Pablo Vargas Gómez
  • Research scientist
  • Speciality:

    Molecular systematics of vascular plants

  • Geographical region:Mediterranean region, Macaronesia
  • Line of research: Plant evolutionary biology
  • Professional profile

    Mi principal línea de investigación se viene denominando sistemática molecular de plantas vasculares (principalmente mediterráneas y macaronésicas): diversidad, biogeografía y conservación.

    Current research projects

    Secuenciación completa del genoma del olivo (Olea europaea L.). Entidades participantes: CSIC, CNAG y CRG

    2013 - 2016.  Banco Santander, universidades
    Selected Publications
  • Blanco-Pastor, J.L.; Ornosa, C.; Romero, D.; Liberal, I.M.; Gómez, J.M.; Vargas, P. 2015. Bees explain floral variation in a recent radiation of Linaria. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 28:851-863.

  • Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Vargas, P. 2015. Quaternary radiation of bifid toadflaxes (Linaria sect. Versicolores) in the Iberian Peninsula: low taxonomic signal but high geographic structure of plastid DNA lineages. Plant Systematics and Evolution 301:1411-1423.

  • Guzmán, B.; Gómez, J.M.; Vargas, P. 2015. Bees and evolution of occluded corollas in snapdragons and relatives (Antirrhineae). Perspectives in plant ecology, evolution and systematics 17:467-475

  • Guzmán, B.; Narbona, E.; Vargas, P. 2015. Investigating reproductive incompatibility barriers in a Mediterranean rock-rose (Cistus ladanifer). Plant Biosystems 149: 1-6.

  • Guzmán, B.; Rodríguez, C.M.; Forrest, A.; Cano, E; Vargas, P. 2015. Protected areas of Spain preserve most of the genetic diversity of Quercus ilex L. Tree genetics and genomes 11: 124

  • Heleno, R.H.; Vargas, P. 2015. How do islands become green? Global Ecology and Biogeography 24:518-526.

  • Jiménez-Mejías, P.; Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Amat, M.E.; Vargas, P. 2015. Narrow endemics in European mountains: High genetic diversity within the monospecific genus Pseudomisopates (Plantaginaceae) despite isolation since the late Pleistocene. Journal of Biogeography 42:1455-1468.

  • Jiménez-Mejías, P.; Vargas, P. 2015. Taxonomy of the tribe Apieae (Apiaceae) revisited as revealed by molecular phylogenies and morphological characters. Phytotaxa 212:57-79.

  • Mas de Xaxars, G.; García-Fernández, A.; Barnola, P.; Martín, J.; Mercadé, A.; Vallès, J.; Vargas, P.; Vigo, J.; Garnatje, T. 2015. Phylogenetic and cytogenetic studies reveal hybrid speciation in Saxifraga subsect. Triplinervium (Saxifragaceae).  Journal of Systematics and Evolution (DOI: 10.1111/jse.12105)

  • Navarro-Pérez, M.L.; Vargas, P.; Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; López, J.; Valtueña, F.J.; Ortega-Olivencia, A. 2015. Multiple windows of colonization to Macaronesia by the dispersal-unspecialized Scrophularia since the Late Miocene. Perspectives in Plant Ecology Evolution and Systematics 17:263-273.

  • Nogales, M.; Heleno, R.; Rumeu, B.; González-Castro, A.; Traveset, A.; Vargas, P.; Olesen, J.M. 2015. Seed-dispersal networks on the Canaries and the Galápagos archipelagos: Interaction modules as biogeographical entities. Global Ecology and Biogeography [in Press].

  • Traveset, A.; Olesen, J.M.; Nogales, M.; Vargas, P.; Jaramillo, P.; Antolín, E.; Trigo, M.M.; Heleno, R. 2015. Bird-flower visitation networks in the Galápagos unveil a widespread interaction release. Nature Communications 6, 6376.

    • Vargas, P.; Arjona, Y.; Nogales, M.; Heleno, R.H. 2015. Long-distance dispersal to oceanic islands: Success of plants with multiple diaspore specializations. AoB PLANTS 7:plv073.


    • Vargas, P.; Rumeu, B.; Heleno, R.H.; Traveset, A.; Nogales, M. 2015. Historical isolation of the Galápagos carpenter bee (Xylocopa darwini) despite strong flight capability and ecological amplitude. PLoS ONE 10: e0120597.

    • Vigalondo, B.; Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Vargas, P.; Sáez, L. 2015. Unmasking cryptic species: Morphometric and phylogenetic analyses of the Ibero-North African Linaria incarnata complex. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 177:395-417.

    • Amat, M.E.; Vargas, P.; Gómez, J.M. 2014. Factors controlling seed germination of the Iberian critically endangered Pseudomisopates (Antirrhinaceae). Plant Systematics and Evolution 300: 2127-2134.

    • Cires, E.; Baltisberger, M.; Cuesta, C.; Vargas, P.; Prieto, J.A.F. 2014. Allopolyploid origin of the Balkan endemic Ranunculus wettsteinii (Ranunculaceae) inferred from nuclear and plastid DNA sequences. Organisms Diversity and Evolution 14: 1-10.

    • Escudero, M.; Martín-Bravo, S., Mayrose, I.; Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Fiz-Palacios, O.; Hipp, A.L.; Pimentel, M.; Jiménez-Mejías, P.; Valcárcel, V.; Vargas, P.; Luceño, M. 2014. Karyotypic Changes through Dysploidy Persist Longer over Evolutionary Time than Polyploid Changes. PLoS ONE 9: e85266.

    • Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Jiménez-Mejías, P.; Rotllan-Puig, X.; Vargas, P. 2014. Narrow endemics to Mediterranean islands: Moderate genetic diversity but narrow climatic niche of the ancient, critically endangered Naufraga (Apiaceae). Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 16: 190-202.

    • Liberal, I.M.; Burrus, M.; Suchet, C.; Thébaud, C.; Vargas, P. 2014. The evolutionary history of Antirrhinum in the Pyrenees inferred from phylogeographic analyses. BMC Evolutionary Biology  14 (1): e146.

    • Magallon, S.; Vargas ,P. 2014. Eudicotyledons: The Greatest Flower Diversity in Angiosperms. In:  Vargas; Zardoya (eds.).The Tree of Life. Sinauer Associates, Inc., Publishers, Sunderland, US.  pp. 156-166.

    • Otero, A.; Jiménez-Mejías, P.; Valcárcel, V.; Vargas, P. 2014 Molecular phylogenetics and morphology support two new genera (Memoremea and Nihon) of Boraginaceae s.s. Phytotaxa 173: 241-277.

    • Rumeu, B.; Vargas, P.; Jaén-Molina, R.; Nogales, M.; Caujapé-Castells, J. 2014. Phylogeography and genetic structure of the threatened Canarian Juniperus cedrus (Cupressaceae). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 175: 376-394.

    • Valcarcel,V.; Vargas, P.I. 2014. Tracheophytes: Land Conquest by Vascular Plants. In: Vargas; Zardoya (eds.).The Tree of Life. Sinauer Associates, Inc., Publishers, Sunderland, US. pp. 96-108.

    • Vargas, P. 2014. Angiosperms: Plants with Flowers that Produce Fruits. In: Vargas; Zardoya (eds.).The Tree of Life. Sinauer Associates, Inc., Publishers, Sunderland, US. pp. 132-142.

    • Vargas, P. 2014. Evolution on Islands. In: Vargas; Zardoya (eds.).The Tree of Life. Sinauer Associates, Inc., Publishers, Sunderland, US. pp. 577-594.

    • Vargas, P. 2014. Mammals: Prolific Speciation after Dinosaurs' Demise. In: Vargas; Zardoya (eds.).The Tree of Life. Sinauer Associates, Inc., Publishers, Sunderland, US. pp. 502-518.

    • Vargas, P.; Nogales, M.; Jaramillo, P.; Olesen, J. M.; Traveset, A.; Heleno, R. 2014. Plant colonization across the Galápagos Islands: success of the sea dispersal syndrome. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 174: 349-358.

    • Vargas, P.; Valente, L.M.; Blanco-Pastor, J.L.; Liberal, I.; Guzmán, B.; Cano, E.; Forrest, A.; Fernández-Mazuecos, M. 2014. Testing the biogeographical congruence of palaeofloras using molecular phylogenetics: snapdragons and the Madrean-Tethyan flora. Journal of Biogeography 41: 932-943.

    • Vargas, P.; Zardoya, R. 2014. The Tree of Life. Sinauer Associates Inc., Publishers, Sunderland, US. 713 pp. ISBN 978-1-60535-229-9.

    • Zamora, S.; Dominguez, P.; Vargas, P. 2014. Echinoderms: Reinventing Radial Symmetry. In: Vargas; Zardoya (eds.).The Tree of Life. Sinauer Associates, Inc., Publishers, Sunderland, US. pp. 448-459.

    • Alarcón, M.; Roquet, C.; García-Fernández, A.; Vargas, P.;  Aldasoro, J.J. 2013. Phylogenetic and phylogeographic evidence for a Pleistocene disjunction between Campanula jacobaea (Cape Verde Islands) and C. balfourii (Socotra). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 69: 828-836.

    • Alarcón, M.L.; Vargas, P.; Aldasoro, J.J. 2013 Erodium maritimum (Geraniaceae), a species with an uneven and fragmented distribution along the Western Mediterranean and European Atlantic coasts, has a weak genetic structure. Plant Biology 15: 186-194.

    • Amat, M.E.; Silvertown, J.; Vargas, P. 2013. Strong spatial genetic structure reduces reproductive success in the critically endangered plant genus Pseudomisopates. Journal of Heredity 104: 692-703.

    • Amat, M.E.; Vargas, P.; Gómez, J.M. 2013. Effects of human activity on the distribution and abundance of an endangered Mediterranean high-mountain plant (Erysimum penyalarense). Journal for Nature Conservation 21: 262-271.

    • Besnard, G.; Khadari, B.; Navascués, M.; Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; El Bakkali, B.; Arrigo, N.; Baali-Cherif, D.; Brunini-Bronzini de Caraffa, V.; Santoni, S.; Vargas, P.; Savolainen, V. 2013. The complex history of the olive tree: from Late Quaternary diversification of Mediterranean lineages to primary domestication in the northern Levant. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 280: 20122833.

    • Blanco-Pastor, J.L.; Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Vargas, P. 2013. Past and future demographic dynamics of alpine species: Limited genetic consequences despite dramatic range contraction in a plant from the Spanish Sierra Nevada. Molecular Ecology 22: 4177-4195. 

    • Blanco-Pastor, J.L.; Vargas, P. 2013. Autecological traits determined two evolutionary strategies in Mediterranean plants during the Quaternary: low differentiation and range expansion versus geographical speciation in Linaria. Molecular Ecology 22: 5651-5668. 

    • Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Blanco-Pastor, J.L.; Gómez, J.M.; Vargas, P. 2013. Corolla morphology influences diversification rates in bifid toadflaxes (Linaria sect. Versicolores). Annals of Botany 112: 1705-1722. 


    • Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Blanco-Pastor, J.L.; Vargas, P. 2013. A phylogeny of toadflaxes (Linaria Mill.) based on nuclear ITS sequences: systematic and evolutionary consequences. International Journal of Plant Sciences 174(2): 234-249.

    • Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Vargas, P. 2013. Congruence between distribution modelling and phylogeographical analyses reveals Quaternary survival of a toadflax species (Linaria elegans) in oceanic climate areas of a mountain ring range. New Phytologist 198(4): 1274-1289.

    • García-Verdugo, C.; Calleja, J.A.; Vargas, P.; Silva, L.; Moreira, O.; Pulido, F. 2013 Polyploidy and microsatellite variation in the relict tree Prunus lusitanica L.: How effective are refugia in preserving genotypic diversity of clonal taxa? Molecular Ecology 22: 1546-1557.

    • Heleno, R.H.; Olesen, J.M.; Nogales, M.; Vargas, P.; Traveset, A. 2013. Seed dispersal networks in the Galápagos and the consequences of alien plant invasions. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 280 (1750).    

    • Navarro-Pérez, M.L.; López, J.; Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Rodríguez-Riaño, T.; Vargas, P.; Ortega-Olivencia, A. 2013. The role of birds and insects in pollination shifts of Scrophularia (Scrophulariaceae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 69: 239-254.

    • Traveset, A.; Heleno, R.; Chamorro, S.; Vargas, P.;  McMullen, C. K.; Castro-Urgal, R.; Nogales, M.; Herrera, H.W.; Olesen, J.M. 2013. Invaders of pollination networks in the Galapagos Islands: emergence of novel communities.  Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 280: 20123040. 

    • Valcárcel, V.; Vargas, P. 2013. Phylogenetic reconstruction of key traits in the evolution of ivies (Hedera L.) Plant Systematics and Evolution 299:447-458.

    • Valente, L.M.; Vargas, P. 2013. Contrasting evolutionary hypotheses between two mediterranean‐climate floristic hotspots: the Cape of southern Africa and the Mediterranean Basin. Journal of Biogeography 40: 2032-2046.

    • Alarcón, M.; Vargas, P.; Sáez, L.; Molero, J.;  Aldasoro, J. J. 2012. Genetic diversity of mountain plants: two migration episodes of Mediterranean Erodium (Geraniaceae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 63: 866-876.  

    • Blanco-Pastor, J.L.; Vargas, P.; Pfeil, B.E. 2012. Coalescent simulations reveal hybridization and incomplete lineage sorting in mediterranean Linaria. PLoS ONE 7 (6): e39089. 

    • Calviño-Cancela, M.; Escudero, M.; Rodríguez-Pérez, J.; Cano, E.; Vargas, P., Velo-Antón, G., Traveset, A. The role of seed dispersal, pollination and historical effects on genetic patterns of an insular plant that has lost its only seed disperser. Journal of Biogeography 39: 1996-2006.

    • Cires, E.; Cuesta, C.; Vargas, P.; Fernández Prieto, J.A. 2012. Unravelling the evolutionary history of the polyploid complex Ranunculus parnassiifolius (Ranunculaceae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 107: 477-493. 

    • Nogales, M.; Heleno, R.; Traveset, A.; Vargas, P. 2012 Evidence for overlooked mechanisms of long-distance seed dispersal to and between oceanic islands. The New Phytologist 194: 313-317.

    • Santos-Gally, R. Vargas, P.; Arroyo, J. 2012. Insights into Neogene Mediterranean biogeography based on phylogenetic relationships of mountain and lowland lineages of Narcissus (Amaryllidaceae). Journal of Biogeography 39: 782-798.

    • Vargas, P.; Heleno, R.; Traveset, A.; Nogales, M. 2012 Colonization of the Galápagos Islands by plants with no specific syndromes for long-distance dispersal: a new perspective. Ecography 35: 33-43. 

    • Amat, M.E.; Vargas, P.; Gómez, J.M. 2011. Pollen quality limitation in the Iberian critically endangered genus Pseudomisopates (Antirrhinaceae). Plant Ecology 212(6): 1069-1078. 

    • Balaguer, L.; Arroyo-García, R.; Jiménez, P.; Jiménez, M. D.; Villegas, L.; Cordero, I.; Rubio de Casas, R.; Fernández-Delgado, R.; Ron, M. E.; Manrique, E.; Vargas, P.; Cano, E.; Pueyo, J.J.; Aronson, J. 2011. Forest Restoration in a Fog Oasis: Genetic and Ecophysiological Evidence Indicates Need for Cultural Awareness in Constructing the Reference. PLoS ONE  6(8): e23004.

    • De Casas, R.R.; Vargas, P.; Pérez-Corona, E.; Manrique, E.; García-Verdugo, C.; Balaguer, L. 2011. Sun and shade leaves of Olea europaea respond differently to plant size, light availability and genetic variation. Functional Ecology 25: 802-812.

    • Fernández-Mazuecos, M., Vargas, P. 2011. Historical isolation versus recent long-distance connections between Europe and Africa in bifid toadflaxes (Linaria sect. Versicolores) PLoS ONE, 6 (7): e22234. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0022234

    • Fernández-Mazuecos, M.; Vargas, P. 2011. Genetically depauperate in the continent but rich in oceanic islands: Cistus monspeliensis (Cistaceae) in the canary islands PLoS ONE 6 (2): e17172

    • Guzmán, B.; Narbona, E.; Vargas, P. 2011. Similar reproductive success of the two petal colour polymorphisms of Cistus ladanifer (Cistaceae). Plant Biosystems 145: 931-937.

    • Heleno, R.; Blake, S.; Jaramillo, P.; Traveset, A.; Vargas, P.; Nogales, M. 2011. Frugivory and seed dispersal in the Galápagos: what is the state of the art? Integrative Zoology 6: 88-106.

    • Rumeu, B.; Caujapé-Castells, J.; Blanco-Pastor, J.L.; Jaén-Molina, R.; Nogales, M.; Elias, R.B.; Vargas, P. 2011. The colonization history of Juniperus brevifolia (Cupressaceae) in the Azores islands. PLoS ONE 6 (11): e27697

    • Valente, L.; Savolainen, V.; Manning, J.C.; Goldblatt, P.; Vargas, P. 2011. Explaining disparities in species richness between Mediterranean floristic regions: a case study in Gladiolus (Iridaceae). Global Ecology and Biogeography 20:881-892.

    • Valente, L.M.; Savolainen V.; Vargas, P. 2010. Unparalleled rates of species diversification in Europe. Proceedings of the Royal Society B published online before print January 27, 2010, (doi:10.1098/rspb.2009.2163)

    • Vargas, P.; Carrió, E.; Guzmán, B.; Amat, E.; Güemes, J. 2009. A geographical pattern of Antirrhinum (Scrophulariaceae) speciation since the Pliocene based on plastid and nuclear DNA polymorphisms. J. Biogeogr. 36, 1297–1312.

    • De Casas, R.R.; Cano, E.; Balaguer, L.; Pérez-Corona, E.; Manrique, E.; García-Verdugo, C. et al. 2007. Taxonomic identity of Quercus coccifera L. in the Iberian peninsula is maintained in spite of widespread hybridisation, as revealed by morphological, ISSR and ITS sequence data. Flora: Morphology, Distribution, Functional Ecology of Plants, 202 (6), 488-499.

    • Guzmán, B.; Vargas, P. 2005. Systematics, character evolution, and biogeography of Cistus L. (Cistaceae) based on ITS, trnL-trnF, and matK sequences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 37(2): 644-660. 

    • Vargas, P.; Rosselló, J. A.; Oyama, R.; Güemes, J. 2004. Molecular evidence for naturalness of genera in the tribe Antirrhineae (Scrophulariaceae) and three independent evolutionary lineages from the New World and the Old. Plant  Systematics and  Evolution 249: 151-172.

    • Hess, J.; Kadereit, J.; Vargas, P. 2000. The colonization history of Olea europaea L. in Macaronesia based on internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS-1) sequences, randomly amplified polymorphic DNAs (RAPD), and inter-simple sequence repeats (ISSR). Molecular Ecology 9: 857-868.

    • Vargas, P., Baldwin, B.G.; Constance, L. 1998.  Nuclear ribosomal DNA evidence for a western North American origin of Hawaiian and South American species of Sanicula (Apiaceae).  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 95: 235-240.

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