Our main goal is to analyse sexual antagonism and animal responses to environmental constraints, emphasizing theadaptive significance of variability.
First Species distribution and habitat selection
Among factors shaping the evolutionary history of animal species, the role of local adaptations is a largely unknown process. The reason why a species is found to occupy ecologically distinct habitats may result from a specific plasticity to various conditions or the fixation of specific characteristics may favour local adaptation to different conditions.
Our objective is to determine the influence of habitat heterogeneity and instability on the distribution of animals.
For instance, Beaver (Castor fiber) re -colonization of the river Loire is directly affected by the availability of willow groves through a mosaic effect according to the discontinuous removal model. Similarly, habitat selection is studied in endangered European Mink, River Otter, European Polecat, Water frogs and other Anurans.
Second Evolution and sexual selection
A second line of research focuses on mating system and specific variations. The asymmetry of interest in multiple mating (polygyny, polyandry) between males and females in sexually reproducing organisms is a recurrent concern in evolutionary biology but habitat constraints clearly influence sexual systems. We aim at understanding the way of specific evolution by linking the history of species distribution in various habitats to their genetic divergence.
Process of divergence among and within populations can also differ according to their allopatric or sympatric distribution or their distribution in hybrid zones. Territorial strategy and assortative mating may influence sympatric divergence such as in polecat while hybridization occurs in hybrid zones according to models of "tension zone", or of "mosaic zones". Anyway phenotype specialization and dispersal strategies play a fundamental role in phenotypic divergence and by the way in speciation.
Hybridization and mating systems are studied in European Mink, American Mink, Martens, European Polecat, Water frogs and other and Anurans.
As a result : biodiversity conservation
Emphasizing the biodiversity importance in ecosystem functioning and their evolution, our works as third major interest, also include conservation biology perspectives, by studying decline and specific hazards for endangered species (see projects).
Professor of Evolutionary biology and Ecology
UMR EVE Université de Rennes1/CNRS 6552
Ethology eVolution Ethology
Faculté des Sciences Campus de Beaulieu
Université de Rennes 1. 35042 Rennes, FRance
We organised the International Congress
Biodiversity Conservation and Management at Vouziers (4-7 July 2002).
Currie D. (Univ Ottawa, CAN)
Frankham R. (Univ Macquarie, AUS)
Lefeuvre J.C. (MNHN, F)
Le Maho Y. (Univ Strasbourg, Académie des Sciences, F)
Lodé T. (Univ Angers, F)
O'Brien S. (CNI, Frederick, USA)
Randi E. (INFS, I)