A synthesis between evolutionary biology and community ecology has been emerging in the early 2000s, emphasizing that species evolution influences the processes of community assembly, and that, in turn, community context influences species evolution on the short and long term (Vellend & Geber 2005; Fussman et al 2007; Johnson & Stinchcombe 2007). This is not a paradigm shifts since these ideas are deeply rooted in ecology (Darwin was among the first ecologist!) but the convergence of new experimental and analytical techniques have allowed ecologists to really integrate these elements in a more comprehensive understanding of community ecology. In this context, microorganisms, and particularly bacteria have paved the way for a new experimental evolutionary biology, allowing ecologists to tackle directly the condition of emergence and dynamics of species diversity in complex environments (Jessup et al. 2004). Bacteria offer the unique opportunity to obtain rapid ecological and evolutionary responses using experimental designs that fulfill the assumptions of theoretical models. They are easy to grow in the lab, have rapid generation time, high population size and can be grown in small containers that allow the design of complex and robust experimental protocols.

Fussmann G.F., Loreau M. & Abrams P.A. (2007). Eco-evolutionary dynamics of communities and ecosystems. Functional Ecology, 21, 465-477. Jessup C.M., Kassen R., Forde S.E., Kerr B., Buckling A., Rainey P.B. & Bohannan B.J.M. (2004). Big questions, small worlds: microbial model systems in ecology. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 19, 189-197. Johnson M.T.J. & Stinchcombe J.R. (2007). An emerging synthesis between community ecology and evolutionary biology. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 22, 250-257. Vellend M. & Geber M.A. (2005). Connections between species diversity and genetic diversity. Ecology Letters, 8, 767-781.

Interested by the questions related to coexistence and emerging properties in competitive communities, I have addressed the condition of emergence of species diversity in spatially and temporally heterogeneous environment. Working with the metacommunity perspective I could not help integrating elements of spatial dynamics into this experimental work. Most of this work have been done using the bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens and Biolog GN2 microplates containing 95 unique sources of carbon to recreate a spatially heterogeneous environments. Question related to ecological specialization and traits selection and the evolution of diversity and the relationship between ecosystem functioning and biodiversity (BEF) were also addressed.

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OTHER TOPICS: Aesthetics of Biodiversity, Biodiversity & Ecosystem Functioning, Biogeography, Macroecology & Ecophylogenetics, Functional Biogeography, Functional Rarity, Metacommunities, Metaecosystems, Reviews and Synthesis, Trophic Biogeography & Metaweb

Evolving species diversity

Livingston G.,Matias W.M., Calcagno C., Barbera C., Combe M., Leibold M. and Mouquet N. (2012). Competition colonization dynamics in experimental bacterial metacommunities. Nature Communication, 3, 1234, doi:10.1038/ncomms2239

Venail P.A., Kaltz O., Olivieri I., Pommier T. and Mouquet N. (2011). Diversification in temporally fluctuating environments: effect of the environmental grain in experimental bacterial populations. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 24, 2485-2495, doi:10.1111/j.1420-9101.2011.02376.x

Venail P.A.*, MacLean R.C.*, Bouvier T., Brockhurst M.A., Hochberg M.E. and Mouquet N.* (2008) Functional Diversity and Productivity Peak at Intermediate Levels of Dispersal in Evolving Metacommunities. Nature, 452, 210-215, doi:10.1038/nature06554 (* These authors contributed equally to this study).

Evolving the Biodiversity Ecosystem Functioning relationship

Jousset, A., Eisenhauer, N., Merker, M.,Mouquet, N., Scheu, S.(2016). High functional diversity stimulates diversification in experimental microbial communities. Science Advances, 2, doi:10.1098/rsbl.2015.1073

Matias, M., Combe, M., Barbera, C., Mouquet, N. (2013). Ecological strategies shape the insurance potential of biodiversity. Frontiers in Microbiology 3: 1-9, doi:10.3389/fmicb.2012.00432

ravel D.*, Thomas Bell T., Claire Barbera C., Combe. M, Pommier T., and Mouquet N.* (2012). Phylogenetic constraints on ecosystem functioning. Nature Communication, 3, 1117, doi:10.1038/ncomms2123 (* These authors contributed equally to this work)

Gravel D., Bell T., Barbera C., Bouvier T., Pommier T., Venail P. and Mouquet N. (2011). Experimental niche evolution alters the strength of the diversity-productivity relationship. Nature, 469,89-92, doi:10.1038/nature09592

Venail P.A., MacLean R.C., Meynard C.N., and Mouquet N. (2010). Dispersal scales up the biodiversity productivity relationship in an experimental source-sink metacommunity. Proc. R. Soc. B, 277, 2339-2345.

Specialization and traits selection

A Rain Franco, N, Mouquet C Gougat Barbera, T Bouvier, S Beier (2021) Niche breadth affects bacterial transcription patterns along a salinity gradient. Molecular ecology doi:10.1111/mec.16316

Gounand, I., T. Daufresne, D. Gravel, C. Bouvier, T. Bouvier, M. Combe, C. Gougat-Barbera, F. Poly, C. Torres-Barcelo, Mouquet, N. (2018).Size evolution in microorganisms masks trade-offs predicted by the growth rate hypothesis. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences 283, doi:10.1098/rspb.2016.2272

Gray, S.M., Poisot, T., Harvey, E.,Mouquet, N., Miller, T.E. and Gravel, D. (2016). Temperature and trophic structure are driving microbial productivity along a biogeographical gradient Ecography, 39,981-989, doi:10.1111/ecog.01748

Gounand, I., Kefi, S.,Mouquet, N., Gravel, D.(2016). Trait selection during food web assembly: the roles of interactions and temperature. Theoretical Ecology, doi:10.1007/s12080-016-0299-7

Kadowaki, K., Barbera, C.G., Godsoe, W., Delsuc, F.,Mouquet, N.(2016). Predicting biotic interactions and their variability in a changing environment. Biology letters, doi:10.1098/rsbl.2015.1073

Bouvier T., Venail P., Pommier T.,Bouvier C., Barbera C., and Mouquet N. (2012). Contrasted Effects of Diversity and Immigration on Ecological Insurance in Marine Bacterioplankton Communities. PLoS ONE, 7, e37620, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0037620