Gene flow, connectivity and biodiversity
- To which extent do the strong urbanization and the high level of fragmentation of the landscape in the Geneva cross-border area influence gene flow of plant and animal species?
- What are the environmental or urban landscape factors that facilitate or prevent gene flow (functional connectivity) and biodiversity? How can this knowledge be considered in spatial planning?
- How important are semi-natural and rural areas for the urban biodiversity? Is the urban biodiversity maintained by a continued influx from semi-natural/rural areas and how strong is the connectivity among these areas?
- Are there socio-economic or socio-demographic factors that facilitate or prevent gene flow (functional connectivity) and biodiversity? If yes, how can these factors be considered in order to favor urban biodiversity?
Adaptation of species to urban environment
- Do the species under consideration maintain self-sustaining urban populations potentially adapted to this particular environment, or instead do they depend on a continuous seasonal influx of individuals from semi-natural/rural areas?
- Is there evidence for genetic and/or phenotypic adaptation to the urban environment?
- If signals of adaptation can be detected in the genome, are the respective genomic regions linked to functional genes?