PI: Dr. Paula Pratolongo
Independent Researcher, CONICET.
Adjunct  Professor, Dpt. Biology, Biochem.and Pharmacy, UNS
Bachelor and Ph.D. in Biological Scs., UBA



We study ecosystems holistically, aiming to develop management, restoration and conservation tools and strategies for the natural resources and ecosystems services in Bahía Blanca and its influence area. Our projects include different aspects on biology and ecology of natural grasslands, agricultural ecosystems, coastal wetlands and costal-marine of the south-west of Buenos Aires Province.

Lines of Research

  • Grassland ecology: we study the impact of different disturbances, like grazing, fire or drought, on natural grasslands composition in terms of species identity and functional composition.  
  • Grassland restoration: we are studying grassland restoration and enhancement techniques with native species to improve cattle production and biodiversity conservation.  
  • Productivity in agricultural-livestock landscape: we study the biology and ecology of palatable and unpalatable species that affect cattle production.  
  • Carbon sequestration in coastal wetlands: we quantify sequestration routes and changes in organic carbon in coastal wetland and tidal flats  
  • Chlorophyll dynamics in the southern coastal ecosystem of Buenos Aires province (Argentina): we used concentration of chlorophyll a as a proxy to evaluate coastal water productivity in south Buenos Aires Province and its relationship with artisanal fishery.  
  • Quantitative remote sensing: we develop tools of quantitative teledetection for monitoring ecosystems services and functioning in terrestrial and coastal environments of south west Buenos Aires province.  

Recent publications

  • Celleri C, Pratolongo PD, Arena M. (2021) Spatial and temporal patterns of soil salinization in shallow groundwater environments of the Bahía Blanca Estuary: Influence of topography and land use. Land Degradation and Development. DOI: 10.1002/ldr.4162.
  • Delgado AL, Pratolongo PD, Dogliotti, AI, Arena M, Celleri C, Cardona JEG, Martinez A. (2021) Evaluation of modis-aqua and olci chlorophyll-a products in contrasting waters of the southwestern Atlantic ocean Ocean and Coastal Research 69: e21007.
  • Loydi A, Collins S. (2021) Extreme drought has limited effects on soil seed bank composition in desert grasslands. Journal of Vegetation Science 32: e1308.
  • García A, Loydi A, Distel RA. (2021) Temporal and spatial variation in the soil seed bank of Nassella trichotoma (serrated tussock) in its native range. Australian Journal of Botany 69: 45-51.
  • Puthod G, Loydi A, García A, Distel RA. (2020). Enhancement of late successional grasses by disturbance and seed addition in degraded dryland pampas of Argentina. Arid Land Research and Management 34: 445-459.
  • García, A., Scarfó, M.C., Loydi, A. & Distel, R.A. (2020). Effect of neighbor vegetation identity and defoliation severity on recruitment of palatable and unpalatable grasses. Austral Ecology 45, 70-78.
  • Loydi A., García, A. & Funk. F.A. (2020). Vegetation recovery after fire in mountain grasslands of Argentina. Journal of Mountain Science 17, 373-383.
  • Shi, B., Pratolongo, P., Du, Y., Li, J., Yang, S., Wuf, J., Xu, K., Wang, Y. (2020) Influence of macrobenthos (Meretrix meretrix Linnaeus) on bed erodibility and erosion-accretion processes in intertidal flats within a cultivation zone. Journal of Geophysical Research - Biogeosciences.
  • Arena, M., Delgado, A., Celleri, C., Pratolongo, P. (2019) Preliminary assessment of spatial and short-term variability of bio-optical properties in a tidal dominated estuary (Bahía Blanca, Argentina). Regional Studies in Marine Science. doi.org/10.1016/j.rsma.2019.100639.
  • Celleri, C., Zapperi, C., González Trilla, G., Pratolongo, P. (2019) Assessing the capability of broadband indices derived from Landsat 8 OLI to monitor above ground biomass and salinity in semiarid saline environments of the Bahía Blanca Estuary, Argentina. International Journal of Remote Sensing 40: 4817 - 4838.
  • Delgado, A., Pratolongo, P., Zapperi, G., Dogliotti, A., Guinder, V. (2019) Validation of MODIS-Aqua bio-optical algorithms of phytoplankton absorption coefficient in the optically complex waters of El Rincón (Argentina). Continental Shelf Research 73: 86 - 173. 
  • Funk, F.A., Loydi, A., Peter, G. & Distel, R.A. (2019). Effect of grazing and drought on seed bank in semi-arid patchy rangelands of northern Patagonia, Argentina. International Journal of Plant Sciences 180, 337-344.
  • López, A., Coria, H., Nazareno, M., García, M., Distel, R.A. & Arroquy, J.I. (2019). Effect of type and feeding frequency of high fibrous feeds on intake, total tract digestibility and ruminal fermentation in beef steers fed a high concentrate diet. Animal Production Science 59, 2245-2251.
  • Loydi, A. (2019). Vegetation change after grazing exclusion in mountain mesic Pampa grasslands of Argentina: effects on the established vegetation and the soil seed bank. Plant Ecology & Diversity 12, 127-138.
  • Ormaechea, S.G., Peri, P.L., Cipriotti, P.A. & Distel, R.A. (2019). El cuadro de pastoreo en los sistemas extensivos de Patagonia Sur. Percepción y manejo del pastoreo. Ecología Austral 29, 174-184.
  • Piovan, M.J., Pratolongo, P.,  Donath, T.W., Loydi, A. &  Eckstein, R.L. (2019). Germination response of different halophytes of the coastal zone of Bahía Blanca to changes in osmotic potential, osmotic agents and temperature. International Journal of Plant Sciences 180, 345-355.
  • Celleri, C., Zaperi, C., González Trilla, G., Pratolongo, P. (2018) Spatial and temporal patterns of rainfall variability and its relationship with land surface phenology in central east Argentina. International Journal of Climatology 38: 3963-3975 (doi.org/10.1002/joc.5547).
  • Distel, R.A. & Villalba, J.J. (2018). Use of unpalatable resources by ruminants: Influence of experience to the biophysical and social environment.  Animals 8, 56.
  • Funk, F.A., Peter, G., Leder, C.V., Loydi, A., Kröpfl, A.I. & Distel, R.A. (2018). The impact of livestock grazing on the spatial pattern of vegetation in north-eastern Patagonia, Argentina. Plant Ecology and Diversity 11(2), 219-227.
  • Koerner, SE, MD Smith, DE Burkepile, N Hanan, ML Avolio, SL Collings, AK Knapp, NP Lemoine, EJ Forrestel, S Eby, DI Thompson, G Aguado-Santacruz, JP Anderson, M Anderson, A Angassa, S Bagchi, ES Bakker, G Bastin, LE Baur, KH Beard, EA Beever, PJ Bohlen, EH Boughton, D Canestro, A Cesa, E Chaneton, J Cheng, CM D'Antonio, C Deleglise, F Dembélé, J Dorrough, D Eldridge, B Fernandez-Going, S Fernández-Lugo, LH Fraser, B Freedman, G Garcia-Salgado, JR Goheen, L Guo, S Husheer, M Karembé, JMH Knops, T Kraaij, A Kulmatiski, M Kytöviita, F Lezama, G Loucougaray, A Loydi, DG Milchunas, S Milton, JW Morgan, C Moxham, KC Nehring, H Olff, TM Palmer, S Rebollo, C Riginos, AC Risch, M Rueda, M Sankaran, T Sasaki, K Schoenecker, NL Schultz, M Schütz, A Schwabe, F Siebert, C Smit, KA Stahlheber, C Storm, DJ Strong, J Su, YV Tiruvaimozhi, C Tyler, J Val, ML Vandegehuchte, KE Veblen, LT Vermeire, D Ward, J Wu, TP Young, Q Yu, TJ Zelikova. (2018). Resolving variation in herbivore effects on plant biodiversity – change in dominance as a global mechanism. Nature Ecology and Evolution 2, 1925-1932.
  • Loydi, A., Eckstein, R.L., Gebauer, T., Ludewig, K., Otte, A., Reisdorff, C., Jensen, K., Donath, T.W. (2018). Opposite effects of litter and hemiparasites on a dominant grass under different water regimes and competition levels. Plant Ecology 219, 133-144.
  • Paredes, S.S., Stritzler, N.P., Bono, A. & Distel, R.A. (2018). Perennial warm-season grass monocultures and mixtures: biomass production and soil improvement in semiarid and shallow soil conditions. Journal of Arid Environments 154, 82-88.
  • Puthod G, A Loydi, RA Distel. (2018). Respuesta productiva de Nassella neesiana a diferentes intensidades de defoliación. Revista Argentina de Producción Animal 38, 63-72.
  • Zapperi, G., Pratolongo, P., Piovan, M.J. (2018) Community structure and spatial zonation of benthic macrofauna in mudflats of the Bahía Blanca Estuary, Argentina. Journal of coastal Research 34, 318 – 327.
  • Dutto, M.S., Genzano, G., Schiariti, A., Lecanda, J. Hoffmeyer, M., Pratolongo, P. (2017) Medusae and ctenophores from the Bahía Blanca Estuary and neighboring inner shelf (Southwest Atlantic Ocean, Argentina). Marine Biodiversity Records doi: 10.1186/s41200-017-0114-1. 
  • López, A., Arroquy, J.I., Juárez Sequeira, A.V. , Di Lorenzo, N., Bariionuevo, M.C. & Distel, R.A. (2017). Saline water consumption determines intake and metabolic responses to protein supplementation in lambs consuming low quality forage. Journal of Animal Science 95, 2111-2120.
  • Molina, L., Valiñas, M., Pratolongo, P., Elias, R., Perillo, G. (2017) Effect of “whitemouth croaker” (Micropogonias furnieri, Pisces) on the stability of the sediment of salt marshes—an issue to be resolved. Estuaries and Costs 40, 1795–1807.
  • Shi, B., Cooper, J., Pratolongo, P., Bouma, T.J., Li, G., Li, P., Wang, Y., Yu, Q. (2017) Intra-tidal erosion and accretion at an exposed intertidal mudflat: the role of very shallow water effects. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 122: 9476–9499.
  • Adema, E.O., Butti, R.L., Babinec, F.J. & Distel, R.A. (2016). Comparación entre pastoreo continuo y pastoreo rotativo de un pastizal rolado del centro-oeste de la Provincia de La Pampa. Revista Argentina de Producción Animal 36, 9-17.
  • Catanese, F., Fernández, P., Villalba, J.J. & Distel, R.A. (2016). The physiological consequences of ingesting a toxic plant (Diplotaxis tenuifolia) influence subsequent foraging decisions by sheep (Ovis aries). Physiology and Behavior 167, 238-247.
  • Catanese, F., Distel, R.A., Fernández, P. & Villalba JJ (2016). How foraging decisions of a small ruminant are influenced by past feeding experiences with a lowquality food. Behavioural Processes 126, 12-20.
  • Distel, R.A. (2016). Grazing ecology and the conservation of the Caldena rangelands, Argentina. Journal of Arid Environment 134, 49-55.
  • Distel, R.A., Catanese, F. & Villalba, J.J. (2016). Aprendizaje dietario en rumiantes domésticos. Implicancias para la producción animal. Revista Argentina de Producción Animal 36, 1-8.
  • Fiori, S., Pratolongo, P., Zalba, S., Carbone, E., Bravo, E. (2016) Spatially explicit risk assessment for coastal invaders under different management. Marine Biology doi: 10.1007/s00227-016-3017-5.
  • González Trilla, G., Pratolongo, P., Kandus, P., Beget, M.E., Di Bella, C., Marcovecchio, J. (2016) Relationship between biophysical parameters and synthetic indices derived from hyperspectral field data in a salt marsh from Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. Wetlands 36,185-194.  
  • López, A., Arroquy, J.I. & Distel, R.A. (2016). Early exposure to and subsequent beef cattle performance with saline water. Livestock Science 185, 68-73.
  • Negrin, V., Botté, S., Pratolongo, P. González Trilla, G., Marcovecchio, J. (2016) Ecological processes and biogeochemical cycling in salt marshes: synthesis of studies in the Bahía Blanca estuary (Argentina). Hydrobiologia 774, 217-235.
  • Pratolongo, P., Piovan, M.J., Cuadrado, D.G., Gomez, E. (2016) Coastal landscape evolution on the western margin of the Bahía Blanca Estuary (Argentina) mirrors a non-uniform sea-level fall after the mid-Holocene highstand. Geo-Marine Letters doi:10.1007/s00367-016-0480-4.
  • Zapperi, G.; Pratolongo, P.; Piovan, M.J.; Marcovecchio, J. (2016) Benthic-pelagic coupling in an intertidal mudflat in the Bahía Blanca Estuary (SW Atlantic). Journal of Coastal Research 32(3): 629-637.
  • Catanese, F., Rodríguez  Ganduglia, H., Villalba, J.J. & Distel, R.A. (2015). Free availability of high-energy foods led to energy over-ingestion and protein underingestion in choice-fed broilers. Animal Science Journal 86, 1000-1009.
  • Catanese, F., Distel, R.A. & Villalba, J.J. (2015). Expression of conditioned preference for low-quality food in sheep is modulated by foraging cost. Animal 9, 1045-1052.
  • Guinder, V., Lopez-Abbate, C., Berasategui, A., Negrin, V., Zapperi, V., Pratolongo, P., Fernández-Severini, M., Popovich, C. 2015. Influence of the winter phytoplankton bloom on the settled material in a temperate shallow estuary. Oceanologia 57, 50-60. 
  • Loydi, A., Donath, T.W., Otte, A., Eckstein, R.L. (2015). Negative and positive interactions among plants: Effect of competitors and litter on seedling emergence and growth of forest and grassland species. Plant Biology 17, 667-675.
  • Loydi, A., Donath, T.W., Eckstein, R.L. & Otte, A. (2015). Non-native species litter reduces germination and growth of resident forbs and grasses: allelopathic, osmotic or mechanical effects? Biological Invasions 17, 581-595.
  • Negrin, V., Pratolongo, P., de Villalobos, A., Botté, S., Marcovecchio, J. 2015. Biomass, decomposition and nutrient cycling in a SW Atlantic Sarcocornia perennis marsh. Journal of Sea Research 97, 50-55.
  • Villalba, J.J., Provenza, F.D., Catanese, F. & Distel, R.A. (2015). Understanding and manipulating choice in grazing animals. Animal Production Science 55, 261-271.


- Low palatability forages in semiarid regions. Species replacement in grasslands, consumption stimulation and nutritional value enhancement. PGI-UNS, 2017-2020. PI: Roberto Distel.

- Natural grassland restoration using native species in Southwest of Buenos Aires province. PICT 2018-0795, ANPCYT. PI: Alejandro Loydi.

- Response of grassland from pampean region to extreme drought. PGI-2019, UNS. PI: Alejandro Loydi.

National and International Collaborations

  • Faculty of Agronomy, UBA, Argentina
  • Universidad Nacional de Río Negro, Argentina
  • National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA), Argentina
  • Juan Villalba, Utah State University, USA
  • Scott Collins, Biology Department, University of New Mexico, USA
  • Drought Net – International drought network, Colorado University, USA
  • Tobias Donath, Landscape Ecology Group, Christian-Albrechts University, Kiel, Germany
  • Annette Otte, Landscape Ecology and Landscape Management, Justus-Liebig University, Germany


PI: Dr. Alejandro Loydi
Adjunct Researcher, CONICET
Teaching Assistant, Department of Biology, Biochemistry and Pharmacy, UNS
Bachelor and Ph.D. in Biological Scs., UNS

 Group Members

Dr. Flavia Funk
Bachelor and Ph.D. in Biological Scs., UNS.
Asistant Researcher, CONICET.
Teaching Assistant,Department of Biology, Biochemistry and Pharmacy, UNS

Dr. Carla Celleri
Licenciate in Biological Scs., UBA
Ph.D. in Biological Scs., UNS
Posdoctoral fellow CONICET

Lic. Cecilia Scarfó 
Bachelor in Biological Scs., UNS
Ph.D. Candidate, CONICET

Lic. D. Aylén Rodríguez
Licenciate in Biological Scs., UNS
Ph.D. candidate, CONICET
Dra Cecilia Scarfó

Mg. Lic. Clara Milano
Licenciate in Biological Scs., UNS
Magister in Agricultural Scs., UNS
Ph.D. candidate, CONICET

Lic Clara Milano

Lic. Maximiliano Arena
Licenciate in Oceanography, UNS
Ph.D. candidate, CONICET

Bernardo Deluchi
Technician, CONICET