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Centre for Statistics (CENSTAT) : project R-8179

Title : Experimental analysis of temperature effects on intraspecific biodiversity dynamics (R-8179)
Abstract: Gaining a better understanding of the impact of important types of environmental change such as temperature change on biodiversity is crucial for science and society. While the science on how temperature impacts classical species-level diversity indices (e.g. species richness) is progressing rapidly, research on the impact of temperature on the diversity found within populations of one species ('intraspecific diversity') is still in its infancy. This is problematic since intraspecific diversity is essential for population viability. This lack of knowledge is mainly due to technological difficulties and the mere complexity of the problem: intraspecific biodiversity can not only be altered by temperature, but also by population density (that can also be affected by temperature), and through interactions with other species. In this project, novel statistical methods will be used to analyze high replication flow cytometry data from a well-controlled classical plankton system. This will enable us to, for the first time, quantify the many mechanisms through which temperature can affect intraspecific diversity. In addition, by organizing the experiments in increasing degrees of complexity, we will be able to tell if these mechanisms combine in an additive way, and therefore if their combined effect is easily predictable, or not. This project addresses a crucial and exciting research question that makes optimal use of the expertise of two research teams with a proven complementary.
Period of project : 1/10/2017to30/09/2021

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