García Sancho, Leopoldo

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First Name
Last Name
García Sancho
Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Faculty / Institute
Farmacología, Farmacognosia y Botánica
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Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Publication
    Antarctic Studies Show Lichens to be Excellent Biomonitors of Climate Change
    (MDPI, 2019-03-19) García Sancho, Leopoldo; Pintado Valverde, Ana; Green, Thomas George Allan
    Lichens have been used as biomonitors for multiple purposes. They are well-known as air pollution indicators around urban and industrial centers. More recently, several attempts have been made to use lichens as monitors of climate change especially in alpine and polar regions. In this paper, we review the value of saxicolous lichens for monitoring environmental changes in Antarctic regions. The pristine Antarctica offers a unique opportunity to study the effects of climate change along a latitudinal gradient that extends between 62° and 87° S. Both lichen species diversity and thallus growth rate seem to show significant correlations to mean annual temperature for gradients across the continent as well as to short time climate oscillation in the Antarctic Peninsula. Competition interactions appear to be small so that individual thalli develop in balance with environmental conditions and, as a result, can indicate the trends in productivity for discrete time intervals over long periods of time.
  • Publication
    Climate change leads to higher NPP at the end of the century in the Antarctic Tundra: Response patterns through the lens of lichens
    (Elsevier, 2022-04-26) Beltrán Sanz, Nuria; Raggio Quilez, José; Gonzalez, Sergi; Dal Grande, Francesco; Prost, Stefan; Pintado Valverde, Ana; Green, Allan; García Sancho, Leopoldo
    Poikilohydric autotrophs are the main colonizers of the permanent ice-free areas in the Antarctic tundra biome. Global climate warming and the small human footprint in this ecosystem make it especially vulnerable to abrupt changes. Elucidating the effects of climate change on the Antarctic ecosystem is challenging because it mainly comprises poikilohydric species, which are greatly influenced by microtopographic factors. In the present study, we investigated the potential effects of climate change on the metabolic activity and net primary photosynthesis (NPP) in the widespread lichen species Usnea aurantiaco-atra. Long-term monitoring of chlorophyll a fluorescence in the field was combined with photosynthetic performance measurements in laboratory experiments in order to establish the daily response patterns under biotic and abiotic factors at micro- and macro-scales. Our findings suggest that macroclimate is a poor predictor of NPP, thereby indicating that microclimate is the main driver due to the strong effects of microtopographic factors on cryptogams. Metabolic activity is also crucial for estimating the NPP, which is highly dependent on the type, distribution, and duration of the hydration sources available throughout the year. Under RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5, metabolic activity will increase slightly compared with that at present due to the increased precipitation events predicted in MIROC5. Temperature is highlighted as the main driver for NPP projections, and thus climate warming will lead to an average increase in NPP of 167–171% at the end of the century. However, small changes in other drivers such as light and relative humidity may strongly modify the metabolic activity patterns of poikilohydric autotrophs, and thus their NPP. Species with similar physiological response ranges to the species investigated in the present study are expected to behave in a similar manner provided that liquid water is available.
  • Publication
    Continuous monitoring of chlorophyll a fluorescence and microclimatic conditions reveals warming-induced physiological damage in biocrust-forming lichens
    (Springer, 2022-09-09) Raggio Quilez, José; Pescador, David S.; Gozalo, Beatriz; Ochoa, Victoria; Valencia, Enrique; García Sancho, Leopoldo; Maestre, Fernando T.
    Purpose Biocrust communities, which are important regulators of multiple ecosystem functions in drylands, are highly sensitive to climate change. There is growing evidence of the negative impacts of warming on the performance of biocrust constituents like lichens in the field. Here, we aim to understand the physiological basis behind this pattern. Methods Using a unique manipulative climate change experiment, we monitored every 30 minutes and for 9 months the chlorophyll a fluorescence and microclimatic conditions (lichen surface temperature, relative moisture and photosynthetically active radiation) of Psora decipiens, a key biocrust constituent in drylands worldwide. This long-term monitoring resulted in 11,847 records at the thallus-level, which allowed us to evaluate the impacts of ~2.3 °C simulated warming treatment on the physiology of Psora at an unprecedented level of detail. Results Simulated warming and the associated decrease in relative moisture promoted by this treatment negatively impacted the physiology of Psora, especially during the diurnal period of the spring, when conditions are warmer and drier. These impacts were driven by a mechanism based on the reduction of the length of the periods allowing net photosynthesis, and by declines in Yield and Fv/Fm under simulated warming. Conclusion Our study reveals the physiological basis explaining observed negative impacts of ongoing global warming on biocrust-forming lichens in the field. The functional response observed could limit the growth and cover of biocrust-forming lichens in drylands in the long-term, negatively impacting in key soil attributes such as biogeochemical cycles, water balance, biological activity and ability of controlling erosion.
  • Publication
    Summer activity patterns for a moss and lichen in the maritime Antarctic with respect to altitude
    (Springer Nature, 2021-10-05) Schroeter, Burkhard; Green, Thomas George Allan; Pintado Valverde, Ana; Türk, Roman; García Sancho, Leopoldo
    There is considerable scientific interest as to how terrestrial biodiversity in Antarctica might respond, or be expected to respond, to climate change. The two species of vascular plant confined to the Antarctic Peninsula have shown clear gains in density and range extension. However, little information exists for the dominant components of the flora, lichens and bryophytes. One approach has been to look at change in biodiversity using altitude as a proxy for temperature change and previous results for Livingston Island suggested that temperature was the controlling factor. We have extended this study at the same site by using chlorophyll fluorometers to monitor activity and microclimate of the lichen, Usnea aurantiaco-atra, and the moss, Hymenoloma crispulum. We confirmed the same lapse rate in temperature but show that changes in water relations with altitude is probably the main driver. There were differences in water source with U. aurantiaco-atra benefitting from water droplet harvesting and the species performed substantially better at the summit. In contrast, activity duration, chlorophyll fluorescence and photosynthetic modelling all show desiccation to have a large negative impact on the species at the lowest site. We conclude that water relations are the main drivers of biodiversity change along the altitudinal gradient with nutrients, not measured here, as another possible contributor.