Luis M. Carrascal
Luis M. Carrascal is a research professor at the Department of Biogeography and Global Change, MNCN-CSIC (Spain). His current research interests are focused on the causal explanations of elevational patterns in species distribution, and the interspecific variation in position and breadth of organisms within thermal gradients. We are interested in obtaining “good quality” data on species abundance and richness, species-habitat relationships, and across-species variation in population trends in a scenario of climate warming and landscape changes. We will focus on abiotic and physiologically based functional explanations to the relationship with the environment, and on the importance of species interactions in leading to spatial segregation of species into distinct ranges. Another important goal is the study of intra- and inter-population plasticity in the thermal response, and their capacity to acclimate when they are subjected to contrasting thermal conditions that are present within their ranges of distribution. Our observational and experimental scenario is located in a wide geographic region of Northern and Central Spain, as well as along two broad altitudinal gradients in the Canary islands. We use montane and alpine birds and beetles as study models. This research project, by linking spatial mechanisms and temporal patterns of range shifts, should increase our knowledge on the responses of ecological communities to climate change and human impact.