Ongoing global warming impacts species' biology, with some species showing population extinction, others displacing their distributional range and/or modify their phenology, either through phenotypic plasticity or genetic modifications. This two-year project aims at evaluating how changing climatic conditions will modify the distributional range of tree species, taking adaptation into account. More specifically, the following questions will be addressed: (1) under which conditions will distribution ranges move, and at what speed? (2) will populations at the low-latitude edge of the distribution survive, adapt or go extinct? This will be done through the combined use of two existing approaches: theoretical and process-based modelling. Theoretical approaches taking into account genetic and environmental variability, migration, gene flow and adaptation have been developed to predict the width of a species' range, but they remain hard to parameterize for use in the real world. Process-based models rely on biological observations, and can be used to predict species' ranges under given environmental conditions; however, they do not yet take evolution into account. The candidate will (1) develop a spatially explicit theoretical model of species' range evolution, including the effects of drift (stochasticity due to finite populations); (2) calibrate this model using existing data, and the fitness values predicted by the process-based model, on well-studied tree species in a first instance, and modify the process-based model so that it can take into account individual variability and trait evolution, for further use with other species. This work will enhance collaboration between two leading laboratories, and strengthen the links between ecologists and evolutionary biologists. Furthermore, the candidate will acquire competence in modelling, which will complete her interdisciplinary training and facilitate her integration as a researcher in the host country.
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