center for synthesis
and analysis of biodiversity

A centre created and developed by the FRB
Origin and congruence of taxonomic, phylogenetic, functional and paleoecological diversity patterns: the model of European-Mediterranean woody plant biodiversity

 Agathe Leriche - UMA, IMBE Université d'Aix-Marseille

Postdoctorate: Aggeliki Doxa

11 participants: Juan Arroyo - University of Seville (Spain); Gianluigi Bacchetta - University of Cagliari (Italy) ; Christophe Besacier, FAO (Italy); Vincent Devictor - CNRS ISEM (France); Panayotis Dimopoulos - University of Western Greece (Greece); Bruno Fady - INRA Avignon (France); Joël Guiot - CNRS CEREGE (France); Arne Hampe - INRA Pierroton (France); Frédéric Médail - IMBE Aix-Marseille University (France); Toni Nikolic - University of Zagreb (Croatia); Giovanni Giuseppe Vendramin - Plant Genetics Institute NRC (Italy).


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Taxonomic diversity is the most widely used indicator for biodiversity conservation, although genetic and functional diversity are major drivers of the spatial and temporal structure of biodiversity. Within the fast-growing field of eco-phylogenetics, we propose to test the congruence between taxonomic, phylogenetic, functional and paleo-ecological diversity of the tree species in the European Mediterranean region, in order to identify the factors underlying their spatial patterns. Our results will help prioritize biodiversity conservation measures by using the poorly explored functional and evolutionary components of biodiversity. We propose to collect available eco-phylogenetic and palaeoecological data for all native woody species of the study area. Spatial and meta-analyses and numerical modeling tools will be used to identify trends in patterns and level of congruence of three components of biodiversity, and to identify underlying driving factors.

Our particular approach aims to combine contemporary explanatory variables with (i) paleo-ecological data, providing a proxy for past diversity and human influences, as well as (ii) data from phylogeography of tree species and community phylogenetic. The project consortium includes internationally recognized taxonomists, functional and evolutionary ecologists, and paleo-ecologists but also stakeholders and results from the project will offer decision support for Mediterranean biodiversity management.

Woody plants, multi-level biodiversity, écophylogenetics, congruence, conservation