Dr. Iván Prieto Aguilar

Ivan Prieto

Postdoctoral Fellow (Juan de la Cierva Fellowship, 2014)

Background and former positions

  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive (CEFE-CNRS) and Institute Nationale de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA) (2011-2014)
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Estación Experimental de Zonas Áridas (EEZA-CSIC) (2010-2011)
  • PhD in Biological Siences, University of Almería (2010)

Research interests

I am a plant ecologist interested in the ecology and ecophysiology of semiarid plant communities; the ecology of plant interactions; trait-based ecology applied to the belowground plant portion (roots) and stable isotope ecology. 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. Recently, I have gained interest in the study of functional traits to gain knowledge on the above- and belowground portion of plant communities and how these interact with soil processes (e.g. through decomposition of plant tissues). My recent research focuses on asessing the physiological and ecological responses of semiarid plant communities to global change and their effects on decomposition and soil processes.


Butterfield B.J., Bradford J.B., Armas C., Prieto I., Pugnaire F.I., 2016. Does the stress-gradient hypothesis hold water? Disentangling spatial and temporal variation in plant effects on soil moisture in dryland systems. Functional Ecology, 30: 10-19.

Defrenet, E., O. Roupsard, K. Van den Meersche, F. Charbonnier, J. Pastor Pérez-Molina, E. Khac, I. Prieto, et al. 2016. Root biomass, turnover and net primary productivity of a coffee agroforestry system in Costa Rica: effects of soil depth, shade trees, distance to row and coffee age. Annals of Botany 118: 833–851

García-Palacios P., Prieto I., Ourcival J.M., Hättenschwiler S., 2016. Disentangling the Litter Quality and Soil Microbial Contribution to Leaf and Fine Root Litter Decomposition Responses to Reduced Rainfall. Ecosystems 19(3): 490-503.

Germon A., Cardinael R., Prieto I., Mao Z., Kim J., Stokes A., Dupraz C., Laclau J.P., Jourdan C., 2016. Unexpected phenology and lifespan of shallow and deep fine roots of walnut trees grown in a silvoarable Mediterranean agroforestry system. Plant and Soil 401(1): 409-426.

Macek, P., I. Prieto, J. Macková, N. Pistón, and F.I. Pugnaire. 2016. Functional Plant Types Drive Plant Interactions in a Mediterranean Mountain Range. Frontiers in Plant Science 7: 1–11

Pistón N., Schöbb C., Armas C., Prieto I. and Pugnaire F.I., 2016. Contribution of co-occurring shrub species to community richness and phylogenetic diversity along an environmental gradient. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 19: 30–39

Prieto I., Stokes A., Roumet C., 2016. Root functional parameters predict fine root decomposability at the community level. Journal of Ecology 104: 725-733.

Prieto I., Roldán A., Huygens D., Alguacil M.M., Navarro-Cano J.A., Querejeta J.I., 2016. Species-specific roles of ectomycorrhizal fungi in facilitating interplant transfer of hydraulically redistributed water between Pinus halepensis saplings and seedlings. Plant and Soil 406(1): 15–27.

Prieto I, Violle C, Barre P, Durand JL, Ghesquière M. (2015) Complementary effects of species and genetic diversity on productivity and stability of sown grasslands. Nature Plants. 1, Article number:15033; See commentary by Dr. Forest Isbell. Featured in: CNRS-INEE web page and Science et Avenir.

Cardinael R, Mao Z, Prieto I, Stokes A, Dupraz C, Kim JH, Jourdan C. (2015) Competition with winter crops induces deeper rooting of walnut trees in a Mediterranean alley cropping agroforestry system. Plant and Soil. 391(1-2):219-235

Prieto I, Roumet C, Cardinael R, Kim J, Maeght JL, Mao Z, Portillo N, Thammahacksa C, Dupraz, C, Jourdan C, Pierret A, Roupsard O, Stokes A (2015) Root community traits along a land use gradient: evidence of a community-level economics spectrum. Journal of Ecology. 103(2):361-373

Prieto I, Pugnaire FI, Ryel RJ. (2014) Water uptake and redistribution during drought in a semi-arid shrub species. Functional Plant Biology 41(8):812-819

Schöb C, Prieto I, Armas C, Pugnaire FI (2014) Consequences of facilitation: one plant’s benefit is another plant’s cost. Functional Ecology 28:500-508

Prieto I, Ryel RJ (2014) Hydraulic redistribution helps maintain hydraulic conductivity during drought. Tree Physiology 34:39-48

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 Ecology 101(3):753:762

Prieto I, Armas C, Pugnaire FI. (2012) Hydraulic lift promotes selective root foraging in nutrient-rich soil patches. Functional Plant Biology 39(9): 804:812

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 (Tansley review) 193:830-840

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

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

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

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
Ivan Prieto