Palaeoenvironments and Macroecological Process (PPM)

Team leaders: E. Gandouin, A. Leriche

This team studies the organization and dynamics of ecological systems by considering processes at different scales: a spa-tial scale (from the Earth to the local system), a biological scale (from the individual to the biomes and the biogeographical regions) or a temporal scale (from the season to a few decades , from the climate cycle to a few million years). The main objective is to analyze the impact of past, present and future global changes (climate variability, human activities, etc.) on the living world, landscape dynamics and ecosystem services.
It is based on specialties allowing paleoenvironmental reconstructions coupled with macroeconomic and biogeographical approaches based on data acquisition, qualitative and quantitative modeling and phylogeography. The studies concern special study areas of the Mediterranean basin and of western Asia as well as of the whole globe.

PMP Research interests (T1)

Key words

Climate of the past - dendroecology - Biogeography - paleoecology - Human impact - Phylogeography - Agroecology - Modeling - Macroecology


Research Themes

In this team, two main themes stand out:

Palaeoenvironments, climate change and human action
This theme brings together specialists in paleoecology, ecology, biology, archeology and Quaternary geology, who recon-struct ancient environments and climates (physical and biological components) using a multidisciplinary and multi-conceptual systemic approach. The existing scientific axes will be maintained and strengthened through collaborations with: 1) geologists and geneticists in order to integrate biomolecular markers and sedimentary DNA which will allow us to specify, on a taxonomic scale finer than that delivered by biological markers, the biodiversity of ancient ecosystems and agrosystems; 2) statisticians and geochemists in order to specify the climatic signal delivered by independent biological markers (insects, pollen, bacteria and archae) of the most remarkable sedimentary series such as those studied in high temporal resolution or exceptional as the Asian series dating back to 2 million years at least.
We will concentrate our efforts on sites located in continental and insular environments in the Mediterranean, Middle-East and Central Asia, which correspond to areas where climate-man-environment relations have been crucial for the structuring of landscapes, ecosystems and the development of agriculture. We will also work on non-Mediterranean sites in Western Europe and the boreal regions of North America to improve knowledge on the impact of global climate change on ecosystem dynamics.

Macroecology and biogeography of global changes
Recent environmental changes (climate, land and sea use, pollution, etc.) pose considerable risks to the functioning of ecosystems, biodiversity conservation and human well-being. Current scenarios of different environmental forcings (ur-banization, artificialisation and fragmentation of natural environments, greenhouse gases, agricultural and fisheries prac-tices, etc.) all provide indications of aggravated risks in the future for human interactions Ecosystems. Given the im-portance of these environmental issues, research methods and the evaluation of trajectories leading to resistant and / or resilient systems have yet to be developed. This research involves socio-ecological approaches with better consideration of observations, results of controlled experiments, and numerical modeling.
This field of research is particularly important in the Mediterranean region where the various predictive studies suggest that environmental changes will be particularly acute, in particular in the areas of socio-economic and biodiversity chang-es, due to global warming leading to increased water stress, agricultural intensification, rising sea levels and acidification. Advances in biogeographic and environmental modeling make it possible to compare the spatial patterns of the function-ing of the socio-ecosystem and the distribution of biodiversity, both in retrospective approaches (weight of climatic and human impacts of the past, importance of refuge zones) and predictive.
All this research is integrated in a context of interaction with social and political actors, at national and international level. The transition to a more sustainable ecological resource use, both short and long term, will require the recognized scien-tific expertise of the members of this team.

PPM Team members

Team leaders : E. Gandouin, A. Leriche

Researchers and engineers

Cécile Albert (CR CNRS)
Maryse Alvitre (TCE CNRS)
Valérie Andrieu-Ponel (MC AMU)
Dahvya Belkacem Doume (TCN CNRS)
Alberte Bondeau(CR CNRS)
Wolfgang Cramer (DR CNRS)
Morteza Djamali(CR CNRS)
Emmanuel Gandouin (MC AMU)
Frédéric Guibal (CR CNRS)
Frédéric Guiter (MC AMU)
Marianick Juin (AI CNRS)
Agathe Leriche (MC AMU)
Michèle Leydet (ASI AMU)
Frédéric Magnin (CR CNRS)
Frédéric Médail (PR AMU)
Cécile Miramont (MC AMU)
Philippe Ponel (CR CNRS)
Brigitte Talon (MC AMU)