Wilfried Thuiller

Wilfried Thuiller
Université Grenoble Alpes · Laboratory of Alpine Ecology (UMR CNRS 5553)

PhD

About

537
Publications
351,137
Reads
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79,187
Citations
Citations since 2016
223 Research Items
45799 Citations
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201620172018201920202021202202,0004,0006,0008,000
Introduction
I have several research areas including investigating the impacts of global change on biodiversity, understanding macro-scale biodiversity distribution, understanding what makes a good invader and how to predict its potential distribution and finally how and why species co-exist together. To work on these issues, I am conducting observational and experimental studies, simulation experiments, statistical analyses of empirical data and mechanistic modeling.
Additional affiliations
October 2007 - April 2020
University Joseph Fourier - Grenoble 1
Position
  • Research Director
January 2004 - October 2005
South African National Biodiversity Institute
Position
  • PostDoc Position
January 2001 - December 2003
Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive
Position
  • PhD

Publications

Publications (537)
Article
Full-text available
Given the current era of rapid biodiversity loss, there is an urgent need to understand the mechanisms driving the biodiversity dynamics in biodiversity hotspots because these results could guide make conservation actions to protect species under threat from rapid environmental changes and extensive human impacts. To achieve this goal, we have orga...
Preprint
Biotic interactions drive multitrophic species community assembly. Yet, explicitly incorporating this process in species distribution models (SDMs) is particularly challenging, even when biotic interactions are known. Here, we propose a framework that combines knowledge of trophic interactions with Bayesian structural equation models that model eac...
Article
Full-text available
The European Alps are highly rich in species, but their future may be threatened by ongoing changes in human land use and climate. Here, we reconstructed vegetation, temperature, human impact and livestock over the past ~12,000 years from Lake Sulsseewli, based on sedimentary ancient plant and mammal DNA, pollen, spores, chironomids, and microcharc...
Article
Full-text available
Global change is affecting soil biodiversity and functioning across all terrestrial ecosystems. Still, much is unknown about how soil biodiversity and function will change in the future in response to simultaneous alterations in climate and land use, as well as other environmental drivers. It is crucial to understand the direct, indirect and intera...
Preprint
Full-text available
Although how rare species persist in communities is a major ecological question, the critical phenotypic dimension of rarity is broadly overlooked. Recent work has shown that evaluating functional distinctiveness, the average trait distance of a species to other species in a community, offers essential insights into biodiversity dynamics, ecosystem...
Article
Full-text available
Species distribution models (SDMs) are statistical tools that relate species observations to environmental conditions to retrieve ecological niches and predict species' potential geographic distributions. The quality and robustness of SDMs clearly depend on good modelling practices including ascertaining the ecological relevance of predictors for t...
Article
Full-text available
Setting appropriate conservation strategies in a multi-threat world is a challenging goal, especially because of natural complexity and budget limitations that prevent effective management of all ecosystems. Safeguarding the most threatened ecosystems requires accurate and integrative quantification of their vulnerability and their functioning, par...
Chapter
L’étude des systèmes écologiques est souvent rendue difficile car certaines composantes échappent à une observation parfaite, comme les trajectoires d’animaux en mouvement ou la banque de graines des plantes. La modélisation statistique permet de traiter efficacement ces composantes cachées en utilisant le cadre des variables latentes, qui permet d...
Preprint
Full-text available
Landscapes nearby glaciers are disproportionally affected by climate change, still we lack the information on microclimate variation that is required to understand impacts of climate change on these ecosystems and their biodiversity. Here we use near-subsurface soil temperatures in 175 stations from polar, equatorial and alpine glacier forelands to...
Article
Full-text available
Ice‐free areas are expanding worldwide due to the dramatic glacier shrinkage and undergo rapid colonization by multiple lifeforms, thus representing key environments to study ecosystem development. It has been proposed that colonization dynamics of deglaciated terrains is different between surface and deep soils, but that the heterogeneity between...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding global biodiversity change, its drivers, and the ecosystem consequences requires a better appreciation of both the factors that shape soil macrofauna communities and the ecosystem effects of these organisms. The project "sOilFauna" was funded by the synthesis center sDiv (Germany) to address this major gap by forming a community of so...
Article
The Tree of Life—phylogeny—provides a powerful tool for understanding the processes regulating life's diversity. Conserving the branches on the Tree of Life might also have practical benefits. Using a comprehensive phylogeny of southern African woody trees and shrubs, and structural equation modeling, we show that human population density correlate...
Article
Classifying organisms has a wide use and a long history in ecology. However, the meaning of a 'group of or-ganisms' and how to group organisms is still the subject of much theoretical and empirical work. Achieving this long quest requires simplifying the complexity of species niches for which relevant morphological, behavioural, biochemical or life...
Article
Soil trophic networks are key to biogeochemical cycles, in particular decomposition. However, few studies have yet quantified how microbial decomposition activity along environmental gradients is jointly driven by bacteria, fungi, and their respective consumers. Here, we quantified these direct and indirect effects on decomposition and contrasted t...
Preprint
Full-text available
We develop a spatially realistic model of mutualistic metacommunities that exploits the joint structure of spatial and interaction networks. This model exhibits a sharp transition between a stable non-null equilibrium state and a global extinction state. This behaviour allows defining a threshold on colonisation/extinction parameters for the long-t...
Article
Full-text available
High-throughput DNA sequencing is becoming an increasingly important tool to monitor and better understand biodiversity responses to environmental changes in a standardized and reproducible way. Environmental DNA (eDNA) from organisms can be captured in ecosystem samples and sequenced using metabarcoding, but processing large volumes of eDNA data a...
Article
Full-text available
There is still limited consensus on the evolutionary history of species-rich temperate alpine floras due to a lack of comparable and high-quality phylogenetic data covering multiple plant lineages. Here we reconstructed when and how European alpine plant lineages diversified, i.e., the tempo and drivers of speciation events. We performed full-plast...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Although soil biodiversity is extremely rich and spatially variable, both in terms of species and trophic groups, we still know little about its main drivers. Here, we contrast four long‐standing hypotheses to explain the spatial variation of soil multi‐trophic diversity: energy, physiological tolerance, habitat heterogeneity and resource heter...
Article
Full-text available
Outside controlled experimental plots, the impact of community attributes on primary productivity has rarely been compared to that of individual species. Here, we identified plant species of high importance for productivity (key species) in >29,000 diverse grassland communities in the European Alps, and compared their effects with those of communit...
Article
Full-text available
We have very limited knowledge of how species interact in most communities and ecosystems despite trophic relationships being fundamental for linking biodiversity to ecosystem functioning. A promising approach to fill this gap is to predict interactions based on functional traits, but many questions remain about how well we can predict interactions...
Chapter
In this chapter, the authors present latent factor models in the context of joint species distribution models (JSDMs), emphasizing their usefulness in community ecology. They apply latent factor models to plant species along 18 elevation gradients in the French Alps, belonging to the long‐term observatory ORCHAMP. Inference for the Poisson log‐norm...
Preprint
Full-text available
Camera-traps have revolutionized the way ecologists monitor biodiversity and population abundances. Their full potential is however only realized when the hundreds of thousands of images collected can be rapidly classified with minimal human intervention. Machine learning approaches, and in particular deep learning methods, have allowed extraordina...
Article
Full-text available
The field of distributional ecology has seen considerable recent attention, particularly surrounding the theory, protocols, and tools for Ecological Niche Modeling (ENM) or Species Distribution Modeling (SDM). Such analyses have grown steadily over the past two decades—including a maturation of relevant theory and key concepts—but methodological co...
Article
Full-text available
Larger geographical areas contain more species—an observation raised to a law in ecology. Less explored is whether biodiversity changes are accompanied by a modification of interaction networks. We use data from 32 spatial interaction networks from different ecosystems to analyse how network structure changes with area. We find that basic community...
Article
Full-text available
Taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversities are important facets of biodiversity. Studying them together has improved our understanding of community dynamics, ecosystem functioning, and conservation values.1–3 In contrast to species, traits, and phylogenies, the diversity of biotic interactions has so far been largely ignored as a biodivers...
Preprint
Ice-free areas are increasing worldwide due to the dramatic glacier shrinkage and are undergoing rapid colonization by multiple lifeforms, thus representing key environments to study ecosystem development. Soils have a complex vertical structure. However, we know little about how microbial and animal communities differ across soil depths and develo...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Climate change will likely modify the global distribution of biomes, but the magnitude of change is debated. Here, we followed a trait‐based, statistical approach to model the influence of climate change on the global distribution of biomes. Location Global. Methods We predicted the global distribution of plant community mean specific leaf ar...
Article
Full-text available
Despite evidence of a positive effect of functional diversity on ecosystem productivity, the importance of functionally distinct species (i.e., species that display an original combination of traits) is poorly understood. To investigate how distinct species affect ecosystem productivity, we used a forest gap model to simulate realistic temperate fo...
Article
Full-text available
Animals require a certain amount of habitat to persist and thrive, and habitat loss is one of the most critical drivers of global biodiversity decline. While habitat requirements have been predicted by relationships between species traits and home-range size, little is known about constraints imposed by environmental conditions and human impacts on...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Estimate the current and future distribution of brown trout and identify priority areas for conservation of the species. Location Rhône River basin and Mediterranean streams. Methods We first developed a spatially explicit species distribution model to estimate the current and future distribution of brown trout for three time horizons (2030,...
Article
1. Easy access to multi-taxa information (e.g. distribution, traits, diet) in the scientific literature is essential to understand, map and predict all-inclusive biodiversity. Tools are needed to automatically extract useful information from the ever-growing corpus of ecological texts and feed this information to open data repositories. A prerequis...
Article
Glaciers are retreating globally, and the resulting ice-free areas provide an experimental system for understanding species colonization patterns, community formation, and dynamics. The last several years have seen crucial advances in our understanding of biotic colonization after glacier retreats, resulting from the integration of methodological i...
Article
Full-text available
Aims The rapid increase in the number of species that have naturalized beyond their native range is among the most apparent features of the Anthropocene. How alien species will respond to other processes of future global changes is an emerging concern and remains poorly misunderstood. We therefore ask whether naturalized species will respond to cli...
Preprint
Full-text available
There is still limited consensus on the evolutionary history of the species-rich temperate alpine floras due to a lack of comparable and high-quality phylogenetic data covering multiple plant lineages. Here we reconstructed when and how European alpine plant lineages diversified, i.e., the tempo and drivers of speciation events. We performed full-p...
Article
1. Comparing the architecture of interaction networks in space or time is essential for understanding the assembly, trajectory, functioning and persistence of species communities. Graph embedding methods, which position networks into a vector space where nearby networks have similar architectures, could be ideal tools for this purposes. 2. Here, we...
Preprint
While species interactions are fundamental for linking biodiversity to ecosystem functioning and for conservation, large-scale empirical data are lacking for most species and ecosystems. Accumulating evidence suggests that trophic interactions are predictable from available functional trait information, but we have yet to understand how well we can...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
While food webs are pivotal tools to understand the structure, dynamics and functioning of ecosystems , their reconstruction is not trivial since feeding relationships are not always known. To this end, soil ecologists often simplify the problem by either grouping morphologically similar organisms into trophic groups with known interactions or by a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
While food webs are pivotal tools to understand the structure, dynamics and functioning of ecosystems , their reconstruction is not trivial since feeding relationships are not always known. To this end, soil ecologists often simplify the problem by either grouping morphologically similar organisms into trophic groups with known interactions or by a...
Article
Full-text available
Trait-based ecology aims to understand the processes that generate the overarching diversity of organismal traits and their influence on ecosystem functioning. Achieving this goal requires simplifying this complexity in synthetic axes defining a trait space and to cluster species based on their traits while identifying those with unique combination...
Article
Plant–soil interactions can be major driving forces of community responses to environmental changes in terrestrial ecosystems. These interactions can leave signals in aboveground plant functional traits and belowground microbial activities and these signals can manifest in observed covariations. However, we know little about how these plant–soil li...
Article
Full-text available
Context While land use change is the main driver of biodiversity loss, most biodiversity assessments either ignore it or use a simple land cover representation. Land cover representations lack the representation of land use and landscape characteristics relevant to biodiversity modeling. Objectives We developed a comprehensive and high-resolution...
Article
Full-text available
Aim While species distribution models (SDMs) are standard tools to predict species distributions, they can suffer from observation and sampling biases, particularly presence-only SDMs, which often rely on species observations from non-standardized sampling efforts. To address this issue, sampling background points with a target-group strategy is co...
Article
Full-text available
The increasing severity and frequency of natural disturbances requires a better understanding of their effects on all compartments of biodiversity. In Northern Fennoscandia, recent large-scale moth outbreaks have led to an abrupt change in plant communities from birch forests dominated by dwarf shrubs to grass-dominated systems. However, the indire...
Preprint
Full-text available
While the impact of biodiversity, notably functional diversity, on ecosystem productivity has been extensively studied, little is known about the effect of individual species. Here, we identified species of high importance for productivity (key species) in over 28,000 diverse grassland communities in the European Alps, and compared their effects wi...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Worldwide distribution patterns of living animals are structured in multiple zoogeographical regions, characterized by faunas with homogeneous composition that are separated by sharp boundaries. These zoogeographical regions can differ depending on the considered animal group, probably because they have distinct characteristics such as dispersa...
Article
Full-text available
Aim The number of naturalized (i.e. established) alien species has increased rapidly over recent centuries. Given the differences in environmental tolerances among species, little is known about what factors determine the extent to which the observed size of the naturalized range of a species and hence the extent to which the observed richness of n...
Article
In the current biodiversity crisis, one of the crucial questions is how quickly plant communities can acclimate to climate warming and longer growing seasons to buffer the impairment of community functioning. Answering this question is pivotal especially for mountain grasslands that experience harsh conditions but provide essential ecosystem servic...
Article
Full-text available
A Correction to this paper has been published: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-021-01465-5.
Article
Full-text available
Mountain environments are marked by an altitudinal zonation of habitat types. They are home to a multitude of terrestrial green algae, who have to cope with abiotic conditions specific to high elevation, e.g., high UV irradiance, alternating desiccation, rain and snow precipitations, extreme diurnal variations in temperature and chronic scarceness...
Preprint
Full-text available
The intensification of anthropogenic pressures have increased consequences on biodiversity and ultimately on the functioning of ecosystems. To monitor and better understand biodiversity responses to environmental changes using standardized and reproducible methods, novel high-throughput DNA sequencing is becoming a major tool. Indeed, organisms she...
Article
Priorities to protect nature in Europe There is consensus among conservation scientists that protected areas should be expanded to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem services, but it is often difficult to prioritize areas for protection. Considering factors that motivate conservation across Europe, an analysis by O'Connor et al. includes the valu...
Article
Full-text available
Protected areas are the flagship management tools to secure biodiversity from anthropo-genic impacts. However, the extent to which adjacent areas with distinct protection levels host different species numbers and compositions remains uncertain. Here, using reef fishes, European alpine plants, and North American birds, we show that the composition o...
Article
• Bioinformatic analysis of eDNA metabarcoding data is crucial toward rigorously assessing biodiversity. Many programs are now available for each step of the required analyses, but their relative abilities at providing fast and accurate species lists have seldom been evaluated. • We used simulated mock communities and real fish eDNA metabarcoding d...
Article
Full-text available
Although they experience cold climates, particularly in temperate mountains during winter, alpine floras (plants in the vegetation belts above the climatic treelines) are generally species-rich. Yet, whether these floras represent evolutionarily independent, but convergent, assemblages drawn from their regional floras, or they originated from parti...
Preprint
Full-text available
1. Given the biodiversity crisis, we more than ever need to access information on multiple taxa (e.g. distribution, traits, diet) in the scientific literature to understand, map and predict all-inclusive biodiversity. Tools are needed to automatically extract useful information from the ever-growing corpus of ecological texts and feed this informat...
Chapter
The species–area relationship (SAR) describes a range of related phenomena that are fundamental to the study of biogeography, macroecology and community ecology. While the subject of ongoing debate for a century, surprisingly, no previous book has focused specifically on the SAR. This volume addresses this shortfall by providing a synthesis of the...
Preprint
Full-text available
Separating environmental effects from those of biotic interactions on species distributions has always been a central objective of ecology. Despite years of effort in analysing patterns of species co-occurrences and communities and the developments of sophisticated tools, we are still unable to address this major objective. A key reason is that the...
Article
Full-text available
Modeling species distributions over space and time is one of the major research topics in both ecology and conservation biology. Joint Species Distribution models (JSDMs) have recently been introduced as a tool to better model community data, by inferring a residual covariance matrix between species, after accounting for species' response to the en...
Article
Full-text available
Explaining and modeling species communities is more than ever a central goal of ecology. Recently, joint species distribution models (JSDMs), which extend species distribution models (SDMs) by considering correlations among species, have been proposed to improve species community analyses and rare species predictions while potentially inferring spe...
Preprint
Full-text available
There is growing evidence for a link between biodiversity and ecosystem function, and for a correlation between human population and the species diversity of plants and animals in a region. Here, we suggest these relationships might not be independent. Using a comprehensive phylogeny of southern African trees and structural equation modelling, we s...
Preprint
Full-text available
The increasing severity and frequency of natural disturbances requires a better understanding of their effects on all compartments of biodiversity. In Northern Fennoscandia, recent large-scale moth outbreaks have led to an abrupt change in plant communities from birch forests dominated by dwarf shrubs to grass-dominated systems. However, the indire...
Article
Full-text available
The species–area relationship (SAR) is one of the most well‐established scaling patterns in ecology. Its implications for understanding how communities change across spatial gradients are numerous, including the effects of habitat loss on biodiversity. However, ecological communities are not mere collections of species. They are the result of inter...
Article
Full-text available
Species distribution models (SDMs) constitute the most common class of models across ecology, evolution and conservation. The advent of ready‐to‐use software packages and increasing availability of digital geoinformation have considerably assisted the application of SDMs in the past decade, greatly enabling their broader use for informing conservat...
Article
Full-text available
La compréhension et la prévision des conséquences des changements environnementaux mondiaux (changement climatique et d’affectation des terres, dépôts atmosphériques, invasions d’espèces exotiques) sur la biodiversité et le fonctionnement des écosystèmes figurent parmi les principaux thèmes de recherche scientifique. Le groupe régional d’experts su...