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Global assessment of increasing wild ungulate numbers on ecosystem integrity
Research Pathway: Wildlife Ecology and Management
RTI2018-094202-B-C21 «Proyectos de I + D Retos de Investigación”, Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades, Gobierno de España. Period: 2019-2022.
Main biodiversity components, species interactions and ecological processes addressed by INCREMENTO project: 1= Microbiome diversity; 2= Tick diversity and load as proxy for vector-borne disease risk; 3= Vertebrate diversity and seed dispersal; 4= Plant preferences, herbivory and plant regeneration; 5= Invertebrate diversity, pollination and pests; 6= Haematology, oxidative stress, telomere shortage, immune response, nutritional condition, 7-8= small mammal abundance and tick load; 9=Biogeochemical cycling; 10= Mycorrhizal functioning; 11= Microbial diversity; 12= Mutualistic and multi-trophic networks.
Welcome to the INCREMENTO project. This project aims to uncover the consequences of a progressive increase of wild ungulate abundance on ecosystem structure and functioning across different scales of ecological organization.
Our hypothesis is…
“Changes in wild ungulate abundance will modulate ecosystem structure and functioning, determining the overall ecosystem health and, thus, the provision of important ecosystem services”
We will conduct both observational and manipulative studies in contrasted ecosystems and ungulate species. We will be using an integrative assessment of the functional response of ecosystems (soil, plant, microbial and animal communities), taking into account the welfare and health of the ungulate species involved in the overabundance process and its implications for human health.
Who we are
Researchers from seven Spanish Universities (UAB, UPM, UIB, UM, UCH, UMH, UCM), five national Research Centres (CREAF, CReSA, EBD-CSIC, INIA and INIAV) and seven foreign Research Institutions (Brighton University, INRA, Oregon State University, Universitá de Torino, CNRS, Zurich University and Universidade de Aveiro).