Ecophysiology and Biogeography
Current climate change is having major effects on biodiversity with local extinctions and range changes. In order to understand these phenomena, it is necessary to elucidate the proximal mechanisms involved. Our work on snakes has revealed strong contrasts in physiological adaptations between species according to their global biogeography. Thus, cold-climate species have a higher metabolic rate than warm-zone species and more pronounced water losses. They are therefore exposed to higher energy expenditure in the face of rising temperatures. This approach has also been validated on a finer scale in France by studying the Pelias viper. We have modelled the distribution of the species by combining correlative and physiological approaches and highlighted the role of the Massif Central as a “climatic refuge”.