Spatial and temporal patterns of diversity in alpine grasslands

My first research activities have concerned the biogeography of European alpine grasslands with a particular emphasis on the alpine meadows dominated by the sedge Carex curvula. These meadows are widely distributed in the Alps, the Carpathians, the Pyrenees and some of the highest Balkan summits.

We investigate how ecological and evolutionnary forces have shaped the species composition of these alpine meadows. Using nuclear and chloroplastic molecular markers, we attempt to identify the ice-age refugia and the postglacial recolonization routes followed by dominant alpine species. We also have a special interest in comparing the impact of Quaternary ice periods on two levels of diversity :  the genetic diversity of Carex curvula and the species richness of the alpine meadows in which Carex curvula is dominant.

More recent research axes include (i) the analysis of the soil microbial communities in alpine meadows using molecular methods, and (ii) the modelling of spatial distribution of alpine grasslands in Europe (more...)

Alpine meadow dominated by the sedge Carex curvula near the Lac du Doménon (Massif de Belledonne, France)