Centro de Ciencias de Benasque Pedro Pascual

Session image

Plant interactions and environmental gradients

2010, Jun 12 -- Jun 19

F. Pugnaire (CSIC)

Positive Interactions and Environmental Gradients

Ever since the concept of the “struggle for life” became the heart of Darwin’s theory of evolution, biologists have been concerned with the relevance of interactions for the natural history and evolution of organisms. Among them, positive interactions among plants, which have traditionally received little attention but there is now a growing body of evidence showing their importance at the community level. This international symposium will review these developments with particular emphasis on positive interactions and spatial and temporal gradients.

We will address key issues in plant ecology and community dynamics reviewing and synthesizing recent advances in the field. The symposium will cover different approaches used over time and tools currently available for analyzing the direction, intensity, and importance of plant interactions, and to quantify them accurately along gradients of stress. We also will look for the existence of evolutionary relationships among plants playing an important role in the organization of communities. We will focus on the scale at which facilitation works, assessing its effects from the individual plant to the landscape level, and the impacts of climate change on plant-plant interactions searching for case studies to illustrate underlying fundamental points relevant to all plant communities. After analyzing the role of positive and negative interactions and their relationship with biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, we will review indirect interactions and its effects on the structure and dynamics of plant communities.

A good understanding of natural processes is necessary to manage natural habitats properly, prevent environmental risks, and secure continued ecosystem services. Addressing the complex processes at the foundation of ecosystem diversity, we will search for rigorous experimental designs and opportunities for further research developments in this field.

Further Information.

This session has received financial support from the following institutions:

  • logo CSIC
  • Gobierno de Aragón
  • Ministerio de educación y ciencia
  • DPH
  • Universidad de Zaragoza
  • Ayuntamiento de Benasque


Our building

  • Future building