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Dolores Ferrer Castán
Profesor Contratado Doctor
Area of Ecology
Dept. of Animal Biology, Parasitology, Ecology, Edaphology and Agronomic Chemistry
Faculty of Biology – USAL
Contact Information
  Phone: (+34) 923294464 , Fax: (+34) 923 294 515
  E-mail: lfcastan@usal.es


  • B.S. (Biology) – University of Murcia. 1987.
  • Ph.D. (Biology) – University of Salamanca. 1994.

Research Interests

Arid and semiarid environments, biodiversity conservation, biogeography, climate change, community ecology, determinants of species diversity, diversity gradients, effects of habitat destruction on biodiversity, Iberian Peninsula, landscape ecology, macroecology, spatial ecology, spatial patterns, spatial scale.


I am interested in the broad, general patterns in the biological diversity, especially in the mechanisms underlying the maintenance of biodiversity gradients. Understanding these mechanisms is essential for effective management and conservation of the biodiversity. A constant in my research work is the study of the variation in community composition and species diversity, and their relationship with climatic factors. Another issue I am interested in is the effect of human disturbance, particularly that of habitat destruction. A key question to me deals with the variation is biological diversity across scales: do spatial patterns in biodiversity repeat at different scales? Nowadays my major focus is on macroecological scales ranging over the whole Iberian Peninsula, though I am also interested in the variation in biodiversity at more local scales —on the limit between different biogeographical regions, and in the transition to arid and semiarid environments. Finally, I think that both data collection and statistical methods are important —they may affect the results and, therefore, the conclusions to be obtained—, and for this reason I also tend to include some methodological questions in my work.

Selected Publications

Bini, L.M., Diniz-Filho, J.A.F., Rangel, T.F.L.V.B., Akre, T.S.B., Albaladejo, R.G., Albuquerque, F.S., Aparicio, A., Araújo, M.B., Baselga, A., Beck, J., Bellocq, M.I., Böhning-Gaese, K., Borges, P.A.V., Castro-Parga, I., Chey, V.K., Chown, S.L., de Marco, P. Jr., Dobkin, D.S., Ferrer-Castán, D., Field, R., Filloy, J., Fleishman, E., Gómez, J.F., Hortal, J., Iverson, J.B., Kerr, J.T., Kissling, W.D., Kitching, I.J., León-Cortés, J.L., Lobo, J.M., Montoya, D., Morales-Castilla, I., Moreno, J.C., Oberdorff, T., Olalla-Tárraga, M.A., Pausas, J.G., Qian, H., Rahbek, C., Rodríguez, M.A., Rueda, M., Ruggiero, A., Sackmann, P., Sanders, N.J., Terribile, L.C., Vetaas, O.R. y Hawkins, B.A. (2009) Coefficient shifts in geographical ecology: an empirical evaluation of spatial and non-spatial regression. Ecography, 32: 193-204. (PDF 1) pdf 1

Vetaas, O.R. y Ferrer-Castán, D. (2008) Patterns of woody plant richness in the Iberian Peninsula: environmental range and spatial scale. Journal of Biogeography, 35: 1863-1878. (PDF 2) pdf 2

Hawkins, B.A., Araújo, M.B., Beck, J., Bini, L.M., Cabrero-Sañudo, F.J., Castro-Parga, I., Diniz-Filho, J.A.F., Ferrer-Castán, D., Field, R., Gómez, J., Hortal, J., Kerr, J.T., Kitching, I.J., León-Cortés, J.L., Lobo, J.M., Montoya, D., Moreno, J.C., Olalla-Tárraga, M.Á., Pausas, J.G., Qian, H., Rahbek, C., Rodríguez, M.Á., Sanders, N.J., Albuquerque, F.S. y Williams, P. (2007) A global evaluation of metabolic theory as an explanation for terrestrial species richness gradients. Ecology, 88: 1877-1888. (PDF 3) pdf 3

Ferrer-Castán, D. y Vetaas, O.R. (2005) Pteridophyte richness, climate and topography in the Iberian Peninsula: comparing spatial and nonspatial models of richness patterns. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 14: 155-165. (PDF 4) pdf 4

Ferrer-Castán, D. y Vetaas, O.R. (2003) Floristic variation, chorological types and diversity: do they correspond at broad and local scales? Diversity and Distributions, 9: 221-235. (PDF 5) pdf 4
Admisión y Matrícula
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