Sílvia Castro
Phone: (+351) 239 855 242
e-mail: scastro@bot.uc.pt
Category: Assistant Researcher (IF researcher)
Department: Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Tecnology, University of Coimbra
Direct URL for this page: http://cfe.uc.pt/scastro
clique para ver a imagem ampliada
Academic Achievements

Assistant Researcher (IF Researcher, 2013- ), Centre for Fucntional Ecology and Department of Life Sciences, FCTUC

Post-Doc researcher (2008-2013), Project: "Evolutionary ecology of polyploids: understanding species coexistence at the contact zones"
Centre of Functional Ecology and Department of Life Sciences, Universitu of Coimbra, Portugal (2010- ), Supervisor: Prof. João Loureiro)
Department of Botany, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic and Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Pruhonice, Czech Republic (2008-2009), Supervisor: Prof. Zuzana Münzbergová

PhD thesis (2003-2007): "Reproductive biology and conservation of the endemic Polygala vayredae"
Department of Biology, University of Aveiro, Portugal (Supervisor: Paulo Silveira)
Department of Plant Biology and Soil Science, Faculty of Science, University of Vigo, Spain (Supervisor: Luis Navarro)

Scholarship (2006), Project "Evolutionary biology of Polygala vayredae Costa (Polygalaceae)", SYNTHESYS Project http://www.synthesys.info/ financed by European Community Research Infrastructure Action under the FP6 "Structuring the European Research Area" Programme; developed at the Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid (CSIC; Orientador: Dr. Pablo Vargas); 08 a 10/2006.

Internship (2002), Project "Micropropagation of woody plant with interest for the Portuguese ecosystem: a strategy to protect endangered species" Measure 3 - Action 3.2 - Governmental program of internships; Direcção Geral das Florestas (Supervisor: Eng. Anabela Teixeira; Coordinator: Dr. Conceição Santos).

Graduation on Biology (1997-2002), Department of Biology, University of Aveiro, Portugal


Research Interests

Evolution of flowering plants: Plant-animal interactions (pollination and seed dispersal), Plant reproductive biology, phenotypic selection of floral traits

Evolutionary dynamics of diploid-polyploid plant groups: origin, maintenance and consequences of polyploidy

Conservation of endemic and endangered plants

Participation in projects

2010/13: "Evolutionary changes to the reproductive systems during invasion process of the polyploid Oxalis pes-caprae", FCT PTDC/BIA-BIC/110824/2009, PI: João Loureiro.

2010/11: "Reproductive biology and evolution of Oxalis pes-caprae, an invasive polyploid species in the Mediterranean region", CRUP Acções integradas Luso-Espanholas No.E-10/10, PI: João Loureiro.

2010/13: "Below and aboveground mutualisms and invasion by Austraian acacias: relevance on invasive dynamics and consequences for native ecosystems (MUTUALNET)", FCT PTDC/BIA-BEC/103507/2008, PI: Susana Rodríguez-Echeverria.

2010/2012: "Evolytionary dynamics of the polyploid Aster amellus at the contact zone", Grant Agency of the Czech Republic, GACR-P506/10/P188. PI: Sílvia Castro (Institute of Botany of the Czech Republic and CFE, University of Coimbra).

2009/10: "Seguiment sobre l'efecte de l'evolució natural de l'habitat de Polygala vayredae Costa (endemisme de la Garrotxa) cap a ambients més trancats de boscos i planifolis", Reference 2009 ACOM 00043, PI: Xavier Olivier Matínez-Fornés (Parc de la Zona Vulcanica de la Garrotxa).

2009/10: "Population processes governing the formation and establishment of polyploids: what maintains the cytotype coexistence in Gymnadenia conopsea?", Grant Agency of the Czech Republic, GACR-206/09/0843. PI: Jan Suda (Charles University in Prague).

2008/09:  "Biodiversity of natural communities", Grant Agency of the Czech Republic, MSMT 0021620828. Investigador responsável: Dr. Zuzana Münzbergová (Charles University in Prague).

2006/09: "El papel de los polinizadores en la evolución floral: polimorfismos estilares e integración fenotípica",Dirección General para la Ciencia y Tecnología (Espanha), BOS2005-13847-CO2-02. Investigador responsável: Dr. Luis Navarro (Universidade de Vigo).

Advanced training

2012. "Data analysis tools in ecology - Module 2: Data exploration, regression, GLM & GAM - with introduction to R", IMAR - Marine and Environment Research Centre and Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, Dr. Alain Zuur and Dr. Elena Ieno.

2012. "Data analysis tools in ecology - Module 1: Multivariate statistical tools in Ecology and Ecotoxicology", IMAR - Marine and Environment Research Centre and Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, Dr. José Paulo Sousa.

2008. "Methods in population biology", Prof. Zuzana Münzbergová, Department of Botany, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, 4-8 February.

2008. "Herbivory: the plant perspective", Prof. Leland Russell (Wichita State University, Kansas, USA), Department of Botany, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, 21-23 April.

2006. "Curso prático de estadística: diseño experimental y análisis de efectos abordados con modelos GLM", Sociedad de Amigos del Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Prof. Luis M. Carrascal. Madrid, Espanha.

2003. “Molecular Methods in assessment Biological Diversity”, included in the Master course “Biodiversity and Genetic resources”, Faculty of Sciences, University of Oporto, Portugal. 

Editor of international peer reviewed indexed journals

AoB PLANTS, Associate Editor (Oxford University Press; Impact Factor for 2014: 2.273)


  • ReproWeed: Invasiveness and reproductive isolation between native and non-native ranges of Centaurea weeds (see details)
  • Rapid development of increased competitive ability and mechanisms of reproductive isolation of Centaurea species (see details)
  • MUTUALNET. Below and aboveground mutualisms and the invasion by Australian acacias: relevance on invasive dynamics and consequences for native ecosystems. (see details)
  • Evolutionary changes to reproductive systems during the invasion process of the polyploid Oxalis pes-caprae (see details)
  • Biologia reprodutiva e evolução de Oxalis pes-caprae, uma espécie poliplóide invasora na região Mediterrânea (see details)
    1. Montesinos, D; Castro, S; Rodriguez-Echeverria, S (2016) Two invasive acacia species secure generalist pollinators in invaded communities. Acta Oecologica - International Journal Of Ecology. 74, 46-55. (see details) ISI paper
    2. Ferrero, Victoria; Barrett, Spencer C H; Castro, Silvia; Caldeirinha, Patricia; Navarro, Luis; Loureiro, Joao; Rodriguez-Echeverria, Susana (2015) Invasion genetics of the Bermuda buttercup (Oxalis pes-caprae): complex intercontinental patterns of genetic diversity, polyploidy and heterostyly characterize both native and introduced populations. Molecular Ecology. 24: 2143-55, (see details)
    3. Afonso, A; Castro, S; Loureiro, J; Mota, L; de Oliveira, JC; Torices, R (2014) THE EFFECTS OF ACHENE TYPE AND GERMINATION TIME ON PLANT PERFORMANCE IN THE HETEROCARPIC ANACYCLUS CLAVATUS (ASTERACEAE). American Journal Of Botany. 101, 5, 892-898. (see details) ISI paper
    4. Costa, J; Ferrero, V; Loureiro, J; Castro, M; Navarro, L; Castro, S (2014) Sexual reproduction of the pentaploid, short-styled Oxalis pes-caprae allows the production of viable offspring. Plant Biology. 16, 1, 208-214. (see details) ISI paper
    5. Tavares, Ana Cristina; Loureiro, Joao; Castro, Silvia; Coutinho, Antonio P.; Paiva, Jorge; Cavaleiro, Carlos; Salgueiro, Ligia; Canhoto, Jorge M. (2014) Assessment of Daucus carota L. (Apiaceae) subspecies by chemotaxonomic and DNA content analyses. Biochemical Systematics And Ecology. 55, 222-230. (see details) ISI paper
    6. Correia, Marta; Castro, Silvia; Ferrero, Victoria; Crisostomo, Joao A.; Rodriguez-Echeverria, Susana (2014) Reproductive biology and success of invasive Australian acacias in Portugal. Botanical Journal Of The Linnean Society. 174, 4, 574-588. (see details) ISI paper
    7. Ferrero, Victoria; Castro, Silvia; Costa, Joana; Acuna, Paola; Navarro, Luis; Loureiro, Joao (2013) Effect of invader removal: pollinators stay but some native plants miss their new friend. Biological Invasions. 15, 10, 2347-2358. (see details) ISI paper
    8. Nora, S; Castro, S; Loureiro, J; Goncalves, AC; Oliveira, H; Castro, M; Santos, C; Silveira, P (2013) Flow cytometric and karyological analyses of Calendula species from Iberian Peninsula. Plant Systematics And Evolution. 299, 5, 853-864. (see details) ISI paper
    9. Castro, Silvia; Ferrero, Victoria; Costa, Joana; Sousa, Ana Joao; Castro, Mariana; Navarro, Luis; Loureiro, Joao (2013) Reproductive strategy of the invasive Oxalis pes-caprae: distribution patterns of floral morphs, ploidy levels and sexual reproduction. Biological Invasions. 15, 8, 1863-1875. (see details) ISI paper
    10. Münzbergová Z., Surinová M., Castro S. (2013) Absence of gene flow between diploids and hexaploids of Aster amellus at multiple spatial scales. Heredity. 110, 123-130 (see details)
    11. Castro, S; Romeiras, MM; Castro, M; Duarte, MC; Loureiro, J (2013) Hidden diversity in wild Beta taxa from Portugal: Insights from genome size and ploidy level estimations using flow cytometry. Plant Science. 207, 72-78. (see details) ISI paper
    12. Castro, Silvia; Loureiro, Joao; Ferrero, Victoria; Silveira, Paulo; Navarro, Luis (2013) So many visitors and so few pollinators: variation in insect frequency and effectiveness governs the reproductive success of an endemic milkwort. Plant Ecology. 214, 10, 1233-1245. (see details) ISI paper
    13. Vega, Yesenia; Marques, Isabel; Castro, Silvia; Loureiro, Joao (2013) Outcomes of Extensive Hybridization and Introgression in Epidendrum (Orchidaceae): Can We Rely on Species Boundaries?. Plos One. 8, 11, e80662 (see details) ISI paper
    14. Ferrero, V.; Arroyo, J.; Castro, S.; Navarro, L. (2012) Unusual heterostyly: style dimorphism and self-incompatibility are not tightly associated in Lithodora and Glandora (Boraginaceae). Annals Of Botany. 109, 3, 655-665. (see details) ISI paper
    15. Coutinho, Antonio Pereira; Castro, Silvia; Carbajal, Rodrigo; Ortiz, Santiago; Serrano, Miguel (2012) Pollen morphology of the genus Omphalodes Mill. (Cynoglosseae, Boraginaceae). Grana. 51, 3, 194-205. (see details) ISI paper
    16. Montesinos D., Castro, S., Rodríguez-Echeverría S. (2012) Invasive acacias experience higher ant seed removal rates at the invasion edges. Web Ecology . 12, 1, 33-37 (see details)
      Link: http://www.web-ecol.net/12/33/2012/we-12-33-2012.html
    17. Castro, S; Loureiro, J; Prochazka, T; Munzbergova, Z (2012) Cytotype distribution at a diploidhexaploid contact zone in Aster amellus (Asteraceae). Annals Of Botany. 110, 5, 1047-1055. (see details) ISI paper
    18. Ríos A.I., Casals P., Castro S., Oliver X. (2012) El tancament del bosc disminueix el potencial reproductiu de l’endemisme pirenaico-oriental Polygala vayredae Costa a la Alta Garrotxa. Lithodora - Novetats Botàniques De La Garrotxa. Institució Catalana D’història Natural . 7, 11 (see details)
    19. Castro, Mariana; Castro, Silvia; Loureiro, Joao (2012) Genome size variation and incidence of polyploidy in Scrophulariaceae sensu lato from the Iberian Peninsula. Aob Plants. pls037, first published online October 22, 2012, (see details) ISI paper
      Link: doi:10.1093/aobpla/pls037
    20. Loureiro J., Castro M., Monteiro de Oliveira J., Antunes P., Canhoto J., Castro S. (2012) Aplicações da citometria de fluxo em horticultura. Revista Da Associação Portuguesa De Horticultura . 108, 25-28 (see details)
    21. Castro, Silvia; Muenzbergova, Zuzana; Raabova, Jana; Loureiro, Joao (2011) Breeding barriers at a diploid-hexaploid contact zone in Aster amellus. Evolutionary Ecology. 25, 4, 795-814. (see details) ISI paper
      Link: DOI:10.1007/s10682-010-9439-5
    22. Ferrero, V; Castro, S; Sanchez, JM; Navarro, L (2011) Stigma-anther reciprocity, pollinators, and pollen transfer efficiency in populations of heterostylous species of Lithodora and Glandora (Boraginaceae). Plant Systematics And Evolution. 291, 3-4, 267-276. (see details) ISI paper
    23. Muenzbergova, Zuzana; Raabova, Jana; Castro, Silvia; Pankova, Hana (2011) Biological flora of Central Europe: Aster amellus L. (Asteraceae). Perspectives In Plant Ecology Evolution And Systematics. 13, 2, 151-162. (see details) ISI paper
    24. Castro, Silvia; Ferrero, Victoria; Loureiro, Joao; Espadaler, Xavier; Silveira, Paulo; Navarro, Luis (2010) Dispersal mechanisms of the narrow endemic Polygala vayredae: dispersal syndromes and spatio-temporal variations in ant dispersal assemblages. Plant Ecology. 207, 2, 359-372. (see details) ISI paper
      Link: DOI 10.1007/s11258-009-9679-z
    25. Loureiro, Joao; Travnicek, Pavel; Rauchova, Jan; Urfus, Tomas; Vit, Petr; Stech, Milan; Castro, Silvia; Suda, Jan (2010) The use of flow cytometry in the biosystematics, ecology and population biology of homoploid plants. Preslia. 82, 1, 3-21. (see details) ISI paper
    26. Jersakova, Jana; Castro, Silvia; Sonk, Nicole; Milchreit, Kathrin; Schoedelbauerova, Iva; Tolasch, Till; Doetterl, Stefan (2010) Absence of pollinator-mediated premating barriers in mixed-ploidy populations of Gymnadenia conopsea s.l. (Orchidaceae). Evolutionary Ecology. 24, 5, 1199-1218. (see details) ISI paper
      Link: DOI 10.1007/s10682-010-9356-7
    27. Kopecky, D.; Havrankova, M.; Loureiro, J.; Castro, S.; Lukaszewski, A. J.; Bartos, J.; Kopecka, J.; Dolezel, J. (2010) Physical Distribution of Homoeologous Recombination in Individual Chromosomes of Festuca pratensis in Lolium multiflorum. Cytogenetic And Genome Research. 129, 1-3, 162-172. (see details) ISI paper
    28. Castro S., Silveira P., Navarro L. (2009) Floral traits variation, legitimate pollination and nectar robbing in Polygala vayredae (Polygalaceae). Ecological Research. 24, 47-55 (see details)
    29. Castro S., Stanescu I., Silva S., Silveira, P., Navarro L., Santos C. (2009) Pistil anatomy and pollen tube development in Polygala vayredae Costa (Polygalaceae). Plant Biology. 11, 3, 405-416 (see details)
      Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1438-8677.2008.00126.x
    30. Castro S., Silveira P., Navarro L., Paiva J., Coutinho A.P. (2009) Pollen morphology of Chamaebuxus (DC.) Schb., Chodatia Paiva and Rhinotropis (Blake) Paiva (Polygala L., Polygalaceae). Grana. 48, 179-192 (see details)
    31. Castro S. (2009) Biología reproductiva y conservación del endemismo Polygala vayredae. Ecosistemas. 18, 78-84 (see details)
      Link: http://www.revistaecosistemas.net/articulo.asp?Id=586
    32. Castro S., Silveira P., Navarro L. (2008) How flower biology and breeding system affect the reproductive success of the narrow endemic Polygala vayredae Costa (Polygalaceae). Botanical Journal Of The Linnean Society. 157, 67–81 (see details)
    33. Castro S., Silveira P., Navarro L. (2008) How does secondary pollen presentation affect the fitness of Polygala vayredae (Polygalaceae)?. American Journal Of Botany. 95, 706-712 (see details)
      Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.3732/ajb.2007329
    34. Castro S., Silveira P., Navarro L. (2008) Consequences of nectar robbing for the fitness of a threatened plant species. Plant Ecology. 199, 201-208 (see details)
      Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11258-008-9424-z
    35. Castro S., Silveira P., Navarro L. (2008) Effect of pollination on floral longevity and costs of delaying fertilization in the out-crossing Polygala vayredae Costa (Polygalaceae). Annals Of Botany. 102, 1043–1048 (see details)
      Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcn184
    36. Castro S., Oliver X., Navarro L. (2008) Coneguem el patrimoni: Polygala vayredae Costa. Butlletí De La Alta Garrotxa . 9, 9-11 (see details)
    37. Castro S., Silveira P., Pereira Coutinho A., Paiva J. (2007) Heterosamara sect. Villososperma comb. nov. (Polygalaceae) from eastern Asia. Nordic Journal Of Botany. 25, 286-293 (see details)
    38. Loureiro, J; Kopecky, D; Castro, S; Santos, C; Silveira, P (2007) Flow cytometric and cytogenetic analyses of Iberian Peninsula Festuca spp. Plant Systematics And Evolution. 269, 1-2, 89-105. (see details) ISI paper
      Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00606-007-0564-8
    39. Castro, S; Loureiro, J; Rodriguez, E; Silveira, P; Navarro, L; Santos, C (2007) Evaluation of polysomaty and estimation of genome size in Polygala vayredae and P-calcarea using flow cytometry. Plant Science. 172, 6, 1131-1137. (see details) ISI paper
      Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plantsci.2007.03.002
    40. Castro, S; Loureiro, J; Santos, C; Ater, M; Ayensa, G; Navarro, L (2007) Distribution of flower morphs, ploidy level and sexual reproduction of the invasive weed Oxalis pes-caprae in the western area of the Mediterranean region. Annals Of Botany. 99, 3, 507-517. (see details) ISI paper
      Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcl273
    41. Castro S., Silveira P., Navarro L. (2006) Biologia de Polygala vayredae Costa. Lithodora - Novetats Botàniques De La Garrotxa. Institució Catalana D’història Natural . 1, 11 (see details)
    42. Castro, S., Silveira, P., Pereira Coutinho, A., Figueiredo, E. (2005) Systematic studies in Tylosema (Leguminosae). Botanical Journal Of The Linnean Society. 147, 99-115 (see details)
    43. Pinto G., Valentim H., Costa A., Castro S., Santos C. (2002) Somatic embryogenesis in leaf callus from a mature Quercus suber L. tree. In Vitro Cellular & Development Biology- Plant. 38, 569-572 (see details)
    1. Perkins S., Perkins J., Monteiro de Oliveira J., Castro M., Castro S., Loureiro J. (2013) Untersuchung des Ploidiegrades elepidoter Rhododendron-Hybriden (Understanding the ploidy levels of hybrid elepidote rhododendrons). In: Rhododendron und Immergrüne . Deutsche Rhododendron-Gesellschaft e.V. . 15, 21-42. (see details)
    2. Perkins S., Perkins J., Monteiro de Oliveira J., Castro M., Castro S., Loureiro J. (2012) Weighing in: Discovering the ploidy of hybrid elepidote rhododendrons. In: Rhododendrons, Camellias and Magnolias. London. Royal Horticultural Society. (see details)
    3. Navarro L., Castro S., Ayensa G. (2008) Reproducción asexual como escape a problemas reproductivos sexuales: el caso de Oxalis pes-caprae. In: Invasiones Biológicas. CSIC-Ministerio de Medio Ambiente. (see details)
    1. Castro S. (2007) Reproductive biology and conservation of the endemic Polygala vayredae. Aveiro. Department of Biology - University of Aveiro. (see details)
    1. Navarro L., Ferrero V., Castro S., Loureiro J., Sánchez J.M., Sampedro S., Arós I.R. (2014) Causas e consequências das invasões biológicas: O caso de estudo da Azeda (Oxalis pes-caprae). (see details)
      Link: http://vimeo.com/78522467