Study areas

The project focuses on temperate deciduous forests, which are characterized by a strong seasonality in canopy cover. Two sampling levels will be mobilized, as you can see on this interactive map:

Level I: deciduous RENECOFOR plots

RENECOFOR is a national network of long-term monitoring of forest ecosystems, created by the ONF (National office of forests) in 1992. It provides access to a large panel of macroclimatic conditions and forest types throughout France, as well as extensive data collected during the last decades.

Repartition of all RENECOFOR plots and their main forest species
© ONF

50 of the 102 RENECOFOR plots are deciduous forests, and will be equipped in TMS climatic sensors. This monitoring will be carried out in partnership with ONF agents in charge of the network.

Level II : zoom in on three state forests (Mormal, Blois, l’Aigoual)

Among RENECOFOR plots, three state forests – Mormal, Blois et l’Aigoual – have been chosen because of their contrasted geographic influences, respectively Continental, Oceanic and Mediterranean. Moreover, these three forests have a weather station adjoined, in an open area nearby the forest, recording climatic conditions since 1995.

In each of these three forests, 60 plots will be studied during the project, for a total of 180 plots (3 x 60). Plots will be sampled alongside a light gradient, from very dense forest cover to open areas, in clearings or after tree harvest.

In the center of each plot, two HOBO climatic sensors will be installed to measure air and soil humidity, and dendrometric, floristic and faunistic surveys will be conducted (see next section on data collection for more detail).