Accèder directement au contenu

Community ecology

Download 2023-2024 planning

Master in Life Sciences, ENS
BIO-M1-S07 | Community ecology
Year and Semester : M1 | S1
Where : Biology department, ENS
Duration : 45 hours
First and last day of class : October 31st – November 24th, 2023


Benoît, Perez-Lamarque, ENS




Biodiversity | ecological communities | species coexistence | ecological networks | macroecology | eco-evolutionary dynamics | community phylogenetics | microbial ecology | biogeography | conservation.

Course Prerequisites

The targeted audience is advanced undergraduates and graduate students in ecology and evolutionary biology. Participants trained in other fields are welcome provided they had exposure to fundamental notions of ecology.

Course objectives and description

Aims : The purpose of this advanced course of ecology is to provide a thorough introduction to the fields of community ecology, macroecology, biogeography, microbial ecology, as well as conservation. Lectures will serve to review the basic concepts/models and empirical evidence and introduce cutting-edge questions, while practical sessions will consist in exploring datasets.

Themes : This advanced Master course addresses the topic of ecological communities and the underlying biological processes : How do species coexist ? How are their interactions organized ? How do species interactions and environmental factors translate into patterns of diversity ? How does diversity evolve ? What are the specificities of microbial communities ? How do human-induced perturbations affect these dynamics ? How to conserve these ecological communities ?

Organisation :
The course will be divided into three parts.
Part 1 : We will first take a conceptual and theoretical approach to community ecology. We will introduce concepts and quantitative models for the ecology and/or evolution of ecological communities.
Part 2 : We will then particularly investigate the specificities of microbial communities, including oceanic planktonic communities and host-associated microbiomes.
Part 3 : Finally, we will cover the field of conservation by investigating how biodiversity in natural or anthropogenic communities is affected by human-driven disturbances and how we can remediate it.


The evaluation will be based on a short-written exam and on the presentation of a research paper.

Course material

Slides used by instructors will be provided on Moodle.

Suggested reading in relationship with the module content

• Bolker BM (2008) Ecological Models and Data in R. Princeton University Press.
• Brown JM (1995) Macroecology. Univ. of Chicago Press.
• Hubbell SP (2001) The Unified Neutral Theory of Biodiversity and Biogeography. Princeton Univ. Press.
• Loreau M (2010) From Populations to Ecosystems. Princeton Unversity Press.
• Magurran AE, McGill BJ (2011) Biological Diversity. Oxford University Press.
• Morin P (2011) Community Ecology (2nd edition). Wiley-Blackwell.
• Pimm SL (2002) Food Webs. Univ. of Chicago Press.
• Rosenzweig ML (1995) Species Diversity in Space and Time. Cambridge Univ. Press.
• van Straalen NM, Roelofs D (2006) Introduction to Ecological Genomics. Oxford Univ. Press.