R e s e a r c h

Between 1991 and 2004, the area of heath fell by 6% and the area of herbaceous plants by 4%, while the area of forest grew by 3% and the area of bare rock or soil increased by 18%.

We asked:
  • Why?
  • How are these changes affecting the socio-economic system and the capacity to provide ecosystem services?
  • Are these changes in the Cantabrian Cordillera generalizable to all of it?
  • What other problems affect calluna heaths besides the abandonment of traditional uses?
  • What are the actual loads of N deposition in the southern heath of the Cordillera Cantábrica?
  • How is N distributed among the different compartments of the ecosystem?
  • What are the effects of different nitrogen loads on heath functioning, taking into account the time scale of deposition and callumar age?
  • What is the critical load?
  • How is the control of herbivores?


Terrestrial Ecosystems. Effects of controlled and short burns on scrub ecosystems.

How to manage these scrub ecosystems to conserve their biodiversity and ecosystem services?

Scientifically based management recommendations.

Long-term monitoring after simulating traditional uses

Effects of small, controlled burns on Mediterranean heathlands

  >>    >>

Does Calluna's Atlantic Heath follow the same pattern?
Management bases - rejuvenation - in spatial distribution (mosaics)
Should prescribed burning be proposed as a management mechanism in "increased nitrogen deposition" global change scenarios?

Effects of forest fires on fire-prone ecosystems

Influence of the moment when the fire occurs.
Faster recovery after spring fires

Influence of the dominant tree species
Systems dominated by resprouting species recover faster and therefore have less risk of soil loss due to erosion

Do the resprouting species also see the germination of their seeds stimulated after the fire?

Both species of legumes, with hard coated seeds, see their germination stimulated by thermal shock.
Requires high exposure times at temperatures above 70º.

And we keep asking ourselves questions...

  • What is the reproductive behavior of the obligatory germinating species in the face of fire?
  • Influence of the zone of origin in the germination of the seeds of Pinus pinaster
  • Post-fire regeneration in Pinus pinaster populations after a single fire
  • Post-fire regeneration of the Pinus pinaster understory community after a single fire
  • How are the systems dominated by Pinus pinaster affected under different fire and weather conditions?
  • Spatial patterns of serverity
  • Validation of severity and search for medium-term indicators
  • Effects of recurrence and severity on soil characteristics
  • Effects of recurrence and severity on the plant community
  • Patterns of change in pine seedlings and shrubs as a function of recurrence and severity
  • Fires over 10,000 ha use of new tools (satellite images) to predict spatial variation of post-fire regeneration
  • How is the extrapolation of predictive models between different climate conditions?

Congress Organization

(5 national + 5 international)

Fuegored 2017. Universidad de León

Progress in the study of the severity of forest fires using remote sensing techniques. 2016

12th European Heathland Workshop. Spain-Portugal. 2011

Research links




Grupo de investigación: Ecología Aplicada y Teledetección

Researching Ecosystem Resilience


Leonor Calvo

Área de Ecología Dpto.
Biodiversidad y Gestión Ambiental
Fac. Ciencias Biológicas y Ambientales Universidad de León

Campus de Vegazana.
24071 León. Spain


+34 987 291 567

Your message has been sent. Thank you!