DuneBiodiv (BioGeCo / ISPA)
From gene to ecosystem: multilevel structure of biological diversity across environmental gradients in the Atlantic coastal sand dune plant community.
The relative strength of the different processes that structure biological diversity matters to understand how species and communities respond to environmental challenges such as global changes. Because each species and community interacts with the environment in a particular way, single species or community studies fall short of moving beyond descriptive pattern of the specific system under study. More generalized insights might benefit from multi-species studies that are now accessible thanks to the very recent developments of cost-effective molecular methods and integrative statistical frameworks.
The Atlantic coastal dune ecosystem offers an excellent opportunity to study the contribution of historic, abiotic and biotic factors in structuring neutral (molecular markers) and functional (ecological traits) diversity at the population (intra-specific diversity) and community (specific diversity) levels. This project will combine population genetics, landscape ecology, functional ecology and community ecology in an integrative and comparative multi-species approach. Population genetic capacity to characterize diversity pattern originating from pure neutral processes will provide a benchmark for the study of functional trait variation within species and species diversity within communities. The study will benefit from a well characterised ecosystem structured by two environmental gradients acting on plant population dynamics at different spatial scales and will provide a multi-scale snapshot of the different drivers of biological diversity and its likely evolution in the face of environmental challenges ahead.
Project leader : Olivier Lepais (BioGeCo) - MAIL
Partners : ISPA, ONF
© Photo : Frédéric Revers