Ecologie comparative des organismes, des communautés et des écosystèmes


Post-doctorantIvan Prieto

Campus du CNRS
1919, route de Mende
34293 Montpellier 5

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I am a plant ecologist interested in plant water relations and plant-soil interactions. My previous work has focused mainly in the process of hydraulic redistribution within plant roots, its mechanisms and its effects on plant physiology and development in water-limited systems. I also studied its effects on root growth, root colonization and root water transport. Recently, I have gained interest in the study of functional traits to gain knowledge on the belowground portion of plant communities and how these interact with soil processes. My recent research focuses on the study of root functional traits at a community level and how these traits affect soil C storage and hydraulic redistribution.


Thèmes de Recherche

Whether root functional traits affect soil processes has rarely been considered although roots may represent up to 87% of the total plant biomass and are the main entrance of C in the soil. My recent postdoctoral project is focused on contributing to the understanding of carbon and water cycles in crop-forest systems and what ecosystem services these provide. In this context, I will carry out a detailed analysis of plant rooting patterns and growth, roots being one of the drivers of underground ecosystem processes. More specifically, I aim to test whether plant root traits differ spatially along the vertical soil profile within and between different plant communities and to investigate the impact of shallow and deep root traits on mechanisms controlling soil C storage and hydraulic redistribution.



Prieto I, Ryel RJ, Pugnaire FI. Surviving the summer drought: water-use strategy in a semi-arid shrub species (Submitted to Functional Plant Biology)

9. Prieto I, Ryel RJ (2013) Hydraulic redistribution helps maintain hydraulic conductivity during drought. Tree Physiology (Accepted)

8. Schöb C, Prieto I, Armas C, Pugnaire FI (2013) Consequences of facilitation: one plant’s benefit is another plant’s cost. Functional Ecology (In Press)

7. Schöb C, Armas C, Guler M, Prieto I, Pugnaire FI (2013) Intra-specific variability in benefactor traits mediate positive interactions along opposing stress gradients. Journal of Ecology101:753–762

6. Prieto I, Armas C, Pugnaire FI (2012) Hydraulic lift promotes selective root foraging in nutrient-rich soil patches. Functional Plant Biology. 39: 804-812

5. Prieto I, Armas C, Pugnaire FI (2012) Water release through plant roots: new insights on its consequences at the plant and ecosystem level. New Phytologist. 193: 830:840 (Tansley review)

4. Querejeta JI*, Egerton-Warburton LM*, Prieto I*, Vargas R, Allen MF (2012) Changes in soil hyphal abundance and viability can alter the patterns of hydraulic redistribution by plant roots. Plant and Soil. 355: 63-73 *These authors contributed equally to the paper

3. Prieto I, Padilla FM, Armas C, Pugnaire FI (2011) The role of hydraulic lift on seedling establishment under a nurse plant species in a semi-arid environment. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, 13: 181– 187

2. Prieto I, Martínez-Tillería K, Martínez-Manchego, L, Montecinos S, Pugnaire FI, Squeo FA (2010) Hydraulic lift through transpiration suppression in shrubs from two arid ecosystems: patterns and control mechanisms. Oecologia 163:855–865

1. Prieto I, Kikvidze Z, Pugnaire FI (2010) Hydraulic lift: soil processes and transpiration in the Mediterranean leguminous shrub Retama sphaerocarpa (L.) Boiss. Plant and Soil 329:447-456


Thesis and Master

Prieto I. (2010) Hydraulic redistribution patterns and its importance in arid zones. PhD. University of Almeria

Prieto I. (2007) Hydraulic lift: patterns and ecological implications for a Retama sphaerocarpa community and its associated species in Almeria province (Spain). Master thesis. University of Almeria


Non Indexed publications

Prieto I. (2011) Patrones de redistribución hidráulica y su importancia en zonas áridas. Ecosistemas


When not at work I enjoy photography and motorcycling