Biodiversity, Genes and Communities
Joint research unit INRA-University Bordeaux
Permanent host unit of CIRAD and FCBA scientists
The research program of the Joint Research Unit for "Biodiversity, Genes and Communities" is directed towards the analysis of mechanisms governing the evolution of diversity at different levels (communities, species, populations, genes) with a view to sustainable management of resources and environments. Research conducted at our group are intended to promote a more integrated analysis of biological diversity, by considering interactions between species, populations and individuals as drivers of its evolution.
Three cross-cutting projects structure the scientific activities of our research unit.
Phenology and climate change
Phenology is the study of variations of periodic phenomena of plant and animal life in relation to climate. Rapid climate changes which we are currently witnessing are already changing the life cycle of many organisms; data indicate that the past 5 decades climate warming already affected the physiology, phenology and distribution of species. The most significant impacts were observed for leaf phenology (budburst of forest trees) and flowering (fruit trees like apple tree), dates of fruit maturation (the clearest example being vine) and the phenology of migration of birds and fishes. In our reseach unit, phenology monitoring are done on tree and pathogenic fungi organisms, in natural forests of the Pyrenees mountains along altitudinal gradients, in common gardens and reciprocal transplant experiments.
Oak regeneration : role of biotic interactions
The role of biotic interactions in maintaining biodiversity has hardly been studied during the regeneration of forest trees, despite the challenge posed by renewal of forests in addressing global change impacts.
Sustainable management of planted forests
Environmental concerns are growing so that the social demand insists on developping a true multi-use management of natural spaces and especially forests. Moreover questions are raised about their management under changing climate conditions (drought, storm, health risk) but also socio-economic changes. In the context of planted forests, the focus will be on the impact of silvicultural practices on the sustainable management of these ecosystems. Knowledge of the functioning of a forest ecosystem requires to associate functional ecology, community ecology and population genetics. In our research unit, we are combining an analytical approach of growth and risks assessments (pathogens, insects, wind) on a wide network of observation and experimentation plots, distributed throughout the Massif des Landes de Gascogne, to a modeling approach developed in the framework of the Capsis platform.