon cycle

Peñuelas J, Filella I, Estiarte M, Ogaya R, Llusià J, Sardans J, Jump A, Carnicer J, Rico L, Garbulsky M, Coll M, Díaz de Quijano M, Seco R, Rivas-Ubach A, Kefauver S, Barbeta A, Achoategui A, Mejía-Chang M, Gallardo A, Farre G, Fernández M, Terradas J (2012) Ecosystemic and biospheric interactions with carbon cycle. In Carbon dioxide budget: processes and tendencies symposium. Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, May 23-25.