Centre for the synthesis
and analysis of biodiversity

A centre created and developed by the FRB

NETSEEDSmallPixWorking Group NETSEED (Strengthening management of agrobiodiversity through social networks: A cross-disciplinary method for analyzing how local seed systems impact the diversity of domesticated plants) published results based on their CESAB research:

Under the incentive of the European Commission, the FP7 funded projects

GAPSARSmallPixWorking Group GASPAR ("General Approach to Species-Abundance Relationships in a context of global change, reef fish species as a model") published its first results from their work at CESAB, in Global Change Biology (2013) 19, 1373–1382.

Ecological traits and environmental affinity explain Red Sea fish introduction into the Mediterranean

*Department of Zoology, George s. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel
†Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Banyuls sur mer, Cedex 66651, France
‡ CESAB-FRB, Immeuble Henri Poincaré, Aix en Provence, Cedex 3, France

Alien species are considered one of the prime threats to biodiversity, driving major changes in ecosystem structure and function. Identifying the traits associated with alien introduction has been largely restricted to comparing indigenous and alien species or comparing alien species that differ in abundance or impact. However, a more complete understanding may emerge when the entire pool of potential alien species is used as a control, information that is rarely available. In the eastern Mediterranean, the marine environment is undergoing an unparalleled species composition transformation, as a flood of aliens have entered from the Red Sea following the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. In this study, we compile data on species traits, geographical distribution, and environmental affinity of the entire pool of reef-associated fish species in the Red Sea and more generally across the Indo-Pacific. We use this extensive data to identify the prime characteristics separating Red Sea species that have become alien in the Mediterranean from those that have not. We find that alien species occupy a larger range of environments in their native ranges, explaining their ability to colonize the seasonal Mediterranean. Red Sea species that naturally experience high maximum temperatures in their native range have a high probability of becoming alien. Thus, contrary to predictions of an accelerating number of aliens following increased water temperatures, hotter summers in this region may prevent the establishment of many alien species. We further find that ecological trait diversity of alien species is substantially more evenly spaced and more divergent than random samples from the pool of Red Sea species, pointing at additional processes, such as competition, promoting ecological diversity among alien species. We use these results to provide a first quantitative ranking of the potential of Red Sea species to become established in the eastern Mediterranean.

Keywords: bioinvasion, introduction, lessepsian migration, marine, reef fish, tropicalization
Received 5 September 2012; revised version received 18 November 2012 and accepted 4 December 2012

On September 26, 2012, CESAB's Scientific Committee met to evaluate the research proposals submitted in response to the third call for research proposals. The following 9 projects have been presented to the Executive Board of the Foundation for Research on Biodiversity at its October 11, 2012 session. This proposal has been validated. Final decision on the number of projects that will be financed will depend on the 2013 budget of the FRB (which must be adopted during the Executive Board meeting of December 5, 2011) as well as on the co-financing that will be available. The announcement of the projects that will be definitely selected will be made by December 10, 2012.   

List of the projects proposed for financing, in alphabetical order:

BIODIS: «Disentangling the linkages between biodiversity and emerging infectious diseases». Principal Investigator: Jean-François Guéguan (IRD, UMR MIVEGEC, Montpellier)

BIOFIC:«BIOdiversity and Fisheries: Indicators of Change». Principal Investigator: Yunne-Jai Shin (IRD, UMR EME, Sète et Université du Cap, AFS)

COREIDS: «Predicting community resilience to invasions from diversity and network structure». Principal Investigator: Patrice David (CNRS – UMR CEFE, Montpellier)

IRBAS: «Intermittent River Biodiversity Analysis and Synthesis». Principal Investigator: Thibault Datry (IRSTEA – Lab. DYNAM, Lyon)

RAINBIO: «African RAIN forest community dynamics: implications for tropical BIOdiversity conservation and climate change mitigation». Principal Investigator: Thomas Couvreur (UMR DIADE, Montpellier)

TraitSpectrum: «Towards a global multidimensional spectrum of plant function». Principal Investigator: Sandra Lavorel (CNRS – UMR LECA, Grenoble)

TropFun: «Global meta-analyses of tropical tree functional strategies, community assembly and forest dynamics: towards predictions of tropical forest response to global change». Principal Investigator: Christopher Baraloto (INRA – UMR EcoFog, Kourou, Guyane)

WeedScale: «Interactions between ecological and agricultural processes on weed species assembly at different temporal and spatial scales: analyzing merged data to deliver a consolidated basis for predicting sustainable management». Principal Investigator: Sabrina Gaba (INRA – UMR Agroécologie , Dijon)

WOODIV: «Origin and congruence of taxonomic, phylogenetic, functional and paleoecological diversity patterns: European-Mediterranean woody plant biodiversity as a model». Principal Investigator: Frédéric Médail (AMU – UMR IMBE, Marseille)



On October 13, 2011, the scientific and orientation advisory board of CESAB met to evaluate the 23 research proposals received in response to CESAB's second call for research proposals. For this evaluation, the board sought evaluations from external advisors. Each project was evaluated by two to three external advisors from abroad (70%) and from France (30%)