Welcome to the Alpine Marmot Project
Postdoctoral fellow – Université Claude-Bernard – Lyon1
tel. : +33(0)4 72 43 35 84
fax : +33(0)4 72 43 13 88
UMR CNRS 5558 – LBBE
Biométrie et Biologie Évolutive
UCB Lyon 1 – Bât. Grégor Mendel
43 bd du 11 novembre 1918
69622 VILLEURBANNE cedex
My research is at the interface between the theory of life-histories, population ecology and the dynamics of continuous traits. My main objective is to understand how each individual with its own characteristics and phenotypic traits contribute to population dynamics and evolution. With the major and current threats that weigh on biodiversity, being able to predict the individual plastic and evolutionary responses will help us targeting key individuals in a populations and improving protective measures that are adapted to each population according to its life-history strategies and lifestyle.
The influence on climate change on individual phenotype and sociality in the Alpine Marmot
In the Alpine marmot, a cooperative breeder, individual contributions to the population depend on their access to dominance and their annual reproductive success. Climate change has multiple influences on social populations. In one hand, early spring improve individual body condition and challenge the probability for each individual to access dominance and to stay dominant. On the other hand, harsh winter decrease survival of the pups during the first winter and decrease annual reproductive success. Thus, climate change can influence individual strategies and disrupt past population’s and families’ organization. In this species, I developed population models including family structure and individual phenotype to understand how new individual strategies will influence population structure and dynamics. I am particularly interested in understanding how climate change will affect the social environment of marmot families and will impact the evolution of future pups.
Is everyone life planned from the beginning?
According to the theory of life-histories, individuals follow trajectories characterized by a sequence of phenotypes and reproductive successes, and an age of death. These trajectories depend on the population life-history strategies: for instance, whether an individual can live one day or around a hundred of year, and whether an individual can lay a thousand of eggs or carry one calf once every two years. Within a population, individual trajectories also differ in relation to the environmental conditions that influence them during their life and in relation to their early environment. Finally randomly, one individual can die young after a collision with a truck while his brother will live old. One of my research themes is to understand how much we can predict individual life from their birth and early environment including parental effects, social effects and early climatic environment. I investigate the influence of fixed (at birth or during early development) individual characteristics on individual reproductive and survival trajectories. I combine empirical, theoretical and simulation analyses to link individual trajectories and population scales to understand how individual trajectories will determine population dynamics.
Population dynamics and conservation of threatened European birds
One of my aims is to improve our theoretical knowledge and statistical tools to advance conservation of threatened species. With this aim, I develop new population models that combine individual and population levels to refine our understanding of the mechanisms that drive population dynamics. I specifically apply these models to threatened European bird species such as the European lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) or the hoopoe (Upupa epops). The lapwing is an emblematic agricultural bird that was widespread in Europe in the sixties. Its population has strongly declined due to the degradation of agricultural landscape. Nowadays, we try to apply protective measures in its breeding sites to improve annual population recruitment. The hoopoe is a migratory bird that comes from sub-Saharan regions to Europe to breed in natural cavities. The urbanization has decreased the number of available breeding sites for this species which is declining in habitats that have been modified by anthropogenic activities.
2017- Today: Post-doctoral position funded by the ANR of Dr. A. Cohas, Université claude Bernard Lyon 1, France
2015- Today: Post-doctoral position funded by the Swiss Ornithological Institute, Sempach, Switzerland
2014-2015: post-doctoral position funded by the NSF of Pr. S. Tuljapurkar, Stanford University, USA
2010-2014: Research allocation – Université claude Bernard Lyon 1, France
Fay R, Plard F. Distinguish within from between individual effects: Limits of the within centering method. The American Naturalist. Under review
Plard F, Bruns A, Cimiotti D, Helmecke A, Hötker H, Jeromin H, Roodbergen M, Schekkerman H, Teunissen W, van der Jeugd H, Schaub M. Low productivity drives the decline of the European lapwing populations. Journal of Applied Ecology. Under review
Plard F, Gruëbler M, Turek D, Schaub M. IPM²: Towards better understanding and forecasting of population dynamics. Ecological Monograph , In press.
Plard F, Fay R, Kéry M, Cohas A, Schaub M. Integrated population models: a powerful tool to embed individual processes in population dynamics models. Ecology, In press.
Plard F, Arlettaz R, Schaub M. Hoopoe males experience intra-seasonal while females experience inter-seasonal reproductive costs. Oecologia, 186: 665-675.
Plard F, Schindler S, Arlettaz R, Schaub M. Sex-specific heterogeneity in fixed morphological traits influences individual fitness in a monogamous bird population. The American Naturalist, 191: 106-119.
Coulson T, Kendall BE, Barthold JA, Plard F, Schindler S, Ozgul A, Gaillard JM, 2017. Modeling adaptive and non-adaptive responses of populations to environmental change. The American Naturalist, 190: 313-336.
Péron G, Gaillard JM, Barbraud C, Bonenfant C, Charmantier A, Choquet R, Coulson T, GrosboisV, Loison A, Marzolin N, Owen-Smith N, Pardo D, Plard F, Pradel R, Toïgo C, Gimenez O. Evidence of reduced individual heterogeneity in adult survival of long-lived species. Evolution,70: 2909-2914
Plard F, Gaillard JM, Coulson T, Tuljapurkar S. Des différences, pourquoi? Transmission, maintenance and effects of phenotypic variance. Journal of Animal Ecology, 85: 356-370
Plard F, Gaillard JM, Coulson T, Delorme D,Warnant C, Michallet J, Tuljapurkar S, Krishnakumar S, Bonenfant C. Quantifying the influence of measured and unmeasured individual differences on demography. Journal of Animal Ecology, 84: 1434-1445
Lemaître JF, Vanpé C, Plard F, Pélabon C, Gaillard JM. Response to Packard: Make sure we do not throw out the biological baby with the statistical bath water when performing allometric analyses. Biology Letters, 11: 20150144
Chalopin D, Naville M, Plard F, Galiana D, Volff JN. Comparative analysis of transposable elements highlights mobilome diversity and evolution in vertebrates. Genome Biology and Evolution, 96: 1516-1528
Plard F, Gaillard JM, Coulson T, Hewison AJM, Douhard M, Klein F, Delorme D, Warnant C, Bonenfant C. The influence of birth date via body mass on individual fitness in a long-lived mammal. Ecology, 96: 1516-1528.
Lemaître JF, Berger V, Bonenfant C, Douhard M, Gamelon M, Plard F, Gaillard JM. Early-late life trade-offs and the evolution of ageing in the wild. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 281: 20140792
Plard F, Yoccoz NG, Bonenfant C, Klein F, Warnant C, Gaillard JM. Disentangling direct and growth-mediated influences on early survival: a mechanistic approach. Journal of Animal Ecology, 84: 1363-1372
Plard F, Gaillard JM, Coulson T, Hewison AJM, Delorme D,Warnant C, Nilsen EB, Bonenfant C. Long-lived and heavier females give birth earlier in roe deer. Ecography, 37: 241-249
Lemaître JF, Vanpé C, Plard F, Gaillard JM. The allometry between secondary sexual traits and body size is non-linear among cervids. Biology Letters, 10: 20130869
Plard F, Gaillard JM, Coulson T, Hewison AJM, Delorme D, Warnant C, Bonenfant C. Mismatch between birth date and vegetation phenology slows the demography of roe deer. PLoS Biology 12: e1001828
Douhard M, Plard F, Gaillard JM, Capron G, Delorme D, Klein F, Duncan P, Loe LE, Bonenfant C. Fitness consequences of environmental conditions at different life stages in a long-lived vertebrate. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 281: 20140276
Plard F, Gaillard JM, Bonenfant C, Hewison AJM, Delorme D, Cargnelutti B, Kjellander P, Nilsen EB, Coulson T. Parturition date for a given female is highly repeatable within five roe deer populations. Biology Letters, 9:20120841
Gaillard JM, Hewison AJM, Klein F, Plard F, Douhard M, Davison R, Bonenfant C. How does climate change influence demographic processes of widespread species? Lessons from the comparative analysis of contrasted populations of roe deer. Ecology Letters, 16: 48–57
Plard F, Bonenfant C, Delorme D, Gaillard JM. Modeling reproductive trajectories of roe deer females: fixed or dynamic heterogeneity? Theoretical Population Biology, 82:317-328
Plard F, Bonenfant C, Gaillard JM. Revisiting the allometry of antlers among deer species: malemale sexual competition as a driver. Oikos, 120: 601-606
Célerier A, Huchard E, Alvergne A, Fejan D, Plard F, Cowlishaw G, Raymond M, Knapp LA, Bonadonna F. Detective mice assess relatedness in baboons using olfactory cues. Journal of Experimental Biology, 213:1399-1405
Gaillard JM, Lemaître JF, Berger V, Bonenfant C, Devillard S, Douhard M, Gamelon M, Plard F, Lebreton JD. 2016. Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Biology. Vol. 2, chapter Life histories, axes of variation in, pages 312–323. Oxford: Academic Press
Plard F, Arlettaz R, Schaub M. (2018) Hoopoe males experience intra-seasonal while females experience inter-seasonal reproductive costs. Evolutionay demography society, Lyon, France. Oral Presentation
Plard F, Turek D, Grüebler M and Schaub M. (2017) Combining integral projection and integrated population models. Conference of the Ecological Society of America, Portland, USA, Invited oral presentation
Plard F, Turek D, Grüebler M and Schaub M. (2017) IPM2: Towards better understanding and forecasting of population dynamics. Euring, Barcelona, Spain. Oral presentation
Plard F, Schindler S, Arlettaz R, and Schaub M. (2017) Life-history strategies in hoopoes. Université de Zurich, Invited oral presentation
Plard F, Schindler S, Arlettaz R, and Schaub M. (2016) Sex and Life-history strategies. International Statistical Ecology Conference Seattle, USA, Oral presentation
Plard F, Gaillard JM, Coulson T, Hewison AJM, Douhard M, Klein F, Delorme D, Warnant C, Bonenfant C. (2014) Born to get lucky. Evolutionay demography society 2nd annual meeting, Stanford, USA, Oral presentation & Poster
Plard F, Gaillard JM, Coulson T, Delorme D, Warnant C, Michallet J, Tuljapurkar S, Krishnakumar S, Bonenfant C. (2103) Quantifying the influence of unmeasured individual differences and age on demography. International Conference on Individual Differences, Groningen, The Netherlands, Invited oral presentation
Plard F, Bonenfant C, Gaillard JM. (2011) Stochasticity and tactic in individual life-history. Workshop on Comparative Evolutionary Biodemography, Chizé, France. Oral presentation
Press communication (2014): Mismatch between birth date and vegetation phenology slows the demography of roe deer.