• Old Norse hayfield abandoned about 600 years ago in southwest Greenland. Dwelling ruins in the lower right corner
  • Old iron mine dating from the middle ages in northern Navarre

We study ecosystem recovery after anthropogenic disturbance

We aim to understand patterns and mechanisms of the recovery of ecosystem complexity after anthropogenic disturbance. Our findings strive to improve current efforts and strategies to restore degraded ecosystems and conserve “undisturbed” ones. We combine observations and experimental research with meta-analysis in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems in all impacted biomes, including plant-fungi-insect networks in medieval iron opencast mines in temperate Europe to plant community composition and biogeochemical functions of Old Norse settlements in subarctic Greenland.

Latest News


1. The legacy of human disturbance

Human activities degrade totally or partially ecosystems, making them less diverse, less functional and more vulnerable to further change. For years, we have been quantifying the effects of disturbance on ecosystem diversity and function, but less has been known about the effects of disturbance on their recovery. One may think that thanks to the restoration of degraded ecosystems, we can bring back lost biodiversity and functions, and even justify further degradation

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2. Long-term recovery of ecosystem complexity

One of the most relevant questions in conservation biology is to estimate the magnitude of anthropogenic disturbance, that is, what would it take for an ecosystem to fully recover? A common problem to respond to this question is to choose what to measure to quantify disturbance or recovery. Unfortunately, with present knowledge and technology it is not possible to measure a whole ecosystem.

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On the media

Here we are

You can reach us on:
Basque Centre for Climate Change – BC3

David Moreno-Mateos
+34 944 014 690 ext. 177