Sofia Costa
Phone: +351239855246
e-mail: sofia.costa@ci.uc.pt
Category: PostDoc
Department: Botany
Direct URL for this page: http://cfe.uc.pt/srcosta
clique para ver a imagem ampliada
Academic Achievements

PhD Biological Sciences, 2007. Lancaster University, UK

MSc Ecology, 2002. Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal

Licenciatura Biology, 1998. Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal
Research Interests

Multitrophic interactions between plants, rhizobia, plant-parasitic nematodes and their microbial enemies and their effects on plant diversity and distribution;

Direct and indirect interactions between populations in real food webs;

Population dynamics of host-parasite interactions.

Current Projects

Soil Ecology and Invasion Processes of Acacia longifolia in the Nature Reserve Dunas de S. Jacinto - Interactions between Plants, Rhizobia and Plant-parasitic Nematodes (Post Doc Grant)

The exotic legume Acacia longifolia, is an invasive plant that colonises approximately 80% of the inland dune system in the Nature Reserve Dunas de S. Jacinto and excludes the native legumes such as Ulex europaeus. Conversely, in New South Wales, Australia, A. longifolia is a native plant and U. europaeus is an invasive exotic considered a Weed of National Significance. The mechanisms that lead to invasion by exotic plants are still largely unknown, although it is thought that biotic interactions may play an important role in such processes. Plant mutualists such as mycorrhizal fungi and rhizobia, as well as plant antagonists like plant-parasitic nematodes and pathogenic fungi may directly affect plant distribution and diversity. However, these organisms are also known to interact with each others, indirectly affecting the success of plant populations. Research is being conducted to investigate the direct and indirect effects of soil antagonists (plant parasitic nematodes and pathogenic fungi), mutualists (mycorrhizal fungi and rhizobia) and nematode microbial enemies on growth of A. longifolia and U. europaeus both in their native and exotic roles. The potential of rhizobial associations in inducing plant defence against plant-parasitic nematodes will be further explored using proteomic analysis.

 

What Turns a Quiet Alien into a Powerful Invader? An assessment of introduction history and invasive plant traits (III/62/2008 - PI)

Vascular plants are among the most ubiquitous invaders of the biosphere. Unlike natives, alien (“non-native” or “exotic”) plants owe their presence to direct or indirect activities of humans. Although some are introduced accidentally, most have been deliberately introduced for agricultural, sylvicultural, ornamental, or medicinal purposes.

Almeida and Freitas list the presence of more than 550 vascular exotic species in Portugal, belonging to 113 families, which represent some 17% of the total Portuguese flora. Almost 40% of the listed species are actually or potentially invasive, including agricultural weeds and invaders of natural habitats, and ca. 7% are considered dangerous invaders.

We will complete the dataset of exotic species compiled by Almeida and Freitas (2006) with plant functional traits and tentatively relate invasiveness back to date, strategy and purpose of introduction. Our work will focus on the coastal areas of central Portugal. The critical questions in this research project are: what attributes make invasive species successful and why do only some introduced species become invasive? Does invasiveness depend on introduction history? What habitats are most threatened by invasion?

Selected Links
  • RESCOE - Risk Assessment And Ecological Sustainability of Cork Oak in Montado Ecosystems (see details)
  • What Turns a Quiet Alien into a Powerful Invader? An assessment of introduction history and invasive plant traits (see details)
    1. Piskiewicz AM, Duyts H, Berg MP, Costa SR, van der Putten WH (2007) Soil microorganisms control plant ectoparasitic nematodes in natural coastal foredunes. Oecologia. (see details)
    2. Costa SR, Kerry BR, Bardgett RD, Davies KG (2006) Exploitation of immunofluorescence for the quantification and characterization of small numbers of Pasteuria endospores. Fems Microbiology Ecology . 58, 3, 593-600 (see details)
      Link: Faculty of a 1000 Biology Recommended http://www.f1000biology.com/articl...
    3. van der Putten, WH; Cook, R; Costa, S; Davies, KG; Fargette, M; Freitas, H; Hol, WHG; Kerry, BR; Maher, N; Mateille, T; Moens, M; de la Pena, E; Piskiewicz, AM; Raeymaekers, ADW; Rodriguez-Echeverria, S; van der Wurff, AWG (2006) Nematode interactions in nature: Models for sustainable control of nematode pests of crop plants?. Advances In Agronomy, Vol 89. 89, 227-260. 0-12-000807-6. (see details) ISI paper
      Link: doi:10.1016/S0065-2113(05)89005-4
    4. Costa S dos S da R, Santos MSN de A, Ryan MF (2003) Effect of Artemisia vulgaris Rhizome Extracts on Hatching, Mortality and Plant Infectivity of Meloidogyne megadora. Journal Of Nematology . 35, 4, 437-442 (see details)
    1. RODRÍGUEZ ECHEVERRÍA, S., COSTA, S.R., FREITAS, H. (2007) Biodiversity and interactions in the rhizosphere: effects on ecosystem functioning. In: Handbook of functional Plant Ecology, 2nd Edition. CRC. . (see details)
    1. Costa SR (2006) Interactions between nematodes and their microbial enemies in a sand dune ecosystem. Department of Biological Sciences - Lancaster University, UK. (see details)
    2. Costa SR (2002) Interacções entre a planta Artemisia vulgaris e o nemátode das galhas radiculares Meloidogyne megadora. Departamento de Zoologia - Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia - Universidade de Coimbra. (see details)
    1. Costa SR, Freitas, H, Mathesius, U. (2008) Interactions between nematodes and rhizobia: from proteomics to plant distribution. (invited oral presentation). (see details)
    2. Costa, S.R, Kerry, B.R (2007) Plant-parasitic Nematodes as Components of the Soil Ecosystem (oral presentation by second author). (see details)
    3. Kerry, B.R, Costa, S.R (2007) Plant-parasitic Nematodes as Components of the Soil Ecosystem (oral presentation by first author). (see details)
    4. Costa, S.R, Freitas, H (2007) A Lei da Selva: o Submundo das Interacções Tróficas (oral presentation). (see details)
    5. Pereira Coutinho, A. (2006) Crisóstomo, J.A., Rodríguez-Echeverría, S., Costa, S.R. & Freitas, H. Comparação da taxa de crescimento de três espécies de leguminosas lenhosas: implicações no proceso de invasão ecológica. 2º Congresso Ibérico de Ecologia. Lisboa (Portugal) 18-21 July- 2006 . (see details)
    6. Costa, S, Davies, K.G, Bardgett, R, Kerry, B.R (2006) Immunological tools for the detection of Pasteuria spp. endospores (oral presentation). (see details)
    7. Crisóstomo, J.A, Rodríguez-Echeverría, S, Costa, S.R, Freitas, H (2006) Comparação da taxa de crescimento de três espécies de leguminosas lenhosas: implicações no proceso de invasão ecológica (poster). (see details)
    8. Costa, S. R, Davies, K.G, Bardgett, R, Kerry, B.R (2005) Bayesian Statistical Approaches to Modelling Pasteuria-Root-Knot Nematode Interactions (oral presentation - Best Student Paper Award). (see details)
    9. Loxdale, H.D, Costa, S, Emelianov, I, Davies, K (2005) Some Thoughts about Asexuals(oral presentation by the first author). (see details)
    10. Costa, S, Davies, K.G, Bardgett, R., Kerry, B.R. (2005) Microbial Enemies of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes in a Natural System (oral presentation). (see details)
    11. Costa, S, Davies, K.G, Bardgett, R, Kerry, B.R (2005) Diversity and Dynamics of Microbial Enemies to Nematodes in a Coastal Sand Dune (poster). (see details)
    12. Costa, S, Davies, K.G, Cook, R, Bardgett, R., Kerry, B.R (2005) Population Dynamics of Nematodes in a Natural System (poster). (see details)
    13. Costa, S, Davies, K.G, Bardgett, R, Kerry, B.R (2004) Control of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes in a Natural System: II the Diversity and Dynamics of Microbial Enemies (oral presentation). (see details)
    14. Costa, S., Davies, K.G, Bardgett, R, Kerry, B.R (2004) Pasteuria Spores in Coastal Sand Dunes: a Modified Method for Recovery and Quantification (poster). (see details)
    15. Costa, S, Davies, K.G, Bardgett, R, Kerry, B.R (2004) Fungal and Bacterial Enemies to Nematodes in the Rhizosphere of Ammophila arenaria: Preliminary Analysis of a Tri-trophic Community (poster). (see details)
    16. Fonseca, L, Vieira dos Santos, C, Costa, S., Abrantes, I, Santos, M. S. (2004) Characterization of Mucronate Forms of Bursaphelenchus xylophilus (poster). (see details)
    17. Costa, S, Davies, K.G., Bardgett, R, Kerry, B.R (2003) Fungal Antagonists to Nematodes Parasitic on Ammophila arenaria (poster). (see details)
    18. Santos, M.C.V. dos, Abrantes, I.M. de O, Costa, S. dos S. da R, Santos, M.S.N. de A (2002) Field evaluation of the effect of Verticillium chlamydosporium on Meloidogyne arenaria race 3 (poster). (see details)
    19. Santos, M.C.V, Abrantes, I.M. de O., Costa, S. dos S. da R, Santos, M. S. N. de A. (2001) Effect of Verticillium clamydosporium on tomato grown in a field infested with Meloidogyne arenaria race 3 (poster). (see details)
    20. Galhano, C.I.C, Costa, S. dos S. da R, Ryan, M.F., Santos, M.S.N. de A (1999) Actividade Nematicida de Algumas Araceae (poster). (see details)
    21. Almeida, A.M.F.S de, Costa, S. dos S. da R., Santos, M.S.N. de A. (1998) Susceptibilidade de Plantas a Meloidogyne megadora (poster). (see details)
    1. Wang K-H, Sipes BS, Schmitt S, MacGuidwin AE, McKenry M, Bliss TJ, Kerry BR, Costa S (2008) Plant Nematological Contributions to Phytopathology. APSnet Feature Story November 2008. The American Phytopathological Society. (see details)
      Link: http://www.apsnet.org/online/feature/nematology/
    2. Kerry B, Costa S (2007) Plant-parasitic nematodes as components of the soil ecosystem. (conference proceedings) Phytopathology 97(7): S157-S158. (see details)
    3. Santos, M. C. V. dos, Abrantes I. M. de O, Costa S R, Santos M. S. N. de A (2002) Field evaluation of the effect of Verticillium chlamydosporium on Meloidogyne arenaria race 3 (conference proceedings). Nematology 4, 283-284. (see details)