Grimmia hartmanii


Grimmia Hartmanii
(apex with propagules)


Fungi and Bryophytes: Biodiversity and Conservation Biology

This line of research is consolidated in the RJB. It focuses on biodiversity of fungi, and bryophytes and their role in conservation biology. The scientists involved in this line work in crucial areas of biodiversity, such as biosystematics (floristic, taxonomy, systematics and phylogeny), biogeography (distribution, dispersion, long-distance dispersal), and evolution (parasitism, symbiosis, coevolution, host-parasite relationships). The organisms studied (fungi, lichenized and non-lichenized fungi, Myxomycota, Oomycota, and Bryophytes) share common characteristics such as complex life cycles, spore dispersal, developmental biology, vagility, etc., which allows one to infer general models by experimental designs that are not possible for other organisms.

This line was based on the project Flora Micológica Ibérica (1991 till present) that deals with biodiversity, and systematics of Iberian Fungi. Currently, these studies have been extended to broader areas from genes to species, through a broad scale of worldwide understudied biogeographical regions (Tropics, Neotropics, Macaronesian Islands) and extreme environments (deserts and alpine areas). This line has also incorporated new disciplines (biogeography, phylogeny), techniques (molecular biology, microbiology, modeling, and high resolution digital image analysis), and targeted other organisms (microscopic and cultured fungi, lichens, bryophytes,) some of which have poorly understood roles in the ecosystems. This allows a cooperative and transversal approach of the general and specific problems in this field.

This line efficiently integrates the classical taxonomic and floristic knowledge and methodologies into new approaches that include studies ranging from general global situations, processes, and life interactions to microscopic and molecular levels. Current knowledge gained on diversity and biosystematics of fungi and bryophytes is importantly contributing to conservation biology issues both in research (predictive models, role of mycorrhizae and fungal parasites) and education (Master in Biodiversity in Tropical Areas and its Conservation, Ecuador), and allows us envisioning future directions for collaboration in crucial aspects of conservation biology such as reserve design, ecological niches, predictive models, conservation of threatened species and invasive species.


Real Jardín Botánico
Real Jardín Botánico, CSIC. Plaza de Murillo, 2. Madrid E-28014 (ESPAÑA). Tel. +34 91 4203017. FAX: +34 91 4200157
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