MARBEC, MARine Biodiversity, Exploitation and Conservation, is a research unit whose objective is the study of marine biodiversity in lagoon, coastal and offshore ecosystems, at different integration levels, molecular, individual, population and community aspects and the way humans use this biodiversity. It gathers some of the staff of 4 organizations: IRD, Ifremer, UM and CNRS.
Anthropogenic pressures and the resulting climate change are extremely recent evolutionary forces whose effects on marine biodiversity are considered as major. Our ability to model and predict these effects require a better understanding of the biological factors that define the limits of a species’ distribution, its fundamental ecological niche. These factors include searching in the demographic history, fitness and adaptive capacity of species in view of environmental conditions. The overall objective of this topic is to better understand the evolutionary history, the genetic diversity, the physiological characteristics (especially during different ontogenetic stages), the life history traits and the dispersal capacities in marine organisms. The integration of these informations should help to better characterize the fundamental niche of species and ultimately improve the predictive ability of the models seeking to determine the effects of future environmental changes.