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Climate Change Ecology — from Populations to Ecoystems

Master in Life Science, ENS
BIO-M2-CEPE | Climate Change Ecology — from Populations to Ecoystems
Level | Semester : M2 | S1
Where : Biology department, ENS
Duration : 1 week
Dates : September 23-27, 2024
Hours : 9-12 a.m. | 2-5 p.m.
Maximum class size : 20 students

—2024-2025 programme to come—


Régis Ferrière, Biology department, ENS




Biodiversity | climate change | acclimation | adaptation | niche modeling | trait-based analysis | plant-pollinator interactions, | tropical forests | carbon cycling | resilience | tipping points | ecological forecasting | ecological conservation | ecosystem services | nature-based solutions | sustainability

Course prerequisites

Undergraduate level in population, community, and ecosystem ecology. Students are expected to have been trained on the topics of population dynamics, species interactions, community diversity and stability, biogeography, ecosystem structure and nutrient cycles. The course will build on simple modeling approaches such as Lotka-Volterra equations and non-linear functional responses.

Course objectives and description

Rapid changes to Earth’s climate and biosphere influence how natural and managed ecosystems function and alter the services they provide. To address issues from conservation biology to sustainability, a thorough understanding of the responses and feedbacks of biodiversity and ecosystems to climate change is needed. In this class, students will learn cutting-edge methods to measure and model these responses and feedbacks, including ecological monitoring, analysis, and forecasting. Specific topics will relate to how species abundances and distributions change, how species interactions such as plant-pollinator networks are reshaped, how communities re-assemble and adapt, how resilient may ecosystems such as tropical forests and coral reefs be. The course will discuss the issues of tipping points and planetary boundaries and end with a perspective on applications of ecological research to sustainability in the Anthropocene, involving in situ conservation, nature-based solutions, and changing human behavior.

The objectives of the course are :
  1. To understand how climate change impacts populations and species diversity in space and time and what the consequences are for the stability of communities and function of ecosystems.
  2. To understand how species interactions, such as between plants and pollinators, are impacted by climate change and what the consequences are for the persistence of networks of interactions.
  3. To understand how processes of community assembly respond to climate change and the role that rapid adaptive evolution and adaptive lags play.
  4. To understand what ecological resilience is and how to evaluate the resilience of ecological communities and ecosystems to to future environmental changes.
  5. To grasp the range of applications of fundamental ecological research to biodiversity conservation and sustainability.
Upon completion of the course students will be able to :
  • read, analyze, and present current research articles in Climate Change Ecology.
  • access and research biodiversity and climate data sets.
  • develop quantitative models to formulate and evaluate hypotheses pertaining to the responses and feebacks of ecological systems to climate change.
  • study and relate ecological responses at different structural, temporal, and spatial scales.
  • connect knowledge about ecological processes and function to conservation and sustainability challenges.



Daily homework and individual presentation of a research article or outline of a literature synthesis.

Course material

The material used for each lecture (presentations, relevant articles, web resources…) will be made available to students.

Suggested readings in relation with the module content

Coming soon !