Prof Jordi Cortina-Segarra

University of Alicante, Spain

Title: Ecological restoration in the Mediterranean: opportunities for and obstacles to using native seeds

Abstract: Revegetation is the main goal of most ecological restoration projects in the Mediterranean.  The reasons for this are diverse and dependent upon plant morpho-functional traits. Herbaceous species have been used to re-establish and enrich degraded grasslands. In addition, they have been employed to provide fast soil protection when plant cover is scarce, particularly in roadsides, abandoned quarries and burnt areas. In most cases, herbaceous species are seeded, using various technologies. Assisted re-colonization is the main reason behind the re-introduction of woody species.  In contrast to herbaceous species, shrubs and trees are expected to play a functional role in the medium to long-term, as plant growth is often slow. In most cases, woody species are introduced by planting seedlings rather than sowing seeds. In this presentation, we will review the pros and cons of using native seeds for the restoration of Mediterranean ecosystems taking ecological, economic and technical constrains and opportunities into consideration.

Biography: Jordi Cortina-Segarra (Barcelona, 1963) is a full professor at the University of Alacant (Spain). Chair of the European Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration. Director of the M.Sc. Program Management and Restoration of Natural Environments. Biologist (University of Barcelona, 1986), and Ph.D. in Biology from U. Barcelona (1992). Post-doctoral studies at Colorado State University (1992). Visiting researcher at Forest Research Institute (Rotorua, New Zealand), Dept. of Ecology and Environment Research (Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden), Dept. Land Management, Scottish Agricultural College (Aberdeen, Scotland), Ecological restoration Institute, Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff, AZ, USA), Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt (Colombia) and UNED (Costa Rica). His current research focus on dryland ecology including degradation processes and restoration. He has authored 160+ scientific papers, including 70+ in SCI journals. He currently teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in biogeochemical modelling and restoration ecology at UA. He has supervised 10 Ph.D. thesis and 14 M.Sc. thesis and DEA. Further details on his research and teaching can be found at http://imem.ua.es/en/about-us/jordi-cortina-i-segarra.html.