Updated Map of the Spanish Unique Scientific and Technical Infrastructures (ICTS)

The map of the Spanish Unique Scientific and Technical Infrastructures has been recently updated. They are currently 29 infrastructures. The Doñana Biological Reserve (ICTS-RBD) takes part of this map since its creation in 2007. This map is reviewed every four years, when all ICTS must present their results (scientific impact) and strategic plan (2021-2024).

The term Unique Scientific and Technical Infrastructures (ICTS) refers to facilities, resources or services necessary for the development of cutting-edge research of the highest quality, as well as for knowledge transmission, exchange and preservation, technology transfer and innovation promotion. They are unique or exceptional in their kind, with very high investment, maintenance and operating costs, and whose importance and strategic nature justifies their availability to the entire R&D&I community. ICTS have three fundamental characteristics: they are publicly owned infrastructures, they are unique and they are open to competitive access.

Poster of the Map of Unique Scientific and Technical Infrastructure (ICTS) (2022): https://www.ciencia.gob.es/InfoGeneralPortal/documento/7326ca42-ce63-42f5-a584-d2011babc3ec

Further info: https://www.ciencia.gob.es/Organismos-y-Centros/Infraestructuras-Cientificas-y-Tecnicas-Singulares-ICTS.html



The Iberian hare population increases in Doñana after the decline of the European rabbit

Iberian hare. Photo: Paco Carro

Competition, predation, and diseases are key factors shaping animal communities. In recent decades, lagomorphs in Europe have been impacted by virus-borne diseases that have caused substantial declines in their populations and, subsequently, in many of their predators. We examined activity and habitat-use patterns of sympatric European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and Iberian hares (Lepus granatensis) in Doñana National Park, during two periods of disease outbreak.

In the first period (1984–1985), fecal pellet counts and roadside counts indicated that lagomorph species were segregated, with rabbits occurring in scrublands and hares in marshlands.  Both species also occupied rush and fern belt ecotones. Roadside counts at sunrise, midday, sunset, and midnight revealed that rabbits and hares had the same activity patterns (crepuscular and nocturnal) in the zone of sympatry. During the second period (2005–2016), roadside counts showed that rabbits and hares were mainly nocturnal in scrublands and border marshlands. Hares occupied scrublands, a habitat previously occupied only by rabbits. These results are interpreted in the context of the competition theory and predation pressure. The disease-caused decline of rabbits has likely favored hares that moved into scrublands, a vegetation type previously occupied exclusively by rabbits.

The decline of rabbits in the Doñana National Park has also caused the almost disappearance of this area of the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus), a rabbit specialist, thus enabling generalist predators to increase. Generalist predators have subsequently increased predation pressure on both rabbits and hares, causing them to switch to nocturnal activity.

 This study has been recently published in the journal Land and can be found in the following link, https://www.mdpi.com/2073-445X/11/4/461 .