Presentation of the ExplorEcoLab project
The ExplorEcoLab project is an experimental study on the effects of climate change on the relationship of butterflies – host plants – ants.
The objectives of this study are the following :
- Recreate the relationship between the life cycles of butterflies, their host plants and ants in an enclosed environment,
- Control climate and environmental to study the determinants factors of this relationship,
- Apply different climate scenarios to study the possible future impacts of climate change on these species.
The studied species selected according to different criteria are the following:
- butterfly Polyommatus icarus
- host plants of Polyommatus icarus : Trifolium repens, Lotus corniculatus
- ants Lasius niger
In the laboratory, the lepidopteran-ant host symbiosis relationship is reproduced in a stable closed ecosystem called ExplorEcolab.
Experiment 1 : Reproduce the lepidopteran-host plants-ants relationship in a closed environment – Development of host plants of Polyommatus icarus
Experiment 2 : Reproduce the lepidopteran-host plants-ants relationship in a closed environment – Ants breeding Lasius niger
Experiment 3 : Reproduce the lepidopteran-host plants-ants relationship in a closed environment – Butterflies breeding Polyommatus icarus
Experiment 4 : Different climate change scenarios are applied in the ExplorEcolab laboratory. Different parameters are measured and analyzed to better understand the climate-symbiosis relationship. (forthcoming)