Current Research

Ecological and evolutionary mechanisms shaping species niches

Understanding how phylogenetic constraints and eco-evolutionary forces shape species niches and functional roles is critical for both theoretical and conservation purposes. With intense scrutiny, however, the degree of conservatism in species’ niches is also the subject of considerable debates. This is probably not surprising given that ecological niche is a fairly abstract – but by essence multidimensional – concept. Conservatism of different aspects of species niches and related traits are thus needed to understand the processes driving the spatial (re)distribution of  species.

Comte L., Cucherousset J. & Olden J.D. (2017) Global test of Eltonian niche conservatism of nonnative freshwater fish species between their native and introduced ranges. Ecography, doi10.1111/ecog.02007.adobe-acrobat-logo

Screen Shot 2017-02-24 at 14.47.41.pngTrophic niche shifts between the introduced and native species' ranges within the δ13C and δ15N isotopic space.

Species’ responses to recent climate change

Distribution shifts poleward and upward in elevation are one of the main expected responses of species to climate change, as species attempt to track their favorable climate niche across space. In that context, my work seeks to assess how climate change and the potential interacting effects of other anthropogenic disturbances have affected the spatial distribution of species over the last decades. As a better understanding of the processes of range shifts are needed to be able to predict the vulnerability of species to future climate change, I am also interested in understanding how the ecological and evolutionary characteristics of species are linked to the observed distributional changes.

Comte L., Murienne J. & Grenouillet G. (2014). Species traits and phylogenetic conservatism of climate-induced range shifts in stream fishes. Nature Communications, 5: 5023, 10.1038/ncomm6053. adobe-acrobat-logo

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Theoretical expectations about the underlying mechanisms of range shifts in ectotherms.