F. Xavier Picó
F. Xavier Picó Estación Biológica de Doñana (EBD, CSIC)
Associate Professor of Research

E-mail: xpico[at]ebd.csic.es
Tel.: 34 95 446 6700 / 1469

Estación Biológica de Doñana (EBD-CSIC)
Avda. Américo Vespucio s/n
41092 Sevilla (Spain)

Web EBD: www.ebd.csic.es
Web CSIC: www.csic.es
Research interests
As a population biologist of plants, I am interested in understanding the processes that govern the performance and dynamics of plant populations and their patterns of variation across space and time. Such processes include ecological, such as the effects of environmental factors on demographic patterns or the genetic composition of populations, but also evolutionary aspects, such as the genetic basis of ecologically and evolutionarily important life-cycle traits. To this end, I develop a multidisciplinary approach in which ecology, genetics and evolution equally contribute from both conceptual and methodological viewpoints. My research usually integrates knowledge obtained from field studies and demographic surveys, greenhouse and common garden experiments, and molecular data including neutral markers but also nucleotide variation in genes. In my opinion, individuals grouped into populations represent the main unit at which evolutionary change and its underlying mechanisms can be studied properly. This can only be achieved by using a wide array of complementary empirical tools that systematically put hypotheses to the test.
• Manzano-Piedras E, Marcer A, Alonso-Blanco C, Picó FX. (2014) Deciphering the adjustment between environment and life history in annual plants: lessons from a geographically-explicit approach in Arabidopsis thalianaPLoS ONE 9:e87836 (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0087836).  PDF
• Brennan AC, Méndez-Vigo B, Haddioui A, Martínez-Zapater JM, Picó FX, Alonso-Blanco C. (2014) The genetic structure of Arabidopsis thaliana in the south-western Mediterranean range reveals a shared history between North Africa and southern Europe. BMC Plant Biology 14:17 (doi:10.1186/1471-2229-14-17).  PDF
• Agudo A, Picó FX, Álvarez I. (2013) Microsatellite primers in the weedy annual herb, Anacyclus clavatus (Asteraceae), and four closely related species. Applications in Plant Sciences 1:300043 (doi:10.3732/ apps.1300043).
• Méndez-Vigo B, Gomaa NH, Alonso-Blanco C, Picó FX. (2013) Among- and within-population variation in flowering time of Iberian Arabidopsis thaliana estimated in field and glasshouse conditions. New Phytologist 197:1332-1343 (doi: 10.1111/nph.12082).
• Montesinos-Navarro A, Picó FX, Tonsor SJ. (2012) Clinal variation in seed traits influencing life cycle timing in Arabidopsis thalianaEvolution 66:3417-3431 (doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2012.01689.x).
• Sánchez-Bermejo E, Méndez-Vigo B, Picó FX, Martínez-Zapater JM, Alonso-Blanco C. (2012) Novel natural alleles at FLC and LVR loci account for enhanced vernalization responses in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant, Cell & Environment 35:1672-1684 (doi:10.1111/j.1365-3040.2012.02518.x).
• Picó FX. (2012) Demographic fate of Arabidopsis thaliana cohorts of autumn- and spring-germinated plants along an altitudinal gradient. Journal of Ecology 100:1009-1018 (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2745.2012.01979.x).
• Kronholm I, Picó FX, Alonso-Blanco C, Goudet J, de Meaux J.(2012) Genetic basis of adaptation in Arabidopsis thaliana: local adaptation at the seed dormancy QTL DOG1. Evolution 66:2287-2302 (doi:10.1111/j.1558-5646.2012.01590.x).
• Cruz F, Brennan AC, González-Voyer A, Muñoz-Fuentes V, Muthukrishnan E, Roques S, Picó FX. (2012) Genetics and genomics in wildlife studies: implications for ecology, evolution and conservation biology. BioEssays 34:245-246 (DOI:10.1002/bies.201100171).
• Méndez-Vigo B, Picó FX, Ramiro M, Martínez-Zapater JM, Alonso-Blanco C. (2011) Altitudinal and climatic adaptation is mediated by flowering traits and FRI, FLC and PHYC genes in Arabidopsis thalianaPlant Physiology 157:1942-1955 (doi/10.1104/pp.111.183426).
• Gomaa NH, Montesinos-Navarro A, Alonso-Blanco C, Picó FX. (2011) Temporal variation in genetic diversity and effective population size of Mediterranean and subalpine Arabidopsis thaliana populations. Molecular Ecology 20:3540-3554 (doi:10.1111/j.1365-294X.2011.05193.x).
• Muñoz-Pajares AJ, Herrador MB, Abdelaziz M, Picó FX, Sharbel TF, Gómez JM, Perfectti F. (2011) Characterization of microsatellite loci in Erysimum mediohispanicum (Brassicaceae) and cross-amplification in related species. American Journal of Botany e287-e289 (doi:10.3732/ajb.1100181).
• Gomaa NH, Picó FX. (2011) Seed germination, seedling traits, and seed bank of the tree Moringa peregrina (Moringaceae) in a hyper-arid environment. American Journal of Botany 98:1024-1030 (doi:10.3732/ajb.1000051).
• Montesinos-Navarro A, Wig J, Picó FX, Tonsor SJ. (2011) Arabidopsis thaliana populations show clinal variation in a climatic gradient associated with altitude. New Phytologist 189:282-294 (doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2010.03479.x).
• Simón VI, Picó FX, Arroyo J. (2010) New microsatellite loci for Narcissus papyraceus (Amarillydaceae) and cross-amplification in other congeneric species. American Journal of Botany e10-e13 (doi:10.3732/ajb.1000023).
• Pfeifer M, Schatz B, Picó FX, Passalacqua NG, Fay MF, Carey PD, Jeltsch F. (2009) Phylogeography and genetic structure of the orchid Himantoglossum hircinum (L.) Spreng. across its European central-marginal gradient. Journal of Biogeography 36:2353-2365 (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2699.2009.02168.x).
• Montesinos A, Tonsor SJ, Alonso-Blanco C, Picó FX. (2009) Demographic and genetic patterns of variation among populations of Arabidopsis thaliana from contrasting native environments. PLoS ONE 4:e7213 (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0007213).  PDF
• Picó FX, Quintana-Ascencio PF, Mildén M, Ehrlén J, Pfingsten I. (2009) Modelling the effects of genetics and habitat on the demography of a grassland herb. Basic and Applied Ecology 10:122-130 (doi:10.1016/j.baae.2008.02.006).
• Picó FX, Méndez-Vigo B, Martínez-Zapater JM, Alonso-Blanco C. (2008) Natural genetic variation of Arabidopsis thaliana is geographically structured in the Iberian Peninsula. Genetics 180:1009-1021 (DOI:10.1534/genetics.108.089581).
• García MB, Picó FX, Ehrlén J. (2008) Life span correlates with population dynamics in perennial herbaceous plants. American Journal of Botany 95:258-262 (doi:10.3732/ajb.95.2.258).
• Picó FX, Retana J. (2008) Age-specific, density-dependent and environmental-based mortality of a short-lived perennial herb. Plant Biology 10:374-381 (doi:10.1111/j.1438-8677.2008.00044.x).
• Picó FX, van Groenendael JM. (2007) Large-scale plant conservation in European semi-natural grasslands: a population genetic perspective. Diversity and Distributions 13:920-629 (DOI:10.1111/j.1472-4642.2007.00349.x).
• Picó FX, Mix C, Ouborg NJ, van Groenendael JM. (2007) Multigenerational inbreeding in Succisa pratensis: effects on fitness components. Biologia Plantarum 51:185-188 (DOI:10.1007/s10535-007-0037-5).
• Rydgren K, Okland RH, Picó FX, de Kroon H. (2007) Moss species benefits from breakdown of cyclic rodent dynamics in boreal forests. Ecology 88:2320-2329 (doi.org/10.1890/06-1634.1).
• Pino J, Picó FX, de Roa E. (2007) Population dynamics of the rare plant Kosteletzkya pentacarpos (Malvaceae): a nine-year study. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 153:455-462 (DOI:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2007.00628.x).
• Dunn JL, Dierkes L, Picó FX, Kalisz S. (2006) Identification of microsatellite loci in Collinsia verna (Veronicaceae). Molecular Ecology Notes 6:1212-1215 (doi:10.1111/j.1471-8286.2006.01494.x).
• Mix C, Picó FX, Ouborg NJ, van Groenendael JM. (2006) Inbreeding and soil conditions affect seed dispersal and components of plant performance of two plant species in fragmented landscapes. Basic and Applied Ecology 7:59-69 (doi:10.1016/j.baae.2005.04.007).
• Sampaio MC, Picó FX, Scarano FR. (2005) Ramet demography of a nurse bromeliad in Brazilian Restingas. American Journal of Botany 2:674-681 (doi:10.3732/ajb.92.4.674).
• Picó FX, Ouborg NJ, van Groenendael JM. (2004) Evaluation of the extent of among-family variation in inbreeding depression in the perennial herb Scabiosa columbaria (Dipsacaceae). American Journal of Botany 91:1183-1189 (doi:10.3732/ajb.91.8.1183).
• Picó FX, Ouborg NJ, van Groenendael JM. (2004) Influence of selfing and maternal effects on life-cycle traits and dispersal ability in the herb Hypochaeris radicata (Asteraceae). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 146:163-170 (DOI:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2004.00330.x).
• Rodrigo A, Retana J, Picó FX. (2004) Direct regeneration is not the only response of Mediterranean forests to intense fires. Ecology 85:716-729 (doi.org/10.1890/02-0492).
• Retana J, Picó FX, Rodrigo A. (2004) Dual role of harvesting ants as seed predators and dispersers of a Mediterranean perennial herb. Oikos 105:377-385 (DOI:10.1111/j.0030-1299.2004.12854.x).
• Picó FX, Ouborg NJ, van Groenendael JM. (2003) Fitness traits and dispersal ability in the herb Tragopogon pratensis (Asteraceae): decoupling the role of inbreeding depression and maternal effects. Plant Biology 5:522-530 (DOI:10.1055/s-2003-44788).
• Picó FX, Koubec T. (2003) Inbreeding effects on fitness traits in the heterocarpic herb Leontodon autumnalis L. (Asteraceae). Acta Oecologica 24:289-294 (doi:10.1016/j.actao.2003.09.005).
• Picó FX, Quintana-Ascencio PF, Menges ES, López-Barrera F. (2003) Recruitment rates exhibit high elasticity and high temporal variation in populations of a short-lived perennial herb. Oikos 103:69-74 (DOI:10.1034/j.1600-0706.2003.12553.x).
• Picó FX, Retana J. (2003) Seed ecology of a Mediterranean perennial herb with an exceptionally extended flowering and fruiting season. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 142: 273-280 (DOI:10.1046/j.1095-8339.2003.00172.x).
• Picó FX, Möller M, Ouborg NJ, Cronk QCB. (2002) Single nucleotide polymorphisms in the coding region of the developmental gene Gcyc in natural populations of the relict Ramonda myconi (Gesneriaceae). Plant Biology 4:625-629 (DOI:10.1055/s-2002-35430).
• Riba M, Picó FX, Mayol M. (2002) The contribution of regional climate and small-scale habitat quality on plant performance in the relict species Ramonda myconi. Journal of Vegetation Science 13:259-268 (DOI:10.1111/j.1654-1103.2002.tb02046.x).
• Picó FX, de Kroon H, Retana J. (2002) An extended flowering and fruiting season has few demographic effects for a Mediterranean perennial herb. Ecology 83:1991-2004 (doi.org/10.1890/0012-9658).
• Picó FX, Riba M. (2002) Regional scale demography of Ramonda myconi: remnant population dynamics in a preglacial relict species. Plant Ecology 61:1-13 (DOI:10.1023/A:1020310609348).
• Gracia M, Retana J, Picó FX. (2001) Spatiotemporal variation in seedling dynamics of managed holm oak (Quercus ilex L.) forests. Annals of Forest Science 8:843-852 (DOI:10.1051/forest:2001167).
• Picó FX, Retana J. (2001) The flowering pattern of the perennial herb Lobularia maritima: an unusual case in the Mediterranean basin. Acta Oecologica 2:209-217 (doi:10.1016/S1146-609X(01)01114-6).
• Picó FX, Retana J. (2000) Temporal variation in the female fitness components of reproductive success over the extended flowering season of a Mediterranean perennial herb. Oikos 89:485-492. (DOI:10.1034/j.1600-0706.2000.890307.x).