The main goal of this line is to carry out multidisciplinary, synthetic ecological research with a strong collaborative basis. Ecology is a fundamentally transdisciplinar area, including experimental, theoretical, and observational approaches that are rarely brought into a single research agenda. The main focus of this approach is on the understanding of the mechanisms that influence the organization of biodiversity and its disassembly following anthropogenic disturbances. Our specific aims include the study of ecological and evolutionary processes through the bringing together of various disciplines, combining field work, mathematical models, genetic analysis, and the statistical analysis of extensive databases. Our work focuses on understanding the effects of complex networks of interaction, such as food webs or plant-animal mutualistic networks (plant-pollinator, plant-frugivore interactions). We use a solid base of field work to study these systems, together with theoretical models which examine very general structural patterns and analyse the consequences for their stability. Central in this research line is also the study of dispersal patterns and gene flow in fragmented landscapes, with the aim of understanding how plant/animal interactions limit the connectedness among populations that are isolated as a result of fragmentation processes. This bridges population genetics with the outcome of plant-animal interactions to understand how networks of local populations are integrated in complex landscapes. Research in Mediterranean
and neotropical ecosystems is carried out by taking advantage of an extensive network of international collaboration.