Helena Hespanhol (CIBIO-InBIO/UP) | October 14, 2016 | 15h00 | CIBIO-InBIO’s Auditorium, Campus de Vairão


A major objective of ecological research has been quantifying and determining the underlying processes responsible for spatial patterns in the diversity, abundance, and composition of species in communities, which is crucial for an understanding of how communities will behave under future environmental scenarios. However, the main factors acting on the structuring of plant communities have not yet been fully elucidated and synthesized.
In this talk I will present an overview about the theoretical background and scientific approaches in community ecology, discuss the need for conceptual synthesis in community ecology and provide insights on the usefulness of bryophytes as model systems in community ecology using case studies from my own research and published literature. Finally I will highlight future research directions in the field of bryophyte community ecology in order to contribute to a better understanding of plant communities.


Helena Hespanhol graduated in Biology from the Science Faculty of the University of Porto in 2002 and concluded a PhD degree in Biology from the same university in 2010. Since 2010 she is Post-Doc researcher at CIBIO-InBIO (PRECOL group), in close collaboration with Jardín Botánico de Madrid (CSIC). Her research career is centered on bryophyte community ecology and her main research interests are included in the fields of community ecology, biodiversity and conservation and ecological modelling, with particular emphasis on i) updating the distribution patterns of bryophytes in Portugal; ii) analyzing different processes affecting species richness and composition at different scales; and iii) modelling species and community-level responses to environmental changes in mountain areas.


[Group Leader: João Honrado, Predictive Ecology]


Image credits: Helena Hespanhol