Macroécologie des échinides de l'océan Austral : Distribution, Biogéographie et Modélisation

Abstract : What are the forcing factors and main patterns of species distribution? This question is the core of macroecological issues and is of particular interest in the present context of global warming. The main objectives of this thesis were to determine the current distribution patterns of Antarctic and sub-Antarctic echinoid species at the scale of the whole Southern Ocean and to highlight the forcing factors that control them. The ecological niche modelling of 19 echinoid species showed that distribution is mainly structured in two patterns: (1) a first one represented by species that are not limited to the south of the Polar Front and distributed from the Antarctic coasts to the sub-Antarctic and cold temperate areas, and (2) a second one with species restricted to the Antarctic area. Within these two main patterns, five sub-patterns were also identified that depend on differences in the latitudinal and depth range of species groupings. In addition to this approach of biogeography by ecological niche modelling, a similarity analysis of echinoid, bivalve and gastropod fauna between bioregions of the Southern Ocean was performed at species and genus levels. This analysis reveals faunal connections between southern South America and sub-Antarctic areas in echinoids and bivalves, along with a partition between the East and West Antarctic. On the contrary, sub-Antarctic gastropod fauna show Antarctic rather than South American affinities and the Antarctic form a sole and unique province in this clade. These differences between clades are interpreted as the result of distinct biogeographic and evolutionary histories between echinoids and bivalves on the one hand, and gastropods on the other hand. The proposed hypothesis is that clades developped different evolutionary responses to the environmental changes that occurred during the Cenozoic. Finally, in the three clades, trans-Antarctic faunal connections are shown and interpreted as a result of West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapses and the setting up of trans-Antarctic sea-ways during the Pleistocene. Among the environmental parameters used for the ecological niche modelling, results show that the three following parameters play the main part in echinoid distribution: depth, sea-ice cover and sea surface temperature. However, the relative importance of these parameters depends on the species under studies. These differences are particularly emphasized in the case study of the genus Sterechinus. The species S. neumayeri is indeed the most dependent on environmental conditions that prevail along the Antarctic coasts (sea surface temperature and sea-ice cover), while S. antarcticus doesn’t seem to be so much under the control of these parameters. Accordingly, the potential distribution of S. antarcticus in latitude is the most extended. However, S. antarcticus is not present over the whole area of its potential distribution, what can be explained as the result of either (1) oceanographic factors (role of the Polar Front as a biogeographical barrier), (2) biotic interactions (inter-specific competition) or (3) the temporal context (still ongoing colonization).
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Benjamin Pierrat. Macroécologie des échinides de l'océan Austral : Distribution, Biogéographie et Modélisation. Sciences agricoles. Université de Bourgogne, 2011. Français. ⟨NNT : 2011DIJOS074⟩. ⟨tel-00717643⟩

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