Isabel Donoso 

Isabel Donoso Sampling

Isabel Donoso Fruit

Isabel Donoso Seedlings




Dr. Isabel Donoso

Member of Senior Scientist Group 'Functional Ecology and Global Change'

Research Interests

I am a nature enthusiast and community ecologist interested in the effect of plant-animal interactions on ecosystem functioning under anthropogenic impacts. In particular, I study the consequences of defaunation and climate change on seed dispersal from a community-wide perspective. I combine trait-based studies of interaction networks with simulation models of avian seed dispersers to understand how seed dispersal is affected by anthropogenic impacts at community level. I work on this project in association with the research groups of Matthias Schleuning and Thomas Müller.

Previously, during my PhD in the research group of Daniel García (University of Oviedo), I have worked on unravelling the spatial and temporal patterns of interactions between fleshy-fruited trees and frugivorous birds in a temperate and highly fragmented forest of north Iberian Peninsula. I also examined the mechanisms driving species interactions and the mechanisms underpinning the consequences of animal loss in plant-frugivore networks for forest regeneration. Thus, my line of research aims at improving predictions of how communities respond to global change and it seeks to provide insight into how biodiversity loss impacts on ecosystem functioning.

plant-animal interactions, ecological networks, seed dispersal, plant demography, functional diversity, global change.

Short CV

External Links

List of publications on Google Scholar
Profile at ResearchGate


Donoso, I., García, D., Martínez, D., Tylianakis, J.M and Stouffer, D.B. Complementary effects of species abundances and ecological neighborhood on the occurrence of fruit-frugivore interactions (2017). Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. Special issue “Timely insights on fruit-frugivore interactions”. doi: 10.3389/fevo.2017.00133.

Donoso, I., Schleuning, M., García, D. and Fründ, J. (2017). Defaunation effects on plant recruitment depend on size matching and size trade-offs in seed dispersal networks. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 284:20162664

Donoso, I., García, D., Rodríguez-Pérez, J. and Martínez, D. (2016). Incorporating seed fate into plant-frugivore networks increases interaction diversity across plant regeneration stages. Oikos. 125:1762-1771

Donoso, I., Stefanescu, C., Martínez-Abraín, A. and Traveset, A. (2016). Phenological asynchrony in plant–butterfly interactions associated with climate: a community-wide perspective. Oikos. 125:1434-1444

Press coverage

Why losing big animals causes big problems in tropical forests [English], 14 June 2017

Efectos negativos de la defaunacion en la regeneración forestal [Spanish] La Nueva España, 5 June 2017

Efectos de la perdida de aves de gran tamaño en bosques tropicales [Spanish] Radio Television Española, 5 June 2017

Mariposas, flores y cambio climático [Spanish] Agencia SINC, 18 July 2016


Phone: +49 (0)69 7542 1876