Alexandro B. Leverkus

Alexandro B. Leverkus

Associate Professor

View contact and teaching information

Research interests

Alexandro’s main research interests are disturbance/ fire ecology, forest management, plant regeneration, and the conservation and restoration of ecosystem services. He is conducting field and review studies to assess how multiple disturbances –such as wildfires, storms and logging– interactively affect the provision of ecosystem services and alter plant communities. He studies plant-animal interactions that affect tree regeneration and colonisation, as well as the performance of regeneration through resprouting, germination, and plantation along natural and anthropogenic environmental gradients. One of his key current interests is how the method used for assisted regeneration of oaks (direct seeding or planting) may condition plant establishment and survival under climate change.

Outreach and press


  • 2023

    • Lázaro-González A, Tamultaityté G, Castro J, Uscola M, Leverkus AB 2023. Seedling establishment in a deciduous and an evergreen oak under simulated climate change. For Ecol Manage 550: 121498. (PDF)
    • Cours J, Bouget C, Barsoum N, Horák J, Le Souchu E, Leverkus AB, Pincebourde S, Thorn S, Sallé A (2023) Surviving in changing forests: abiotic disturbance legacy effects on arthropod communities of temperate forests Current Forestry Reports 9: 189–218.
    • Kriegel P et al. (autor 20/32) 2023. Ambient and substrate energy influence decomposer diversity differentially across trophic levels. Ecology Letters 26:1157–1173
    • Juli Pausas, Leverkus AB, 2023. Disturbance ecology in human societies. People and Nature 5: 1082-1093
    • Lázaro-González A, Andivia E, Hampe A, Hasegawa S, Marzano R, Santos AMC, Castro J, Leverkus AB. 2023. Revegetation through seeding or planting: A worldwide systematic map. J Environ Manage 337:117713  
    • Molina‐Morales M; Leverkus AB; Albaladejo‐Robles G; Martínez‐Baroja L; Pérez‐Camacho L; Villar‐Salvador P; Rebollo S; Rey‐Benayas JM; Castro J. 2023 Linking animal behaviour and tree recruitment: caching decisions by a scatter hoarder corvid determine seed fate in a Mediterranean agroforestry system. Journal of Ecology 111:400–411
  • 2022

    • Leverkus, A.B., Thorn, S., Lindenmayer, D.B., Pausas, J. (2022). Tree planting goals must account for wildfires. Science 376:588–9
    • Viljur et al. (autor 32/54), 2022. The effect of natural disturbances on forest biodiversity: an ecological synthesis. Biological Reviews 97: 1930-1947.
    • Leverkus, A.B. & Castro, J., 2022. Restoration of Mediterranean forest ecosystems after major disturbances: The Lanjarón post-fire experiment over 15 years of succession. In: Zamora R. & Oliva M., eds. The Landscape of Sierra Nevada: A unique laboratory of global processes. Springer (ISBN: 978-3-030-94218-2) pp 229–240 (LINK)
    • Zamora, R. et al. (author position 4/8) 2022. Concluding notes: Ecosystems of Sierra Nevada in the Anthropocene: a new cocktail of species and ecological interactions. In: Zamora R. & Oliva M., eds. The Landscape of Sierra Nevada: A unique laboratory of global processes. Springer (ISBN: 978-3-030-94218-2) pp 307–310
  • 2021

    • Leverkus, A.B. et al., 2021. Restoring oak forests through direct seeding or planting: Protocol for a continental-scale experiment. PLoS ONE 16: e0259552  
    • Juan-Ovejero et al. (author position 3/5) 2021. Decadal effect of post-fire management treatments on soil carbon and nutrient concentrations in a burnt Mediterranean forest. For. Eco. Manage. 498: 119570
    • Gustafsson L et al. (author position 3/6) 2021. Disturbance interval modulates the starting point for vegetation succession. Ecology 102: e03439 doi:
    • Leverkus A.B. et al., 2021. Environmental policies to cope with novel disturbance regimes –steps to address a world scientists’ warning to humanity". Environmental Research Letters 16: 021003.
    • Leverkus A.B., et al., 2021. Resilience impacts of a secondary disturbance: Meta-analysis of salvage logging effects on tree regeneration. Journal of Ecology 109:3224–3232
    • Leverkus. A.B., Navarro, F.B. 2021. One size fits some (serie EcoPics). Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 19: 333
    • Leverkus A.B. et al., 2021. Seeding or planting to revegetate the world’s degraded land: Systematic review and experimentation to address methodological issues. Restoration Ecology 29:e13372
    • Martínez-Baroja et al. (posición autor 5/9) 2021. Caching territoriality and site preferences by a scatter-hoarder drive the spatial pattern of seed dispersal and affect seedling emergence. J. Ecol. 109: 2342-2353
    • Gustafsson, L., Granath, G., Nohrstedt, H.Ö., Leverkus, A.B., Johansson, V. (2021) Burn severity and soil chemistry are weak drivers of early vegetation succession following a boreal mega-fire in a production forest landscape. Journal of Vegetation Science 32: e12966
  • 2020

    • Leverkus, A.B., Crawley, M.J. (2020) Temporal variation in effect sizes in a long-term, split-plot field experiment. Ecology 101:e03009
    • Leverkus, A.B., Gustafsson, L., Lindenmayer, D.B., Castro, J., Rey Benayas, J.M., Ranius, T. & Thorn, S. (2020) Salvage logging effects on regulating ecosystem services and fuel loads. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 18:391-400
    • Leverkus, A.B., Thorn, S., Lindenmayer, D.B., Pausas, J. (2020) Wildfire debate needs science, not politics. Science 370:416-17
    • Leverkus, A.B., Buma, B., Wagenbrenner, J., Lingua, E., Marzano, R., Burton, P., Thorn, S. (2020) Tamm review: Does salvage logging mitigate subsequent forest disturbances? Forest Ecology and Management 481:118721
    • Thorn, S., Chao, A., Georgiev, K.B., Müller, J., Bässler, C., Campbell, J.L., Castro, J., Chen, Y.-H., Choi, C.-Y., Cobb, T.P., Donato, D.C., Durska, E., Macdonald, E., Feldhaar, H., Fontaine, J.B., Fornwalt, P.J., María, R., Hernández, H., Hutto, R.L., Koivula, M., Lee, E.-J., Lindenmayer, D., Mikusiński, G., Obrist, M.K., Perlík, M., Rost, J., Waldron, K., Wermelinger, B., Weiß, I., Żmihorski, M., Leverkus, A.B. (2020) Estimating retention benchmarks for salvage logging to protect biodiversity. Nature Communications 11:4762
    • Thorn, S., Seibold, S., Leverkus, A.B., Michler, T., Müller, J., Noss, R.F., Stork, N., Vogel, S., Lindenmayer, D.B. (2020). The living dead –acknowledging life after tree death to stop forest degradation. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 18:505-512
    • Leverkus, A.B., Rey Benayas, J.M., Solís, P., Sierra, J.M. (2020) Enabling conditions for the implementation and conservation outcomes of a private nature reserve. Ecological Solutions and Evidence 1:e12019
  • 2019

    • Martínez-Baroja, L., Pérez-Camacho, L., Villar-Salvador, P., Rebollo, S., Quiles, P., Gómez-Sánchez, D., Molina-Morales, M., Leverkus, A.B., Castro, J. & Rey-Benayas, J.M. (2019) Massive and effective acorn dispersal into agroforestry systems by an overlooked vector, the Eurasian magpie (Pica pica). Ecosphere, 10:e02989
    • Molinas-González, C. R., Castro, J., González-Megías, A., Leverkus, A.B. (2019) Effects of post-fire deadwood management on soil macroinvertebrate communities. Forests 10:1046
    • Thorn, S., Müller, J., Leverkus, A.B. (2019) Preventing future forest diebacks. Science 365:1388
    • Rebollo, S., et al. (posición autor 7/19) (2019) Servicios de la avifauna (high mobile link species) en mosaicos agroforestales: regeneración forestal y regulación de plagas. Ecosistemas 28:32–41
    • Löf, M. et al. (posición autor 4/8) (2019) Tamm Review: Direct seeding to restore oak (Quercus spp.) forests and woodlands. Forest Ecology and Management 448:474–489
    • Leverkus, A.B., García Murillo, P., Jurado Doña, V., García Pausas, J. (2019) Wildfire: Opportunity for restoration? Science 363:134-135
    • Thorn, S. Leverkus, A.B., Thorn, C.J., Beudert, B. (2019). Education and knowledge determine preference for bark beetle control measures in El Salvador. Journal of Environmental Management 232:138-144
    • Castro, J., Leverkus, A.B. (2019). Effect of herbaceous layer interference on the post-fire regeneration of a serotinous pine (Pinus pinaster Aiton) across two seedling ages. Forests 10:art74
    • Müller J, Noss R, Thorn S, Bässler C, Leverkus AB, Lindenmayer D. 2019. Increasing disturbance demands new policies to conserve intact forest. Conservation Letters 12:e12449
  • 2018

    • Leverkus, A.B., Thorn, S., Gustafsson, L. & Lindenmayer, D.B. (2018). Salvage logging in the world’s forests: Interactions between natural disturbance and logging need recognition. Global Ecology and Biogeography 27:1140-1154
    • Leverkus, A.B., et al. (21 autores). (2018). Salvage logging effects on regulating and supporting ecosystem services – A systematic map. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 48:983-1000
    • Thorn, S. et al. (posición autor 18/28). 2018. Impacts of salvage logging on biodiversity – a meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Ecology 55:279-289
  • 2017

    • Leverkus, A.B., Jaramillo-López, P.F., Brower, L.P., Lindenmayer, D.B., Williams, E.H. 2017. Mexico’s logging threatens butterflies. Science 358:1008
    • Leverkus, A.B., Carrión, M., Molina-Morales, M., Castro, J. 2017. Effectiveness of diesel as a mammal repellent for direct seeding of acorns. Forests. 8:276
    • Molinas-González, C., Castro, J., Leverkus, A.B. 2017. Deadwood decay in a burnt Mediterranean pine reforestation. Forests 8:158.
    • Leverkus, A.B., Castro, J. 2017. An ecosystem services approach to the ecological effects of salvage logging: Valuation of seed dispersal. Ecological Applications 27:1057-1063
    • Molinas-González, C., Leverkus, A.B., Marañón-Jiménez, S., Castro, J. 2017. Fall rate of burnt pines across an elevational gradient in a Mediterranean mountain. European Journal of Forest Research 136:401-409
    • Castro, J., Molina-Morales, M., Leverkus, A.B., Martínez-Baroja, L., Pérez-Camacho, L., Villar-Salvador, P., Rebollo, S., Rey Benayas, J.M., 2017. Effective nut dispersal by magpies (Pica pica L.) in a Mediterranean agroecosystem. Oecologia 184:183-192
  • 2010-2016

    • Leverkus, A.B. 2016. Regeneración post-incendio de la encina mediante procesos naturales y asistidos y valoración económica de los servicios ecosistémicos. Ecosistemas 25:121-127
    •  Leverkus, A.B., Rey Benayas, J.M., Castro, J., 2016. Shifting demographic conflicts across recruitment cohorts in a dynamic post-disturbance landscape. Ecology 97:2628-39
    • Leverkus A.B., Castro J., Delgado-Capel M., Molinas-Gonzales C., Pulgar M, Marañón-Jiménez S., Delgado-Huertas A., Querejeta, J.I. 2015. Restoring for the present or restoring for the future: Enhanced performance of two sympatric oaks (Quercus ilex and Quercus pyrenaica) above the current forest limit. Restoration Ecology 23:936-946
    • Castro J., Leverkus A.B., Fuster F. 2015. A new device to foster oak forest restoration via seed sowing. New Forests 46:919-929
    • Leverkus A.B., Rojo M., Castro J. 2015. Habitat complexity and individual acorn protectors enhance the post-fire restoration of oak forests via seed sowing. Ecological Engineering 83:276-280
    • Leverkus A.B., Lorite, J., Navarro, F., Pérez Sánchez-Cañete, E., Castro J. 2014. Post-fire salvage logging alters species composition and reduces cover, richness, and diversity in Mediterranean plant communities. Journal of Environmental Management 133:323-331
    • Leverkus A.B., Castro J., Puerta-Piñero C., Rey-Benayas J.M. 2013. Suitability of the management of habitat complexity, acorn burial depth, and a chemical repellent for post-fire reforestation of oaks. Ecological Engineering 53:15-22
    • Castro J., Puerta-Piñero C., Leverkus A.B., Moreno-Rueda G., Sánchez-Miranda A. 2012. Post-fire salvage logging alters a key plant-animal interaction for forest regeneration. Ecosphere 3:90
    • Leverkus A.B., Puerta-Piñero C., Guzmán J.R., Navarro J., Castro J. 2012. Post-fire salvage logging increases management costs and reduces seedling survival in a Mediterranean mountain ecosystem. New Forests 43:601-613
    • Puerta Piñero C., Sánchez-Miranda A., Leverkus A., Castro J. 2010. Management of burnt wood after fire affects post-dispersal acorn predation. Forest Ecology and Management 260:345-352
  • Other peer-reviewed publications (selection)

    • Castro J. et al. 2015. In: Herrero A., Zavala M.A. (eds). Los Bosques y la Biodiversidad frente al Cambio Climático: Impactos, Vulnerabilidad y Adaptación en España. MAGRAMA, ISBN 978-84-491-0038-3. Madrid, pp. 595 – 694.
    • Leverkus A.B. et al. 2015. Environmental Evidence 4:16
    • Leverkus A.B., et al. 2014. Ecosistemas 23:48-54
    • Castro J., Leverkus A.B. 2013. En: Martínez Ruiz C., et al. (Eds.) Avances en la restauración de sistemas forestales. SECF-AEET. ISBN: 978-84-937964-6-4. Madrid, pp. 27- 34.
    • Leverkus A.B., et al. 2013. En: Martínez Ruiz C., et al. (Eds.) Avances en la restauración de sistemas forestales. SECF-AEET. ISBN: 978-84-937964-6-4. Madrid, pp. 35- 40.


  • Castro, J., Leverkus, A.B. (Inventors). Seed protector against predators. Patent # P201690010, awarded 24/01/2017, Spain (with PCT). Commercially exploited (Grupo Sylvestris). Owner: UGR
  • Castro, J., Leverkus, A.B. (Inventors). Seed protector against predators. Patent # P201331441, awarded 23/07/2014, Spain (with PCT). Commercially exploited (Grupo Sylvestris). Owner: UGR.

Recent & ongoing research grants

  • Transition towards enhanced revegetation success: large-scale implications of seeding vs. planting for ecological restoration (TED2021-130976B-100). Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación/ NextGeneration. PI: AB Leverkus.
  • Almond Feralization: Rapid Evolution and agroecological Dynamics (PID2022-143099OB-I00). Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación. PI: R. Rubio de Casas. 2023-26.
  • Advances in research and technological innovation in dehesas for climate change-adapted mangement IN-DE (PP.AVA23.INV2023.30). IFAPA call for strategic research lines/ FEDER. 2023-26. 206.572. PI: María Patrocinio González Dugo.
  • Facing wildfires 2 (FCT-20-16729). Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, Call for grants for scientific, technological and innovation culture. PI: A. Merino. 2022-23.
  • Implications of restoration method under stress gradients for Mediterranean forest restoration (RTI2018-096187-J-100). Spanish Ministry of Science and Universities, call “Proyectos de I+D Retos Investigación, modalidad JIN”, co-funded with FEDER funds. PI: Alexandro B Leverkus. 2019-2022.
  • Effects of multiple disturbances on plant community functional composition: A quantitative review (LRB20/1002). British Ecological Society. PI: Alexandro B Leverkus. 2020-2022.
  • Thematic center on mountain ecosystem & remote sensing, deep learning-AI e-services University of Granada-Sierra Nevada. ERIC LifeWatch; Programa Operativo Plurirregional FEDER. PI: Regino Zamora. 2021-2023.
  • Stability and resilience of ecological communities: Global change, multiple disturbances and effects on biodiversity (B-FQM-366-UGR20). University of Granada/ FEDER. PI: MA Muñoz. 2021-2023. €35.000.
  • New techniques for assisted tree regeneration in dehesas II (PP.AVA.AVA2019.004). IFAPA Andalusia/ FEDER. PI: F Navarro Reyes. 2019-2022. €150.000.