Linaria Mario Fernández-Mazuecos

Mario Fernández-Mazuecos
  • Postdoctoral researcher (Juan de la Cierva fellow)
  • Speciality:

    Evolution, biogeography, ecology and conservation of vascular plants 

  • Geographical region:Mediterranean region, Macaronesia
  • Line of research: Plant evolutionary biology
  • Professional profile

    My research is focused on reconstructing and understanding the origin of plant biodiversity through the investigation of evolutionary patterns and processes, both at the macro- and micro-evolutionary scales. Additionally, I aim to contribute to conservation of that biodiversity and to our understanding of interactions between plants and their biotic and abiotic environment in a spatiotemporal framework. To those ends, I apply a multidisciplinary approach based on phylogenetics, phylogeography, population genetics, species distribution modelling and evolutionary developmental biology. My specific research topics include: the relationship between speciation and pollinator-mediated floral evolution; the effect of Quaternary climatic cycles on species distributions and evolution; speciation and colonization patterns in the Mediterranean and Macaronesian regions; and conservation of endangered Iberian endemics.


    My main study system is the tribe Antirrhineae (family Plantaginaceae), a lineage of c. 30 genera from both the Old and the New Worlds, with a remarkable diversity of phenotypic traits and ecological interactions. This includes the presence of nectar spurs, a key innovation promoting diversification.



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    Selected Publications
  • Buira, A.; Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Aedo, C.; Molina-Venegas, R. 2021. The contribution of the edaphic factor as a driver of recent plant diversification in a Mediterranean biodiversity hotspot. Journal of Ecology 109(2):987-999.
  • Coello, A.J.; Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; García-Verdugo, C.; Vargas, P. 2021. Phylogeographic sampling guided by species distribution modeling reveals the Quaternary history of the Mediterranean–Canarian Cistus monspeliensis (Cistaceae). Journal of Systematics and Evolution 59(2):262-277.
  • Otero, A.; Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Vargas, P. 2021. Evolution in the Model Genus Antirrhinum Based on Phylogenomics of Topotypic Material. Frontiers in Plant Science 12:631178.
  • Villa-Machío, I.; Zamora, J.C.; Sandoval-Sierra, J.V.; Blanco-Pastor, J.L.; Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Jiménez-Mejías, P. 2021. Insect pollination in temperate sedges? A case study in Rhynchospora alba (Cyperaceae). Plant Biosystems [in press].
  • Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Vargas, P.; McCauley, R.A.; Monjas, D.; Otero, A.; Chaves, J.A.; Guevara Andino, J.E.; Rivas-Torres, G. 2020. The Radiation of Darwin’s Giant Daisies in the Galápagos Islands. Current Biology 30(24):4989-4998.e7.
  • Gorospe, J.M.; Monjas, D.; Fernández-Mazuecos, M. 2020. Out of the Mediterranean Region: Worldwide biogeography of snapdragons and relatives (tribe Antirrhineae, Plantaginaceae). Journal of Biogeography 47(11):2442-2456.
  • Martín-Rodríguez, I.; Vargas, P.; Ojeda, F.; Fernández-Mazuecos, M. 2020. An enigmatic carnivorous plant: ancient divergence of Drosophyllaceae but recent differentiation of Drosophyllum lusitanicum across the Strait of Gibraltar. Systematics and Biodiversity 18(6):525-537.
  • Pérez-Escobar, O.A.; Bogarín, D.; Schley, R.; Bateman, R.M.; Gerlach, G.; Harpke, D.; Brassac, J.; Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Dodsworth, S.; Hagsater, E.; Blanco, M.A.; Gottschling, M.; Blattner, F.R. 2020. Resolving relationships in an exceedingly young Neotropical orchid lineage using Genotyping-by-sequencing data. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 144:106672.
  • Seppey, C.V.W.; Broennimann, O.; Buri, A.; Yashiro, E.; Pinto-Figueroa, E.; Singer, D.; Blandenier, Q.; Mitchell, E.A.D.; Niculita-Hirzel, H.; Guisan, A.; Lara, E. 2020. Soil protist diversity in the Swiss western Alps is better predicted by topo climatic than by edaphic variables. Journal of Biogeography 47(4):866-878.
  • Valtueña, F.J.; Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Rodríguez-Riaño, T.; López, J.; Ortega-Olivencia, A. 2020. Repeated jumps from Northwest Africa to the European continent: The case of peripheral populations of an annual plant. Journal of Systematics and Evolution 58(4):487-503.
  • Vargas, P.; Jiménez-Mejías, P.; Fernández-Mazuecos, M. 2020. ‘Endangered living fossils’ (ELFs): Long-term survivors through periods of dramatic climate change. Environmental and Experimental Botany 170:103892.
  • Blanco-Pastor, J.L.; Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Coello, A.J.; Pastor, J.; Vargas, P. 2019. Topography explains the distribution of genetic diversity in one of the most fragile European hotspots. Diversity and Distributions 25(1):74-89.
  • Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Blanco-Pastor, J.L.; Juan, A.; Carnicero, P.; Forrest, A.; Alarcón, M.; Vargas, P.; Glover, B.J. 2019. Macroevolutionary dynamics of nectar spurs, a key evolutionary innovation. New Phytologist 222:1123-1138.
  • Cullen, E.; Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Glover, B.J. 2018. Evolution of nectar spur length in a clade of Linaria reflects changes in cell division rather than in cell expansion. Annals of Botany 122(5):801-809.
  • Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Ferrer-Gallego, P.P.; Miguel, M.; Glover, B.J.; Sáez, L. 2018. A synopsis of the Iberian clade of Linaria subsect. Versicolores (Antirrhineae, Plantaginaceae) based on integrative taxonomy. Plant Systematics and Evolution [in press].
  • Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Mellers, G.; Vigalondo, B.; Sáez, L,; Vargas, P.; Glover, B.J. 2018. Resolving recent plant radiations: power and robustness of genotyping-by-sequencing. Syst. Biol. [in press].
  • Vargas, P.; Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Heleno, R. 2018. Phylogenetic evidence for a Miocene origin of Mediterranean lineages: species diversity, reproductive traits and geographical isolation. Plant Biology. 20(S1):157-165.
  • Jiménez-Mejías, P.; Benítez-Benítez, C.; Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Martín-Bravo, S. 2017. Cut from the same cloth: The convergent evolution of dwarf morphotypes of the Carex flava group (Cyperaceae) in Circum-Mediterranean mountains. PLoS ONE. 12(12):e0189769.
  • Jiménez-Mejías, P.; Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Gutiérrez, L.; Álvarez, I.; Vargas, P. 2017. Narrow endemics in Mediterranean scrublands: high gene flow buffers genetic impoverishment in the annual monospecific Castrilanthemum (Asteraceae). Biodiversity and Conservation 26(11):2607-2626. -1374-0
  • Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Jiménez-Mejías, P.; Martín-Bravo, S.; Buide, M.L.; Álvarez, I.; Vargas, P. 2016. Narrow endemics on coastal plains: Miocene divergence of the critically endangered genus Avellara (Compositae). Plant Biology 18(4): 729-738.

  • Martín-Bravo, S.; Jiménez-Mejías, P.; Fernández-Mazuecos, M. 2016. Avellara fistulosa. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T95314941A95314945.

  • Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Vargas, P. 2015. Quaternary radiation of bifid toadflaxes (Linaria sect. Versicolores) in the Iberian Peninsula: low taxonomic signal but high geographic structure of plastid DNA lineages. Plant Systematics and Evolution 301:1411-1423.
  • Jiménez-Mejías, P.; Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Amat, M.E.; Vargas, P. 2015. Narrow endemics in European mountains: High genetic diversity within the monospecific genus Pseudomisopates (Plantaginaceae) despite isolation since the late Pleistocene. Journal of Biogeography 42:1455-1468.
  • Navarro-Pérez, M.L.; Vargas, P.; Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; López, J.; Valtueña, F.J.; Ortega-Olivencia, A. 2015. Multiple windows of colonization to Macaronesia by the dispersal-unspecialized Scrophularia since the Late Miocene. Perspectives in Plant Ecology Evolution and Systematics 17:263-273.
  • Vigalondo, B.; Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Vargas, P.; Sáez, L. 2015. Unmasking cryptic species: Morphometric and phylogenetic analyses of the Ibero-North African Linaria incarnata complex. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 177:395-417.
  • Escudero, M.; Martín-Bravo, S., Mayrose, I.; Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Fiz-Palacios, O.; Hipp, A.L.; Pimentel, M.; Jiménez-Mejías, P.; Valcárcel, V.; Vargas, P.; Luceño, M. 2014. Karyotypic Changes through Dysploidy Persist Longer over Evolutionary Time than Polyploid Changes. PLoS ONE 9: e85266.

  • Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Jiménez-Mejías, P.; Rotllan-Puig, X.; Vargas, P. 2014. Narrow endemics to Mediterranean islands: Moderate genetic diversity but narrow climatic niche of the ancient, critically endangered Naufraga (Apiaceae). Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 16: 190-202.

  • Vargas, P.; Valente, L.M.; Blanco-Pastor, J.L.; Liberal, I.; Guzmán, B.; Cano, E.; Forrest, A.; Fernández-Mazuecos, M. 2014. Testing the biogeographical congruence of palaeofloras using molecular phylogenetics: snapdragons and the Madrean-Tethyan flora. Journal of Biogeography 41: 932-943.

  • Besnard, G.; Khadari, B.; Navascués, M.; Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; El Bakkali, B.; Arrigo, N.; Baali-Cherif, D.; Brunini-Bronzini de Caraffa, V.; Santoni, S.; Vargas, P.; Savolainen, V. 2013. The complex history of the olive tree: from Late Quaternary diversification of Mediterranean lineages to primary domestication in the northern Levant. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 280: 20122833.

  • Blanco-Pastor, J.L.; Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Vargas, P. 2013. Past and future demographic dynamics of alpine species: Limited genetic consequences despite dramatic range contraction in a plant from the Spanish Sierra Nevada. Molecular Ecology 22: 4177-4195. 

  • Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Blanco-Pastor, J.L.; Gómez, J.M.; Vargas, P. 2013. Corolla morphology influences diversification rates in bifid toadflaxes (Linaria sect. Versicolores). Annals of Botany 112: 1705-1722. 


  • Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Blanco-Pastor, J.L.; Vargas, P. 2013. A phylogeny of toadflaxes (Linaria Mill.) based on nuclear ITS sequences: systematic and evolutionary consequences. International Journal of Plant Sciences 174(2): 234-249.

  • Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Vargas, P. 2013. Congruence between distribution modelling and phylogeographical analyses reveals Quaternary survival of a toadflax species (Linaria elegans) in oceanic climate areas of a mountain ring range. New Phytologist 198(4): 1274-1289.

  • Navarro-Pérez, M.L.; López, J.; Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Rodríguez-Riaño, T.; Vargas, P.; Ortega-Olivencia, A. 2013. The role of birds and insects in pollination shifts of Scrophularia (Scrophulariaceae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 69: 239-254.

  • Domínguez Lozano, F.; Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Hernández Bermejo, J.E.; Herranz Sanz, J.M.; Moreno Saiz, J.C. 2011. Vella pseudocytisus L. en España y el norte de África. In: Moreno Saiz, J.C.; Guzmán Otano, D.; Domínguez Lozano, F. (eds.). Biología de la conservación de Vella pseudocytisus subsp. paui, una planta amenazada en Aragón, pp. 91-117. Consejo de Protección de la Naturaleza de Aragón. Zaragoza. ISBN 978-84-89862-79-1.

  • Fernández-Mazuecos, M., Vargas, P. 2011. Historical isolation versus recent long-distance connections between Europe and Africa in bifid toadflaxes (Linaria sect. Versicolores) PLoS ONE, 6 (7): e22234. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0022234

  • Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Vargas, P. 2011. Genetically depauperate in the continent but rich in oceanic islands: Cistus monspeliensis (Cistaceae) in the canary islands PLoS ONE 6 (2): e17172

  • Fernández Mazuecos, M.; Vargas, P. 2010. Ecological rather than geographical isolation dominates Quaternary formation of Mediterranean Cistus species. Molecular Ecology 19, 1381–1395

  • Jubera, E.; Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Estébanez, B.; Vassal’lo, J. 2009. Comunidades de cianobacterias bentónicas en el enclave de El Pozo Azul (Karst de Burgos). In: Llamas García, F.; Acedo Casado, C. (coords.). Botánica pirenaico-cantábrica en el siglo XXI, pp. 61–80. Universidad de León. León. ISBN 978-84-9773-471-4.

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