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Projet en cours depuis 2023


Towards a change of paradigm in biological conservation: from sepcies to functions, from individuals to ecosystems, from local to global scales


FREE 2 aims at questioning the foundations of biology and conservation based on functional criteria. This is a real paradigm shift that might bring about profound changes to politics of conservation at both local and global scales. Previous work from the FREE 1 consortium opened promising perspectives regarding the development of new indicators.


FREE 2 will write a synthesis of published work having studied organisms and populations from a functional angle, and will put forward perspectives for biodiversity conservation. A meta-analysis looking at biodiversity- ecosystem functioning work will also be caried out, combining the different available databases of functional traits of organisms. This work will thus demonstrate the role of functionally distinct species in the regulation of ecosystem functions, their multi-functionality and exosystem services more broadly.


Temporal series of varied taxonomic groups will be analyzed to understand the way functionally distinct species are maintained (or lost) in response to different environmental and anthropic pressures.

Finally, FREE 2 will develop an R package dedicated to simplify the analysis of functional diversity patterns at different scales and organisational levels. Particular attention will be put on making this package easy to use and flexible to allow its use by researchers but also biodiversity managers.


All these tasks converge towards a unique goal: laying out the foundations of a new discipline centred around biodiversity and ecosystem conservation from a functional angle. The project will be further developed with discussions held with philosophers specialists in biodiversity and ecosystem services to compare and contrast different views on the subject.




Cyrille VIOLLE – CEFE-CNRS (France)

ouvrir/fermer Post-doc:

Lucie MAHAUT – CNRS (France)

ouvrir/fermer Participants:

Arnaud AUBER – IFREMER Boulogne-sur-mer (France); Marc CADOTTE – University of Toronto, (Canada); Brian ENQUIST – University of Arizona (USA); Pierre GAUZERE – IDIV (France); Matthias GRENIE – CNRS (France); Christopher KLAUSMEIER – Michigan State University (USA); Nathan KRAFT, University of Maryland (USA); Helena LITCHMAN – Michigan State University (USA); Nicolas LOISEAU – CNRS (France); Anthony MAIRE – EDF (France); Brian MCGILL – University of Maine (USA); Matthew MCLEAN – Ifremer (France); David MOUILLOT – University of Montpellier (France); Nicolas MOUQUET – CNRS Montpellier (France); François MUNOZ – Grenoble University (France); Annette OSTLING -University of Michigan (USA); Catalina PIMIENTO – University of Zurich (Switzerland); Wilfried THUILLER – CNRS Grenoble (France); Sébastien VILLEGIER – CNRS (France).

FREE 2 gathers specialists in different taxonomic grouops, community ecology, macro-ecology, functional ecology, microbial and phylogenic ecology.


[27] Auber A, Waldock C, Maire A, Goberville E, Albouy C, Algar AC, McLean M, Brind'Amour A, Green AL, Tupper M, Vigliola L, Kaschner K, Kesner-Reyes K, Beger M, Tjiputra J, Toussaint A, Violle C, Mouquet N, Thuiller W & Mouillot D (2022) A functional vulnerability framework for biodiversity conservation. Nature Communications, 13, 4774. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-022-32331-y.


[26] Brun P, Violle C, Mouillot D, Mouquet N, Enquist BJ, Munoz F, Münkemüller T, Ostling A, Zimmermann NE & Thuiller W (2022) Plant community impact on productivity: Trait diversity or key (stone) species effects? Ecology Letters, 25, 913–925. DOI: 10.1111/ele.13968.


[25] Delalandre L, Gaüzère P, Thuiller W, Cadotte MW, Mouquet N, Mouillot D, Munoz F, Denelle P, Loiseau N, Morin X & Violle C (2022) Functionally distinct tree species support long-term productivity in extreme environments. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 289, 20211694. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2021.1694.


[24] Feng X, Enquist BJ, Park DS, Boyle B, Breshears DD, Gallagher RV, Lien A, Newman EA, Burger JR, Maitner BS, Merow C, Li Y, Huynh KM, Ernst K, Baldwin E, Foden W, Hannah L, Jorgensen PM, Kraft NJB, Lovett JC, Marquet PA, McGill BJ, Morueta‐Holme N, Neves DM, Núñez‐Regueiro MM, Oliveira‐Filho AT, Peet RK, Pillet M, Roehrdanz PR, Sandel B, Serra‐Diaz JM, Símová I, Svenning J, Violle C, Weitemier TD, Wiser S & López‐Hoffman L (2022) A review of the heterogeneous landscape of biodiversity databases: Opportunities and challenges for a synthesized biodiversity knowledge base. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 31, 1242–1260. DOI: 10.1111/GEB.13497.


[23] Guo W-Y, Serra-Diaz JM, Schrodt F, Eiserhardt WL, Maitner BS, Merow C, Violle C, Anand M, Belluau M, Bruun HH, Byun C, Catford JA, Cerabolini BEL, Chacón-Madrigal E, Ciccarelli D, Cornelissen JHC, Dang-Le AT, de Frutos A, Dias AS, Giroldo AB, Guo K, Gutiérrez AG, Hattingh W, He T, Hietz P, Hough-Snee N, Jansen S, Kattge J, Klein T, Komac B, Kraft NJB, Kramer K, Lavorel S, Lusk CH, Martin AR, Mencuccini M, Michaletz ST, Minden V, Mori AS, Niinemets Ü, Onoda Y, Peñuelas J, Pillar VD, Pisek J, Robroek BJM, Schamp B, Slot M, Sosinski ÊE, Soudzilovskaia NA, Thiffault N, van Bodegom P, van der Plas F, Wright IJ, Xu W-B, Zheng J, Enquist BJ & Svenning J-C (2022) High exposure of global tree diversity to human pressure. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 119, e2026733119. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2026733119.


[22] Magneville C, Loiseau N, Albouy C, Casajus N, Claverie T, Escalas A, Leprieur F, Maire E, Mouillot D & Villéger S (2022) mFD: an R package to compute and illustrate the multiple facets of functional diversity. Ecography, 44, 1–15. DOI: 10.1111/ecog.05904.


[21] Sabatini FM, Jiménez-Alfaro B, Jandt U, Chytry M, Field R, Kessler M, Lenoir J, Schrodt F, Wiser SK, Arfin Khan MAS, Attorre F, Cayuela L, De Sanctis M, Dengler J, Haider S, Hatim MZ, Indreica A, Jansen F, Pauchard A, Peet RK, Petrik P, Pillar VD, Sandel B, Schmidt M, Tang Z, van Bodegom P, Vassilev K, Violle C, Alvarez-Davila E, Davidar P, Dolezal J, Hérault B, Galán-de-Mera A, Jiménez J, Kambach S, Kepfer-Rojas S, Kreft H, Lezama F, Linares-Palomino R, Monteagudo Mendoza A, N'Dja JK, Phillips OL, Rivas-Torres G, Sklenár P, Speziale K, Strohbach BJ, Vásquez Martínez R, Wang H-F, Wesche K & Bruelheide H (2022) Global patterns of vascular plant alpha diversity. Nature Communications, 13, 4683. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-022-32063-z.


[20] Gross N, Le Bagousse-Pinguet Y, Liancourt P, Saiz H, Violle C & Munoz F (2021) Unveiling ecological assembly rules from commonalities in trait distributions. Ecology Letters, 24, 1668–1680. DOI: 10.1111/ele.13789.


[19] Mouillot D, Loiseau N, Grenié M, Algar AC, Allegra M, Cadotte MW, Casajus N, Denelle P, Guéguen M, Maire A, Maitner B, McGill BJ, McLean M, Mouquet N, Munoz F, Thuiller W, Villéger S, Violle C & Auber A (2021) The dimensionality and structure of species trait spaces. Ecology Letters, 24, 1988–2009. DOI: 10.1111/ele.13778.


[18] Murgier J, McLean M, Maire A, Mouillot D, Loiseau N, Munoz F, Violle C & Auber A (2021) Rebound in functional distinctiveness following warming and reduced fishing in the North Sea. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 288, 20201600. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2020.1600.


[17] Sala E, Mayorga J, Bradley D, Cabral RB, Atwood TB, Auber A, Cheung W, Costello C, Ferretti F, Friedlander AM, Gaines SD, Garilao C, Goodell W, Halpern BS, Hinson A, Kaschner K, Kesner-Reyes K, Leprieur F, McGowan J, Morgan LE, Mouillot D, Palacios-Abrantes J, Possingham HP, Rechberger KD, Worm B & Lubchenco J (2021) Protecting the global ocean for biodiversity, food and climate. Nature, 592, 397–402. DOI: 10.1038/s41586-021-03371-z.


[16] Denelle P, Violle C & Munoz F (2020) Generalist plants are more competitive and more functionally similar to each other than specialist plants: insights from network analyses. Journal of Biogeography, 47, 1922–1933. DOI: 10.1111/jbi.13848.


[15] Grenié M, Violle C & Munoz F (2020) Is prediction of species richness from stacked species distribution models biased by habitat saturation? Ecological Indicators, 111, 105970. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2019.105970.


[14] Laroche F, Violle C, Taudière A & Munoz F (2020) Analyzing snapshot diversity patterns with the Neutral Theory can show functional groups' effects on community assembly. Ecology, 101, e02977. DOI: 10.1002/ecy.2977.


[13] Loiseau N, Mouquet N, Casajus N, Grenié M, Guéguen M, Maitner B, Mouillot D, Ostling A, Renaud J, Tucker C, Velez L, Thuiller W & Violle C (2020) Global distribution and conservation status of ecologically rare mammal and bird species. Nature Communications, 11, 5071. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-18779-w.


[12] Mahaut L, Cheptou P-O, Fried G, Munoz F, Storkey J, Vasseur F, Violle C & Bretagnolle V (2020) Weeds: Against the rules? Trends in Plant Science, 25, 1107–1116. DOI: 10.1016/j.tplants.2020.05.013.


[11] Mahaut L, Fort F, Violle C & Freschet GT (2020) Multiple facets of diversity effects on plant productivity: Species richness, functional diversity, species identity and intraspecific competition. Functional Ecology, 34, 287–298. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2435.13473.


[10] Thuiller W, Gravel D, Ficetola GF, Lavergne S, Münkemüller T, Pollock LJ, Zimmermann NE & Mazel F (2020) Productivity begets less phylogenetic diversity but higher uniqueness than expected. Journal of Biogeography, 47, 44–58. DOI: 10.1111/jbi.13630.


[09] Denelle P, Violle C & Munoz F (2019) Distinguishing the signatures of local environmental filtering and regional trait range limits in the study of trait–environment relationships. Oikos, 128, 960–971. DOI: 10.1111/oik.05851.


[08] Enquist BJ, Feng X, Boyle B, Maitner BS, Newman EA, Jorgensen PM, Roehrdanz PR, Thiers BM, Burger JR, Corlett RT, Couvreur TLP, Dauby G, Donoghue JC, Foden W, Lovett JC, Marquet PA, Merow C, Midgley G, Morueta-Holme N, Neves DM, Oliveira-Filho AT, Kraft NJB, Park DS, Peet RK, Pillet M, Serra-Diaz JM, Sandel B, Schildhauer MP, Símová I, Violle C, Wieringa JJ, Wiser SK, Hannah L, Svenning J-C & McGill BJ (2019) The commonness of rarity: Global and future distribution of rarity across land plants. Science Advances, 5, eaaz0414. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz0414.


[07] McLean M, Auber A, Graham NAJ, Houk P, Villéger S, Violle C, Thuiller W, Wilson SK & Mouillot D (2019) Trait structure and redundancy determine sensitivity to disturbance in marine fish communities. Global Change Biology, 25, 3424–3437. DOI: 10.1111/gcb.14662.


[06] Echeverría-Londoño S, Enquist BJ, Neves DM, Violle C, Boyle B, Kraft NJB, Maitner BS, McGill BJ, Peet RK, Sandel B, Smith SA, Svenning J-C, Wiser SK & Kerkhoff AJ (2018) Plant functional diversity and the biogeography of biomes in North and South America. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 6, 219. DOI: 10.3389/fevo.2018.00219.


[05] Grenié M, Mouillot D, Villéger S, Denelle P, Tucker CM, Munoz F & Violle C (2018) Functional rarity of coral reef fishes at the global scale: Hotspots and challenges for conservation. Biological Conservation, 226, 288–299. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.08.011.


[04] Blonder B, Morrow CB, Maitner BS, Harris DJ, Lamanna C, Violle C, Enquist BJ & Kerkhoff AJ (2017) New approaches for delineating n-dimensional hypervolumes. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 9, 305–319. DOI: 10.1111/2041-210X.12865.


[03] Grenié M, Denelle P, Tucker CM, Munoz F & Violle C (2017) funrar: An R package to characterize functional rarity. Diversity and Distributions, 23, 1365–1371. DOI: 10.1111/ddi.12629.


[02] Violle C, Thuiller W, Mouquet N, Munoz F, Kraft NJB, Cadotte MW, Livingstone SW, Grenié M & Mouillot D (2017) A common toolbox to understand, monitor or manage rarity? A response to Carmona et al. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 32, 891–893. DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2017.10.001.


[01] Violle C, Thuiller W, Mouquet N, Munoz F, Kraft NJB, Cadotte MW, Livingstone SW & Mouillot D (2017) Functional rarity: The ecology of outliers. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 32, 356–367. DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2017.02.002.