A study led by Daniel Sol, CISC researcher based at CREAF, shows that cities preserve 450 million years less evolutionary history compared to natural environments. Birds capable of surviving in highly urbanized environments have undergone recent evolution. The arrival of exotic species does not compensate for poor urban evolutionary diversity.
Some populations of the edible dormouse have become isolated due to destruction or severe alteration of their habitat. A recent study by CREAF and the Granollers Natural Science Museum shows that litters from isolated groups have more males than females since the males are the more exploratory sex charged with finding new territories.
In many ecosystems, fire promotes a greater variety of species of plants and animals since it creates a more diverse set of environments. The positive effects of fire cannot be generalized to all aspects of an ecosystem; profound knowledge about the local species and fire regime is crucial. Insights from the study are useful for planning management of forest biomass fuel, controlled burnings, and forest fire suppression.
A study by CREAF and the Smithsonian Institute for Tropical Research shows that when the populations of large and mid-sized vertebrate animal are reduced, a phenomenon known as “defaunation,” this has negative repercussions for the rest of the ecosystem. This is a clear sign about the vulnerability of ecosystems to global biodiversity loss.