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séminaire – jeudi 9 janvier 2020

How thin is the line between ecosystem engineering and niche construction? Insights from earthworms

Jérôme Mathieu, Institut d’écologie et des sciences environnementales de Paris, Sorbonne université

jeudi 9 janvier 2020 à 11 heures, salle R04

 

Many organisms can modify their biotic and abiotic environment in a way that influence selection pressures, and eventually evolutionary trajectory, of other organisms or of themselves, a process called niche construction. There are many examples of such dynamics in co-evolutionary or eco-evolutionary studies. Identifying when organisms are niche constructors provide a better understanding of the system on the long term.

However, in the case of ecosystem engineers, defining the limit between ecosystem engineering and niche construction is not straightforward. Ecosystem engineers modify their abiotic environment in a manner that impacts their abiotic niche, potentially creating an ecological feedback loop. Whether these ecological modifications of the environment translate into evolutionary feedbacks is a key question for understanding ecosystem trajectories.

In this talk, we will focus on the group of earthworms. This is probably the most often cited organism as a typical ecosystem engineer. Indeed, earthworms have an overwhelming effect of on their environment. Yet, whether these organisms are involved in evolutionary feedbacks is still controversial. Resolving this question is needed to have a better understanding of the potential effects of global change on ecosystem functioning. I will present a series of experiments aiming at determining if the ecosystem engineering behaviour of an invasive earthworm is potentially involved in evolutionary dynamics. This will give us the opportunity to discuss how ecosystem engineering and niche construction articulate with other concepts of ecology and evolution.

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How thin is the line between ecosystem engineering and niche construction? Insights from earthworms

Jérôme Mathieu, Institut d'écologie et des sciences environnementales de Paris, Sorbonne université

jeudi 9 janvier 2020 à 11 heures, salle R04

 

Many organisms can modify their biotic and abiotic environment in a way that influence selection pressures, and eventually evolutionary trajectory, of other organisms or of themselves, a process called niche construction. There are many examples of such dynamics in co-evolutionary or eco-evolutionary studies. Identifying when organisms are niche constructors provide a better understanding of the system on the long term.

However, in the case of ecosystem engineers, defining the limit between ecosystem engineering and niche construction is not straightforward. Ecosystem engineers modify their abiotic environment in a manner that impacts their abiotic niche, potentially creating an ecological feedback loop. Whether these ecological modifications of the environment translate into evolutionary feedbacks is a key question for understanding ecosystem trajectories.

In this talk, we will focus on the group of earthworms. This is probably the most often cited organism as a typical ecosystem engineer. Indeed, earthworms have an overwhelming effect of on their environment. Yet, whether these organisms are involved in evolutionary feedbacks is still controversial. Resolving this question is needed to have a better understanding of the potential effects of global change on ecosystem functioning. I will present a series of experiments aiming at determining if the ecosystem engineering behaviour of an invasive earthworm is potentially involved in evolutionary dynamics. This will give us the opportunity to discuss how ecosystem engineering and niche construction articulate with other concepts of ecology and evolution.

titre:
How thin is the line between ecosystem engineering and niche construction? Insights from earthworms
intervenant:
Jérôme Mathieu
date:
9 janvier 2020

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