Departamental II – DII. 216
Area of Biodiversity and Conservation
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos
c/ Tulipán, s/n.
E-28933 Móstoles (Madrid)

Phone: +34 91 488 8101
Fax:      +34 91 664 7490
E-mail: ana.sanchez at

Short CV

1995 – Degree in Biological Sciences (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
2001 – PhD in Biological Sciences (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)

Current position

Associate professor (senior lecturer).

I teach Plant Composition in the degree in Landscape, Restoration of the Natural Environment in the degree in Environmental Sciences and Plant-Animal Interactions at the master level.

I am coordinator of Títulos Propios of the URJC

Research interests

Population ecology in gypsophytic bushes

– Reproductive biology of plants with prolongated flowering periods.
– Population dynamics: experimental study of seed and microsite availability for establishment.
– Local adaptation and phenotypic plasticity in natural gradients of environmental stress.
– Plant-pollinator interactions in fragmented landscapes.

Ecología de poblaciones de matorrales gipsófitos

Community ecology of annual plants in gypsum soils of Central Spain.

I study different processes determining the community assembly, combining direct observation with manipulative experiments in the field and greenhouse/growth chamber. Starting with a taxonomical approach, I am now integrating functional data and community phylogenetic structure.
– Environmental control of germination and seed bank.
– Michorhabitat influence: interaction with perennial vegetation and lichenic crust.
– Rainfall regime and interannual variability in the community.
– Effects of fragmentation on biodiversity.


Sánchez, A. M.; Peralta, A. M. L.; Luzuriaga, A. L.; Prieto, M.; Escudero, A. (2022). Climate change and biocrust disturbance synergistically decreased taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity in annual communities on gypsiferous soils. Oikos 2022: e08809.

Azcárate, F. M.; Alameda-Martín, A.; Escudero, A.; Sánchez, A. M. (2021). Ant communities resist even in small and isolated gypsum habitat remnants in a Mediterranean agroecosystem. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 9: 33.

García-Cervigón, A. I.; Quintana-Ascencio, P. F.; Escudero, A.; Ferrer-Cervantes, M. E.; Sánchez, A. M.; Iriondo, J. M.; Olano, J. M. (2021). Demographic effects of interacting species: exploring stable coexistence underincreased climate variability in a semiarid shrub community. Scientific Reports 11: 3099.

Illuminati, A.; López-Angulo, J.; de la Cruz, M.; Chacón-Labella, J.; Pescador, D. S.; Pías, B.; Sánchez, A. M.; Escudero, A.; Matesanz, S. (2021). Larger aboveground neighbourhood scales maximise similarity but do not eliminate discrepancies with belowground plant diversity in a Mediterranean shrubland. Plant and Soil 460: 497-509.

López-Angulo, J.; de la Cruz, M.; Pescador, D. S.; Sánchez, A. M.; Escudero, A. (2021). A dimmer shade of pale: revealing the faint signature of local assembly processes on the structure of strongly filtered plant communities. Ecography 44: 87-97.

Moncalvillo, B.; Matesanz, S.; Escudero, A.; Sánchez, A. M. (2021). Habitat fragmentation and population features differently affect fruit predation, fecundity and offspring performance in a non-specialist gypsum plant. Plant Biology 23: 184-192.

López-Angulo, J.; Pescador, D. S.; Sánchez, A. M.; Luzuriaga, A. L.; Cavieres, L. A.; Escudero, A. (2020). Impacts of climate, soil and biotic interactions on the interplay of the different facets of alpine plant diversity. Science of The Total Environment 698: 133960.

López-Angulo, J.; De la Cruz, M.; Chacon-Labella, J.; Illuminati, A.; Matesanz, S.; Pescador, D. S.; Pías, B.; Sánchez, A. M.; Escudero, A. (2020). The role of root community attributes in predicting soil fungal and bacterial community patterns. New Phytologist 228: 1070-1082.

Alarcón Víllora, R.; Hernández Plaza, E.; Navarrete, L.; Sánchez, M. J.; Sánchez, A. M. (2019). Climate and tillage system drive weed communities’ functional diversity in a Mediterranean cereal-legume rotation. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 283: 106574.

López-Angulo, J.; Pescador, D. S.; Sánchez, A. M.; Luzuriaga, A. L.; Cavieres, L. A.; Escudero, A. (2019). Alpine vegetation dataset from three contrasting mountain ranges differing in climate and evolutionary history.  Data in Brief 27: 104816.

Matesanz, S.; Pescador, D. S.; Pías, B.; Sánchez, A. M.; Chacón‐Labella, J.; Illuminati, A.; de la Cruz, M.; López‐Angulo, J.; Marí‐Mena, N.; Vizcaíno, A.; Escudero, A. (2019). Estimating belowground plant abundance with DNA metabarcoding. Molecular Ecology Resources 19: 1265-1277.

Peralta, A. M. L.; Sánchez, A. M.; Luzuriaga, A. L.; de Bello, F.; Escudero, A. (2019). Evidence of functional species sorting by rainfall and biotic interactions: a community monolith experimental approach. Journal of Ecology 107: 2772-2788.

Alarcón, R.; Hernández, E.; Navarrete, L.; Sánchez, M. J.; Escudero, A.; Hernanz, J. L.; Sánchez-Giron, V.; Sánchez, A. M. (2018). Effects of no-tillage and non-inversion tillage on weed community diversity and crop yield over nine years in a Mediterranean cereal-legume cropland. Soil and Tillage Research 179: 54-62. PDF

Dengler, J.; … Sánchez, A. M.; … Biurrun, I. [180 authors] (2018). GrassPlot – a database of multi-scale plant diversity in Palaearctic grasslands. Phytocoenologia 48: 331-347.

López-Angulo, J.; Pescador, D. S.; Sánchez, A. M.; Mihoč, M. A. K.; Cavieres, L. A.; Escudero, A. (2018). Determinants of high mountain plant diversity in the Chilean Andes: From regional to local spatial scales. PLoS ONE 13: e0200216.

Luzuriaga, A. L.; Sánchez, A. M.; López-Angulo, J.; Escudero, A. (2018). Habitat fragmentation determines diversity of annual plant communities at landscape and fine spatial scales. Basic and Applied Ecology 29: 12-19. PDF

Pescador, D. S.; Sánchez, A. M.; Luzuriaga, A. L.; Sierra-Almeida, A.; Escudero, A. (2018). Winter is coming: plant freezing resistance as a key functional trait for the assembly of annual Mediterranean communities. Annals of Botany 121: 335-344. PDF

Santamaría, S.; Sánchez, A. M.; López-Angulo, J.; Ornosa, C.; Mola, I.; Escudero, A. (2018). Landscape effects on pollination networks in Mediterranean gypsum islands. Plant Biology 20 (suppl.): 184-194. PDF

Sánchez, A. M.; Alonso-Valiente, P.; Albert, M. J.; Escudero, A. (2017). How might edaphic specialists in gypsum islands respond to climate change? Reciprocal sowing experiment to infer local adaptation and phenotypic plasticity. Annals of Botany 120: 135-146. PDF

Sánchez, A. M.; Rodríguez, M.; Albert, M. J.; Escudero, A. (2017). Effects of season and population size on pollination and reproductive output in a Mediterranean shrub. Plant Biology 19: 428–437.

Tye, M. R.; Ferrer-Cervantes, M. E.; Sánchez, A. M.; García-Cervigón, A. I.; Escudero, A.; Albert, M. J.; Olano, J. M.; Iriondo, J. M.; Quintana-Ascencio, P. F. (2017). Assessing seed and microsite limitation on population dynamics of a gypsophyte through experimental soil crust disturbance and seed addition. Plant Ecology 218: 595-607. PDF

López-Peralta, A.; Sánchez, A. M.; Luzuriaga, A. L.; Escudero, A. (2016). Factors driving species assemblage in Mediterranean soil seed banks: from the large to the fine scale. Annals of Botany 117: 1221-1228.

Mihoč, M. A. K.; Giménez-Benavides, L.; Pescador, D. S.; Sánchez, A. M.; Cavieres, L. A.; Escudero, A. (2016). Soil under nurse plants is always better than outside: a survey on soil amelioration by a complete guild of nurse plants across a long environmental gradient. Plant and Soil 408: 31-41. PDF

Sánchez, A. M.; Luzuriaga, A. L.; Peralta, A. L.; Escudero, A. (2014). Environmental control of germination in semi-arid Mediterranean systems: the case of annuals on gypsum soils. Seed Science Research 24: 247-256. PDF

Sánchez, A. M.; Albert, M. J.; Rodríguez, M.; Escudero, A. (2012). Extended flowering in a Mediterranean shrub: seasonal variability in seed quality and quantity. Flora 207: 821-827. PDF

Luzuriaga, A. L.; Sánchez, A. M.; Maestre, F. T.; Escudero, A. (2012). Assemblage of a semi-arid annual plant community: Abiotic and biotic filters act hierarchically. PLoS ONE 7: e41270.

Maestre, F. T.; Bowker, M. A.; Puche, M. D.; Hinojosa, M. B.; Martínez, I.; García-Palacios, P.; Castillo, A. P.; Soliveres, S.; Luzuriaga, A. L.; Sánchez, A. M.; Carreira, J. A.; Gallardo, A.; Escudero, A. (2009). Shrub encroachement can reverse desertification in semi-arid Mediterranean grasslands. Ecology Letters 12: 930-941. PDF

Sánchez, A. M.; Albert, M. J.; Escudero, A. (2008). Female reproductive output in a Mediterranean shrub: effects from inflorescence to population. Plant Biology 10: 675-683. PDF

Sánchez, A. M.; Peco, B. (2007). Lack of recruitment in Lavandula stoechas subsp. pedunculata: a case of safe-site limitation. Plant Ecology 31: 32-39.  PDF

Peco, B.; Sánchez, A. M.; Azcárate, F. M. (2006). Abandonment in grazing systems: consequences for vegetation and soil. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 113: 284-294. PDF

Sánchez, A. M.; Azcárate, F. M.; Peco, B. (2006). Effects of harvester ants on seed availability and dispersal of Lavandula stoechas subsp. pedunculata in a Mediterranean grassland-scrubland mosaic. Plant Ecology 185: 49-56.  PDF

Azcárate, F. M.; Arqueros, L.; Sánchez, A. M.; Peco, B. (2005). Seed and fruit selection by harvester ants Messor barbarus (L.) in Mediterranean grassland and scrubland. Functional Ecology 19: 273-283. PDF

Suárez, F.; Sánchez, A. M.; Herranz, J.; Traba, J.; Yanes, M. (2005). Parental body mass changes during the nesting stage in semi-arid lark species. Journal of Arid Environments 62: 45-54. PDF

Sánchez, A.; Herranz, J.; Martínez, J. G.; Suárez, F. (2004). Extra-pair paternity in Short-toed and Lesser Short-toed larks (Calandrella brachydactyla and C. rufescens). Bird Study 51: 278-279. PDF

Sánchez, A. M.; Peco, B. (2004). Interference between perennial grassland and Lavandula stoechas subsp. pedunculata: a case of spatial segregation cause by competition. Acta Oecologica 26: 39-44. PDF

Peco, B.; Traba, J.; Levassor, C.; Sánchez, A. M.; Azcárate, F. M. (2003). Seed size, shape and persistence in dry Mediterranean grass and scrubland. Seed Science Research 13: 87-95. PDF

Sánchez, A. M.; Peco, B. (2002). Dispersal mechanisms in Lavandula stoechas subsp. pedunculata (Miller) Samp. ex Rozeira (Labiatae): Autocory and endozoochory by sheep. Seed Science Research 12: 101-111.

Azcárate, F. M.; Sánchez, A. M.; Arqueros, L.; Peco, B. (2002). Abundance and habitat segregation in Mediterranean grassland species: the importance of seed weight. Journal of Vegetation Science 13: 159-166. PDF

Alameda-Martín, A.; Sánchez, A. M.; Azcárate, F. M. (2020). Estudio mirmecológico (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) de los afloramientos yesíferos de Belinchón (Cuenca, España). Boletín de la Sociedad Entomológica Aragonesa 66: 151-156.

Alarcón-Villora, R.; Sánchez Álvarez, A. M.; Hernández-Plaza, E. (2019). Manejo y diversidad de las comunidades arvenses en las estepas cerealistas: propuestas para una gestión sostenible. Ecosistemas 28 (3): 36-45.

Alarcón, R.; Sánchez, A.M.; García, A.; Hernández, E. (2019). Gestión de comunidades arvenses desde una perspectiva agroecológica. Agricultura: 64-68.

Matesanz, S.; Ramos-Muñoz, M.; Blanco-Sánchez, M.; García-Fernández, A.; Sánchez, A. M.; Escudero, A. (2019). Migración, variabilidad genética y plasticidad fenotípica en especies de plantas de yesos y su papel en la respuesta al cambio climático. Ecosistemas 28: 48-59.

Alarcón, R.; Navarrete, L.; Sánchez, M. J.;Hernanz, J. L.; Sánchez-Girón, V.; Hernández, E.; Sánchez, A. M. (2015). Efecto del sistema de laboreo sobre la diversidad funcional de comunidades arvenses: ¿Merece la pena hacer mediciones locales de rasgos funcionales? Actas XV Congreso de la Sociedad Española de Malherbología: 259-265.

Suárez, F.; Herranz, J.; Yanes, M.; Sánchez, A. M.; García, J. T.; Manrique, J. (2005). Seasonal and interannual variability in laying date, clutch size, egg volume and hatching asynchrony of ofur lark species in Mediterranean Spain. Ardeola 52: 103-117. PDF

Sánchez, A. M.; Peco, B. (2003). Efecto del pastoreo y la perturbación mecánica del suelo sobre la supervivencia de las plántulas de Lavandula stoechas subsp. pedunculata. Actas XLIII Reunión Científica de la S.E.E.P. Granada. España.

Peco, B.; Sánchez, A. M. (2003). Effect of grazing abandonment on vegetation and soil proprieties in dehesa grassland microhabitats. Tipo de participación: comunicación oral. Congreso: International Symposium on Sustainability of dehesas, montados and other agrosilvopastoral systems. Cáceres. España.

Sánchez, A. M.; Azcárate, F.; Arqueros, L.; Peco, B. (2002). Volumen y dimensiones como predictores del peso de semilla de especies herbáceas del Centro de la Península Ibérica. Anales del Jardín Botánico de Madrid 59: 249-262.

San Martín, J.; Sánchez, A. M. (2000). Las comunidades relictas de Gomortega keule (Gomortegaceae, Magnoliopsida) en Chile Central. Anales del Jardín Botánico de Madrid. 57: 317-326.