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Mechanisms of niche adaptation along gradients of biodiversity and of environmental change Modeling in niche theory

Author Samantha COINUS
Director of thesis Louis-Félix Bersier
Co-director of thesis Rudolf Rohr
Summary of thesis

We aim to explore the question of dynamics and coexistence in communities by studying in detail the mechanisms of niche adaptation along gradients of biodiversity. This will be achieved by using the natural communities of the pitcher plant Sarracenia purpurea, which are mainly composed of bacteria and protozoans, forming simple, two trophic-levels systems. The decisive advantage is the possibility of conducting replicated experiments in incubators, which will allow the precise description of the fundamental and realized trophic niche of the protozoans, and the following of the dynamics of the resource and the consumers. The project is organized in a series of theory- and model-driven experiments.

The experiments will be complemented by a modelling part investigating the dynamics of consumer-resource systems where resources span a continuous range.

Administrative delay for the defence 4 years