Adaptive strategies and spatio-temporal population dynamics of polar seabirds under fast changing environmental conditions

Le 31 Mars 2023
11h30 Hybrid -online and Salle Louis Thaler, bat 22 UM

céline Le bohec

Institut Pluridisciplinaire Hubert Curien (IPHC)

UMR 7178 (CNRS/Université de Strasbourg), Strasbourg, France

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Assessing the ongoing and future adaptive capacities of populations to cope with global changes is a major challenge, even more so for remote ecosystems like Polar Regions. By setting up Polar Life Observatories, based on long-term electronic and/or telemetric monitoring of several polar seabirds together with systematic sampling of biological material during tagging, we aim at understanding the ecological and evolutionary processes that shape populations of these (penguin) species considered as sentinels of the trend and health of their ecosystems. Adopting a multidisciplinary and integrative approach through a large collaborative network, our first objective is to evaluate the individual and population responses to environmental constraints by examining the selective forces operating both on their feeding grounds at sea and on their breeding grounds on land. Our second objective is to gauge their adaptive capacities by investigating the genetic and gene expression diversity as well as epigenetic processes that are at play to adapt to their environment. The third objective is to model and predict the evolutionary responses of populations to environmental changes by integrating the multiplicity and complexity of the above multi-scale mechanisms. Finally, our last aim is to place our results in a conservation biology context, and by developing methodological innovations (e.g. to minimize wildlife disturbances) for near real-time marine ecosystem remote sensing, we aspire to the expansion of a circumAntarctic smart Life Observatories network to help implement action plans for population conservation measures and ecosystem management.


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Francesco Bonadonna (CEFE – UMR 5175)