Zhong Y, Xue Z, Davis CC, Moreno-Mateos D, Jiang M, Liu B, Wang G. 2022. Shrinking habitats and native species loss under climate change: a multifactorial risk assessment of China’s inland wetlands. Earth’s Future. 6:2021EF002630 (52).

Meng Y, Gou R, Bai J, Moreno-Mateos D, Davis C, Wan L, Song S, Zhang H, Zhu X, Lin G. 2022. Spatial patterns and driving factors of carbon stocks in mangrove forests on Hainan Island, China. Global Ecology and Biogeography. 31:1692-1706 (51).

Santos MJ, Smith AB, Dekker SC, Eppinga MB, Leitão PJ, Moreno-Mateos D, Morueta-Holme N, Ruggeri M. 2021. The role of land use and land cover change in climate change vulnerability assessments of biodiversity: a systematic review. Landscape Ecology. 36:3367–3382 (50).

Alvarado P, Cabero J, Moreno-Mateos D, Vizzinie A, Alonso J, Lebeuf R, Siquierh JL, Vidal JM. 2021. Phylogenetic relationships among false truffle genera of Paxillaceae – Alpova, Melanogaster, Neoalpova, and Paralpova gennov. Mycologia. 113:828-841 (49).

Cortina-Segarra J, García-Sánchez I, Grace M, Andrés P, Baker S, Bullock C, Decleer K, Dicks LV, Fisher JL, Frouz J, Klimkowska A, Kyriazopoulos AP, Moreno-Mateos D, Rodríguez-González PM, Sarkki S, Ventocilla JL. 2021. Barriers to ecological restoration in Europe: expert perspectives. Restoration Ecology. 29:e13346 (48).

Moreno-Mateos D, Alberdi A, Mörrien E, Van der Putten W, Rodríguez-Uña A, Montoya D. 2020. The long-term restoration of ecosystem complexity. Nature Ecology and Evolution.. 4:676-685 (47).

Author's Notes

I led this piece with my colleagues to set the stage of what we think should be the future of restoration ecology and, essentially, a big part of my research program. This also helped me realize that I need to work more closely with people from many disciplines (microbiology, genomics, archeology, history, or paleolimnology) to respond to my questions about time and complexity in ecosystem recovery. Ecology is not enough. We proposed that restoration ecology should address the complexity issue by focusing on two aspects. First, the re-assemblage of the interaction structure using a meta-community hub approach and the linked functions; and second, the recovery of the evolutionary potential, either lost or reduced during the degradation phase of ecosystems. The issue of time could be partially addressed by using space-for-time substitutions covering the timescale at which ecology operates, centuries to millennia. This is hardly found when looking at recovery from human disturbance, but study areas like this exist (see Research Statement). It seems the ideas proposed here have been quite well received given the rapidly growing citations the paper is having.

Cabero A, Alvarado P, Alonson J, Salcedo I, Moreno-Mateos D. 2019. Elaphomices lilacinus spnov (Ascomycota, Eurotiomycetes), a new hypogeous species from Navarre (Spain). Ascomycete.org. 11:229-232 (46).

Rodríguez-Uña A, Hidalgo-Castañeda J, Salcedo I, Moreno-Mateos D. 2019. Recovery of interactions between European beech (Fagus sylvatica) and ectomycorrhizal fungi in 140-years old abandoned mines. Ecosistemas. 28:61-68 (45).

Moreno-Mateos D, Rodríguez Uña A. 2019. Restoring interactions to recover ecosystem complexity and function. Ecosistemas. 28:1-3 (44).

Jones HP, Jones PC, Barbier EB, Rey Benayas JM, Holl KD, McCrackin ML, Meli P, Montoya D, Moreno-Mateos D. 2018. Restoration and repair of Earth’s damaged ecosystems. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences. 285:20172577 (43). Featured in Phys.org, Science Daily, Chicago Tribune, Science Newsline, among others.

Gerstner K, Moreno-Mateos D, Gurevitch J, Beckmann M, Kambach S, Jones HP, Seppelt R. 2017. Will your paper be used in a meta-analysis? Make the reach of your research broader and longer-lasting. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 8:777–784 (42).

Meli P, Holl KD, Rey Benayas JM, Jones HP, Jones PC, Montoya D, Moreno-Mateos D. 2017. A Global Review of Past Land Use, Climate, and Active vs Passive Restoration Effects on Forest Recovery. PLoS ONE. 12:e0171368 (41).

Moreno-Mateos D, Barbier EB, Jones PC, Jones HP, Aronson J, Lopez-Lopez JA, McKrackin ML, Meli P, Montoya D, and Rey Benayas JM. 2017. Anthropogenic ecosystem disturbance and the recovery debt. Nature Communications 8:14163 ( 2017. Anthropogenic ecosystem disturbance and the recovery debt. Nature Communications. 8:14163 (40). Database: Dryad Digital Repository. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.t5c97

Author's Notes

This paper was the result of a series of workshops we got funded through the US National Center of Environmental Synthesis and iDiv (Germany). We built the frist large database on ecosystem restoration where we estimated how much we are losing in restored ecosystem compared with ecosystems that were undisturbed. Using a novel mathematical approach we estimated the area between the recovery trajectory curve and the reference constant to estimate the recovery debt, a concept that we coined. We found that restored ecosystem were on average 30% less diverse, hosted 50% less animals and plants, and were 40% less efficient in the cycling of carbon and nitrogen than reference, undisturbed ecosystems. Since we built this database, we have learned of two other initiatives mimicking our effort. Several papers have been published using our mathematical approach to estimate the recovery debt.

McCrackin ML, Jones HP, Jones PC, Moreno-Mateos D. 2017. Incomplete recovery of lakes and coastal marine ecosystems from eutrophication: A global meta-analysis. Limnology and Oceanography. 62:507–518 (39).

Hudson LW, Newbold T, Contu S,... Moreno Mateos D,... Purvis A. 2017. The database of the PREDICTS (Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity in Changing Terrestrial Systems) project. Ecology and Evolution. 7:145-188 (38).

Aronson J, Clewell A, Moreno Mateos D. 2016. Ecological restoration and ecological engineering: Complementary or indivisible?. Ecological Engineering. 92:392-395 (37).

Moreno-Mateos D, Maris V, Bechet A, and Curran M. 2015. The true loss caused by biodiversity offsets. Biological Conservation. 192:552-559 (36).

Moreno-Mateos D, Meli P, Aronson J, and Vara, MI. 2015. Ecosystem response to interventions: Lessons from restored and created wetland ecosystems.. Journal of Applied Ecology. 53: 1528–1537 (35). Database: Dryad Digital Repository https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.71r6q|

Aronson J, Murcia C, Kattan GH, Moreno-Mateos D, Dixon K, Simberloff D. 2014. The road to confusion is paved with novel ecosystem labels: a reply to Hobbs et al. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 29:646-647 (34). 

Murcia C, Aronson J, Kattan G, Moreno-Mateos D, Dixon K, Simberloff D. 2014. A ’critique’ to the novel ecosystems concept. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 29:548-553 (33). Top 8 most downloaded paper from the journal website in the first 2 years after publication.

Author's Notes

This paper emerged as a result of discussion that the group of authors was having about the concerns of new paradigms proposed in the field of restoration ecology. The proponents of novel ecosystems were aiming to relax the efforts on controlling invasive species and accept many of the ecosystems being heavily transformed by humans as the new normal. We contended that the concept itself was empty given the fact that most of ecosystem on earth have some degree of human influence, so the term ecosystem itself would already capture the idea of novel. Out second and most fearful concerns was that it would be used by managers to cut effort in either controlling invasions or preventing them. We have been found this this has been occasionally the case in management contexts. I am not sure the overall impact of this paper, although it has been heavily cited, on the spread of the novel ecosystem concept, but the reality is that in most of the ecological and restoration for a, the concept is rarely used any more.

Barbier E, Moreno-Mateos D, Rogers AD, Aronson J, Pendleton L, Van Dover CL, Danovaro R, Henry L- A, Morato T, Ardron J. 2014. Protect the deep sea. Nature. 505:475-477 (42).

Donovan B, Moreno Mateos D, Osborne J, Bisaccio D. 2014. Revising the Economic Imperative for STEM Education. PLOS Biology. 12: e1001760 (31).

Van Dover C, Aronson J, Pendleton L, Smith S, Arnaud-Haond S, Moreno-Mateos D, Barbier E, Billett D, Bowers K, Danovaro R, Edwards A, Kellert S, Morato T, Pollard E, Rogers A, Warner R. 2014. Ecological Restoration in the Deep Sea: Desiderata. Marine Policy. 44:98-106 (29).

Moreno Mateos D. 2013. Is Embracing Change Our Best Bet?. Science. 341: 458-459 (29).

Abraho R, Causape J, Moreno-Mateos D, Comin, F. 2013. Nitrate and salt water contamination associated with the transition of an agrarian basin into an irrigated area. Water Environment Research. 85:105-112 (28).

Moreno-Mateos D, Power ME, Comin FA, and Yockteng R. 2012. Structural and functional loss in restored wetland ecosystems. PLOS Biology. (10)1:e1001247 (27) Featured in Nature 481(7383):8 and PLOS Biology 10(1):e1001248. Also, featured in hundreds newspapers and news websites from over 10 countries. Selected examples are: The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Mother Jones, Science Daily, and MongaBay.

Author's Notes

This has been the most impactful and cited paper I have published so far. It was the first global evaluation of the performance of restoration through time. I found that restored wetlands did not match reference undisturbed wetlands for up to 100 years in terms of the abundance and diversity of plant and animal communities and of the cycling of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus. In particular, I found that animal abundance and diversity could recover within the first decade, while plant abundance and diversity did not fully recover after 100 years. This study did not look into species composition, we are doing that in our current studies. It also found that tropical wetlands and large wetlands (>100 ha) recovered faster than temperate and small wetlands, respectively. This paper has had major discussion in the press and has affected how wetland restoration is planned in terms of temporal and spatial scales. This was my first meta-analysis in a list that is still growing and helped me frame my entire empirical research. Thanks to the patterns found here I could infer what I should look into to understand the mechanisms of recovery. In particular, it helped me realize than looking at diversity or nitrogen cycling would help little to understand ecosystem change, and that we need to focus on more complex ecosystem attributes. It also helped me to understand that the timescale used in these meta-analysis was the right one, and even longer, to understand ecosystem recovery.

Moreno-Mateos D, Rey Benayas JM, Pérez-Camacho L, de la Montana E, and Rebollo S. 2011. Effects of land use type on the nocturnal birds of a Mediterranean agricultural landscape. Acta Ornithologica. 41: 173-182 (26).

Rey Benayas JM, de la Montaña E, Pérez Camacho L, de la Cruz M, Moreno-Mateos D, Parejo, J.L., and Suárez Seoane, S. 2010. Inter-annual dynamics and spatial congruence of a nocturnal bird assemblage inhabiting a Mediterranean agricultural mosaic. Ardeola. 57:303-320 (25).

Moreno-Mateos D and Comín FA. 2010. Integrating objectives and scales for planning and implementing wetland restoration in agricultural catchments. Journal of Environmental Management. 91:2087-2095 (24). Featured on the European Commission’s news service Science for Environment Policy Special Issue 32:1

Moreno-Mateos D, Mander Ü, Comín FA, and Pedrocchi C. 2010. Optimal Location of Created and Restored Wetlands in Mediterranean Agricultural Catchments. Water Resources Management. 24:2485-2499 (23).

Martín E, Moreno-Mateos D, and Pedrocchi C. 2010. Impacts of intensive agricultural irrigation and livestock farming on a semi-arid Mediterranean catchment. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 167:423-435 (22).

Moreno-Mateos D, Pedrocchi C, and Comín FA. 2010. Influences of constructed wetlands on water quality in a semi-arid catchment degraded by intensive agricultural use. Ecological Engineering. 36:631-639 (21).

Moreno-Mateos D, Comín FA, Causapé J, and Pedrocchi C. 2009. Effect of Wetlands on water quality of an agricultural catchment in a semi-arid area under land use transformation. Wetlands. 29:1104-1113 (20).

Moreno-Mateos D, Pedrocchi C, and Comín FA. 2009. How wetland features influence on the structure of recent bird communities in irrigated agricultural catchments: design and management implications. Biodiversity and Conservation. 18:811–828 (19)

Author's Notes

This paper is based on observational data collected during my PhD work. I looked at the effects of wetland size, water presence, shape, and landscape location on the diversity of bird communities on highly transformed, irrigated, agricultural wetlands. We found that wetlands with irregular shapes, regular presence of water, and or large sizes hosted the highest diversity. We then recommended to design wetlands with these elements when restoring or creating wetlands in agricultural watersheds. These wetlands could also be designed to achieve other goals, particularly improving water quality with specific retention times, and reducing soil salinity, by facilitating the accumulation of organic matter in the soil. These design recommendations where used in an EU LIFE project, used to create and restore dozens of wetlands in the region where the research was carried out.

Moreno-Mateos D, Pedrocchi C, and Comín FA. 2008. Creation of wetlands for the improvement of saline soils degraded by agricultural uses in semi-arid areas. Applied soil ecology. 40:57-66 (18).

Moreno-Mateos D, Mander Ü, Comín FA, Pedrocchi C, and Uuemaa E. 2008. Relationships between landscape patterns, wetland characteristics, and runoff water quality in agricultural catchments. Journal of Environmental Quality. 37:2170-2180 (17). 

Comín FA, Moreno D, and Pedrocchi C. 2008. Scenarios for the management of aquatic bird communities and wetland restoration after intensive agricultural land use and extensive land use cover changes in semi-arid territories. Verh. Internat. Verein. Limnol.. 30, Part 4:657-661 (16).

Pedrocchi C, Moreno-Mateos D, and Cervantes-Vallejos J. 2007. Comunidades nidificantes de aves en pastos supraforestales pirenaicosSu evolución a los largo del año. Pirineos. 162:109-124 (15).

Moreno D, Pedrocchi C, Comin FA, and Cabezas A. 2007. Creating wetlands for the improvement of water quality and landscape restoration in semi-arid zones degraded by intensive agricultural use. Ecological Engineering. 30:103-111 (14). Most downloaded article from the journal website (2007).

Comín FA, Menéndez M, Pedrocchi C, Moreno S, Sorando R, Cabezas A, García M, Rosas V, Moreno D, González E, Gallardo B, Herrera JA, and Ciancarelli C. 2005. Wetland Restoration: Integrating Scientific-Technical, Economic, and Social Perspectives. Ecological Restoration. 23:182-186 (13).