Prof Maria-Teresa Sebastià Álvarez

Head of the Laboratory

Address at the University of Lleida:
Universitat de Lleida (UdL)
Escola Tècnica Superior d’Ingenyeria Agraria (ETSEA)
Departament d’Hortofructicultura, Botànica i Jardineria
Laboratory of Functional Ecology and Global Change (ECOFUN)
Avinguda Alcalde Rovira Roure 191
25198 Lleida, Spain
Office: Edifici 2, despatx 2.01.06
Phone: (+34) 973 702 623

Address at the CTFC:
Laboratory of Functional Ecology and Global Change (ECOFUN)
Forest Technology Centre of Catalonia (CTFC)
Carretera de Sant Llorenç de Morunys, km 2
25280 Solsona, Spain
Phone: (+34) 973 48 17 52

Maria-Teresa Sebastià is Professor of Botany at the Advanced Agronomical Engineering School of the University of Lleida since 1998. Currently on a leave from the University, since 2004 she is full-time researcher at the Forestry Technological Centre of Catalonia, where she has been in charge of the Department of Plant Ecology and Forest Botany since 1997, and is head of the Laboratory of Functional Ecology and Global Change (ECOFUN). She has been visiting professor at Harvard University and the University College Dublin. She completed her Master and her Ph.D. theses with Prof. Vigo at the University of Barcelona on plant community structuring and the effect of environmental factors, including soil-plant relationships, in beech forests and subalpine grasslands respectively. She did a two-year Postdoc with Prof. Bazzaz at Harvard University on the responses of plants to elevated CO2, changes in nutrient availability and climate change.
Dr. Sebastià’s research interests include work on plant-soil relationships in grassland communities; the relationship between diversity and ecosystem functioning in grasslands, forests and agroecosystems; and the effect of management on plant communities in the context of global change. She has experience in cold-temperate mountain grasslands in the Pyrenees and in tropical savannas in Western Africa. She has worked in cold-temperate beach and mixed forests in the Pyrenees, Southern Argentina and Bosnia; and has done work in ecophysiology of tropical woody species in Barro Colorado Island (Panama), in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution. She currently coordinates several national and EU research projects on the effects of climate, land use and management changes on carbon dynamics and biodiversity in grassland ecosystems. She has served as chair-person of WG2 and as a member of the Management Committee in COST 852, and currently serves in the Management Committee of COST 806. She is in the Spanish Committee of the Global Land Project and of DIVERSITAS. She is part of the Group of Experts on Climate Change of Catalonia and a member of the advisory board of the Observatoire Pyrénéen du Changement Climatique. She has over hundred scientific publications, including books, book chapters and scientific papers.

Selected publications

  • Gottselig, N., Amelung, W., Kirchner, J.W., Bol, R., Eugster, W., Granger, S.J., Hernández-Crespo, C., Herrmann, F., Keizer, J.J., Korkiakoski, M., Laudon, H., Lehner, I., Löfgren, S., Lohila, A., Macleod, C.J.A., Mölder, M., Müller, C., Nasta, P., Nischwitz, V., Paul-Limoges, E., Pierret, M.C., Pilegaard, K., Romano, N., Sebastià M-T. , Stähli, M., Voltz, M., Vereecken, H., Siemens, J., Klumpp, E., 2017. Elemental composition of natural nanoparticles and fine colloids in European forest stream waters and their role as phosphorus carriers. Global Biogeochemical Cycles , doi:10.1002/2017GB005657
  • Connolly,J., Sebastià M-T. , Kirwan, L., Finn, J.A., Llurba, R., Suter, M., Collins, R.P., Porqueddu,C., Helgadóttir,A., Baadshaug, O.H., Bélanger, G., Black, A., Brophy, C., Čop, J., Dalmannsdóttir, S., Delgado, I., Elgersma, A., Fothergill, M., Frankow-Lindberg, B.E., Ghesquiere, A., Golinski, P., Grieu, P., Gustavsson, A.M., Höglind, M., Huguenin-Elie, O., Jørgensen, M., Kadziuliene, Z., Lunnan, T., Nykanen-Kurki, P., Ribas, A., Taube, F., Thumm, U., De Vliegher, A., Lüscher. A, 2017. Weed suppression greatly increased by plant diversity in intensively managed grasslands: a continental-scale experiment. Journal of Applied Ecology, in press.
  • Brophy, C., Finn, J. A., Lüscher, A., Suter, M., Kirwan, L., Sebastià M-T. , Helgadóttir, Á., Baadshaug, O. H., Bélanger, G., Black, A., Collins, R. P., Čop, J., Dalmannsdottir, S., Delgado, I., Elgersma, A., Fothergill, M., Frankow-Lindberg, B. E., Ghesquiere, A., Golinska, B., Golinski, P., Grieu, P., Gustavsson, A.-M., Höglind, M., Huguenin-Elie, O., Jørgensen, M., Kadziuliene, Z., Kurki, P., Llurba, R., Lunnan, T., Porqueddu, C., Thumm, U. and Connolly, J., 2017. Major shifts in species’ relative abundance in grassland mixtures alongside positive effects of species diversity in yield: a continental-scale experiment. Journal of Ecology, doi:10.1111/1365-2745.12754
  • Adjonou K., Kémavo A., Kokutse AD., Fontodji JK., Tchani W., Sodjinou F., Sebastià M-T., Kokou K., 2017. Vegetation dynamics patterns, biodiversity conservation and structure of forest ecosystems in the wildlife reserve of Togodo in Togo, West Africa. International Journal of Development Research 7, (08), 14549-14557
  • Altimir, N., Ibáñez, M., Ribas, A, Sebastià M-T., 2016. Net Ecosystem Exchange responses to changes in crop management in a forage system in the Eastern Pyrenees. [Short paper]. 19th Meeting of the FAO-CIHEAM Mountain Pastures Network (2016-06-14-2016-06-16) Saragossa (ESP). In : Mountain pastures and livestock farming facing uncertainty : environmental, techhnical and socio-economic challenges. Zaragoza (ESP) : CIHEAM (Cahiers Options Méditerranéennes), 2016. 4 p.
  • San Emeterio, L., Debouk, H., Marí, T., Canals, R.M., Sebastià M-T., 2016. Plant functional type effects on soil function change along a climatic gradient. [Short paper]. 19th Meeting of the FAO-CIHEAM Mountain Pastures Network (2016-06-14-2016-06-16) Saragossa (ESP). In : Mountain pastures and livestock farming facing uncertainty : environmental, techhnical and socio-economic challenges. Zaragoza (ESP) : CIHEAM (Cahiers Options Méditerranéennes), 2016. 4 p.
  • Guerra Ferrer, G., Chocarro, C., Debouk, H., Plaixats, J., Lamaze, T., Pornon, A., Sebastià M-T., 2016. Effects of climate warming and nitrogen deposition on species and community plasticity in grasslands in the French Pyrenees. (2016-06-14-2016-06-16) Saragossa (ESP). In : Mountain pastures and livestock farming facing uncertainty : environmental, techhnical and socio-economic challenges. Zaragoza (ESP) : CIHEAM (Cahiers Options Méditerranéennes), 2016. 4 p.
  • Berninger F., Susiluoto S., Gianelle D., Bahn M., Wohlfahrt G., Sutton M., Garcia-Pausas J., Gimeno C., Sanz M.J., Dore S., Rogiers N., Furger M., Eugster W., Balzarolo M., Sebastià M-T. , Tenhunen J., Staszewski T., Cernusca A, 2015. Management and site effects on carbon balances of European mountain meadows and rangelands. Boreal Environment Research, 20: 748–760.
  • Debouk, H., de Bello F, Sebastià M-T. , 2015. Functional Trait Changes, Productivity Shifts and Vegetation Stability in Mountain Grasslands during a Short-Term Warming. PLoS ONE, 10(10): e0141899. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0141899.
  • Leifeld, J., Meyer, S., Budge, K., Sebastià, M.T., Zimmermann, M., Fuhrer, J., 2015. Turnover of Grassland Roots in Mountain Ecosystems Revealed by Their Radiocarbon Signature: Role of Temperature and Management. PLoS ONE, 10(3): e0119184. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0119184.
  • Ribas, A., Lluba, R., Gouriveu, F., Altimir, N., Connolly, J., Sebastià, M.T., 2015. Plant identity and evenness affect yield and trace gas exchanges in forage mixture. Plant Soil, 387: 1-16. DOI: 10.1007/s11104-015-2407-7.
  • Suter, M., Connolly, J., Finn, J.A., Loges, R., Kirwan, L., Sebastià, M.T., Lüscher, A., 2015. Nitrogen yield advantage from grass–legume mixtures is robust over a wide range of legume proportions and environmental conditions. Global Change Biology. 21: 2424-2438. DOI: 10.1111/gcb.12880.
  • Karhu K., Auffret M., Dungait J.A.J., Hopkins D.W., Prosser J.I., Singh B.K., Subke J.-A., Wookey P.A., Agren G.I., Sebastia M.-T., Gouriveau F., Bergkvist G., Meir P., Nottingham A.T., Salinas N. & Hartley I.P., 2014. Temperature sensitivity of soil respiration rates enhanced by microbial community response. Nature, 513: 81-84. DOI: 110.1038/nature13604.
  • Connolly, J., Bell, T., Bolger, T., Brophy, C., Carnus, T., Finn, JA., Kirwan, L., Isbell, F., Levine, J., Luscher, A., Picasso, V., Roscher, C., Sebastia M.-T., Suter, M., Weigelt, A., 2013. An improved model to predict the effects of changing biodiversity levels on ecosystem function. Journal of Ecology, 101: 344-355. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12052.
  • de Bello, F., Carmona, CP., Mason, NWH., Sebastia M.-T., Leps, J., 2013. Which trait dissimilarity for functional diversity: trait means or trait overlap?. Journal of Vegetation Science, 24: 807-819. DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12008.
  • Finn, JA., Kirwan, L., Connolly, J., Sebastia M.-T., Helgadottir, A., Baadshaug, OH., Belanger, G., Black, A., Brophy, C., Collins, RP., Cop, J., Dalmannsdottir, S., Delgado, I., Elgersma, A., Fothergill, M., Frankow-Lindberg, BE., Ghesquiere, A., Golinska, B., Golinski, P., Grieu, P., Gustavsson, AM., Hoglind, M., Huguenin-Elie, O., Jorgensen, M., Kadziuliene, Z., Kurki, P., Llurba, R., Lunnan, T., Porqueddu, C., Suter, M., Thumm, U., Lüscher, A., 2013. Ecosystem function enhanced by combining four functional types of plant species in intensively managed grassland mixtures: a 3-year continental-scale field experiment. Journal of Applied Ecology, 50: 365-375. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12041.
  • Garcia-Pausas, J.; Casals, P.; Rovira, P.; Vallecillo, S.; Sebastià, M.-T.; Romanyà, J., 2012. Decomposition of labelled roots and root-C and -N allocation between soil fractions in mountain grasslands. Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 49: 61-69. DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2012.02.015.
  • Sjogersten, S.; Llurba, R.; Ribas, A.; Yanez-Serrano, A.; Sebastià, M.-T., 2012. Temperature and Moisture Controls of C Fluxes in Grazed Subalpine Grasslands. Arctic Antarctic and Alpine Research, 44: 239-246. DOI: 10.1657/1938-4246-44.2.239.
  • Engler, R., Randin, CF., Thuiller, W., Dullinger, S., Zimmermann, NE., Araujo, MB., Pearman, PB., LeLay, G., Piedallu, C., Albert, CH., Choler, P., Coldea, G., De Lamo, X., Dirnbock, T., Gegout, JC., Gomez-Garcia, D., Grytnes, JA., Heegaard, E., Hoistad, F., Nogues-Bravo, D., Normand, S., Puscas, M., Sebastià, M.-T., Stanisci, A., Theurillat, JP., Trivedi, MR., Vittoz, P., Guisan, A., 2012. Temperature and Moisture Controls of C Fluxes in Grazed Subalpine Grasslands. Arctic Antarctic and Alpine Research, 44: 239-246. DOI: 10.1657/1938-4246-44.2.239.
  • Engler, R., Randin, C.F., Thuiller, W., Dullinger, S., Zimmermann, N.E., Araújo, M.B., Pearman, P.B., Le Lay, G., Piedallu, C , Albert, C.H., Choler, P., Coldea, G., De Lamo, X., Dirnböck, T., Gégout, J.C ., D Gómez-García, D., Grytnes, J.A., Heegaard, E., Høistad, F., Nogués-Bravo, D., Normand, S., Puşcaş, M., Sebastià, M.-T., Stanisci, A., Theurillat, J.P., Trivedi, M.R., Vittoz, P., Guisan, A., 2011. 21st century climate change threatens mountain flora unequally across Europe. Global change biology , 17(7): 2330-2341. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365- 2486.2010.02393.x.
  • Migliavacca, M., Reichstein, M., Richardson, A.D., Colombo, R., Sutton, M.A., Lasslop, G., Tomelleri, E., Wohlfahrt, G., Carvalhais, N., Cescatti, A., Mahecha, M.D., Montagnani, L., Papale, D., Zaehle, S., Arain, A., Arneth, A., Black, T.A., Carrara, A., Dore, S., Gianelle, D., Helfter, C., Hollinger, D., Kutsch, W.L., Lafleur, P.M., Nouvellon, Y., Rebmann, C., da Rocha, H.R., Rodeghiero, M., Roupsard, O., Sebastià, M.-T., Seufert, G., Soussana, J.-F. and van der Molen, M.K.,2011. Semiempirical modeling of abiotic and biotic factors controlling ecosystem respiration across eddy covariance sites. Global Change Biology, 17, 390–409. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2010.02243.x.
  • Resco V., Ferrio J.P., Carreira J.A., Calvo L., Casals P., Ferrero-Serrano A., Marcos E., Moreno J.M., Ramírez D.A., Sebastià M.-T., Valladares F., Williams D.G., 2011. The stable isotope ecology of terrestrial plant succession. Plant Ecology & Diversity, 4: 117–130. DOI: 10.1080/17550874.2011.576708.
  • Sebastià, M.-T., Palero, N., de Bello, F., 2011. Changes in management modify agro-diversity in sainfoin swards in the Eastern Pyrenees. Agronomy Sustainable Development, 31: 533-540. DOI: 10.1007/s13593-011-0008-2.
  • Garcia-Pausas, J., Casals, P., Romanyà, J., Vallecillo, S., Sebastià, M.-T, 2011. Seasonal patterns of belowground biomass and productivity in mountain grasslands in the Pyrenees. Plant and Soil 340, Numbers 1-2: 315-326(12). DOI: 10.1007/s11104-010-0601-1.
  • Sebastià M.T; Llurba R.; Domínguez G.; Lloveras J. 2010. Agricultura, ramaderia i gestió forestal .Segon informe sobre el canvi climàtic a Catalunya. J. Llebot .pp. 677 – 760. Institut d’Estudis Catalans i Generalitat de Catalunya. ISBN 978-84-9965-027-2.
  • Paillet, Y.; Bergés, L.; Hjältén, J.; Ódor, P.; Avon, C.; Bernhardt-Römermann, M.; Bijlsma, R.-J.; De Bruyn, L.; Fuhr, M.; Grandin, U.; Kanka, R.; Lundin, L.; Luque, S.; Magura, T.; Matesanz, S.; Mészáros, I.; Sebastià, M.-T.; Schmidt, W.; Standovár, T.; Tóthmérész, B.; Uotila, A.; Valladares, F.; Vellak, K. & Virtanen R. 2010. Biodiversity Differences between Managed and Unmanaged Forests: Meta-Analysis of Species Richness in Europe. Conservation Biology, 24(1): 101–112. DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2009.01399.x.
  • Paillet, Y., Bergès, L., Hjältén, J., Ódor, P., Avon, C. Bernhardt-Römermann, M., Bijlsma, R-J., De Bruyn, L., Fuhr, M., Grandin, U., Kanka, R., Lundin, L., Luque, S., Magura, T., Matesanz, S., Mészáros, I., Sebastià, M.-T., Schmidt, W., Standovár, T., Tóthmérész, B., Uotila, A., Valladares, F., Vellak, K., Virtanen, R., 2010. Compromises in data selection in a meta-analysis of biodiversity in managed and unmanaged forests: Response to Halme et al.Conservation Biology, 24: 1157-1160. DOI:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2010.01543.x
  • Resco, V; Querejeta, JI; Ogle, K; Voltas, J; Sebastià, M.-T.; Serrano-Ortiz, P; Linares, JC; Moreno-Gutierrez, C; Herrero, A; Carreira, JA; Torres-Canabate, P; Valladares, F, 2010 Stable isotope views on ecosystem function: challenging or challenged? Biology Letters, 6: 287-289. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2009.0950.
  • Gracia C.; Sabaté S; Vayreda J.; Sebastià T.; Savé R; Alonso M i Vidal M. 2010. Embornals. Segon informe sobre el canvi climàtic a Catalunya. J. Llebot .pp. 135 – 182.Institut d’Estudis Catalans i Generalitat de Catalunya. ISBN 978-84-9965-027-2.
  • Kirwan, L.; Connolly, J.; Finn, J. A.; Brophy, C.; Lüscher, A.; Nyfeler, D. & Sebastià, M.-T. 2009. Diversity-interaction modeling: estimating contributions of species identities and interactions to ecosystem function. Ecology, 90(8): 2032-2038. DOI: 10.1890/08-1684.1.
  • Marks, E.; Aflakpui, G.K.S.; Nkem, J.; Poch, R.M.; Khouma, M.; Kokou, K.; Sagoe, R. & Sebastià, M.-T. 2009. Conservation of soil organic carbon, biodiversity and the provision of other ecosystem services along climatic gradients in West Africa. Biogeosciences, 6(8): 1825-1838.
  • de Bello, F.; Thuiller, W.; Lepš, J.; Choler, Ph.; Clément, J.C.; Macek, P.; Sebastià, M.-T. & Lavorel, S. 2009. Partitioning of functional diversity reveals the scale and extent of trait convergence and divergence. Journal of Vegetation Science, 20(3): 475-486. DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2009.01042.x.
  • de Bello, F.; Buchmann, N.; Casals, P.; Lepš, J. & Sebastià, M.-T. 2009. Relating plant species and functional diversity to community ?13C in NE Spain pastures. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 131(3-4): 303-307. DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2009.02.002.
  • Bayfield, N.; Barancok, P.; Furger, M.; Sebastià, M.-T.; Domínguez, G.; Lapka, M.; Cudlinova, E.; Vescovo, L.; Ganielle, D.; Cernusca, A.; Tappeiner, U. & Drösler, M. 2008. Stakeholder Perceptions of the Impacts of Rural Funding Scenarios on Mountain Landscapes Across Europe. Ecosystems, 11(8): 1368-1382.
  • Garcia-Pausas, J.; Casals, P.; Camarero, Ll.; Huguet, C.; Thompson, R.; Sebastia, M.-T. & Romanya, J. 2008. Factors regulating carbon mineralization in the surface and subsurface soils of Pyrenean mountain grasslands. Soil Biology & Biogeochemistry, 40 (11): 2803-2810.
  • Sebastià, M.-T.; De Bello, F.; Puig, L. & Taull, M. 2008. Grazing as a factor structuring grasslands in the Pyrenees. Applied Vegetation Science, 11(2): 215-222.
  • Sebastià, M.-T.; Kirwan, L. & Connolly, J. 2008. Strong shifts in plant diversity and vegetation composition in grassland shortly after climatic change. Journal of Vegetation Science, 19(3): 299-306.
  • Sebastià, M.-T. & Puig, L. 2008. Complex vegetation responses to soil disturbances in mountain grassland. Plant Ecology, 199 (1): 77-88.
  • de Bello, F., Lepš, J., Sebastià, M.-T. 2007. Grazing effects on the species-area relationship: Variation along a climatic gradient in NE Spain. Journal of Vegetation Science , 18: 25-34.
  • Garcia-Pausas, J.; Casals, P.; Camarero, L.; Huguet, C.; .Sebastià, M.-T.; Thompson, R. & Romanyà, J. 2007. Soil organic carbon storage in mountain grasslands of the Pyrenees: effects of climate and topography. Biogeochemistry, 82(3): 279-289.
  • Kirwan, L.; Lüscher, A.; Sebastià, M.-T.; Finn, J.A.; Collins, R.P.; Porqueddu, C.; Helgadottir, A.; Baadshaug, O.H.; Brophy, C.; Coran, C.; Dalmannsdóttir, S.; Delgado, I.; Elgersma, A.; Fothergill, M.; Frankow-Lindberg, B.E.; Golinski, P.; Grieu, P.; Gustavsson, A.M.; Höglind, M.; Huguenin-Elie, O.; Iliadis, C.; Jørgensen, M.; Kadziuliene, Z.; Karyotis, T.; Lunnan, T.; Malengier, M.; Maltoni, S.; Meyer, V.; Nyfeler, D.; Nykanen-Kurki, P.; Parente, J.; Smit, H.J.; Thumm, U. & Connolly, J. 2007. Evenness drives consistent diversity effects in an agronomic system across 28 European sites. Journal of Ecology, 95(3): 530-539. (PDF)
  • Sebastià, M.-T., 2007. Plant Guilds Drive Biomass Response to Global Warming and Water Availability in Subalpine Grassland. Journal of Applied Ecology , 44: 158-167.
  • de Bello, F.; Lepš, J. & Sebastià, M.-T. 2006. Variations in species and functional plant diversity along climatic and grazing gradients. Ecography, 29: 801-810. (PDF)
  • Sebastià, M.-T.; Garcia-Pausas, J.; Canals, R.M.; Plaixats, J.; Arco, N.; Bartolomé, J.; Connolly, J.; San Emeterio, L.; Vallecillo, S. & Casals, P. 2006. Changes in the carbon and nitrogen cycles with land use in grasslands in the Pyrenees. Grassland Science in Europe, 11: 769-771.
  • de Bello, F., Leps, J., Sebastià, M.-T., 2005. Predictive value of plant traits to grazing along a climatic gradient in the Mediterranean. Journal of Applied Ecology, 42: 824–833. (PDF)
  • Casals, P.; Garcia-Pausas, J.; Romanyà, J.; Camarero, L.l.; Sanz, M.J. & Sebastià, M.-T. 2004. Effects of livestock management on carbon stocks and fluxes in grassland ecosystems in the Pyrenees. Grassland Sciences in Europe, 9: 136-138.
  • Sebastià, M.-T. 2004. Role of topography and soils in grassland structuring at the landscape and community scales. Basic and Applied Ecology, 5(4): 331-346. (PDF)