Cândida Vale (CIBIO-InBIO/UP) | February 5, 2016 | 14h30 | CIBIO-InBIO’s Room A, Campus de Vairão




The synergetic effects of human activities and climate change come in the current biodiversity crisis. The major aim of Biodiversity Conservation is to halt biodiversity loss by defining priority areas for conservation that maximize species representation and enable persistence. The overlooked arid environments are important areas for conservation where these goals can be achieved, while promoting sustainable resource use. The main aim of this work was to address biodiversity conservation in arid environments, focusing on the Sahara-Sahel where biodiversity is under strong climatic control and is vulnerable to climate change. By combining distinct methodologies and integrating species distribution data and functional data on Sahara-Sahel biodiversity, this work allowed evaluating the performance of ecological niche models to predict species distribution at range margins and for ecologically plastic species; evaluating the conservation status of mountain restricted; and identifying local hotspots of biodiversity and the functional groups most vulnerable to future climate change. The assembled knowledge has allowed increase knowledge on biodiversity distribution patterns and vulnerabilities in arid environments, which ultimately can be used for designing systematic conservation programs.


Cândida Gomes Vale is a last year PhD student at CIBIO-InBIO/University of Porto and at Duke University, studying with José Carlos Brito (BIODESERTS Group) and Stuart L. Pimm. She graduated in Biology at the University of Porto and completed her MSc in CIBIO-InBIO/UP studying biogeographic patterns and conservation of African Sahel Biodiversity. Currently, she has a research fellowship to study biodiversity patterns in the Western Sahara-Sahel. Cândida’s PhD defense is scheduled to happen very soon and this seminar will be promoted as a training experience.


Image credits: Cândida Vale