Plant assemblages and productivity of Galapagos vegetation

Galapagos is the most iconic conservation site and a fundamental area for the conception of the theory of Evolution. However, little is know about some general ecological aspects in important taxonomic groups. This is why, in collaboration with Dr. Tom Gillespie from UCLA we are describing in detail, using comparative and standarized methodologies, plant species assemblages in the dry ecosystems of the Galapagos. This data is complemented with more than 120 plots I established in all the archipelago, to understand how plant composition changes along gradients in these isolated lands masses. We are also correlating main abiotic and biotic factors expected to affect plant distributions, in order to explain the different assemblages.

As part of this work, I am getting high resolution infrared pictures with a developers drone to characterize changes in productivity among and within different plant coverages (alien and native) in all the monitoring areas were plots are established.