center for synthesis
and analysis of biodiversity

A centre created and developed by the FRB
Global patterns of insect diversity, distribution and evolutionary distinctness - What can we learn from two of the best-documented families of moths?

 Rodolphe Rougerie - MNHN (Paris, France)

11 participants: Jan Beck - University of Basel (Switzerland) ; Thibaud Decaëns - Université de Montpellier, CEFE (France) ; Paul D. N. Hebert - University of Guelph (Canada) ; Ian J. Kitching - Natural History Museum (London, UK) ; Sébastien Lavergne - CNRS, LECA (Grenoble, France) ; Carlos Lopez‐Vaamonde - INRA, URZF (Orléans, France) ; Hélène Morlon - CNRS, ENS (Paris, France) ; Jérôme Murienne - CNRS, Université Paul Sabatier (Toulouse, France) ; Stuart Pimm - Duke University (USA) ; Jean-Yves Rasplus - INRA (Montpellier, France) ; Sujeevan Ratnasingham - University of Guelph (Canada)

Discover the project on Youtube




Large-scale patterns of species diversity, distribution and evolutionary distinctiveness serve as the basis for conservation strategies and for developing the theoretical models needed to predict the impact of global change on biodiversity. However, all global species-level macroecological studies to date have been carried out in vertebrates or plants, and nothing is known at that scale for insects, the most diverse group of terrestrial organisms. ACTIAS proposes to bridge that gap for the first time through a global-scale macroecological analysis of two of the best-documented families of moths.

Benefiting from the wealth of diversity, distribution, ecology and phylogeny information available, including a DNAbarcode database for 95% of the world species, we will use spatial distribution modeling methods to document the distribution of diversity and of its evolutionary distinctness, and to highlight areas where these are concentrated and most threatened.
Because the spatial and temporal dynamics of speciation are expected to cause disparities in the observed patterns, we will explore the role of species-traits in shaping current diversity and distributions by combining traits and comparative phylogeographic analyses in New World species. These results can provide an objective ground for finetuning the theoretical models within subgroups and for their application in other regions of the globe.

Type of ecosystems studied:
Terrestrial ecosystems

Geographical focus countries and regions (territories, areas, seas) concerned:

Biodiversity, insects, Lepidoptera, macroecology, biogeography, conservation, Species Distribution Modeling