Theoretical and Experimental Ecology Station

Eco-Evolutionary Dynamics in changing Landscapes (EEDYL)

Research Projects


Intraspecific diversity as a major component of Biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships


Understanding the relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEFs) has major implications.
Most BEFs studies have focused on mechanisms operating at the interspecific level, although biodiversity also comprises an intraspecific facet that could be important for ecosystem functioning.

The main objectives of iBEF are to quantify the influence of intraspecific diversity on ecosystem functions, to unravel mechanisms linking intraspecific diversity to ecosystem multifunctionality and to integrate further intraspecific diversity into the BEF framework and into conservation policies.

iBEF focuses on ten species living in river ecosystems and interacting within a trophic network (from producers to secondary consumers).
The project combines observational and experimental approaches and is structured into four tasks, each fulfilling ambitious and novel objectives.


This project is funded by the Agence Nationale pour la Recherche and by the labex Tulip.


This project will generate novel results that should lead to a major rethinking of the BEF framework that would rest on an integrative view of the relationships between the environmental drivers, intra- and interspecific diversity, and ecosystem functions.

The iBEF project will also favour the general acceptance that intraspecific diversity should be preserved and managed efficiently, not only because it is the raw for evolution to occur, but also because its loss would significantly erode the way ecosystems function and the services they provide.

iBEF is organized around three complementary tasks

➔ Determinate whether intraspecific diversity substantially contributes to ecosystem functioning in the wild.
Using observational data in the wild synthetizing local scale measures of intra- and interspecific richness and of environmental conditions, we will quantify the effects of intraspecific diversity on key ecological functions (primary productivity, secondary productivity and nutrient cycling). We will further test how much of the variability in ecosystem multifunctionality is due to direct effects of intraspecific diversity, to direct effects of environmental drivers, and to indirect effects of environmental drivers mediated by intraspecific diversity.

➔ Etablish the relative importance of intra- vs. interspecific diversity on ecosystem functioning, while controlling for other drivers.
We will use mesocosm experiments focusing on five of the ten species and varying simultaneously intra- and interspecific richness to test how much of the variability in ecosystem functioning is due to changes in each of these two facets of biodiversity.

➔ Determinate the relative importance of intraspecific diversity on ecological functions compared to the effect of climate warming.
We will use an experimental approach varying both intraspecific richness (in the same five species than in task 2) and water temperature to tease apart direct effects due to warming and intraspecific diversity, as well as indirect effects of warming mediated by intraspecific diversity on ecosystem multifunctionality.

➔  Dedicated to communicate our results to other scientists, but also to environmental managers as our project will inform on how much of ecosystem functions is loss when loosing intraspecific richness, and hence why it is important to conserve this facet of biodiversity.

Principal Investigator

Simon Blanchet is the PI on the iBEF project, working with researchers José Montoya, Julien Cucherousset, Mickaël Danger, Murielle Richard, Jérôme Prunier, Allan Raffard and Loïc Tudesque.


Global changes and metacommunities: species interactions and spatial dynamics


This project is funded by the Agence Nationale pour la Recherche.


Principal Investigator

Virginie Stevens is the PIs. Michel Baguette and Hanne de Kort are working on that project.


ISOLement Anthropique des POPulations


This project is funded by the Agence Nationale pour la Recherche.


Fish introduced in mountain environments in the 19th century are susceptible to act as a barrier in rivers that could induce population isolation of Pyrenean brook newt, an endemic amphibian. ISOLAPOP project aims to study this newts-fish interaction, at ecological and socio-economic levels, in order to propose a durable management plan.


Introduced species, if they became invasive, could alter ecosystems functioning. Stocking in lakes and rivers is a common practice around the globe, giving fishermen sufficient number of fish. In the Pyrenean Mountains, various farmed fish species were introduced since the 19th century, first for tourists’ alimentation, then recently for recreational fishery. Those anthropic activities constitute a significant part of the local economy, without questioning potential impacts on biodiversity.

Those introductions could have constrained patrimonial species populations, such as Pyrenean brook newt (Calotriton asper), by limiting the species presence in stocking zones (by predation, disturbance or competition) or by genetic isolation, increasing extinction risk. Isolation effect on biodiversity induced by human activities was poorly studied. Complex interactions between biological and socioeconomic systems (abiotic environnement – trophic resources – stocking – newts) in a common territory are the core of the ISOLAPOP project.

Based on collaborative multi-actors actions and on multi-scales interdisciplinary approaches (historical socio-economic and ecological analyses, experimental ecology, populations survey on the field and modelisation), the ISOLAPOP project aims to understand the effects of this anthropic isolation in order to integrate them in a model that could predict management plan efficiency on newts and fish populations in a context of climate change. The main objective is to propose durable management plans of a vulnerable territory, combining biodiversity conservation and piscicultural resource exploitation.

Research Team

Audrey Trochet, Hugo Le Chevalier, Marine Deluen, Olivier Calvez, Olivier Guillaume and Simon Blanchet are working on this project.

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Detection, distribution and impacts of an emerging parasite (Tetracapsuloides brysalmonae) in brow trout (Salmo trutta) populations


This project is funded by the Agence Française pour la Biodiversité.

Principal Invertigator

Simon Blanchet, Lisa Jacquin and Géraldine Loot are the co-PIs. Eloïse Duval is working on that project.


Ecological networks in protected areas


This project is funded by the Région Occitanie.

Principal Invertigator

Michel Baguette is the PI. Jérôme Prunier and Virginie Stevens are working on the project.


The Pyrenean ectotherms as bio-indicators of climate change


This project is funded by the FRAIB.

Principal Invertigator

Delphine Legrand is the PI. Hervé Philippe and Rik Verdonck are working on the project.


Biological connectivity in aquatic ecosystems: quantification, modelling and mitigation


This project is funded by the Région Occitanie and the Agence Française pour la Biodiversité.

Principal Invertigator

Simon Blanchet is the PI. Jérôme Prunier, Delphine Legrand, Thomas Deruelles, Olivier Calvez, Michèle Huet, Sylvain Moulherat and Sylvain Pioch are working on the project.


Quantification of brown trout (Salmo trutta) movements in impacted rivers: the utility of molecular markers


This project is funded by the Electricité de France and the Agence Française pour la Biodiversité.

Principal Invertigator

Simon Blanchet is the PI. Kéoni Saint-Pé, Julien Cucherousset and Géraldine Loot are working on the project.


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