Xenobiotic Pressure: Adaptation and Dysfunction of Ecosystems
Leaders: Muriel RAVETON, Stéphane REYNAUD
Despite considerable progress in ecotoxicology, a new paradigm is needed to answer its central questions, such as “What are the effects of xenobiotics on organisms?” and “How the ecosystem functions are affected by the xenobiotics?”. Many authors argue that the current bottom-up approach of ecotoxicology that implies the use of small-scale experiments to predict effects on the entire ecosystems should be merged with a top-down ecological approach that is directly focused on ecological effects at large spatial scales. To tackle these current pressing challenges, we aim at combining the LECA’s leading research in ecology/evolution to ecotoxicology for adopting an innovative approach in this scientific field elaborating and using integrative observational-experimental approaches.
XPADE’s research combines a bottom-up approach -by studying how different phenotypes are expressed from a same genotype in response to pollutants with a top-down approach focusing on how the presence of pollutants in the ecosystems can influence the selection of particular genotypes. To perform this leading-edge research in ecotoxicology, XPADE’s researches use comparative (multiple organisms and pollutants), integrative (research at multiple levels of biological integration), and ecosystem-based (biodiversity and trophic webs) approaches.