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I received a Ph.D. in ecology from the Pablo de Olavide University in 2014 and I am currently leading a Marie Curie project funded by the european commission. My research focuses on determining how the soil biocrust modulates – and possibly increases – the resistance and resilience of soil processes to the synergistic effects of increased nitrogen and climate change, which will have highly relevant implications on environmental policy, ecosystem management, and prediction of global change scenarios in Mediterranean ecosystems.
For many years I have been involved in the study of soil processes in several Mediterranean ecosystems (such as Cadiz, Seville, Madrid or Sardinia). In those studies, I focused on the soil biocrust as a key factor with a crucial role in providing ecosystem services as nutrient cycling, carbon and N fixation, soil surface protection from erosion, and as part of biotic interactions. My international network encompases the University of Antwerp (Belgium), Pablo de Olavide University (Spain), University of Sassari (Italy), National institute of research and food tecnology (Spain).
My current research is driven by two overarching objectives: i) to disentangle the combined effects of nitrogen status and climate change on soil processes in Mediterranean ecosystems and ii) to assess the role of the biocrust and its components as key factors modulating the way these global change drivers interact.
Morillas, L., Roales, J., Cruz, C. & Munzi, S. (2022) Non-toxic increases in nitrogen availability can improve the ability of the soil lichen Cladonia rangiferina to cope with environmental changes.Journal of Fungi, 8(4), 333. DOI:10.3390/jof8040333 (IF2020 5,816; Q1 Mycology)
Lo Cascio, M., Morillas L., Ochoa-Hueso, R., Delgado Baquerizo, M., Munzi, S., Roales, J., Spano, D., Cruz, C., Gallardo, A., Manrique, E., Perez-Corona, M.E., Dias, T., Sirca, C. & Mereu, S. (2021) Nitrogen deposition effects on soil properties, microbial abundance, and litter decomposition across three shrublands Ecosystems from the Mediterranean basin.Frontiers in Environmental Science, 9, 709391. DOI:10.3389/fenvs.2021.709391 (IF2020 4,581; Q2 Environmental Sciences)
Morillas, L., Roales, J., Cruz, C. & Munzi, S. (2021) Resilience of epiphytic lichens to combined effects of increasing nitrogen and solar radiation.Journal of Fungi, 7(5), 1-13. DOI:10.3390/jof7050333 (IF2020 5,816; Q1 Mycology)
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