Ruben Heleno
Phone: (00351) 239 240 700 (extension 262383)
e-mail: send email
Category: Researcher FCT; Marie Curie Fellow
Department: Centre for Functional Ecology
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My main research interest is in using complex species-interactions networks to frame important conservation problems at the community level. Such trophic or mutualist networks offer an holistic view-point to evaluate the causes and consequences of disturbances, such as the impact of biological invasions or biodiversity-loss, on important ecosystem functions, particularly seed-dispersal and pollination. A second passion is uncovering the rules guiding island colonization and community assembling.

The list of projects and publications below its not updated due to informatic problems. Please see my updated publications list, here:  scholar   rg

Seed dispersal
Azores bullfinch
Galapagos finches
Island without name - Galápagos
My key-words
Science communication media

Online videos

Project Life Priolo - Azores:          Priolo Atlas EN PT

Project REDGAL - Galápagos:       Mutualistic networks in the Galapagos islands SP 

Project Gorongosa - Mozambique: Gorongosa interactions EN PT

Project Gorongosa - Mozambique:  The walking seeds EN

Project Gorongosa - Mozambique: Praça da Alegria PT


  • INVADER-B - INVAsive plant species management in Portugal: from early DEtection to Remote sensing and Biocontrol of Acacia longifolia (see details)
  • GORONGOSA - Exploring biodiversity and ecological networks in Gorongosa National Park - Mozambique (see details)
  • SEEDS - Closing the seed dispersal loop: How does seed dispersal affect plant population structure at the global, regional and local scales? (see details)
  • The colonization history in the Galapagos islands by plants (see details)
    1. A Traveset, C Tur, K Trøjelsgaard, R Heleno, R Castro-Urgal, J Olesen (in press) Global patterns of mainland and insular pollination networks. Global Ecology And Biogeography. (see details)
    2. A Gil, R Ceia, R Coelho, J Teodósio, H Sampaio, C Veríssimo, R Heleno, J Ramos, S Timóteo (2016) The Priolo Atlas: a citizen science-based census initiative for supporting Pyrrhula murina habitat conservation and restoration policies in São Miguel Island (Azores, Portugal). Ecological Engineering. 86, 1, 45-52. (see details)
    3. Correia, Marta Timóteo, Sérgio Rodríguez-Echeverría, Susana Mazars-Simon, Alban Heleno, Ruben (2016) The refaunation and reinstatement of the seed-dispersal function in Gorongosa National Park. Conservation Biology. (see details)
    4. Traveset, A; Olesen, JM; Nogales, M; Vargas, P; Jaramillo, P; Antolin, E; Trigo, MM; Heleno, R (2015) Bird-flower visitation networks in the Galapagos unveil a widespread interaction release. Nature Communications. 6, (see details) ISI paper
    5. Heleno, R; Vargas, P (2015) How do islands become green?. Global Ecology And Biogeography. 24, 5, 518-526. (see details) ISI paper
    6. (2015) Space, Time and Aliens: charting the dynamic structure of Galápagos pollination networks. Aob Plants. (see details)
    7. P Vargas, Y Arjona, M Nogales, R Heleno (2015) Long-distance dispersal to oceanic islands: success of plants with multiple diaspore specializations. Aob Plants. 7, (see details)
    8. Costa, JM; Ramos, JA; da Silva, LP; Timoteo, S; Araujo, PM; Felgueiras, MS; Rosa, A; Matos, C; Encarnacao, P; Tenreiro, PQ; Heleno, RH (2014) Endozoochory largely outweighs epizoochory in migrating passerines. Journal Of Avian Biology. 45, 1, 59-64. (see details) ISI paper
    9. Hervias Parejo, Sandra; Ceia, Ricardo S.; Ramos, Jaime A.; Sampaio, Hugo L.; Heleno, Ruben H. (2014) Tiptoeing between restoration and invasion: seed rain into natural gaps within a highly invaded relic forest in the Azores. European Journal Of Forest Research. 133, 2, 383-390. (see details) ISI paper
    10. Vargas, Pablo; Nogales, Manuel; Jaramillo, Patricia; Olesen, Jens M.; Traveset, Anna; Heleno, Ruben (2014) Plant colonization across the Galapagos Islands: success of the sea dispersal syndrome. Botanical Journal Of The Linnean Society. 174, 3, 349-358. (see details) ISI paper
    11. da Silva, Luis P.; Ramos, Jaime A.; Olesen, Jens M.; Traveset, Anna; Heleno, Ruben H. (2014) Flower visitation by birds in Europe. Oikos. 123, 11, 1377-1383. (see details) ISI paper
    12. Heleno R.H. (2014) Meta-analyses and the “editorial love of controversy”. Web Ecology. 14, 23-25 (see details)
    13. Heleno, Ruben H.; Ramos, Jaime A.; Memmott, Jane (2013) Integration of exotic seeds into an Azorean seed dispersal network. Biological Invasions. 15, 5, 1143-1154. (see details) ISI paper
    14. Heleno, Ruben H.; Olesen, Jens M.; Nogales, Manuel; Vargas, Pablo; Traveset, Anna (2013) Seed dispersal networks in the Galapagos and the consequences of alien plant invasions. Proceedings Of The Royal Society B-biological Sciences. 280, 1750, 20122112 (see details) ISI paper
    15. Traveset, Anna; Heleno, Ruben; Chamorro, Susana; Vargas, Pablo; McMullen, Conley K.; Castro-Urgal, Rocio; Nogales, Manuel; Herrera, Henri W.; Olesen, Jens M. (2013) Invaders of pollination networks in the Galapagos Islands: emergence of novel communities. Proceedings Of The Royal Society B-biological Sciences. 280, 1758, 20123040 (see details) ISI paper
    16. Cruz, Joana Costa; Ramos, Jaime Albino; da Silva, Luis P.; Tenreiro, Paulo Q.; Heleno, Ruben Huttel (2013) Seed dispersal networks in an urban novel ecosystem. European Journal Of Forest Research. 132, 5-6, 887-897. (see details) ISI paper
    17. Vargas, P; Heleno, R; Traveset, A; Nogales, M (2012) Colonization of the Galapagos Islands by plants with no specific syndromes for long-distance dispersal: a new perspective. Ecography. 35, 1, 33-43. (see details) ISI paper
    18. Heleno, R; Devoto, M; Pocock, M (2012) Connectance of species interaction networks and conservation value: Is it any good to be well connected?. Ecological Indicators. 14, 1, 7-10. (see details) ISI paper
    19. Nogales, Manuel; Heleno, Ruben; Traveset, Anna; Vargas, Pablo (2012) Evidence for overlooked mechanisms of long-distance seed dispersal to and between oceanic islands. New Phytologist. 194, 2, 313-317. (see details) ISI paper
    20. Chamorro, Susana; Heleno, Ruben; Olesen, Jens M.; McMullen, Conley K.; Traveset, Anna (2012) Pollination patterns and plant breeding systems in the Galapagos: a review. Annals Of Botany. 110, 7, 1489-1501. (see details) ISI paper
    21. Ceia, RS; Ramos, JA; Heleno, RH; Hilton, GM; Marques, TA (2011) Status assessment of the Critically Endangered Azores Bullfinch Pyrrhula murina. Bird Conservation International. 21, 4, 477-489. (see details) ISI paper
    22. Heleno, R; Blake, S; Jaramillo, P; Traveset, A; Vargas, P; Nogales, M (2011) Frugivory and seed dispersal in the Galapagos: what is the state of the art?. Integrative Zoology. 6, 2, 110-129. (see details) ISI paper
    23. Heleno, RH; Ross, G; Everard, A; Memmott, J; Ramos, JA (2011) The role of avian 'seed predators' as seed dispersers. Ibis. 153, 1, 199-203. (see details) ISI paper
    24. Heleno, R; Lacerda, I; Ramos, JA; Memmott, J (2010) Evaluation of restoration effectiveness: community response to the removal of alien plants. Ecological Applications. 20, 5, 1191-1203. (see details) ISI paper
    25. Monticelli, D; Ceia, R; Heleno, R; Laborda, H; Timoteo, S; Jareno, D; Hilton, GM; Ramos, JA (2010) High survival rate of a critically endangered species, the Azores Bullfinch Pyrrhula murina, as a contribution to population recovery. Journal Of Ornithology. 151, 3, 627-636. (see details) ISI paper
    27. Heleno, RH; Ceia, RS; Ramos, JA; Memmott, J (2009) Effects of Alien Plants on Insect Abundance and Biomass: a Food-Web Approach. Conservation Biology. 23, 2, 410-419. (see details) ISI paper
    28. Vargas P, Arjona Y, Nogales M, Heleno R Long-distance dispersal to oceanic islands: success of plants with multiple diaspore specializations. 7, (see details)
    29. Costa JM, da Silva LP, Ramos JA, Heleno RH Sampling completeness in seed dispersal networks: When enough is enough. Basic And Applied Ecology. 17, 2, 155-164. (see details)
    1. Equipa ATLAS (2008) Atlas das Aves Nidificantes em Portugal (1999-2005). Lisboa. Assírio & Alvim. (see details)
    2. Dália Lourenço, Vitor Simões, Ruben Heleno, Leonor Ramalho (2005) Guia de percursos: Em contacto com a Natureza. Portimão. Eurodois, Artes Gráficas, Lda.. (see details)
    1. Gardener M., Trueman M., Buddenhagen C., Atkinson R., Heleno R., Jager H., Tye A. (in press) A pragmatic approach to management of plant invasions in Galapagos. In: Invading Nature - Springer Series in Invasion Ecology. (EDS.), Alien Invasive Plants in Protected Areas. Germany. Springer. 00, (see details)
    2. Traveset, A., Heleno, R., Nogales, M. (2014) The ecology of seed dispersal. In: Seeds: The ecology of regeneration in plant communities. Oxon, UK. CABI. (see details)
    3. Vargas P., Heleno R.H., Traveset A., Nogales M. (2013) Contrasting patterns of plant evolution in the Canarian and Galápagos islands: the origin of dispersal and colonization. In: Proceedings of the Amurga international conferences on island biodiversity 2011. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain. 978-84-616-7394-0. (see details)
    4. Borges, P. et al. (2010) List of Arthropods (Arthropoda). In: A list of the terrestrial and marine biota from the Azores. Cascais. Princípia Editora. (see details)
    5. Memmott, Gibson, Carvalheiro, Henson, Heleno, Lopezaraiza , Pearce (2007) The conservation of ecological interactions. In: Insect Conservation Biology. The Royal Entomological Society. (see details)
    1. Heleno, R. (2009) The impact of alien plants on native biota in the Azores: a food web approach. Bristol. School of Biological Sciences - University of Bristol. (see details)