Aix-Marseille University, Mediterranean Institute of Biodiversity and Ecology, Team “Diversity and Functioning: from Molecules to Ecosystems”

The team brings together ecologists working on both the Mediterranean marine and terrestrial environments. Common research interests are the effects of global changes on Mediterranean biodiversity at different biological levels: molecules, organisms, populations, ecosystems. Our objectives are to understand and possibly anticipate biological responses to stress driven by climate change and anthropic impacts on the environment. Several team members also use their naturalist and ecosystemic expertise to assist managers of marine and continental ecosystems.

The primary lines of research in our team focus on the responses to stress and disturbance of organisms, populations and ecosystems. This work is drawing on information from: reproduction, growth, phenology, primary and secondary metabolism, individual and ecosystem performance (ecophysiological or macro-ecophysiological approaches).

Our model ecosystems either present a high biodiversity and/or a high diversity of landscapes, where biotic interactions are high: pine- and oak-dominated forests, garrigues, coralligenous beds, marine semi-dark caves.

We can count on integrated observation systems such as O3HP, CLIMED platform, Prado artificial reefs, underwater caves.

Our three main research objectives are:

  • Describing the many components of biodiversity (specific, metabolic, genetic diversity), is a prerequisite for the Team’s research
  • Understanding adaptation to environmental changes, particularly through chemical ecology (metabolomics, chemical interactions, allelopathy)
  • Exploring the role of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning through the example of some key processes such as the use and/or recycling of organic matter, or the role of marine suspension feeders on benthic-pelagic coupling.

In line with the Educational Network on Soil and Plant Ecology and Management, we can propose different topics for bachelor or master’s theses linked between the biodiversity and the functioning of the Mediterranean forest in the context of climate change at the O3HP experimental site (see also here).


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