Departamental II – DII. 244
Area of Biodiversity and Conservation
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos
c/ Tulipán, s/n.
E-28933 Móstoles (Madrid)

Phone: +34 91 488 8159
Fax:      +34 91 664 7490
E-mail: ana.peralta at

Short CV

2010 – Degree in Environmental Sciences, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos

2011 – MsC in Characterization and Conservation of Biological Diversity, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos

2018 – PhD in Environmental Sciences, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos

Research lines

My PhD thesis is entitled «Processes determining the formation of the community of annual plants in gypsum steppes».

The main objective of the thesis project is to determine which biotic and abiotic factors are responsible for the assembly of annual plant communities in semi-arid systems. For this we will experimentally test the effects of water availability and its temporality in this species assemblage. Likewise, the effect of the biotic elements most commonly associated with these annual communities on gypsum soils is tested: the esparto grass (Macrochloa tenacissima) and the biological crust (or BSC, formed mostly by lichens). The effects of the BSC will be experimentally tested for the first time on the entire community of annual plants. All this is developed in several experiments that combine observational and above all experimental approaches that will allow us to discern changes in the diversity, composition and spatial distribution patterns of the annual species. The results are compared at different spatial scales and at different times (temporal monitoring). The attention is not only focused on the aboveground community but also on a less obvious compartment of the community: the seed bank. All this is approached from three complementary points of view: taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional.


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.

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.

López Peralta, A. M.; Sánchez, A.; 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.

Sánchez, A.; Luzuriaga, A. L.; López Peralta, A. M.; 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.