Theme 1: Paleoecology and Macroecology

Theme leader: Frédéric Médail (Aix-Marseille University)

This theme studies the structure and dynamics of ecosystems, taking into account processes on large scales in space (global, biomes, biogeographic regions) and time (some centuries to millions of years).

The main objective is to analyse the impact of global processes (climate change, land use change, human impacts etc) on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

The work is based on disciplines that allow paleoenvironmental reconstructions (paleoecology, paleoclimatology, dendrochronology), coupled to macroecological and biogeographic approaches, including phylogeographic modelling (in cooperation with theme 2). Studies concern the entire Earth as well as certain regions (Mediterranean basin, Alps, Iran/Turkey, Sahara).

By systematically addressing interconnections between scales, and by integration a large number of structuring elements, the theme contributes directly to the field of global ecology, which is considered a suitable conceptual and methodological tool for the study of major environmental problems as well as the dynamics of biodiversity.