Cristina Maria Nobre Sobral de Vilhena da Cruz Houghton
Subgroup Leader of SymAction
The PSE Research Group includes 8 senior researchers (integrated members), 3 institutional academic staff, one Ciência Researcher, and 3 post-docs, as well as 6 PhD students and 4 collaborators.
The group aims to underpin key interactions at soil level that regulate ecosystem processes and link structure and function under natural or man-made ecosystems. Specifically, we focus on various factors that affect biotic and abiotic interactions, and thus regulate ecosystem functioning. Resource limitations and responses, as factors responsible for biotic-abiotic interactions and symbiosis, as factors to explain adaptation mechanisms and species coexistence in diverse communities and ecosystems are our major endeavours. To this end we cover several aspects of plant-soil interaction in the rhizosphere: soil resource exploitation strategies; physiology of plant nutrition and productivity; biologically-mediated nitrogen; phosphorus and carbon dynamics. The greatest strength of the group lies in its integrated multi-level ecosystem approach, involving a mechanistic approach of the interactions between carbon, phosphorus and nitrogen dynamics at several levels of organization, from microbial networks to gas exchanges between soil and atmosphere, exploring the below-and aboveground interactions
Ulm, F., Hellmann. C., Cruz, C. & Máguas, C. (2017) N/P imbalance as a key driver for the invasion of oligotrophic dune systems by a woody legume.
Oikos, 126(2), 231-240. DOI:10.1111/oik.03810 (IF2015 3,586; Q1 Ecology)
Serrano, H.C., Cotrim, H., Pinto, M.J., Martins-Loução, M.A., Branquinho, C. (2017) Metal hyperaccumulation patterns within Plantago phylogeny (Plantaginaceae).Plant and Soil, 411(1), 227-241. DOI:10.1007/s11104-016-3024-9 (IF2015 2,969; Q1 Agronomy)
Munzi, S., Sheppard, L.J., Leith, I.D., Cruz, C., Branquinho, C., Bini, L., Gagliardi, A., Cai, G. & Parrotta, L. (2017) The cost of surviving nitrogen excess: energy and protein demand in the lichen Cladonia portentosa as revealed by proteomic analysis.Planta, Online early, . DOI:10.1007/s00425-017-2647-2 (IF2015 3,239; Q1 Plant Sciences)