You are here: Home Results Task 5.3.1. Plant functional types and landscape modelling (BioMove)

Task 5.3.1. Plant functional types and landscape modelling (BioMove)

Task lead: Wilfried Thuiller, Centre national de la recherche scientifique, France

This task aimed at building a new set of plant functional types for the French Alps, finishing the development of BIOMOVE, a spatially explicit mechanistic model of vegetation and then simulating the impacts of both climate and land use change on the vegetation structure of a region.

New plant functional type methodology: Based on recent synthesis on the niche theory (Soberon, 2007), the method mixes 3 different approaches each involving one of the 3 types of factors that affect species distributions: biotic environment, abiotic environment and dispersion. The new method also encompasses suggestions proposed by Herault (2007) to create emergent groups, based on both neutral theory and modern niche theory. More concretely, species are first grouped according to their functional traits related to their interactions to other plants (biotic environment). Species are then grouped according to their niche characteristics that represent their relation to the abiotic environment. Finally, species’ dispersal abilities are used to make sure that groups are homogeneous face to neutral processes

Developments of BIOMOVE and FATE-H: The entire code of FATE-H and BIOMOVE has been moved to C++ to get higher efficiency and more freedom than under the DELPHY platform. FATE-H now can simulate in a very efficient way several coexisting plant functional types (around 20) in a landscape or region. We have developed new mowing and grazing disturbances modules which allow to test the impacts of not only climate change but also land use chance.

We have successfully applied FATE-H to the Ecrin National Park in the French Alps, where 17 co-existing plant functional types were simulated in response to climate and land use. Simulations were validated against ground-measurements and showed high accuracy. Results show that the influence of land use is necessary to retrieve actual patterns of vegetation structure and diversity.



Albert C.H., Thuiller W., Lavorel S., Davies I.D. & Garbolino E. (2008). Land-use change and subalpine tree dynamics: colonization of Larix decidua in French subalpine grasslands. Journal of Applied Ecology, 45, 659-669.

Anderson B.J., Akçakaya H.R., Araújo M.B., Fordham D.A., Martinez-Meyer E., Thuiller W. & Brook B.W. (2009). Dynamics of range margins for metapopulations under climate change. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, Biological Sciences, 276, 1415-1420

Keith D.A., Akçakaya H.R., Thuiller W., Midgley G.F., Pearson R.G., Phillips S.J., Regan H.M., Araújo M.B. & Rebelo T.G. (2008). Predicting extinction risks under climate change: coupling stochastic population models with dynamic bioclimatic habitat models. Biology Letters, 4, 560–563.

Midgley G.F., Davies I.D., Albert C.H., Altwegg R., Hannah L., Hughes G.O., O'Halloran L.R., Seo C., Thorne J.H. & Thuiller W. (2010). BioMove – an integrated platform simulating the dynamic response of species to environmental change. Ecography, 33, 612-616.

In preparation

Boulangeat, I., Philippe, P. Georges, D. and Thuiller, W. The combined effects of climate and human disturbances influence the vegetation structure and functional diversity of Alpine ecosystems - a spatially explicit approach in the Ecrins National Park

Boulangeat, I., Philippe, P. Georges, D. , Lavergne, S. and Thuiller, W. Stochastic vs deterministic mechanisms influence vegetation structure at different spatial resolutions

Boulangeat, I., Philippe, P. Georges, D. , Lavergne, S. and Thuiller, W. Consequences of climate and land use change in an Alpine National Park - a spatially explicit mechanistic modeling of végétation.

Document Actions