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Biodiversity and Islands - BIOISLE

Biodiversity and Islands - BIOISLE

BIOISLE is based at the universities of the Azores and Madeira, includes 35 researchers: 18 PhDs (10 professors, 1 principal researcher and 7 post-doc fellows), 11PhD students, and 7MSc students. Since its establishment in 2006, the group aims to develop high level research in biodiversity, using island systems as models. Its areas of activity span from coastal biotopes to natural and exotic forests, also including freshwater and marine ecology, neo- and palaeo- biogeography, palaeoecology and palaeontology.

Although the group is largely focused on studies devoted to Macaronesia, the research questions addressed have progressively widen in scope and risen in integration level. Examples are the research methodologies developed for holistic studies dedicated to rare plants in islands, the development of community and species distribution models, the research dedicated to invasive alien species, global models devoted to island formation and biogeographic patterns in the marine realm, and the implementation of palaeoecological methodologies that provide new data relating vegetation change, anthropogenic activities, and climate change.

Besides a steady increase in publication quality in recent years, it should be noted that several research areas consolidated their research teams and activities, namely in the areas of palaeontology, with very detailed studies addressing the origin and fossil deposits of Santa Maria Island and global studies devoted to marine biogeography. Research on aquatic systems was consolidated in the areas of palaeolimnology, limnology and litter decomposition.The group has also developed research in areas linking biodiversity with relevant socio-economic activities such as tourism, pastureland and forest use, and conservation and land management issues, in connection with the RIS3 strategies. Finally, a considerable effort was dedicated to outreach activities, namely the publication of books and the production of TV programs for a broad audience.

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