Helena Freitas | February 3, 2012 | 14h30 | Auditorium, Campus de Vairão

Helena Freitas (Centre for Functional Ecology, Universidade de Coimbra) will present a seminar entitled "The role of the rhizosphere's ecological processes in the expansion of invasive plant species - The Acacia longifolia as a case study" on 3rd of February, at 14.30, in Campus Agrário de Vairão auditorium.


Acacia longifolia (Andrews) Willd is an exotic plant species that was planted along the Portuguese coast at the beginning of the 20th century to curb sand erosion. Its expansion became quickly evident and it is nowadays one of the most threatening invasive plant in our dune ecosystems, promoting significant impacts at both soil and vegetation level. We will use this case study to introduce soil properties and belowground processes relevant to understand the dynamics and evolution of plant communities.


Helena Freitas is Professor of Plant Ecology at the Coimbra University. She got her PhD degree at Coimbra University and she worked at Stanford University (USA) as postdoctoral researcher. She is the Head of the Botanic Garden in Coimbra and she coordinates the Centre for Functional Ecology (CFE), an interdisciplinary research unit in biological sciences. Prof. Helena Freitas has greatly contributed to the study of the Mediterranean ecosystems functioning, biotic interactions, biodiversity, and conservation ecology.


Right after, at 15:45, Fátima Jorge will present the Student Seminar on “Host-parasite coevolution from a geographic perspective: how much does host specificity matter?". Fátima is a PhD student supervised by Miguel A. Carretero, Robert Poulin and Vicente Roca.