UCF Biology

Pedro Quintana-Ascencio

Research Area(s): The interactive role of disturbance and spatial structure on plant community and population dynamics.


Dr. Quintana-Ascencio’s main academic interested has been the interactive role of disturbance and spatial structure on plant community and population dynamics. During the last decade, he has analyzed the population viability of several rare plant species endemic to the Lake Wales Ridge in central Florida and, because of the prominent role of fire in this ecosystem, he has emphasized population dynamics in relation to fire. To reach these goals, he combines long-term data collection, short-term studies, field experiments and modeling. He also works to understand community change with slash-and-burn agriculture in lowland tropical rain forests and highland pine-oak forests in southern Mexico. Recently, he initiated research to assess the synergistic effects of grazing and fire on species diversity of Florida wetlands. These efforts will provide opportunities to study basic biology, colonization dynamics, and restoration techniques.



  • Menges, E.S., P.F. Quintana-Ascencio, C.W. Weekley, and O.G. Gaoué. 2006. Population viability analysis and fire return intervals for an endemic Florida scrub mint. Biological Conservation 127: 115-127
  • Maschinski, J. J. E. Baggs. P. F. Quintana-Ascencio and E. S. Menges. 2006. Using population viability analysis to predict the effects of climate change on the extinction risk of an endangered limestone endemic shrub, Arizona Cliffrose. Conservation Biology 20: 218-228.
  • Boughton, E.A.; Quintana-Ascencio, P.F.; Menges, E.S. and Boughton, R.K. 2006. Association of ecotones with relative elevation and fire in an upland Florida landscape. Journal of Vegetation Science 17: 361-368.
  • Liu, H., E.S. Menges, and P. F. Quintana-Ascencio. 2005. Population viability ofChamaecrista keyensis – effects of fire, season and frequency. Ecological Applications 15: 210-221.
  • Menges, E. S. and P. F. Quintana-Ascencio. 2004. Evaluating population viability analysis with fire in Eryringium cuneifolium: deciphering a decade of demographic data. Ecological Monographs 74: 79-100.
  • Quintana-Ascencio, P. F., N. Ramírez-Marcial, M. González-Espinosa, and M. Martínez-Icó. 2004. Sapling survival and growth of conifer and broad-leaved trees in successional habitats in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico. Applied Vegetation Science 7: 81-88.



December 2009:

Teaching Incentive Program Awards 2008-2009 recipient: Pedro Quintana-Ascencio

April 2005: Pedro Quintana-Ascencio in collaboration with Chris Parkinson received a research grant in the amount of $127,691

April 2005: Pedro Quintana-Ascencio received a scholarship from the Spanish Ministry of Education to work in collaboration with researchers from the University of Valladolid at Soria.


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