center for synthesis
and analysis of biodiversity

A centre created and developed by the FRB
General Approach to Species-Abundance Relationships in a context of global change, reef fish species as a model


Principal Investigator: Kulbicki Michel, IRD - Laboratoire Arago - BP44 - 66651 Banyuls/mer - France (

Post doctor: Valeriano Parravicini

10 participants:
Ernesto Arias-Gonzales, University of Merida, Mexico; David Bellwood, James Cook University, Australia; Pascale Chabanet, IRD, La Réunion; Sergio Floeter, Universidad Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil; Alan Friedlander, University of Hawaii, USA; Tim McClanahan, WCS-Marine Programs, USA; David Mouillot, University of Montpellier II- France; Derek Tittensor, IUCN, GB; Laurent Vigliola, IRD, New Caledonia; Boris Worm, Dalhousie University, Canada

Global changes more and more affect terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Although it might still be difficult to anticipate how they will evolve, a fundamental ecological question remains: how will these changes impact the structures and organization of communities? It is therefore fundamental to understand how communities—made up of a small number of common species along with a large number of less abundant or even rare species—might react to environmental factors. Such understanding would constitute a major step toward predicting the impact of global changes.

To answer this question, the GASPAR project will focus on coral reef fishes. They are the most diversified vertebrates in the world, and are sensitive to many global changes factors (temperature, increase in CO2). Data on these organisms are available from many reef systems of the planet and are sufficiently well-known which make coral reef fishes a very relevant model for the questions addressed in this project. Beyond these advantages, they are part of the richest ecosystems of the planet and they are also one of the most threatened. For many populations of the world, coral reefs are an important food resource, while protecting the coast against erosion. They also have an invaluable cultural, esthetic, and touristic value.

About the project