BEEMed Biodiversity and Evolution in Mediterranean Ecosystems
Consolidated Research Group supported by Generalitat de Catalunya focused on the study of the processes generating and maintaining biodiversity in the Mediterranean region at different spatial and temporal scales, while analyzing the effects of global change on biodiversity. Studies include all levels of variation, from genes to organisms, landscapes and communities.
Mediterranean ecosystems are especially vulnerable to human-induced environmental changes, and much effort has been invested to forecast future impacts on species and communities. However, the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms driving the different responses of organisms to these changes are still insufficiently understood.
The main goal of our research is to gain knowledge on these ecological and evolutionary mechanisms, with particular focus on (i) the role that life history correlations and/or tradeoffs have on the different responses of organisms to environmental changes, (ii) the impact of human-induced changes on soil food webs and their effect on the aboveground communities, and (iii) the role of new biotic and abiotic interactions on local community assembly and on the provision of ecosystem services. In addition, the group aims at improving predictive models and management practices by integrating demographic, ecological and evolutionary information. To address these challenges, we use several plants
(gymnosperms and angiosperms) and animals (birds, mammals, reptiles and insects) as model species, and combine diverse methodological approaches that include comparative analyses, modeling, common environment experiments, as well as genetic and genomic tools.
At present, the group is formed by 27 members, including CREAF (5) and CSIC researchers (1), Professors from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (2), postdoctoral researchers (6), PhD students (9) and specialized technicians (4).