Antoine Becker-Scarpitta is coming to the Department for a two-year fellowship thanks to the project Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions – Individual Fellowships – European Fellowships (H2020–MSCA-IF–2019). He is going to work on the BIODYNA project (BIOdiversity DYNAmic) under the supervision of Radim Hédl.
Anthropogenic global changes have caused major modifications on Earth systems, with important consequences for the biodiversity and ecosystems. In natural communities that have not undergone major land-use transitions, the dominant threat is climate change. One of the grand scientific challenges of the 21st century is to predict how ecological systems will respond to these changes. There is a gap in the scientific literature to explicitly test the long-term impacts of climate changes on ecological communities at different spatial scale. A powerful method for assessing the temporal pattern and mechanisms underlying change of vegetation is historical ecology methods with the resurvey of a legacy botanical plot, initially surveyed decades ago. The overarching question of the BIODYNA is what are the long-term impacts of human-induced environmental changes on European forest biodiversity? More precisely, the project aims at identifying functional traits and evolutionary signal of plant community response to climate change. What traits have made some phylum more adaptable to environmental change than others? BIODYNA explores new avenue by testing a variety of predictions on the temporal response of plant communities to climate changes. A holistic approach based on a variety of community properties (i.e. biodiversity index, functional traits, and phylogenies) at different spatial scales will allow us to disentangle mechanisms underlying the BIOdiversity DYNAmic in the Anthropocene. The project also aims at generating recommendations for conservation actions to protect the biodiversity.