Eric Meineri

Maître de Conférences

Institut Méditerranéen de Biodiversité et d’Écologie Marine et Continentale (IMBE)
Aix Marseille Université Campus Sciences St Jérome
Avenue Escadrille Normandie Niémen
13397 Marseille cedex 20
Tel : 04 91 28 90 01



I am working with plant population responses to global changes and associated ecological models. The main research questions I am trying to address are :
- How can we account for local scale processes in species distribution models, and especially for large domain predictions of climate change impacts ?
- How can landscape heterogeneity buffers negative effects of global warming on plant populations and on biodiversity ?
- How does climate change affect demographic dynamics of plants ?
- What is the relative importance of biotic processes to understand species responses to climate change ?
To answer these questions, I look at geographical distributions of plants but also zoom in more key processes for plant population such as early life history stages. My research covers the fields of macroecology, global change ecology and population biology.

Keywords : Microrefugia, species distribution, seedling recruitment, biotic interactions, climate change



  • Since 2017 : Assistant Professor of Biostatistics at Aix-Marseille Université
  • 2016-2017 : Self employed as as consultant in plant ecology and biostatistics, France
  • 2013-2016 : Postdoc, University of Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2012-2013 : Postdoc, La Tour du Valat, Arles, France


  • 2012 : PhD in plant ecology, University of Bergen, Norway
  • 2007 : Master in Physical Geography, Université Blaise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand, France

Thématiques de recherche

Climate change and microrefugia
Microrefugia are local patches where species persist when the regional climate becomes unsuitable. I am particularly interested in the understanding of microrefugia and in improving our ability to account for microrefugia in species distribution modelling. I have been participating in -and conducting a series of research studies within this topic. We have been working on modelling the direct and indirect associations between landscape heterogeneity (mainly topography), local climate and species distribution at fine scale. Using this work, we have identified the most important topographic drivers of local climate and developed large domain climatic grids that improves our ability to account for microrefugia in species distribution modelling. We are now working on the impact of forest management, forest composition and forest structure on miroclimate and thereby on species fine scale distribution (see work of C.Greiser). My research within the topic of microrefugia will continue further, questioning the aspects of competition and of local adaptations within microrefugia. This work is mainly carried out together with K.Hylander and its team in Stockholm.

Climate change effects on seedling recruitment
seedling recruitment is critical for plant species response to climate change because it allows for genetic recombination and production of dispersal units. My work tries to improve our understanding on how climate and biotic interaction drives the different substages of seedling recruitment and how predicted changes in temperature and precipitation are likely to affect recruitment success. This research suggests, that in cold and wet region, most impacts of climatic changes on seedling recruitment would be mediated through an increase of competition. This would be likely due to an increase in the abundance of more competitive generalist species rather than in an increase in biomass productivity. Research within this topic is mainly carried out together with V.Vandvik and K.Klanderud and their respective teams in Bergen and Ås, Norway.

Other topics I have been working on and would like to develop further

  • Using species distributions models to improve ecological compensation
  • Modelling the spread of invasive species
  • Accounting for biotic interaction into species distribution models

Project participations

  • 2014-onward : Adaptation to climate change for both northern and southern species, PI : K.Hylander (Stockholm Unversity)
  • 2008-onward : SEEDCLIM : The role of seeds in a changing climate - linking germination ecophysiology to population and community ecology, PI : Vigdis Vandik (University of Bergen)
  • 2013-2015 : EKOKLIM, large transdisciplinary research program at Stockholm University
  • 2012-2013 : ECREVISSE, Potential impact of red swamp crayfish in Camague, PI : Francois Mesleard


J’interviens principalement dans les enseignements en statistiques des L2 et L3 SVT et du Master SET de l’Université Aix-Marseille.

Supervision :
- Doctorat :

  • C.Greiser (2015 – , co-encadrant) : Microrefuges et aires de tremplin - adaptation au changement climatique pour les plantes septentrionales et méridionales / Microrefugia and stepping stones- Adaptation to climate change for northern and southern species

- Master :

  • A.Gallois (M1, 2018) : Modélisation de la répartition de la consoude bulbeuse (Symphytum bulbosum Schimp.) en vue de sa conservation / Modelling the spatial distribution of endengered Symphytum bulbosum for conservation purpose
  • V.Journe (M1, 2015) : Distribution des plantes vasculaires septentrionales et microrefuges dans les forêts boréales face aux changements climatiques / Distribution of northern vacular plants and microrefugia in boreal forests in the light of climate change
  • P. Wognum (M2, 2014) : Effets des facteurs de forçage climatique sur les répartitions de plantes le long d’un gradient latitudinal / Effects of climate-forcing factors on plant distribution over a latitudinal gradient.
  • S. Le Mellec (M1, 2009) : Effets de la microtopographie sur la germination par graine / The effect of microtopography on seedling germination


Impact factor articles
[20] Töpper, J.P., Meineri. E., Olsen,S.O., Rydgren, K., Skarpaas, O. & Vandvik. V., 2018., The devil is in the detail : Nonadditive and context-dependent plant population responses to increasing temperature and precipitation. Global Change Biology., vol 00., pp1-10.

[19] Greiser, C., Meineri, E., Luoto, M., Ehrlén, J. & Hylander, K., 2018., Monthly microclimate models in a managed boreal forest landscape. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology., vol 250–251., pp147-158.

[18] Aalto, J., Riihimäki, HK., Meineri, E., Hylander, K. and Luoto, M. 2017., Revealing topoclimatic heterogeneity using meteorological station data. International Journal of Climatology., vol 37, pp 544–556.

[17] Klanderud, K†., Meineri, E†., Töpper, J., Michel, P., Vandvik, V. 2017., Biotic interaction effects on seedling recruitment along bioclinatic gradients : Testing the stress-gradient hypothesis. Journal of Vegetation Science., Vol 28., pp 347–356. † These authors contributed equally to the paper.

[16] Meineri, E. and Hylander, K., 2017., Fine-grain large-domain climate models based on climate stations and comprehensive topographic information improve microrefugia detection. Ecography., vol 40, pp1003-1013.

[15] Skarpaas, O., Meineri, E., Bargmann, T., Pötsch, C., Töpper, J. and Vandvik, V., 2016., Biomass partitioning in grassland plants along independent gradients in temperature and precipitation., Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics., Vol 19., pp 1-11.

[14] Meineri, E., Dahlberg, C.J. and Hylander, K., 2015., Using Gaussian Bayesian Networks to disentangle direct and indirect associations between landscape physiography, environmental variables and species distribution., Ecological modelling., Vol 313., pp 127–136.

[13] Vandvik, V., Klanderud, K., Meineri, E., Måren, I.E. and Töpper, J.P., 2015., Seed banks are biodiversity reservoirs : Species-area relationships above versus below ground., Oikos., Vol 125-2., pp 218-228.

[12] Verschut, T.A., Meineri, E. and Basset, A., 2015., Biotic interactions affect the colonization behavior of aquatic detritivorous macroinvertebrates in a heterogeneous environment., Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science.157., pp 120-128.

[11] Hylander, K., Ehrlén, J., Luoto, M. and Meineri, E., 2015., Microrefugia : Not for everyone., Ambio., Vol 44-1., pp S60-S68.

[10] Meineri, E†., Deville, AS†., Bechet, A., Gauthier-Clerc, M. and Gremillet, D., 2015., Combining correlative and mechanistic habitat suitability models to improve ecological compensation., Biological reviews., Vol 90-1., pp 314-329. †These authors contributed equally to the paper.

[9] Meineri, E., Skarpaas, O., Spindelbock, J., Bargmann, T. and Vandvik, V., 2014., Direct and size-dependent effects of climate on flowering performance in alpine and lowland herbaceous species., Journal of Vegetation Science., Vol 25-1., pp 275–286.

[8] Meineri, E., Rodrigez-Pérez, H. and Mesleard, F., 2014., Distribution and reproduction of Procambarus clarkii in relation to water management, salinity and habitat type in the Camargue., Aquatic Conservation : Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems., Vol 24-3., pp 312 – 323.

[7] Meineri, E., Spindelbock, J. and Vandvik, V., 2013., Seedling emergence responds to both seed source and recruitment site climates : A climate change experiment combining transplant and gradient approaches., Plant Ecology., 214-4., pp 607-619.

[6] Meineri. E., Skarpaas. O. and Vandvik.V., 2012., Modelling alpine plant distributions at the landscape scale : do biotic interactions matter ? Ecological Modelling., Vol 231-1., pp 1-10.

[5] Graae, BJ., Ejrnaes, R., Lang, SI., Meineri, E., Ibarra, PT. and Bruun, HH., 2011., Strong microsite control of seedling recruitment in tundra., Oecologia., Vol 166-2., pp 565-576.

[4] Auffret, A.G †., Meineri, E†., Bruun, HH., Ejrnaes, R. and Graae, BJ., 2010., Ontogenetic niche shifts in three Vaccinium species on a sub-alpine mountain side., Plant ecology and diversity., Vol 3-2., pp 131-139. †These authors contributed equally to the paper.

Book chapters
[3] Rodrigez-Pérez, H, Meineri, E., Prola, T., 2013., in Gauthier-Clerc, M., Mesleard, F. and Blondel, J., L’Ecrevisse de Louisiane une paradoxe pour la conservation de la « diversité biologique »., Sciences de la conservation,. De Boeck Edition.

[2] Greiser C, Meineri E, Luoto M, Ehrlén J, Hylander K (2018) Data from : Monthly microclimate models in a managed boreal forest landscape. Dryad Digital Repository.

[1] Meineri, E., Hylander, K., 2016., Data from : Fine-grain large-domain climate models based on climate stations and comprehensive topographic information improve microrefugia detection. Dryad Data Repository. DOI :