Sorbonne University
Building 44-45 2nd floor
4 Place Jussieu



Research Interests

  • Evolutionary Ecology
  • Fire Ecology
  • Plant Architecture
  • Plant Ecology
  • Plant-Herbivore interactions
  • Savanna Ecology


My research focuses on understanding functions associated with plant architecture. I investigate how architectural traits contribute to define the ecological performance of species at various spatial and temporal scales, using: 1) field and controlled experiments at the individual scale, a) to understand how branching events translate into individual performance and b) propose synthetic morphological traits associated with functions; 2) community analyses to identify the drivers responsible for biome assembly and their corresponding plant trait filtering; 3) analyses on dated phylogenies to reveal macro-evolutionary trends; 4) virtual experiments to obtain information hard to get from field observations or experiments alone.


Wigley BJ, Charles-Dominique T, Hempson GP, Stevens N, TeBeest M, Archibald S, Bond WJ, Bunney K, Coetsee C, Donaldson J, Fidelis A. 2020. A handbook for the standardised sampling of plant functional traits in disturbance-prone ecosystems, with a focus on open ecosystems. Australian Journal of Botany 68(8):473-531.

Ottaviani G, Molina-Venegas R, Charles-Dominique T, Chelli S, Campetella G, Canullo R, Klimešová J. 2020. The neglected belowground dimension of plant dominance. Trends in ecology & evolution 35,763-6.

Armani, M, Goodale UM, CharlesDominique T, Barton KE, Yao X, Tomlinson KW. 2020. Structural defence is coupled with the leaf economic spectrum across saplings of spiny species. Oikos, 129(5):740-52.

Klimešová J, Martínková J, Ottaviani G, CharlesDominique T. 2020. Half of the (big) picture is missing!. American Journal of Botany. DOI: 10.1002/ajb2.1438.

Davies TJ, Daru BH, Bezeng BS, Charles-Dominique T, Hempson GP, Kabongo RM, Maurin O, Muasya AM, van der Bank M, Bond WJ.  2020. Savanna tree evolutionary ages inform the reconstruction of the paleoenvironment of our hominin ancestors. Scientific 10(1):1-8.

Anderson PML, Charles-Dominique T, Ernstson H, Andersson E, Elmqvist T. 2020. Post-apartheid ecologies in the City of Cape Town: an examination of plant functional traits in relation to urban gradients. The case of the city of Cape Town. Landscape and Urban planning, 193, 103662.

Dong B, Charles-Dominique T, Corlett RT, Quan R-C, Chen Z. 2019. The uniqueness of spider lactation in arthropods. Science e-Letter. URL:

Armani M, Charles-Dominique T, Barton KE, Tomlinson KW. 2019. Developmental constraints and resource environment shape early emergence and investment in spines in saplings. Annals of Botany, 124,1133-1142.

 Charles-Dominique T, Barczi J-F, Chamaillé-James S. 2019. Woody Plant Architecture and Effects on Browsing Herbivores in Savannas. Book chapter in Savanna Woody Plants and Large Herbivores. Eds. Scogings PF, Sankaran M. Wiley.

Chen Z, Corlett RT, Jiao X, Liu S-J, Charles-Dominique T, Zhang S, Li H, Quan R-C. 2018. Prolonged milk provisioning in a jumping spider. Science, 362, 1052-1055.

Charles-Dominique T, Midgley GF, Bond WJ. 2018. Follow the light: shade versus fire adapted vegetation. New Phytologist, 218, 1419-1429.

Osborne CP, Charles-Dominique T, Stevens N, Bond WJ, Midgley GF, Lehmann CER. 2018. Human impacts in African savannas are mediated by plant functional traits. New Phytologist, 220, 10-24.

Bernardo P, Charles-Dominique T, Fernandez E, Filloux D, Ortet P, Barakat M, Rebelo TA, Cousins S, Mesleard F, Cohez D, Yaverkovski N, Varsani A, Harkins GW, Peterschmitt M, Malmstrom C, Martin DP, Roumagnac P. 2017. Spatial metagenomics illuminates the impact of agriculture on the distribution and prevalence of plant viruses at the ecosystem scale. ISME Journal. DOI: 10.1038/ismej.2017.155

Charles-Dominique T, Barczi J-F, Le Roux L, Midgley GF, Bond WJ, Chamaillé-James S. 2017. The architectural design of trees protects them against large herbivores. Functional Ecology, 31, 1710-1717.

Charles-Dominique T, Midgley GF, Bond WJ. 2017. Fire frequency filters species by bark traits in a savanna-forest mosaic. Journal of Vegetation Science, 28, 728-735.

Kruger L, Charles-Dominique T, Bond WJ, Midgley JJ, Balfour D, Mkhwanazi A. 2017. Woody Plant Traits and Life-History Strategies across Disturbance Gradients and Biome Boundaries in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park. Book chapter In Conserving Africa’s Mega-Diversity in the Anthropocene: The Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park Story. Eds: Cromsigt JP, Archibald S and Owen-Smith N. Cambridge University Press. pp 189-210.

Suri J, Anderson PM, Charles-Dominique T, Hellard E, Cumming GS. 2017. More than just a corridor: A suburban river catchment enhances bird functional diversity. Landscape and Urban Planning, 157, 331-342.

Charles-Dominique T, Davies JT, Hempson GP, Bezeng BS, Daru BH, Kabongo RM, Maurin O, Muasya AM, van der Bank M, Bond WJ. 2016 Spiny plants, mammal browsers, and the origin of African savannas. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113, E5572-E5579.

Pellegrini AF, Staver AC, Hedin LO, CharlesDominique T, Tourgee A. 2016. Aridity, not fire, favors nitrogen‐fixing plants across tropical savanna and forest biomes. Ecology, 97, 2177-2183

Charles-Dominique T, Midgley GF, Bond WJ. 2015 An index for assessing effectiveness of plant structural defences against mammal browsing. Plant Ecology, 10, 1433-1440.

Charles-Dominique T, Beckett H, Midgley GF, Bond WJ. 2015. Bud protection: a key trait for species sorting in a forest/savanna mosaic. New Phytologist, 207, 1052-1060.

Charles-Dominique T, Staver C, Midgley GF, Bond WJ. 2015. Functional differentiation of biomes in an African savanna/forest mosaic. South African Journal of Botany, 101, 82-90

Charles-Dominique T, Edelin C, Bouchard A, Legendre P, Brisson J. 2014. Using intra-individual variation in shrub architecture to explain population cover. Oikos, 124, 706-716.

Granados-Mendoza C, Isnard S, Charles-Dominique T, Goetghebeur P, Samain MS. 2014. Bouldering: An alternative strategy to long-vertical climbing in root-climbing hortensias. Journal of the Royal Society – Interface, 11, 20140611.

Charles-Dominique T, Edelin C, Brisson J, Bouchard A. 2012. Architectural strategies of Rhamnus cathartica (Rhamnaceae) in relation to canopy openness. Botany, 90, 976-989.

Charles-Dominique T, Edelin C, Bouchard A. 2010. Architectural strategies of Cornus sericea, a native but invasive shrub of Southern Quebec, Canada, under an open or a closed canopy. Annals of botany, 105, 205–220.

Charles-Dominique T, Mangenet T, Rey H, Jourdan C, Edelin C. 2009. Architectural analysis of root system of sexually vs. vegetatively propagated yam (Dioscorea rotundata Poir.), a tuber monocot. Plant and Soil, 317, 61-77.


  1. 2011


    Montpellier 2 University; University of Montreal

Professional experience

  1. 2019 - today
    Permanent researcher
    CNRS - Institute of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Paris
  2. 2016-2018
    Chinese Academy of Sciences - XTBG - Community Ecology and Conservation
  3. 2013-2016
    University of Cape Town - University of Stellenbosch