Patrick Venail

Patrick Venail
University of Engineering and Technology UTEC · Environmental Engineering

Ph.D. Ecology and Evolution

About

47
Publications
101,412
Reads
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7,663
Citations
Citations since 2016
12 Research Items
5780 Citations
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Introduction
My research focuses on the diversity of life (biodiversity), by exploring the evolutionary processes that generate diversity and the ecological processes responsible for its maintenance. I am also very interested in the role played by biodiversity on ecosystem functioning and the provisioning of ecosystem services.
Additional affiliations
April 2013 - October 2019
University of Geneva
Position
  • Senior Researcher
August 2011 - March 2013
University of Michigan
Position
  • PostDoc Position
August 2009 - July 2011
Los Andes University (Colombia)
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (47)
Article
Full-text available
The functioning of present ecosystems reflects deep evolutionary history of locally co‐occurring species if their functional traits show high phylogenetic signal (PS). However, we do not understand what drives local PS. We hypothesize that local PS is high in undisturbed and stressful habitats – either due to ongoing local assembly of species that...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical high-altitude lakes are vital freshwater ecosystems for the functioning and dynamics of tropical high-altitude wetlands called páramos, found at over 3300 m above sea level. They play a major role in the hydrogeological cycle and provide important hydrological services such as water storage, and yet they are understudied. Describing the pa...
Article
Full-text available
The intensity and frequency of storms are projected to increase in many regions of the world because of climate change. Storms can alter environmental conditions in many ecosystems. In lakes and reservoirs, storms can reduce epilimnetic temperatures from wind‐induced mixing with colder hypolimnetic waters, direct precipitation to the lake's surface...
Article
Full-text available
In many regions across the globe, extreme weather events such as storms have increased in frequency, intensity, and duration due to climate change. Ecological theory predicts that such extreme events should have large impacts on ecosystem structure and function. High winds and precipitation associated with storms can affect lakes via short-term run...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical high-altitude lakes are vital freshwater reservoirs in the Andean regions. They are heavily threatened by human activities that may alter their functioning and hamper the provisioning of key ecosystem services such as water supply. Despite their ecological and social relevance, we know little about these waterbodies, especially regarding t...
Article
Full-text available
When sunlight penetrates the ice layer covering lakes in winter, it warms the top water layer and sets up convection, with several potentially contrasting effects on phytoplankton. While convective mixing keeps cells in suspension and prevents sedimentation losses, it may also transport phytoplankton well below the euphotic zone. We investigated di...
Article
Here we aim to incorporate trait-based information into the modern coexistence framework that comprises a balance between stabilizing (niche-based) and equalizing (fitness) mechanisms among interacting species. Taking the modern coexistence framework as our basis, we experimentally tested the effect of size differences among species on coexistence...
Article
Full-text available
In an effort to reach a clearer mechanistic understanding of the influence of biological diversity on ecosystem functioning, research in the field is increasingly applying a trait-based approach. In this comprehensive review, I searched for and analyzed studies that focused on the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) us...
Article
Full-text available
The hypotheses suggesting that the nature and strength of species interactions should be determined by phylogenetic relatedness have important implications for the understanding of community structure. However, to date, there is limited empirical evidence to support them. At least two basic conditions need to be met in order to expect species inter...
Article
Full-text available
Species richness (SR) and phylogenetic diversity (PD) are highly correlated measures of plant diversity. Each, by itself, is significantly associated with plant community biomass in biodiversity experiments. As presented by Cadotte (2015) and as we present below, reasonable but alternative analyses that attempt to control for this correlation in di...
Article
Full-text available
1. Hundreds of experiments have now manipulated species richness of various groups of organisms and examined how this aspect of biological diversity influences ecosystem functioning. Ecologists have recently expanded this field to look at whether phylogenetic diversity among species, often quantified as the sum of branch lengths on a molecular phyl...
Article
Full-text available
With the growing availability of genetic sequence data and computing power, the incorporation of phylogenetics into community ecology has become popular. This special feature aims to critically evaluate the pros and cons of the integration of phylogenetics into the study of community assembly and biodiversity-ecosystem functioning research. The pap...
Article
Full-text available
Analysing and interpreting long‐term phytoplankton time series present a number of challenges, arising from potential historical inconsistencies in data collection and taxonomic identification of organisms. In a previous paper, Pomati et al. (2012) found a remarkable increase in phytoplankton diversity that coincided with oligotrophication and warm...
Article
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Article
Full-text available
Anticipated climatic changes combined with eutrophication are predicted to enhance the dominance of several notorious cyanobacterial taxa. Cyanobacteria have many key ecological traits that may allow them to thrive under foreseen scenarios of environmental change. Understanding the ecophysiological traits of harmful species has proven important for...
Article
Full-text available
Research Cite this article: Alexandrou MA et al. 2015 Evolutionary relatedness does not predict competition and co-occurrence in natural or experimental communities of green algae. The competition-relatedness hypothesis (CRH) predicts that the strength of competition is the strongest among closely related species and decreases as species become les...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Darwin proposed >150-yrs ago that closely related species are more ecologically similar to each other than distantly related species. In turn, he argued closely related species should compete more strongly and be less likely to coexist. For much of the last century, Darwin's hypothesis was taken at face value, and some...
Article
Full-text available
SUMMARY 1. In a previous paper, Pomati et al. (2012) found a remarkable increase in phytoplankton diversity that coincided with oligrotrophication and warming of Lake Zurich over a 32 year period. A recent paper has challenged these findings on the basis of potential changes in taxonomic classification and detection limits over the long time-series...
Article
Full-text available
A long-standing hypothesis in ecology and evolutionary biology is that closely related species are more ecologically similar to each other, and therefore, compete more strongly than distant relatives do. A recent hypothesis posits that evolutionary relatedness may also explain the prevalence of mutualisms, with facilitative interactions being more...
Article
Full-text available
Our understanding of how biodiversity influences ecosystem functioning is entering a new stage of its development through the incorporation of information about the evolutionary relatedness of species. Bacteria are prime providers of essential ecosystem services, representing an excellent model system to perform biodiversity-ecosystem function rese...
Article
Full-text available
Bacterial infections are the second largest cause of mortality in shrimp hatcheries. Among them, bacteria from the genus Vibrio constitute a major threat. As the use of antibiotics may be ineffective and banned from the food sector, alternatives are required. Historically, phage therapy, which is the use of bacteriophages, is thought to be a promis...
Article
Full-text available
Despite their importance as ecosystem drivers, our understanding of the influence of bacterial diversity on ecosystem functioning is limited. After identifying twelve bacterial strains from two petroleum-contaminated sites, we experimentally explored the impact of biodiversity on total density by manipulating the number of strains in culture. Irres...
Data
16s sequences of the twelve isolated bacteria, two out-groups and the eight reference taxa included in this study and used to build a phylogeny ( Figure 1 ). (DOCX)
Data
Schematic representation of the full factorial experimental design. (TIF)
Article
Full-text available
The impact of biodiversity on the stability of ecological communities has been debated among biologists for more than a century. Recently summarized empirical evidence suggests that biodiversity tends to enhance the temporal stability of community-level properties such as biomass; however, the underlying mechanisms driving this relationship remain...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods A growing amount of empirical evidence shows that increasing biological diversity tends to reduce the variability (increase stability) of community biomass through time in face of environmental fluctuations. The presumed biological mechanisms by which biodiversity confers stability include overyielding and compensatory...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods The idea that ecosystems provide goods and services to humanity has become a prominent theme in the scientific and popular literature. With the rise of this theme, there have been an increasing number of claims that biodiversity is required to maintain ecosystem goods and services. But even a cursory review of the lite...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Over the past few decades, >400 experiments have shown that species rich ecosystems have greater biomass production than less diverse systems. Recent meta-analyses of these experiments have shown that phylogenetic diversity (PD) - a measure of the amount of genetic divergence among species that has occurred through evo...
Article
Full-text available
The ecological insurance hypothesis predicts a positive effect of species richness on ecosystem functioning in a variable environment. This effect stems from temporal and spatial complementarity among species within metacommunities coupled with optimal levels of dispersal. Despite its importance in the context of global change by human activities,...
Data
Both the rate of diffusion through the 0.22 µm membrane of the diffusion chambers, and the effect of biofouling on that rate, were assessed using Thau lagoon water. Two chambers were filled with bulk Thau lagoon water and immediately lowered into a 50-L capacity tank charged with the Bagnas water (Chamber #1 and #2 in figure S1). Two other chambers...
Data
One week before the experiment, 200-ml of water from both Thau and Bagnas lagoons were collected with a 500-ml acid washed glass bottle to determine the DGGE banding pattern of the bacterioplankton communities. The DGGE method is describe in the experimental procedure section. The number of OTUs was similar with 17 and 20 OTUs for Thau and Bagnas b...
Data
We assayed how much our diffusion chambers were resistant to potential contamination from the surrounding waters in a pilot experiment performed before the main experiment. This control of sterility was determined by incubating for 10 days four chambers (2 completely waterproof and 2 with 0.2 µm membranes) containing sterile Thau lagoon water into...
Article
Full-text available
The most unique feature of Earth is the existence of life, and the most extraordinary feature of life is its diversity. Approximately 9 million types of plants, animals, protists and fungi inhabit the Earth. So, too, do 7 billion people. Two decades ago, at the first Earth Summit, the vast majority of the world's nations declared that human actions...
Chapter
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En la actual crisis que atraviesa la diversidad biológica, la búsqueda de argumentos para su conservación es una prioridad. Además del valor económico, social o cultural de la biodiversidad, un argumento valioso a favor de su conservación proviene del estudio de su relación con los bienes y servicios que los ecosistemas nos ofrecen. El efecto posit...
Article
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Although theory established the necessary conditions for diversification in temporally heterogeneous environments, empirical evidence remains controversial. One possible explanation is the difficulty of designing experiments including the relevant range of temporal grains and the appropriate environmental trade-offs. Here, we experimentally explore...
Article
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The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) has become a cornerstone of community and ecosystem ecology and an essential criterion for making decisions in conservation biology and policy planning. It has recently been proposed that evolutionary history should influence the BEF relationship because it determines species tra...
Article
Full-text available
The influence of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning is a major concern of ecological research. However, the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship has very often been studied independently from the mechanisms allowing coexistence. By considering the effects of dispersal and niche partitioning on diversity, the metacommunity perspective...
Article
Full-text available
Summary1. Ecological specialization is one of the main concepts in ecology and conservation. However, this concept has become highly context-dependent and is now obscured by the great variability of existing definitions and methods used to characterize ecological specialization.2. In this study, we clarify this concept by reviewing the strengths an...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods and Results/Conclusions Community ecology is now entering a new stage of its development, integrating within the same framework ideas from ecosystem, biogeography and evolutionary ecology. A recent breakthrough has come from the emergence of the metacommunity concept, defined as a regional set of local communities con...
Article
Full-text available
Positive relationships between species diversity and productivity have been reported for a number of ecosystems. Theoretical and experimental studies have attempted to determine the mechanisms that generate this pattern over short timescales, but little attention has been given to the problem of understanding how diversity and productivity are link...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
Madre de Dios is the most degraded region in the Amazon rainforest due to extensive ASGM activities. However, the effect on river geomorphic processes still remain largely unknown. We here aim to augment the knowledge on the impacts of ASGM on river morphodynamics, sediment transport and, consequently, mercury dispersion, in the Madre de Dios Basin for more efficient river monitoring and mitigation strategies.
Project
To 1) gather and standardize existing datasets, 2) perform meta-analyses to evaluate the sensitivity of aquatic ecosystems to extreme weather events, and 3) provide new frameworks to explore theoretical questions related to phytoplankton diversity and succession.
Project
To understand the cause-effect relation between biodiversity and water quality in freshwater systems. For this purpose we use both observational data collected in the field and highly controlled experiment in the laboratory.