Genetic and paleoecological signatures of African rainforest dynamics:

Pre-adapted to change?


P1-ULB + P3-RMCA (WP1 coordinator) + P4-ULG

Estimation of tree dispersal using genetic tools
Seedlings growing in elephant dung © O. Hardy

Indirect estimates of historical gene or seed dispersal distances will be inferred from the spatial genetic structure of representative rainforest tree species. Parentage analyses will be conducted on 7 distinct species using microsatellites genetic markers and parentage analysis.

Origin of current forest stands
The difficulty to understand the dynamics of rainforest trees communities. © F. Monthe

The size distribution of trees in a forest stand contains information on local plant community history. If it is possible to determine the age of the median-sized trees, the disturbance itself can be dated. This approach will be tested in the semi-deciduous rainforests of the Congo Basin on long-living light-demanding species such as Pericopsis elata (Fabaceae).