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Ecophylogenetics: advances and perspectives

Authors

  • Nicolas Mouquet,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution, UMR 5554, CNRS, Université Montpellier 2, CC 065, Place Eugène Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier Cedex 05, France
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Vincent Devictor,

    1. Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution, UMR 5554, CNRS, Université Montpellier 2, CC 065, Place Eugène Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier Cedex 05, France
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Christine N. Meynard,

    1. INRA, UMR CBGP (INRA/IRD/Cirad/Montpellier SupAgro), Campus international de Baillarguet, CS 30016, 34988 Montferrier-sur-Lez, France
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Francois Munoz,

    1. IRD and UM2, Botanique et BioinforMatique de l’Architecture des Plantes, TA A51/PS2 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5, France
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Louis-Félix Bersier,

    1. Unit of Ecology and Evolution, Department of Biology, University of Fribourg, Ch. du Musée 10, CH-1700 Fribourg, Switzerland
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  • Jérôme Chave,

    1. Laboratoire Evolution et Diversité Biologique, UMR 5174, CNRS/Université Paul Sabatier, 118 route de Narbonne, 31062 Toulouse, France
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  • Pierre Couteron,

    1. IRD and UM2, Botanique et BioinforMatique de l’Architecture des Plantes, TA A51/PS2 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5, France
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  • Ambroise Dalecky,

    1. IRD, UMR CBGP (INRA/IRD/Cirad/Montpellier SupAgro), Campus International de Baillarguet, CS 30016, 34988 Montferrier-sur-Lez, France
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  • Colin Fontaine,

    1. Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Département Ecologie et Gestion de la Biodiversité, UMR CNRS UPMC 7204, 61 rue Buffon, 75005 Paris, France
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  • Dominique Gravel,

    1. Université du Québec à Rimouski, Département de biologie, Chimie et Géographie, 300 Allée des Ursulines, Québec, G5L 3A1, Canada
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  • Olivier J. Hardy,

    1. Evolution Biologique et Ecologie, CP160/12, av. F.D. Roosevelt 50, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
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  • Franck Jabot,

    1. Laboratoire d’Ingénierie pour les Systèmes Complexes, Cemagref, 24 avenue des Landais 63172 Aubière, France
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  • Sébastien Lavergne,

    1. Laboratoire d’Ecologie Alpine, BP 53, 2233 Rue de la Piscine, 38041 Grenoble Cedex 9, France
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  • Mathew Leibold,

    1. Section of Integrative Biology, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station C0930, Austin, TX 78712, USA
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  • David Mouillot,

    1. Laboratoire ECOSYM UMR 5119, Université Montpellier 2, 34095 Montpellier Cedex 5, France
    2. ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville, Qld 4811, Australia
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  • Tamara Münkemüller,

    1. Laboratoire d’Ecologie Alpine, BP 53, 2233 Rue de la Piscine, 38041 Grenoble Cedex 9, France
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  • Sandrine Pavoine,

    1. Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Département Ecologie et Gestion de la Biodiversité, UMR CNRS UPMC 7204, 61 rue Buffon, 75005 Paris, France
    2. Mathematical Ecology Research Group, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK
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  • Andreas Prinzing,

    1. Equipe “Ecologie de la Diversification”, Unité de Recherche Ecobio, Campus de Beaulieu, Bât. 14A, 35042 Rennes, France
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  • Ana S.L. Rodrigues,

    1. Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive, CNRS UMR5175, 1919 route de Mende, 34293 Montpellier Cedex 5, France
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  • Rudolf P. Rohr,

    1. Unit of Ecology and Evolution, Department of Biology, University of Fribourg, Ch. du Musée 10, CH-1700 Fribourg, Switzerland
    2. Integrative Ecology Group, Estación Biológica de Doñana, CSIC, C/Américo Vespucio s/n, E-41092 Sevilla, Spain
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  • Elisa Thébault,

    1. CNRS, UMR 7618 “Biogéochimie et écologie des milieux continentaux”, 46 rue d’Ulm, 75005 Paris, France
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  • Wilfried Thuiller

    1. Laboratoire d’Ecologie Alpine, BP 53, 2233 Rue de la Piscine, 38041 Grenoble Cedex 9, France
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(E-mail: nmouquet@univ-montp2.fr).

Abstract

Ecophylogenetics can be viewed as an emerging fusion of ecology, biogeography and macroevolution. This new and fast-growing field is promoting the incorporation of evolution and historical contingencies into the ecological research agenda through the widespread use of phylogenetic data. Including phylogeny into ecological thinking represents an opportunity for biologists from different fields to collaborate and has provided promising avenues of research in both theoretical and empirical ecology, towards a better understanding of the assembly of communities, the functioning of ecosystems and their responses to environmental changes. The time is ripe to assess critically the extent to which the integration of phylogeny into these different fields of ecology has delivered on its promise. Here we review how phylogenetic information has been used to identify better the key components of species interactions with their biotic and abiotic environments, to determine the relationships between diversity and ecosystem functioning and ultimately to establish good management practices to protect overall biodiversity in the face of global change. We evaluate the relevance of information provided by phylogenies to ecologists, highlighting current potential weaknesses and needs for future developments. We suggest that despite the strong progress that has been made, a consistent unified framework is still missing to link local ecological dynamics to macroevolution. This is a necessary step in order to interpret observed phylogenetic patterns in a wider ecological context. Beyond the fundamental question of how evolutionary history contributes to shape communities, ecophylogenetics will help ecology to become a better integrative and predictive science.

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