Project in the picture

Correlation between species and genetic diversity in fragmented forests

A positive species-genetic diversity correlation has been repeatedly found due to the parallel influence of drivers on both diversity levels; the selection of genetic diversity within populations of individual species by species diversity; a direct influence of genetic diversity on species diversity, by determining the performance of individual species or the engineer species. Fewer studies retrieved no correlation or a negative relationship as a likely consequence of differences in life-history traits of studied species or of the confounding effect of disturbance. Among the most important threats to biodiversity at different organization levels, and can simultaneously affect genetic and species diversity, through neutral (migration, drift), adaptive (selection) and environmental forces. Fragmentation occurs seldom independently from land use changes, so that present day forest is mosaic of patches of different quality, age, size, and isolation, embedded in a more or less intensively managed agricultural matrix. Thus, we must consider a fourth facet of forest fragmentation beside habitat loss, patch size reduction and spatial isolation, which is temporal isolation.


Because there are still several gaps of knowledge, such as the importance of time (patch age and historical landscape changes), the importance of latitude, the difference between fragmented systems and unfragmented ones, the role of landscape permeability.


We aim at investigating the respective roles of forest metacommunity features (patch size and quality, spatial and temporal isolation) and landscape matrix features (composition) on the genetic diversity-species diversity relationship.


Guillaume Decocq (guillaume.decocq[AT] as principal investigator, in collaboration with the FLEUR network.