Michel Loreau

Michel Loreau
French National Centre for Scientific Research | CNRS · Theoretical and Experimental Ecology Station

PhD

About

544
Publications
353,664
Reads
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66,830
Citations
Citations since 2016
226 Research Items
35798 Citations
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201620172018201920202021202201,0002,0003,0004,0005,0006,000
201620172018201920202021202201,0002,0003,0004,0005,0006,000
Additional affiliations
January 2012 - present
French National Centre for Scientific Research
Position
  • Research Director
September 2011 - March 2017
French National Centre for Scientific Research
Position
  • Managing Director
July 2005 - December 2011
McGill University
Position
  • Full Professor and Canada Research Chair in Theoretical Ecology
Education
September 1977 - February 1983
Free University of Brussels (ULB)
Field of study
  • Ecology

Publications

Publications (544)
Article
The United Nations is dedicated to bringing countries together to solve international problems and to shape a better future. One of the greatest challenges facing society today is meeting the population’s basic needs, while protecting the environment, hence the UN Sustainable Development Goals — 17 goals to overcome current and future sustainabilit...
Preprint
Despite growing interactions between ecology and evolution, there still remain opportunities to further integrate the two disciplines, especially when considering multispecies systems. Here, we discuss two such opportunities. First, we suggest to relax the focus on the distinction between evolutionary and ecological processes. This focus is particu...
Article
Full-text available
Biodiversity has widely been documented to enhance local community stability but whether such stabilizing effects of biodiversity extend to broader scales remains elusive. Here, we investigated the relationships between biodiversity and community stability in natural plant communities from quadrat (1 m2) to plot (400 m2) and regional (5−214 km2) sc...
Preprint
Despite their close links, ecology and evolution have remained separate disciplines to this day. Breaking down the wall between the two disciplines is essential for at least two reasons. First, this wall is an obstacle to the study of most microorganisms, which constitute a large part of the Earth’s biodiversity. Asexual reproduction, gene transfer...
Article
Full-text available
Ecosystem stability strongly depends on spatial aspects since localized perturbations spread across an entire region through species dispersal. Assessing the synchrony of the response of connected populations is fundamental to understand stability at different scales because if populations fluctuate asynchronously, the risk of their simultaneous ex...
Article
Despite substantial progress in understanding global biodiversity loss, major taxonomic and geographic knowledge gaps remain. Decision makers often rely on expert judgement to fill knowledge gaps, but are rarely able to engage with sufficiently large and diverse groups of specialists. To improve understanding of the perspectives of thousands of bio...
Article
Multispecies tree planting has long been applied in forestry and landscape restoration in the hope of providing better timber production and ecosystem services; however, a systematic assessment of its effectiveness is lacking. We compiled a global dataset of matched single-species and multispecies plantations to evaluate the impact of multispecies...
Article
Full-text available
Resource-use complementarity of producer species is often invoked to explain the generally positive diversity–productivity relationships. Additionally, multi-trophic interactions that link processes across trophic levels have received increasing attention as a possible key driver. Given that both are integral to natural ecosystems, their interactiv...
Chapter
This chapter reviews the new theoretical advances and shows how they provide both a resolution of the historical debate and a new perspective on ecological stability. The large‐scale biodiversity experiments that begun in the 1990s greatly helped to articulate a more nuanced, fact‐based view of the relationship between the diversity and stability o...
Article
Full-text available
First derivations of the functional response were mechanistic, but subsequent uses of these functions tended to be phenomenological. Further understanding of the mechanisms underpinning predator-prey relationships might lead to novel insights into functional response in natural systems. Because recent consideration of the physical properties of the...
Article
Full-text available
Steady increases in human population size and resource consumption are driving rampant agricultural expansion and intensification. Habitat loss caused by agriculture puts the integrity of ecosystems at risk and threatens the persistence of human societies that rely on ecosystem services. We develop a spatially explicit model describing the coupled...
Article
Full-text available
Internationally agreed sustainability goals are being missed. Here, we conduct global meta-analyses to assess how the extent to which humans see themselves as part of nature-known as human-nature connectedness (HNC)-can be used as a leverage point to reach sustainability. A meta-analysis of 147 correlational studies shows that individuals with high...
Article
Full-text available
Feedbacks are an essential feature of resilient socio-economic systems, yet the feedbacks between biodiversity, ecosystem services and human wellbeing are not fully accounted for in global policy efforts that consider future scenarios for human activities and their consequences for nature. Failure to integrate feedbacks in our knowledge frameworks...
Preprint
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Ecology is a science of scale, which guides our description of both ecological processes and patterns, but we lack a systematic understanding of how process scale and pattern scale are connected. Recent calls for a synthesis between population ecology, community ecology, and ecosystem ecology motivate the integration of phenomena at multiple levels...
Article
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Despite much recent progress, our understanding of diversity–stability relationships across different study systems remains incomplete. In particular, recent theory clarified that within-species population stability and among-species asynchronous population dynamics combine to determine ecosystem temporal stability, but their relative importance in...
Article
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Biodiversity determines the productivity and stability of ecosystems but some aspects of biodiversity‐ecosystem functioning relationships remain poorly resolved. One key uncertainty is the inter‐relationship between biodiversity, energy and biomass production as communities develop over time. Energy production drives biomass accumulation but the ra...
Article
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• To understand ecosystems, an integrative approach combining functional ecology and community ecology is required. Nutrient cycling is a good example since it links each organism to the major flows of materials in ecosystems. Together with the demographic processes governing the mortality of organisms (and hence their nutrient losses) such as self...
Method
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Supplementary Fig. 1 | Relationships between simulated robustness of ecosystem service supply quartiles Rc and analytically-estimated network fragility * where c = (a) 0.25 (for which 0.25 =-1.65) and (b) 0.75 (for which 0.75 =-1.35), from the analysis of 251 empirical networks as described in Fig. 4. Supplementary Fig. 2 | Uncertainty in robustnes...
Article
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Ensuring reliable supply of services from nature is key to the sustainable development and well-being of human societies. Varied and frequently complex relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem services have, however, frustrated our capacity to quantify and predict the vulnerability of those services to species extinctions. Here, we use a qu...
Article
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Significance Understanding the persistence of populations in fragmented landscapes is critical for predicting the consequences of habitat destruction, yet analytical tools are largely lacking. Metapopulation capacity provides one such tool, because it summarizes the influences of habitat area and distribution on population persistence in a single m...
Article
Full-text available
Ecological stability refers to a family of concepts used to describe how systems of interacting species vary through time and respond to disturbances. Because observed ecological stability depends on sampling scales and environmental context, it is notoriously difficult to compare measurements across sites and systems. Here, we apply stochastic dyn...
Article
Full-text available
The response of species to perturbations strongly depends on spatial aspects in populations con nected by dispersal. Asynchronous fluctuations in biomass among populations lower the risk of simultaneous local extinctions and thus reduce the regional extinction risk. However, dispersal is often seen as passive diffusion that balances species abundan...
Preprint
Full-text available
The response of species to perturbations strongly depends on spatial aspects in populations connected by dispersal. Asynchronous fluctuations in biomass among populations lower the risk of simultaneous local extinctions and thus reduce the regional extinction risk. However, dispersal is often seen as passive diffusion that balances species abundanc...
Preprint
Full-text available
Steady increases in human population size and resource consumption levels are driving rampant agricultural expansion and intensification in some of the world’s most pristine ecosystems. Habitat loss caused by agriculture puts the integrity of ecosystems at risk, and as a consequence, threatens the persistence of human societies that rely on ecosyst...
Preprint
Full-text available
Steady increases in human population size and resource consumption are driving rampant agricultural expansion and intensification. Habitat loss caused by agriculture puts the integrity of ecosystems at risk, and threatens the persistence of human societies that rely on ecosystem services. We develop a spatially explicit model describing the coupled...
Article
Full-text available
The global impacts of biodiversity loss and climate change are interlinked, but the feedbacks between them are rarely assessed. Areas with greater tree diversity tend to be more productive, providing a greater carbon sink, and biodiversity loss could reduce these natural carbon sinks. Here, we quantify how tree and shrub species richness could affe...
Article
Full-text available
Biological insurance theory predicts that, in a variable environment, aggregate ecosystem properties will vary less in more diverse communities because declines in the performance or abundance of some species or phenotypes will be offset, at least partly, by smoother declines or increases in others. During the past two decades, ecology has accumula...
Article
Biomass production in ecosystems is a complex process regulated by several facets of biodiversity, species identity but also species interactions such as competition or complementarity between species. For studying these different facets separately, ecosystem biomass is generally partitioned in two biodiversity effects. The composition effect is a...
Article
Since the Industrial Revolution, the rapid global population and economic expansion has had tremendous impacts on biodiversity across spatial scales, especially for islands. While changes in species richness are easily inferred, the impact of human activity on the underlying community assembly processes has been difficult to ascertain because of la...
Preprint
Full-text available
Internationally-agreed sustainability goals are being missed. Here, we document a potential reason for this failure and show how the extent to which humans see themselves as part of nature – known as human-nature connectedness (HNC) – can be used as a leverage point for increasing public engagement towards sustainability targets. We conduct the fir...
Preprint
Full-text available
Internationally-agreed sustainability goals are being missed. Here, we show how the extent to which humans see themselves as part of nature –known as human-nature connectedness (HNC) –can be used as a leverage point for reaching sustainability. We conduct the first global meta-analysis of the HNC literature. Meta-analysis of 147 correlational studi...
Article
Ensuring stable food supplies is a major challenge for the 21st century. There is consensus that increased food production is necessary, but not sufficient, to achieve food security, and that agriculture should also aim at stabilizing crop production over time. In this context, biodiversity‐based approaches to food security are increasingly being s...
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Full-text available
Earthworms are an important soil taxon as ecosystem engineers, providing a variety of crucial ecosystem functions and services. Little is known about their diversity and distribution at large spatial scales, despite the availability of considerable amounts of local-scale data. Earthworm diversity data, obtained from the primary literature or provid...
Article
Full-text available
Earthworms are an important soil taxon as ecosystem engineers, providing a variety of crucial ecosystem functions and services. Little is known about their diversity and distribution at large spatial scales, despite the availability of considerable amounts of local-scale data. Earthworm diversity data, obtained from the primary literature or provid...
Preprint
Full-text available
Resource-use complementarity of producer species is often invoked to explain their generally positive diversity-productivity relationships. Additionally, multi-trophic interactions that link processes across trophic levels have received increasing attention as a possible key driver. Given that both are integral to natural ecosystems, their interact...
Article
In a recent paper, Schoolmaster, Zirbel, and Cronin (2020) (SZC) claim "Formal causal analysis show[s] that biodiversity-ecosystem function (BEF) correlations are non-causal associations." If this conclusion is accepted as true, it suggests a reconsideration of much of our current understanding of how biodiversity relates to the functioning of ecos...
Article
Full-text available
In a recent paper, Schoolmaster, Zirbel, and Cronin (2020) (SZC) claim "Formal causal analysis show[s] that biodiversity-ecosystem function (BEF) correlations are non-causal associations." If this conclusion is accepted as true, it suggests a reconsideration of much of our current understanding of how biodiversity relates to the functioning of ecos...
Article
The plant-soil interactions may drive the diversity and functioning of forests, but we do not fully understand how interrelationships between plant and soil compartments are underlined by multiple ecological mechanisms. Here, we hypothesize that positive plant-soil interactions enhance biodiversity and functioning in a temperate forest. To do so, w...
Article
Biodiversity plays a fundamental role in provisioning and regulating forest ecosystem functions and services. Above‐ground (plants) and below‐ground (soil microbes) biodiversity could have asynchronous change paces to human‐driven land‐use impacts. Yet, we know very little how they affect the provision of multiple forest functions related to carbon...
Article
The biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) relationship is expected to be scale-dependent. The autocorrelation of environmental heterogeneity is hypothesized to explain this scale dependence because it influences how quickly biodiversity accumulates over space or time. However, this link has yet to be demonstrated in a formal model. Here, we...
Article
Predation often deviates from the law of mass action: many micro‐ and meso‐scale experiments have shown that consumption saturates with resource abundance, and decreases due to interference between consumers. But does this observation hold at macro‐ecological scales, spanning many species and orders of magnitude in biomass? If so, what are its cons...
Article
Full-text available
The biomass distribution across trophic levels (biomass pyramid) and cascading responses to perturbations (trophic cascades) are archetypal representatives of the interconnected set of static and dynamical properties of food chains. A vast literature has explored their respective ecological drivers, sometimes generating correlations between them. H...
Article
Full-text available
Our planet is facing significant changes of biodiversity across spatial scales. Although the negative effects of local biodiversity (α diversity) loss on ecosystem stability are well documented, the consequences of biodiversity changes at larger spatial scales, in particular biotic homogenization, i.e. reduced species turnover across space (β diver...
Article
The biotic mechanisms underlying ecosystem functioning and stability have been extensively — but separately — explored in the literature, making it difficult to understand the relationship between functioning and stability. In this study, we used community models to examine how complementarity and selection, the two major biodiversity mechanisms kn...
Article
Full-text available
In a world where natural habitats are ever more fragmented, the dynamics of metacommunities are essential to properly understand species responses to perturbations. If species' populations fluctuate asynchronously, the risk of their simultaneous extinction is low, thus reducing the species' regional extinction risk. However, identifying synchronizi...
Article
Full-text available
A Correction to this paper has been published: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-20997-9.
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The coexistence of many competing species in an ecological community is a long-standing theoretical and empirical puzzle. Classic approaches in ecology assume that species fitness and interactions in a given environment are mainly driven by a few essential species traits, and coexistence can be explained by trade-offs between these traits. The appa...
Preprint
Full-text available
The biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) relationship is expected to be scale-dependent. The autocorrelation of environmental heterogeneity is hypothesized to explain this scale dependence because it influences how quickly biodiversity accumulates over space or time. However, this link has yet to be demonstrated in a formal model. Here we u...
Article
Agricultural land expansion and intensification, driven by human consumption of agricultural goods, are among the major threats to environmental degradation and biodiversity conservation. Land degradation can ultimately hamper agricultural production through a decrease in ecosystem services. Thus, designing viable land use policies is a key sustain...
Article
Agricultural land expansion and intensification, driven by human consumption of agricultural goods, are among the major threats to environmental degradation and biodiversity conservation. Land degradation can ultimately hamper agricultural production through a decrease in ecosystem services. Thus, designing viable land use policies is a key sustain...
Article
Full-text available
Soil is one of the most biodiverse terrestrial habitats. Yet, we lack an integrative conceptual framework for understanding the patterns and mechanisms driving soil biodiversity. One of the underlying reasons for our poor understanding of soil biodiversity patterns relates to whether key biodiversity theories (historically developed for aboveground...
Article
High species diversity is generally thought to be a requirement for sustaining forest multifunctionality. However, the degree to which the relationship between species-, structural-, and trait-diversity of forests and multifunctionality depend on the context (such as stand age or abiotic conditions) is not well studied. Here, we hypothesized that c...
Article
Full-text available
Eutrophication is a widespread environmental change that usually reduces the stabilizing effect of plant diversity on productivity in local communities. Whether this effect is scale dependent remains to be elucidated. Here, we determine the relationship between plant diversity and temporal stability of productivity for 243 plant communities from 42...
Article
Temperature has numerous effects on the structure and dynamics of ecological communities. Yet, there is no general trend or consensus on the magnitude and directions of these effects. To fill this gap, we propose a mechanistic framework based on key biological rates that predicts how temperature influences biomass distribution and trophic control i...
Article
Within a global society there exist various land use patterns, inequality, and the movement of people and goods. The various practices and behaviours associated with our current society raise questions about the future sustainability of the human population and the natural environment. We derive a simplified model of the global socio-ecological sys...
Article
Full-text available
Evidence is growing that evolutionary dynamics can impact biodiversity–ecosystem functioning (BEF) relationships. However the nature of such impacts remains poorly understood. Here we use a modelling approach to compare random communities, with no trait evolutionary fine‐tuning, and co‐adapted communities, where traits have co‐evolved, in terms of...
Preprint
Full-text available
We are a global society with various lan