Welcome to the CEFE

The CEFE is currently the largest French research center in Ecology and Evolutionary Ecology. Our Mission: perform independent, fundamental scientific research on the dynamics of biodiversity, planetary environmental change, and sustainable development. The links between society and ecology is a theme of increasing importance in oour research.

If you are interested in who does what on a specific theme or topic at CEFE, please go to the WHO DOES WHAT tab and use the proposed tags. You will have direct access to the pages of the persons listed for a given tag.

If you are interested in what the different research Departments at cefe do and the focus of their respective teams, please go to the RESEARCH tab and navigate the Departments and their teams.

Seminars of ecology and evolution of Montpellier

  • Hanna Kokko

    2 juillet 2021, 11h30 (diffusion en visioconférence). Good reasons to live shorter lives

  • Rachel Germain

    25 juin 2021, 16h00 (diffusion en visioconférence). Matters of scale in the ecology and evolution of biodiversity

Pierre-Olivier CHEPTOU

Directeur de Recherche au CNRS (DR2)

Campus du CNRS
1919, route de Mende
34293 Montpellier cedex 5

tél : +33 4 67 61 33 07
fax: +33 4 67 41 21 38

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Thématique de recherche




Je développe un travail d’écologie évolutive qui vise à analyser les traits d'histoire de vie chez les plantes (systèmes de reproduction, traits floraux, dispersion). L’accent est mis l'accent sur l'importance de la dynamique écologique (dynamique des métapopulations, démographie) comme un processus de sélection dans l'évolution contemporaine. Mon approche combine (1) Analyse des patrons d’adaptation et méthodes d’inférence des traits d’histoires de vie dans les métapopulations de plantes, en milieu naturel (2) élaboration de modèles formels en écologie évolutive (3) expérimentations et tests d’hypothèses en conditions contrôlées.


Most-clés :Métapopulation-traits d'histoire de vie-Ecologie évolutive théorique-dispersion-systèmes de reproduction-plasticité-Epigénétique





2012 DR2 CNRS dans l’UMR 5175 CEFE, Montpellier

2009 Habilitation à diriger les recherches,Université Montpellier 2. pdf

2006: CR1. UMR 5175 CEFE, Montpellier

2002: Recrutement CNRS, CR2 dans l’UMR 5175 CEFE, Montpellier

2001-2002 : Séjour post-doctoral . McGill University, Montreal (Canada)

1997-2000 : Thèse de Doctorat, Université Montpellier 2. pdf


Activité Editoriale

  •   Journal of Evolutionary Biology, Deciding editor 2004-2008Journal of Evolutionary Biology banner
  •  BMC Evolutionary Biology, associate editor : 2018-
  • Associate editor pour Evolution 2021-2024


Direction de programmes

1-ACI jeunes chercheurs "ecologie en milieu urbain" 2004-2008

2-FRB : Adaptation des plantes aux déclins des pollinisateurs 2010-14

3-Chercheurs d'Avenir "dormir pour persister" 2012-2016

4-NSF (NESCENT (Duke University) : Co-direction d'un groupe international de travail de synthèse "Syndrome de dispersion et système de reproduction chez les plantes"

5-Projet exploratoire (labex CeMEB, 2018 - 2020) : Evolution rapide et epigénétique


Partenaire de Programmes :

1-ANR TRAMEVERTE 2009-2013

2-ANR SEAD 2014-2018

3-ANR Agrobiose 2014-2018

4-ANR ARSENIC 2015-2019

5-Projet MUSE "Superbeelive" 2019-2022



1-Cheptou P.-O., Imbert E., Lepart J. & Escarré J. 2000. Effects of competition on lifetime estimates of inbreeding depression in the outcrossing plant Crepis sancta (Asteraceae). Journal of Evolutionary Biology 13 (3): 522-31.pdf

2-Cheptou P.O., Berger A., Blanchard A., Collin C. & Escarré J. 2000. The effect of drought stress on inbreeding depression in four populations of the Mediterranean outcrossing plant Crepis sancta (Asteraceae) Heredity 85 (3): 294-302. pdf

3-Cheptou P.-O., Lepart J. & Escarré J. 2001. Inbreeding depression and intraspecific competition in Crepis sancta (Asteraceae): evidence for frequency dependent variation. American Journal of Botany 88 (8): 1424-1429.pdf

4-Cheptou P.-O. & Mathias A. 2001. Can varying inbreeding depression select for intermediary selfing rate? The American Naturalist 157(4): 361-373.pdf

5-Cheptou P.-O., Lepart J. & Escarré J. 2001. Differential outcrossing rates in dispersing and non-dispersing achenes in the heterocarpic plant Crepis sancta (Asteraceae). Evolutionary Ecology 15(1): 1-13. 5. pdf

6-Cheptou P.-O. & Dieckmann U. 2002 The evolution of self-fertilization in density-regulated populations Proc R. Soc. L. B. 269, 1177-1186.pdf

7-Cheptou P.-O. & Schoen D. J. 2002 The cost of fluctuating inbreeding depression. Evolution 56(5): 1059-1062.pdf

8-Cheptou P.-O., Lepart J. & Escarré J. 2002 Mating system variation along a successional gradient in the allogamous and colonizing plant Crepis sancta (Asteraceae). Journal of Evolutionary Biology 15 (5): 753-62. pdf

9-Dubois S., Cheptou P.-O., Petit C., Meerts P., Poncelet M., Vekemans X., Lefebvre C. and Eascarré J. 2003 Genetic Structure and mating systems of metallicolous and non-metalicollous populations of Thlaspi caerulescens. New Phytologist 157: 633-641.pdf

10-Cheptou P.-O. & Schoen D. J. 2003 Frequency-dependant inbreeding depression in Amsinckia. The American Naturalist. 162(6): 744-753. pdf

11-Cheptou P.-O. 2004 Allee effect and self-fertilization in hermaphrodites: Reproductive assurance in demographically stable populations Evolution 58(12): 2613-2621. pdf

12-Genton B. P.M. Kotanen, P.-O. Cheptou, C. Adolphe and J.A. Shykoff. 2005 Enemy release but no evolutionary loss of defence during ragweed invasion of France: an inter-continental reciprocal transplant experiment. Oecologia: 146: 404-414.


13-Cheptou P.-O. 2006 The ecology of inbreeding depression Heredity 96(2), 110. pdf

14-Cheptou P.-O., Avendano L. 2006. Pollination processes and the Allee effect in highly fragmented populations: consequences for the mating system in urban environments. New Phytologist 172 (4) 774-783. pdf

15-Dubois, M.-P. , Dornier A., Jarne, P. and Cheptou P.-O. 2007 Nine polymorphic microsatellite markers in Crepis sancta (Asteraceae) Molecular Ecology Notes 7 (4): 681-683. pdf

16-Cheptou P.-O., Schoen D.J. (2007). Combining population genetics and demographical approaches in evolutionary studies of plant mating systems. Oikos: Vol. 116 (2) 271-279. pdf

17-Munoz, F., Cheptou, P.-O. & Kjellberg, F. 2007 Spectral analysis of simulated species distribution maps provides insights into metapopulation dynamics Ecological Modelling 205 (3-4): 314-322 JUL 24 2007. pdf

18-Cheptou P.-O., 2007 Why should mating system biologists be demographers? Trends in Ecology and Evolution 22(11) 562-563. pdf

19-Cheptou, P.-O., Carrue, O., Rouifed, S. and Cantarel, A. 2008 Rapid evolution of seed dispersal in an urban environment in the weed Crepis sancta. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 105, 3796-3799. pdf

→Article sélectionné par “Faculty of 1000 Biology”, commenté/résumé dans Science, Nature, Nature Digest, New scientist, Scientific American, la recherche et dans la presse quotidienne)

20-Dornier, A. Munoz, F. & Cheptou P.-O. 2008 Allee effect and self-fertilization in hermaphrodites: Reproductive assurance in a structured metapopulation Evolution 62 (10), 2558-2569. pdf

21-Andrieu, E., Dornier, A., Rouifed, S., Schatz, B., Cheptou, P.-O. 2009 The town Crepis and the country Crepis:how does fragmentation affect a plant-pollinator interaction? Acta Oecologica 35: 1-7. pdf

22-Johnston M.O., Porcher, E., Cheptou, P.-O., Eckert, C.G., Elle, E.; Geber, M.A.Susan Kalisz, Kelly, J.K., Moeller, D.A., Vallejo-Marin, M., Win, A. 2009 Correlations among fertility components can maintain mixed mating in plants. The American Naturalist 173(1), 1–11.pdf

23-Coreau A. Pinay, G. Thompson, J.D. Cheptou, P.-O. and L. Mermet 2009 The rise of research on futures in ecology: rebalancing scenarios and predictions Ecology Letters 12: 1277–1286. pdf

→ Article sélectionné par “Faculty of 1000 Biology”.

24-Porcher, E*., J.K. Kelly*, P.-O. Cheptou*, C.G. Eckert, Johnston, M.O., S. Kalisz. 2009 The genetic consequences of fluctuating inbreeding depression and the evolution of plant mating system Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(4) 708-717. (* equal contribution) pdf

25-Cheptou, P.-O. & F. Massol 2009 Pollination fluctuations drive evolutionary syndromes linking dispersal and mating system. The American Naturalist 174 (1) 46-55. pdf

→Choix de l’éditeur de la revue Science : Evolution: Going Farther with Sex Science Vol 324 26, 2009 p1619.) pdf

26- Cailleau A., P.-O. Cheptou, T. Lenormand. 2010. Ploidy and the evolution of endosperm of flowering plants. Genetics 184: 439-453. pdf

27-Eckert, C.G., Kalisz, S., Geber, M.A., Sargent, R., Elle, E., Cheptou,P.-O. Goodwillie, C., Johnston, M.O. Kelly, J.K. Moeller, D.A. Porcher, E. Ree, R.H.,Vallejo-Marın, M. and A.A. Winn 2010 Plant mating systems in a changing world vol25(1) 35-43 Trends in Ecology and evolution. pdf

28-Coreau, A. Treyer,S. Cheptou, P.-O. Thompson, J.D. and Mermet L. 2010 Exploring the difficulties of studying futures in ecology: what do ecological scientists think? Vol119 (8) 1364-1376Oikos pdf

29-Cheptou P.-O.and Donohue, K. 2011 Environment-dependent inbreeding depression: its ecological and evolutionary significance. 189: 395–407New Phytologist (Tansley review). pdf

30- Massol, F.& P.-O. Cheptou 2011"Evolutionary syndromes linking dispersal and mating system: the effect of autocorrelation in pollination conditions" 65 (2)pp 591-598 Evolution. pdf

31- Massol, F.& P.-O. Cheptou 2011 When should we expect the evolutionary association of self-fertilization and dispersal?65(5) , pp 1217–1522 Evolution . pdf

32-Dornier, A., Pons, V. & P.-O. Cheptou 2011 Colonization and extinction dynamics of an annual plant metapopulation in an urban environment Oikos Vol: 120 (8) pp1240-1246 pdf

33-Cheptou P.-O2011 Clarifying Baker’s law Annals of Botany (early view) pdf

34-Winn, A.A., Elle, E., Kalisz, S., Cheptou, P.-O., Eckert,C.G., Goodwillie, C. Johnston,M.O., Moeller, D.A., Ree, R.H., Sargent, R.D. and Vallejo-Marın, M. 2011 Analysis of inbreeding depression in mixed mating plants provides evidence for selective interference and stable mixed mating Evolution (early view). pdf

35-Dornier, A. & P.-O. Cheptou2011 Determinants of extinction in plant fragmented populations: Crepis sancta (Asteraceae) in urban environment Oecologia (early view) pdf

36-Sun S, & P.-O. Cheptou 2012 Life-history traits evolution across distribution ranges: how the joint evolution of dispersal and mating system favor the evolutionary stability of range limits?" Evolutionary Ecology (early view) pdf

37 Dubois, J. & P.-O. Cheptou 2012 Competition/colonization syndrome mediated by early germination in non-dispersing achenes in the heteromorphic species Crepis sancta Annals of Botany (in press)

38-Stojanova B., Dubois, M.P., Maurice, S. & P.-O.Cheptou Isolation and characterization of microsatellite markers for the cleistogamous species Lamium amplexicaule (Lamiaceae) American Journal of Botany (in press).

39- Cheptou P.-O.and Donohue, K. 2012 Epigenetics as a new avenue for the role of inbreeding depression in evolutionary ecology Heredity

40- Cheptou P.-O.and Donohue, K. 2013 Epigenetics as a new avenue for the role of inbreeding depression in evolutionary ecology 110, 205-206 Heredity

41- Dornier, A. & P.-O. Cheptou 2013 Inferring contemporary dispersal processes in plant metapopulations: comparison of direct and indirect estimates of dispersal for the annual species Crepis sancta. 111, 1-7 Heredity

42 Thomann M, Imbert E, Devaux C and P.-O. Cheptou 2013 Flowering plants under global pollinator decline Trends in Plant Science vol 18 (7) pp 353-359.

43 Caplat P, Cheptou P-O, Diez J, Guisan A, Larson B, MacDougall A, D; Richardson D M, Shea, K, van Kleunen M, Zhang R, and Buckley, Y M., Movement, impacts and management of plant distributions in response to climate change: insights from invasions" Oikos 122: 1265–1274.

→Editor’s choice, Oikos

44 Fréville H, Choquet R, Pradel R, and P.-O. Cheptou 2013 Inferring seed bank from patch occupancy models: new insights into metapopulation dynamics in plants Journal of Ecology 101, 1572–1580

45 Renoult J , Thomman, M. Schaffer, M.& P.-O. Cheptou 2013 Selection on quantitative colour variation in Centaurea cyanus: the role of the pollinator’s visual system Journal of Evolutionary Biology 26, pp 2415–2427

46 Stojanova B, Dubois M-P, Maurice S, Cheptou PO. 2014 Isolation and Characterization of Microsatellite Markers for the Cleistogamous Species Lamium amplexicaule (Lamiaceae). Applications in Plant Sciences 1: 1200259.

47 Stojanova, B, Cheptou, P.-O. and Maurice S 2014 Does cleistogamy variation translate into outcrossing variation in the annual species Lamium amplexicaule Plant Systematics and Evolution.

48 Delmas CEL, Cheptou P-O, Escaravage N, Pornon A 2014 High lifetime inbreeding depression counteracts the reproductive assurance benefit of selfing in a mass-flowering shrub BMC Evol. Biol. Vol. 14   Article Number: 243

49 Delmas CEL, Escaravage N, Cheptou P-O, Charrier O, Ruzafa S, Winterton Pornon A 2015 Relative impact of mate versus pollinator availability on pollen limitation and outcrossing rates in a mass-flowering species. Plant Biology 17(1) pp: 209-218.

50 Réjou-Méchain M., Cheptou P-O High incidence of dioecy in young successional tropical forests Journal of Ecology Vol. 103 (3)   pp: 725-732   

51 Thomann, M. Imbert, E. & Cheptou P.-O. 2015 Contemporary evolution of plant reproductive strategies under global change is revealed by stored seeds" Journal of Evolutionary Biology 28 (4) pp : 766-778.

52 Astegiano, J., Massol, F.,Morais Vidal, M.,Cheptou P.O. and P R. Guimarães Jr 2015 The Robustness of Plant-pollinator Assemblages: Linking Plant Interaction Patterns and Sensitivity to Pollinator Loss Plos One 10(2) Article Number: e0117243  

53 Rubio de Casas, R. Donohue , K. Venable, L.D. and P.-O. Cheptou 2015 Gene-flow through space and time: dispersal, dormancy and adaptation to changing environments Evolutionary Ecology 29:813–831.

54 Pannell, J.R. Auld, J.R. Brandvain, Y. Burd, M. Busch, J.M. Cheptou, P.-O, Conner, J.K. Goldberg, E.E,Grant, A-G, Grossenbacher, D.L. Hovick, S.M. Igic, B. Kalisz, S. Petanidou, T. Randle, A.M. Rubio de Casas, R. Pauw, A. Vamosi, J.C. and Alice A. Winn. 2015 The scope of Baker's law New Phytologist (early view)

55 Thomann, M. Imbert, E. & Cheptou P.-O. 2015 Is rapid evolution of reproductive traits in Adonis annua consistent with pollinator decline? Acta Oecologica 69 pp 161-166.

56 Astegiano, J.Guimarães, P.R. Cheptou, P.-O. Vidal, M.M., Mandai, C, Y,Ashworth, L. Massol, F. 2015 Persistence of Plants and Pollinators in the Face of Habitat Loss: Insights from Trait-Based Metacommunity Models Advances in Ecological Research

57 Munoz F, Violle C, Cheptou PO. 2016. CSR ecological strategies and plant mating systems: outcrossing increases with competitiveness but stress-tolerance is related to mixed mating. Oikos 125: 1296-303

58 Stojanova, B., Maurice, S. Cheptou, P.-O. 2016 Is plasticity across seasons adaptive in the annual cleistogamous plant Lamium amplexicaule?" 117: 681–691, 2 Annals of Botany.

59 : Lambrecht SC, Mahieu S, Cheptou PO. 2016. Natural selection on plant physiological traits in an urban environment. Acta Oecologica-International Journal of Ecology 77: 67-74

60 Bouchet DC, Cheptou PO, Munoz F. 2017. Mowing influences community-level variation in resource-use strategies and flowering phenology along an ecological succession on Mediterranean road slopes. Applied Vegetation Science 20: 376-87

61 Cheptou PO, Hargreaves AL, Bonte D, Jacquemyn H. 2017. Adaptation to fragmentation: evolutionary dynamics driven by human influences. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences 372

62 Cheptou PO, Hargreaves AL, Bonte D, Jacquemyn H. 2017. Adaptation to fragmentation: evolutionary dynamics driven by human influences (vol 372, 20160037, 2016). Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences 372

63 Dubois J, Cheptou PO. 2017. Effects of fragmentation on plant adaptation to urban environments. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences 372

64 Grossenbacher DL, Brandvain Y, Auld JR, Burd M, Cheptou PO, et al. 2017. Self-compatibility is over-represented on islands. New Phytologist 215: 469-78

65 Iritani R, Cheptou PO. 2017. Joint evolution of differential seed dispersal and self-fertilization. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 30: 1526-43

66 Moeller DA, Runquist RDB, Moe AM, Geber MA, Goodwillie C, et al. 2017. Global biogeography of mating system variation in seed plants. Ecology Letters 20: 375-84

67 Manna F, Pradel, R. Choquet, R, Freville H, Cheptou P.-O. 2017 Disantangling the role of seed bank and dispersal in plant metapopulation dynamics using patch occupancy surveys Ecology (early view).

68 Pluntz, Matthieu; Lecoz, Sebastian; Peyrard, Nathalie; Pradel, Roger; Choquet, Rémi; Cheptou, Pierre-Olivier 2018 A general method for estimating seed dormancy and colonization in annual plants from the observation of existing flora Ecology Letters Vol.21 (9) :1311-1318

69 Cheptou, P.-O. 2018 Does the evolution of self-fertilization rescue populations or increase extinction? Annals of Botany (early view)

70 Cheptou, P.-O 2018 La riche sexualité des plantes Pour la Science (hors série septembre 2018)

71-Cailleau, A; Grimanelli, D Blanchet, E, Cheptou, P.-O. and T. Lenormand 2018 Dividing a maternal pie among half-sibs: genetic conflicts and the control of resource allocation to seeds in maize. THe American Naturalist (Nov 2018)

72 Le Coz S, Cheptou PO, Peyrard N. A spatial Markovian framework for estimating regional and local dynamics of annual plants with dormancy. Theoretical Population Biology. 2019;127:120-32.

73 Cheptou PO. Does the evolution of self-fertilization rescue populations or increase the risk of extinction? Annals of Botany. 2019;123(2):337-45.

74 Stojanova, B., Maurice, S. Cheptou, P.-O. 2020 Season-dependent effect of cleistogamy in Lamium amplexicaule: flower type origin versus inbreeding status American Journal of Botany

75 Besnard, G. Cheptou, P.-O. Debbaoui, M. Lafont, P.Hugueny, B. Dupin,J. Baali-Cherif, D. 2020 Paternity tests support a di-allelic self-incompatibility system in a wild olive (Olea europaea subsp. laperrinei, Oleaceae) Ecology and Evolution

76- Cheptou PO, Lambrecht SC. 2020 Sidewalk Plants as a Model for Studying Adaptation to Urban Environments. Szulkin M, MunshiSouth J, Charmantier A, editors. 130-41 p.

77 - Mahaut L, Cheptou PO, Fried G, Munoz F, Storkey J, Vasseur F, et al. Weeds: Against the Rules? Trends in Plant Science. 2020;25(11):1107-16.

78 Cheptou PO. Pollination strategies in the face of pollinator decline. Botany Letters.


Critique d’ouvrages :

70-Cheptou P.-O 2009 Major evolutionary transitions in flowering plant reproduction Quaterly review of Biology September 2009, Vol. 84, No. 3: 308-309. (analyse critique du numéro special “Major evolutionary transitions in flowering plant reproduction” édité par Spencer C.H. Barrett dans la revue International Journal of Plant Science 169 (2008)). pdf


Chapitres d’ouvrages

1-Cheptou P.-O. 2004 The evolution of plant mating systems: towards an integration of ecology and population genetics. Recent Res. Devel. Genet. Breeding, 131-150 Research Signpost Kerala, India.

2-Lenormand, T., Roze, D ., Cheptou P.-O. and Maurice, S. 2010 L’évolution du sexe : un carrefour pour la biologie évolutive. Ed : Frederic Thomas, Thierry Lefèvre, Michel Raymond Biologie EvolutiveDe Boeck ISBN: 2804101614.

3-Cheptou P.-O. A. Dornier. 2012 Urban metapopulation dynamics and evolution of dispersal traits in the weed Crepis sancta, in “ Informed Dispersal and Spatial Evolutionary Ecology,” J. Clobert, M. Baguette, T. Benton, and J. Bullock, eds. Oxford University Press. In press.

4-Cheptou P.-O 2012 Crepis sancta (Asteraceae) as a model system to study dispersal evolution in “ Informed Dispersal and Spatial Evolutionary Ecology,” (note dans le chapitre introductif) J. Clobert, M. Baguette, T. Benton, and J. Bullock, eds. Oxford University Press. In press.

5-Cheptou P.-O 2012 The evolution of plant mating system: is it time for a synthesis? in "Population Genetics", ISBN 979-953-307-446-6. (e-chapter) InTech Open science (sous presse, en ligne le01/02/2012) preprint

6-Cheptou, P-O and Lambrecht, S 2019 Sidewalk plants as a model for studying adaptation to urban environments in Urban Evolution (in press)