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Global change processes along Levels of Biodiversity integration (GLoB)

Our ability to preserve the integrity of forms and functions of biodiversity under the current global environmental changes depends of the integrated comprehension of the processes that govern global change impacts and the consecutive biodiversity responses, along the various levels of its integration, from genes to ecosystems. In temperate regions, two major processes concur to the current biodiversity crisis : (1) habitat fragmentation, with direct effects acting through the reduction of available habitat areas with consequences on population sizes and increasing harmful stochastic effects, and indirect effects acting through the increased functional isolation of those habitats, with putative consequences on genetic diversity, local adaptation, and trait evolution ; and (2) climate change, which also has both direct effects, for instance on physiological processes or phenology, and indirect effects acting through changed selective pressures on key traits and through changed community composition consecutive to range shifts. Several projects in GLoB address the processes by which those changes (as well as their interaction) affect biodiversity from genomes to ecosystems. They adopt complementary points of views, whose integration would participate to the excellence of TULIP

On the one hand we build theoretical models to investigate population dynamics, species synchrony and ecosystem stability in fluctuating environments, with the aim to test the findings with empirical data. Besides, we also explore theoretically the ecological and evolutionary consequences of non-trophic interactions, trait-mediated indirect interactions, and niche construction under environmental changes. 
On the other hand, our empirical works aims at assembling three complementary types of data (field, experimental, and genetic/genomic data) to identify key elements and tipping points in the response of biodiversity to global change, and to detect the processes by which the observed responses take place. 
First, we investigate how species traits respond and have responded to the pressures of the environment, focusing on both phenotypic and genomic responses. Particularly, we investigate the environmental impact on the traits involved in organism-abiotic environments interactions, like for instance the adaptation to caves in the Pyrenean salamander in relation to past climate history. Another project aims at disentangle how the interplay between dispersal and energy acquisition (by thermoregulation or glycolysis) shapes ecological specialization in lizards, toads and butterflies (10 species in total). 
Another focus is put on those traits involved in organism-organism interactions, particularly in mate choice, in parent-offspring competition, in kin competition, and in information transfer, all of prime importance for dispersal, a behavior that insures the spatial response of many organisms to both climate change and fragmentation. Two model organisms serve this part of the project, lizards and butterflies. 
Finally, the effects of global change on processes at work in metacommunities (here, we consider mainly dispersal and inter-specific interactions) and in ecosystems (material flows) are investigated with experiments conducted in meta-mesocosms (the Metatron and the Aquatron), coupled with genetics and field surveys using mostly fish-parasite and plant-butterfly-parasitoid models.
 
 
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