Doctor Raul Ochoa Hueso

Raul OchoaDr Raúl Ochoa-Hueso is a Research Fellow in the Institute. His research centres on the consequences of climate change on ecosystem processes related to the main nutrient cycles and how these impacts determine changes at the plant community level within the Ecosystem Function and Integration research theme.
Dr Raúl Ochoa-Hueso joined the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment as a research fellow in September 2013.

He is an ecosystem ecologist with broad interests on the effects of human-induced global environmental change on ecosystem structure and functioning and the link between them. Raúl is also interested on how these undesired negative impacts affect key ecosystem services such as above-ground and below-ground carbon storage and water supply and quality.

At HIE, Raúl is working with Associate Professor Sally Power on several projects related to the effects of altered precipitation regimes (reduced and increased amount of rainfall and altered frequency) and root herbivore density on ecosystem structure and processes tightly linked to the main nutrient (N and P) cycles in an Australian grassland ecosystem (DRI-GRASS Project).

He is also involved in the study of the impacts of increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations on belowground productivity in a native eucalypt forest (EucFACE) as well as in the study of how different levels of nutrient availability (N, P and K alone and in combination) determine plant community structure and ecosystem functioning in Australian grasslands (as part of the Nutrient Network Experimental Sites).

Raúl received his PhD from the Autonomous University of Madrid in 2012 (with Doctorate Extraordinary Prize), under the supervision of Prof. Esteban Manrique. During his PhD, he led the set-up of the first field nitrogen fertilization experiment in Spain to examine the impacts of simulated nitrogen deposition on semiarid Mediterranean ecosystems. This experiment is still ongoing and its importance has been internationally recognized by top research groups and in international SCI publications.

His core expertise is on the ecological impacts of increased nitrogen deposition and climate change on terrestrial ecosystems. His experience includes research along extant and simulated nitrogen deposition and climatic gradients in semiarid portions of Spain, where he has led work evaluating impacts on: (1) plant and soil microbial communities and (2) soil chemistry, biogeochemistry and functioning.

Given his broad interests, he has experience in other fields of research, such as biological soil crust ecology, butterfly ecology and heavy metal pollution effects on plants. He has experience working in many different ecosystem types, including Mediterranean ecosystems in different parts of Europe, California and Australia and Temperate and Desert ecosystems in Europe and the United States. He also has wide experience working in shrublands, forests, grasslands, peat bogs and degraded ecosystems. 

Together with the projects he has led, he has collaborated with many groups in projects more or less related to his core field of expertise. For example, he has collaborated in experiments aimed at understanding the importance of arbuscular mycorrhizal inoculum origin on plant community response to altered resource availability (nitrogen and water) simulating global change scenarios.

This project was developed in collaboration with Prof. Francisco Pugnaire and Dr. Laura B. Martínez-García. He has also collaborated with Prof. Leopoldo G. Sancho, Prof. Allan Green and Dr. María Arróniz-Crespo in a project aimed at studying the role of nitrogen fixation by cyanobacteria attached to different moss species (increasing ecosystem fertility) on the ability of Nothofagus forests to thrive after glacier retreat in Tierra del Fuego (Patagonia, Chile). During his doctoral thesis he also established permanent collaborations with top-research groups in the UK (Drs. Gareth K. Phoenix, Jonathan R. Leake, Carly J. Stevens and Lucy J. Sheppard), United States (Prof. Edith B. Allen and Dr. Matthew Bowker), Australia (Prof. William D. Stock), Portugal (Drs. Cristina Cruz and Cristina Branquinho) and Spain (Dr. Fernando Maestre, Dr. Esther Perez-Corona and Dr. Mark Theobald), among others.

Academic Achievements

  • 2012 - PhD in Ecology and Environment, Spanish Research Council/Autonomous University of Madrid. Summa cum laude by unanimity (highest mark in Spain) awarded with "Doctorate Extraordinary Prize"
  • 2007 - MSc in Ecology and Environment, Spanish Research Council/Autonomous University of Madrid. Sobresaliente (highest mark in Spain)
  • 2006 - BSc in Biology, Autonomous University of Madrid awarded with "Degree Extraordinary Prize" 


  • 2007 - FPU Predoctoral Fellowship (Spanish Ministry of Education and Science)
  • 2005 - Collaboration grant in the Zoology Department at the Autonomous University of Madrid

Signing Member in Research Projects

  1. Duration of the project: 2010/2014. Title of the project: 'Biotic community attributes and ecosystem functioning: implications for predicting and mitigating global change impacts (BIOCOM – Grant agreement nº 242658)'. Funding Institution: European Research Council-Starting Grants. Participant Institutions: Universidad Rey Juan Carlos de Madrid. Budget: 1,463,374 €. Principal Investigator: Fernando T. Maestre
  2. Duration of the project: 08/2012. Title of the project: 'Isoprene emissions and pigment content in Sphagnum from peatlands in relation to N deposition (ICARO)'. Funding Institution: ExpeER Ecosystem Research (Seventh Framework Programme). Participant Institutions: Universidad Rey Juan Carlos de Madrid; Center for Ecology and Hydrology (Drs. Lucy Sheppard and Susan Owen). Budget: 1,492 € (for travelling and daily allowance). Principal Investigator: Raúl Ochoa-Hueso
  3. Duration of the project: 2010-2013. Title of the project: 'Nitrogen deposition effects on Mediterranean Ecosystems (ECONIMED)'. Funding Institution: Ministry of Science and Innovation. Participant Institutions: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas; Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Budget: 43,000 €. Principal Investigator: Esteban Manrique Reol


Frequent reviewer for specialized scientific journals such as Ecological Applications, Environmental Pollution, Journal of Arid Land, Journal of Plant Ecology, Journal of Vegetation Science, Nordic Journal of Botany, Plant Ecology, Revista Chilena de Historia Natural, Soil Biology and Biochemistry and Water, Air and Soil Pollution.

Areas of Research

Global Change Ecology; Nitrogen Deposition and Climate Change Effects on Terrestrial Ecosystems; Mediterranean Ecology; Grassland Ecology; Plant and Biological Soil Crust Ecology and Ecophysiology; Soil Biogeochemistry; Soil Functioning and Microbial Ecology

Selected Publications

Ochoa-Hueso R, Delgado-Baquerizo M, Gallardo A, Bowker MA, Maestre FT, (2016) 'Climatic conditions, soil fertility and atmospheric nitrogen deposition largely determine the structure and functioning of microbial communities in biocrust-dominated Mediterranean drylands', Plant and Soil, vol.399, no.s 1-2, pp 271-282

Martinez-Garcia LB, Ochoa-Hueso R, Manrique E, Pugnaire FI, (2015) 'Different mycorrhizal fungal strains determine plant community response to nitrogen and water availability', Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, vol.178, no.1, pp 146-154

Ochoa-Hueso R, Manrique E, (2015) 'Effects of nitrogen deposition and soil fertility on cover and physiology of Cladonia foliacea (Huds.) Willd., a lichen of biological soil crusts from Mediterranean Spain (vol 159, pg 449, 2011)', Environmental Pollution, vol.196, pp 478-478

Ochoa-Hueso R, Stevens CJ, (2015) 'European Semiarid Mediterranean Ecosystems are Sensitive to Nitrogen Deposition: Impacts on Plant Communities and Root Phosphatase Activity', Water Air and Soil Pollution, vol.226, no.2, Article no.5 

Arroniz-Crespo M, Perez-Ortega S, De los Rios A, Green TGA, Ochoa-Hueso R, Casermeiro MA, de la Cruz MT, Pintado A, Palacios D, Rozzi R, Tysklind N, Sancho LG, (2014) 'Bryophyte-Cyanobacteria Associations during Primary Succession in Recently Deglaciated Areas of Tierra del Fuego (Chile)', Plos One, vol.9, no.5, Article Number: UNSP e96081

Hernandez RR, Easter SB, Murphy-Mariscal ML, Maestre FT, Tavassoli M, Allen EB, Barrows CW, Belnap J, Ochoa-Hueso R, Ravi S, Allen MF, (2014) 'Environmental impacts of utility-scale solar energy', Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, vol.29, pp 766-779

Ochoa-Hueso R, Arroniz-Crespo M, Bowker MA, Maestre FT, Perez-Corona ME, Theobald MR, Vivanco MG, Manrique E, (2014) 'Biogeochemical indicators of elevated nitrogen deposition in semiarid Mediterranean ecosystems', Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, vol.186, no.9, pp 5831-5842

Ochoa-Hueso R, Bell MD, Manrique E, (2014) 'Impacts of increased nitrogen deposition and altered precipitation regimes on soil fertility and functioning in semiarid Mediterranean shrublands', Journal of Arid Environments, vol.104, pp 106-115

Ochoa-Hueso R, Manrique E, (2014) 'Impacts of altered precipitation, nitrogen deposition and plant competition on a Mediterranean seed bank', Journal of Vegetation Science, vol.25, no.5, pp1289-1298  

Ochoa-Hueso R, Ranea DP, Viejoc JL, (2014) 'Comparison of trends in habitat and resource selection by the Spanish Festoon, Zerynthia rumina, and the whole butterfly community in a semi-arid Mediterranean ecosystem', Journal of Insect Science, vol.14, Article no.51

Ochoa-Hueso R, Rocha I, Stevens CJ, Manrique E, Lucianez MJ, (2014) 'Simulated nitrogen deposition affects soil fauna from a semiarid Mediterranean ecosystem in central Spain', Biology and Fertility of Soils, vol.50, no.1, pp 191-196

Ochoa-Hueso R, Maestre FT, de los Ríos A, Valea S, Theobald MR, Vivanco MG, Manrique E, Bowker MA, (2013) 'Nitrogen deposition alters nitrogen cycling and reduces soil carbon content in low-productivity semiarid Mediterranean ecosystems', Environmental Pollution, vol.179, pp 185-193

Ochoa-Hueso R, Manrique E, (2013) 'Effects of nitrogen deposition on growth and physiology of Pleurochaete squarrosa (Brid.) Lindb., a terricolous moss from Mediterranean ecosystems', Water, Air & Soil Pollution, vol.224, no.4, article no.1492

Ochoa-Hueso R, Mejías-Sánz V, Pérez-Corona ME, Manrique E, (2013) 'Nitrogen deposition effects on tissue chemistry and phosphatase activity in Cladonia foliacea (Huds.) Willd., a common terricolous lichen of semiarid Mediterranean shrublands', Journal of Arid Environments, vol.88, pp 78-81

Ochoa-Hueso R, Pérez-Corona ME, Manrique E, (2013) 'Impacts of simulated N deposition on plants and mycorrhizae from Spanish semiarid Mediterranean shrublands', Ecosystems, vol.16, no.5, pp 838-851

Ochoa-Hueso R, Stevens CJ, Ortiz-Llorente MJ, Manrique E, (2013) 'Soil chemistry and fertility alterations in response to N application in a semiarid Mediterranean shrubland', Science of the Total Environment, vol.452, pp 78-86

Maestre FT, Castillo-Monroy AP, Bowker MA, Ochoa-Hueso R, (2012) 'Species richness effects on ecosystem multifunctionality depend on evenness, composition and spatial pattern', Journal of Ecology, vol.100, no.2, pp 317-330

Ochoa-Hueso R, Allen EB, Branquinho C, Cruz C, Dias T, Fenn ME, Manrique E, Pérez-Corona ME, Sheppard, LJ, Stock W, (2011) 'Nitrogen deposition effects on Mediterranean-type ecosystems: an ecological assessment', Environmental Pollution, vol.159, no.10, pp 2265-2279

Ochoa-Hueso R, Hernandez RR, Pueyo JJ, Manrique E, (2011) 'Spatial distribution and physiology of biological soil crusts from semi-arid central Spain are related to soil chemistry and shrub cover', Soil Biology and Biochemistry, vol.43, no.9, pp 1894-1901

Ochoa-Hueso R, Manrique E, (2011) 'Effects of nitrogen deposition and soil fertility on cover and physiology of Cladonia foliacea (Huds.) Willd., a lichen of biological soil crusts from Mediterranean Spain', Environmental Pollution, vol.159, no.2, pp 449-457

Ochoa-Hueso R, Manrique E, (2010) 'Nitrogen fertilization and water supply affect germination and plant establishment of the soil seed bank present in a semi-arid Mediterranean scrubland', Plant Ecology, vol. 210, no.2, pp 263-273

Esteban R, Balaguer L, Manrique E, Rubio de Casas R, Ochoa-Hueso R, Fleck I, Pintó Marijuan M, Casals I, Morales D, Jiménez MS, Lorenzo R, Artetxe U, Becerril JM, García-Plazaola JI, (2009) 'Alternative methods for sampling and preservation of photosynthetic pigments and tocopherols in plant material from remote locations', Photosynthesis Research, vol.101, pp 77-88.

Manuscripts submitted and in preparation

Pérez-Corona MT, García-Hernández L, Cuello S, Costaniello MM, Pérez-Corona E, Ochoa-Hueso R, Manrique E, Madrid Y, 'Uptake, distribution and transformation of Sb (III) and Sb (V) in selected plant species: Effect on micronutrients uptake', Environmental Science & Technology, (submitted)

Ochoa-Hueso R, Stevens CJ, 'Semiarid Mediterranean ecosystems of central Spain are sensitive to nitrogen deposition: reports on plant species composition, biomass production and root phosphomonoesterase activity', Oecologia, (submitted)

Martínez-García L, Ochoa-Hueso R, Manrique E, Pugnaire FI, 'Arbuscular mycorrhizal origin determines the response of plant communities to changes in nitrogen and water availability', Plant and Soil, (submitted)

Ochoa-Hueso R, Arróniz-Crespo M, Bowker MA, Maestre FT, Pérez-Corona ME, Theobald M, Vivanco MG, Manrique M, 'Biogeochemical indicators of ambient nitrogen deposition in semiarid Mediterranean ecosystems from Spain', Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, (submitted)

Ochoa-Hueso R, Manrique E, 'Nitrogen fertilization, water supply and competition effects on the establishment of the soil seed bank present in a semiarid Mediterranean shrubland', Journal of Vegetation Science, (submitted)

Arróniz-Crespo M, Pérez-Ortega S, de los Ríos A, Green TGA, Ochoa-Hueso R, Casermeiro MA, de la Cruz MT, Pintado A, Sancho LG, 'N2 fixation by bryophyte-cyanobacteria associations in recently deglaciated areas of Tierra del Fuego (Chile): effect of rainfall, bryophyte species identity and cyanobacteria community structure', Journal of Ecology, (submitted)

Ochoa-Hueso R, Delgado-Baquerizo M, Gallardo A, Bowker MA, Maestre FT, 'Nitrogen deposition causes acidification and eutrophication and reduces bacteria abundance in Mediterranean drylands', Soil Biology and Biochemistry, (submitted)

Ochoa-Hueso R, Mondragon-Cortes T, Estebanez B, Concostrina-Zubiri L, Serrano-Grijalva L, Manrique E, 'Nitrogen deposition reduces biological soil crust and shrub abundance in a semiarid shrubland in central Spain: a 5-year nitrogen addition study', Global Change Biology (in preparation)

Pérez-Corona ME, Ochoa-Hueso R, García Hita D, García Muñoz C, Hurtado Aragües P, Lafuente A, Manrique E, 'Nitrogen deposition effects on germination of plants from semiarid Mediterranean ecosystems', Acta Oecologica (in preparation)

Pérez-Corona ME, Manrique E, Ochoa-Hueso R, Cuello S, Pérez-Corona MT, Madrid Y, 'Biomass allocation, Hg uptake and micronutrient use in three herbaceous plant species grown with organic and inorganic Hg sources', (in preparation)

Allen EB, Ochoa-Hueso R, 'Simulated atmospheric dry nitrogen deposition promotes exotic plant invasion at four Desert sites (Joshua Tree National Park, California)', (in preparation)

Book chapters

Arróniz-Crespo M, Ochoa-Hueso R, Manrique Reol E, 'Biomonitoring of atmospheric nitrogen deposition in Mexico: detection and prevention of damage in natural ecosystems', In: Cerón Bretón et al. Advances and perspectives of acid deposition in Mexico. UNACAR (Campeche, México). ISBN: 978-607-7826-21-7. (In Spanish)

Ochoa-Hueso R, Paradela C, Pérez-Corona ME, Manrique E, 'Pigment ratios of the Mediterranean bryophyte Pleurochaete squarrosa respond to simulated nitrogen deposition', In: Sutton, M et al. Nitrogen deposition, critical loads and biodiversity. Springer, (in press)

Baron JS, Barber M, Feest A, Gilliam F, Lu X, Stevens CJ, Woodin S, Bobbink R, Adams M, Agboola J, Allen E, Bealy B, Bobrovsky M, Bowman WD, Branquinho C, Bustamante M, Clark CM, Cocking E, Cruz C, Davidson E, Denmead T, Dias T, Dise N, Harrison I, Galloway JN, Geiser L, Khanina L, Manrique E, Ochoa-Hueso R, et al, 'The effects of atmospheric N deposition on terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity', In: Sutton, M et al. Nitrogen deposition, critical loads and biodiversity. Springer. (in press)

Quiñones MA, Coba de la Peña T, Ruíz-Díez B, Ochoa-Hueso R, García de la Torre VS, Cordero I, Nonnoi F, de Felipe MR, Rincón A, Manrique E, Fernández-Pascual M, Lucas MM, Herrera-Cervera JA, Pueyo JJ, (2011) 'Strategies to improve abiotic stress tolerance of Rhizobium-legume symbiosis', In: M. Megías, et al. Agro-environmental fundaments and applications of beneficial plant-microorganism relationships. Editorial: Sociedad Española de Fijación de Nitrógeno (SEFIN) Granada, España. pp 111-116. ISBN: 978-84-614-7364-9. (In Spanish)

Pérez-Corona ME, García-Hita D, García-Muñoz C, Hurtado P, Lafuente A, Ochoa-Hueso R, Manrique E, (2011) 'Effects of nitrogen availability on seed germination of herbaceous plants from a Mediterranean kermes oak scrubland', In: Grasslands, cultural landscapes between tradition and new paradigms of the XXI Century, pp 167-173. ISBN: 978-84-614-8713-4. (In Spanish)

De la Puente Ranea D, Ochoa Hueso R, Viejo Montesinos JL, (2009) 'Butterflies killed on roads (Lepidoptera, Papilionoidea) in "El Regajal-Mar de Ontígola" Nature Reserve [Aranjuez, Spain])', In: Proceedings 17th Biennial of Spanish Royal Society of Natural History. ISBN: 978-84-936677-2-6. pp. 137-152. (In Spanish)

Alonso PA, Andrino J, Ávila R, Caparrós J, Caravantes M, Contreras L, Corvo A, Espí B, Estébanez M, Fernández-Mazuecos I, Herrera E, Jubera M, La Calle J, Luna L, Martí L, Morillo A, Navajas R, Ochoa-Hueso, et al, (2007) 'The Pozo Azul Project: a research initiative by a group of University students in Madrid', In: INTED2007 Proceedings  CD. ISBN: 978-84-611-4517-1, 12 pp. (Article code: 231430)