Dr. Maria Almagro

Postdoctoral researcher at BC3

I currently work as a post-doctoral researcher (JdC-Incorporation fellowship) at the Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3) and collaborate with the Soil and Water Conservation Group from CEBAS-CSIC, where I did my PhD. I investigate the impacts of changes in land use, land management, and climate on soil and water resources and related ecosystems services by combining field measurements, laboratory experiments and modelling. I am a member of a Focus Group of the European Innovation Partnership on “Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability” devoted to identify cost-effective management practices contributing to climate change mitigation in arable farming systems. I also participate in the European COST Actions CLIMANI (Climate Change Manipulation Experiments in Terrestrial Ecosystems) and SMIRES (Science and Management of Intermittent Rivers and Ephemeral Streams) developing mechanistic modelling frameworks on biogeochemical processes for both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.



PhD in Soil Science at the University of Murcia (Spain)

Degree in Environmental Sciences at the University of Granada (Spain)

Graduation Project at the University of Bayreuth (Germany)

Former positions

Post doctoral researcher at the Department of Soil and Water Conservation (CEBAS-Spanish Scientific Council) (2015-2017)

Post doctoral researcher at the Institute of Agronomy, Genetics and Field Crops, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart (Italy) (2014-2015)

Post doctoral researcher at the Department of Biogeography and Global Change, National Museum of Natural History, Spanish National Research Council (MNCN, CSIC) (2012-2014)

PhD researcher at the Department of Soil and Water Conservation (CEBAS-Spanish Scientific Council) (2005-2012)

Leonardo Da Vinci fellowship at the Department of Environmental and Land Management, University of Aveiro (Portugal) (2004-2005)

Research interests

  • quantifying the contribution of sustainable agricultural practices to climate change mitigation and adaptation, and to the delivery of multiple ecosystem services.
  • predicting the response of plant litter decomposition and soil carbon and nutrient storage to climate change, photodegradation, and soil management.
  • understanding the environmental drivers of soil respiration in natural and agricultural ecosystems at both temporal and spatial scales.
  • assessing the role of soil erosion in the carbon cycle from hillslopes to the catchment scale

Current projects

DIVERFARMING: Crop diversification and low-input farming across Europe: from practitioners’ engagement and ecosystem services to increased revenues and value chain organization (2017-2022).

DISECO: Sediment dynamics and stabilization of organic carbon: characterization and balance in Mediterranean basins. Implications for adaptation and mitigation of climate change (2015-2018).

EMISEMUR: Agricultural management strategies to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from ecological rainfed cropping systems (2015-2018)

Selected Publications

Sanz, M.J., de Vente, J., Chotte, J.-L., Bernoux, M., Kust, G., Ruiz, I., Almagro, M., Alloza, J.-A., Vallejo, R., Castillo, V., Hebel, A., Akhtar-Schuster., M., 2017. Sustainable Land Management contribution to successful land-based climate change adaptation and mitigation. A Report of the Science-Policy Interface. United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), Bonn, Germany

Almagro, M., Garcia-Franco, N., Martínez-Mena. The potential of reducing tillage frequency and incorporating plant residues as a strategy for climate change mitigation in semiarid Mediterranean agroecosystems. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 246: 210-220.

Almagro, M., de Vente, J., Boix-Fayos, C., García-Franco, N., Melgares de Aguilar, J., González, D., Solé-Benet, A., Martínez-Mena, M., 2016. Sustainable land management practices as providers of several ecosystem services under rainfed Mediterranean agroecosystems. Mitigation and adaptation strategies for global change, 21:1029–1043.

Almagro M., Martínez-López J., Maestre F.T., Rey A., 2017. The Contribution of Photodegradation to Litter Decomposition in Semiarid Mediterranean Grasslands Depends on its Interaction with Local Humidity Conditions, Litter Quality and Position. Ecosystems, 20 (3): 527-542.

Almagro, M., Maestre, F.T, Martínez-López J., Valencia, E., Rey A., 2015. Climate change may reduce litter decomposition while enhancing the contribution of photodegradation in dry perennial Mediterranean grasslands. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 90: 214-223.

Ferrarini, A., Serra, P., Almagro, M., Trevisan, M. and Amaducci, S., 2017. Multiple ecosystem services provision and biomass logistics management in bioenergy buffers: A state-of-the-art review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 73: 277-290.

Chimento, C., Almagro, M., Amaducci, S., 2016. Carbon sequestration potential in perennial bioenergy crops: the importance of organic matter inputs and its physical protection. Global Change Biology Bioenergy 8(1): 11-121.

Boix-Fayos, C., Nadeu, E., Quiñonero, J.M., Martínez-Mena, M., Almagro, M. and de Vente, J., 2015. Sediment flow paths and associated organic carbon dynamics across a Mediterranean catchment. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 19(3): 1209-1223.

Almagro, M., Martínez-Mena, M., 2014. Litter decomposition rates of green manure as affected by soil erosion, transport and deposition processes, and the implications for the soil carbon balance of a rainfed olive grove under a dry Mediterranean climate. Agriculture, ecosystems and environment, 196: 167-177

Almagro, M., López, J., Boix-Fayos, C., Albaladejo, J., Martínez-Mena, M., 2010. Belowground carbon allocation patterns in a dry Mediterranean ecosystem: a comparison of two models. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 42, 1549-1557.

Almagro, M., López, J., Querejeta, J.I., Martínez-Mena, M., 2009. Temperature dependence of soil CO2 efflux is strongly modulated by seasonal patterns of moisture availability in a Mediterranean ecosystem. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 41, 594-605

Maria Almagro field