Theoretical and Experimental Ecology Station

Eco-Evolutionary Dynamics in changing Landscapes (EEDYL)

Our Research

The key role of intraspecific biodiversity

Individual heterogeneity is key to many eco-evolutionary processes: natural selection skims off at each generation maladapted alleles to current environmental conditions by preventing the reproduction of their carriers.

Intra-specific biodiversity has thus a key role in those basic eco-evolutionary processes by providing the basic material on which natural selection can act.

However, the insights that intra-specific biodiversity is at least as important as species or community diversity are still under-estimated by our research community.

In EEDYL, we focus on how and why intra-specific biodiversity occurs and shapes eco-evolutionary processes at higher biological organisation level, from life-history evolution to ecosystem functioning through metapopulation and metaecosystem dynamics.

People involved in this research theme: Virginie Stevens, Delphine Legrand, Simon Blanchet, Michel Baguette, Allan Raffard, Jérôme Prunier 

Species interactions under global change

Species are tightly entangled in various complex networks, and species interactions are often mediated by environmental changes.

Global changes can strongly modify the ways species interact, which can lead to cascading extinction or to speciation.

In this research theme we seek at unrevealing how global changes alter the nature and strength of interspecific interactions, and how this can lead to new “interactive landscapes”.

People involved in this research theme: Virginie Stevens, Simon Blanchet, Michel Baguette, Eglantine Mathieu-Bégné, Eloïse Duval, Marine Deluen, Audrey Trochet

From evolutionary theory to evolutionary applications

Managers and stakeholders are often lacking objective and efficient tools to quantify the effects of global change and restoration plans on population dynamics and biodiversity recovery.

We built on existing and new evolutionary theories to develop operational tools for managers. We focus on habitat fragmentation and how to efficiently quantify connectivity in complex landscapes (rivers, meadows, forests…) and on several key species.

People involved in this research theme: Virginie Stevens, Simon Blanchet, Michel Baguette, Kéoni Saint-Pé, Eloïse Duval, Jérôme Prunier

Spatial and temporal patters of intraspecific biodiversity

Many organisms live in spatially and temporally variables environments. This potentially results in heterogeneous distributions of intraspecific biodiversity. We aim at determining the main environmental drivers structuring diversity patterns and how eco-evolutionary processes modify these patterns through time. We focus on the impact of human-induced factors such as climate change, landscape modifications and pollution and how the interaction between dispersal, environmentally-induced mutagenesis and selection reshuffles intraspecific biodiversity. We ultimately use these patterns of distribution to propose appropriate planning of biodiversity conservation.

People involved in this research theme: Delphine Legrand, Simon Blanchet, Jérôme Prunier, Kéoni Saint-Pé, Virginie Stevens, Michel Baguette, Rik Verdonck

Mechanisms of organism adaptation to global change

The emergence of new beneficial variants can result from a panel of molecular modifications, including both genetic and non-genetic mechanisms. Adaptability to global changes relies thus on the complex interaction between several mechanisms potentially acting at different time-scales and cellular levels. In EEDYL, we aim at deciphering the molecular bases of adaptation to interacting dimensions of global change (climate change and pollution) using experimental evolution coupled with (epi)genomics.

People involved in this research theme: Delphine Legrand, Murielle Richard, Simon Blanchet, Virginie Stevens, Michel Baguette, Rik Verdonck, Laurane Willandy, Hugo Cayuela, Eglantine Mathieu-Bégné, Marine Deluen

 

Paleoclimates for understanding biodiversity patterns

Spatial patterns of biodiversity are shaped by a strong historical component and present-day ecological situation is the legacy of Pleistocene glacial / interglacial cycles and past climate fluctuations. This is particularly true in mid-latitude and mountain regions that are highly sensitive to climate change. We use the high-resolution continental climatic archives of speleothems to decipher the paleo-record of climatic conditions over long-time scale, to determine the natural variability of climate at both global and regional scales and to estimate the evolution of seasonality through time. We focuss on obtaining a consistent speleothem record at regional scale in order to understand the impact of past climatic events and landscape dynamics on species and ecosystems.

People involved in this research theme: Christine Perrin, Olivier Guillaume, Rebeca Martin-Garcia 

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