UMR BIOGECO (BIOdiversity, GEnes & COmmunities)
BIOGECO (UMR BIOdiversity, GEnes & Communities) is a Joint Research Unit (UMR) of INRA and the University of Bordeaux. The unit comprises of population, quantitative and evolutionary geneticists and ecologists. Research activities conducted by BIOGECO aims at elucidating the mechanisms that shape biological diversity in terrestrial ecosystems at different hierarchical levels: communities, species, populations, genes. Interactions between species, populations and individuals are therefore considered as main drivers of diversity. Research activities are oriented towards three major areas:
Structure and distribution of biological diversity in terrestrial ecosystems. Patterns of DNA diversity, species diversity and community composition are used for further inferences of evolutionary, genetic or ecological mechanisms. Recent efforts aimed at drawing a wide range of genomic diversity distribution in major European tree species.
Dynamics and evolution of biological diversity. Intra-specific evolutionary mechanisms (gene flow, colonisation dynamics, demographic dynamics) including biotic interactions (facilitation, competition, herbivory, symbiosis...) are monitored across a wide range of ecological settings to decipher major drivers of biodiversity.
Functional role of biodiversity in natural ecosystems. At the species level, adaptation at contemporary time scales as a result of selection-gene flow interaction has driven most of the recent research in this field and has stimulated the development of individual based evolutionary simulation models across entire distributions of tree species. At the ecosystem level, research activities aim at assessing ecosystem resilience to major biotic or abiotic perturbations, and to evaluate how resilience is dependent on community diversity.
During the past ten years, the research unit has concentrated research activities on natural ecosystems (mainly forest and grassland) with a special focus on temperate oaks, Mediterranean pines, and tropical trees.
Contribution to LabEx
BIOGECO will be LabEx’s coordinating partner. Its main contribution to LabEx will be to develop methods for assessing, monitoring and predicting the evolution of biological diversity in the different ecosystems investigated. The main objective of BIOGECO will be to provide an integrated diversity analysis by adopting a threefold strategy:
- Integration across hierarchical levels of diversity: from genes to communities
- Integration across spatial scales: from local populations to whole ecosystems
- Integration over contemporary time scales by using simulation methods.
In terms of research, the core of BIOGECO’s contribution and expertise to LabEx will be to capture the role of biodiversity as driver but also to target ecosystem evolution. It will be a major instigator of Ecosystem Modelling Platforms, where evolutionary models will be developed to evaluate adaptive responses of organisms under future scenarios of environmental changes.http://www4.bordeaux-aquitaine.inra.fr/biogeco_eng