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Environmental Stress & Functional Ecology - ESFE
Stable Isotope Ecology and Ecosystems Functioning

Cristina Maria Nunes Antunes

Post-Doc Researcher

Plant community ecology Plant ecophysiology Stable isotopes Ecohydrology Mediterranean and tropical ecosystems Coastal dunes

I am a plant ecologist, particularly interested in physiological responses of plants to water-related environmental changes.

I participated in several research projects, studying the effects of various environmental factors on vegetation. In the course of these projects, I developed a great interest on the impacts of water availability changes, particularly groundwater, on woody plants. This motivated the outset of my PhD project, which I developed in the University of Campinas (UNICAMP, Brazil), in collaboration with ESFE (Environmental Stress & Functional Ecology) research group of cE3. During my PhD, through ecophysiological and isotopic approaches at community level, I studied the responses of tropical and mediterranean coastal dune forests to groundwater changes.

Currently, my research is focused on physiological plant ecology and ecohydrology. We sought to better understand the impact of falling water table on woody vegetation, in ecosystems experiencing great climatic and anthropogenic pressure.  We aim to define the vulnerability of vegetation to groundwater limitation, helping to identify areas that are ecologically more susceptible to future changes in water resources. Ultimately, we can contribute to outline sustainable management strategies conciliating conservation and water resources use.