The main purpose of ODYSSEE is to understand the ecological and evolutionary processes that drive the diversity patterns of species assemblages in mountain grasslands and to implement integrated biodiversity models that will synthesize our understanding of the short and long-term dynamics of these herbaceous ecosystems.
This challenge requires cross-fertilization of dispersed disciplines such as community ecology, evolutionary biology and the science of the earth system. In order to achieve its ambition, ODYSSEE will address three main issues:

  • Incorporating micro- and macroevolutionary processes within community ecology.
  • Investigating biogeographical patterns of species assemblages within and across trophic levels.
  • Modeling the habitat range and the habitat dynamics of European temperate mountain grasslands.

Scientific and Technical barriers that will be lifted:

ODYSSEE will make use of innovative approaches to address the three main questions cited above. Special attention will be paid to:

  1. Reconstruction of megaphylogenies of the mountain flora.
  2. Investigating soil diversity using a DNA metabarcoding approach.
  3. Data integration and eco-informatics platform.
  4. Improving statistical methods to analyse multi-source ecological data.
  5. Advances in (meta)community-based modeling.