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UMR (Joint Research Unit) AgroParisTech, INRAE, Université de Lorraine

General scientific orientation

The Silva joint research unit is developing a multidisciplinary and integrative research project on the ecology of forests (wood, tree, ecosystem), in the context of global changes. Our main objectives are to produce pure and finalized knowledge and tools allowing to :
♦ analyze and integrate the processes that allow to characterize and understand the diversity of tree response to their environment and that underpin ecosystem services ;
♦ promote the adaptation and resilience capacities of ecosystems ;
♦ optimize sustainable wood production in forest ecosystems.
The scientific disciplines are (by alphabetical order) : bioclimatology, biochemistry, biomechanics, community ecology, dendrochronology, ecophysiology, forest dynamics, forestry, functional ecology, genetics, modeling, molecular biology, plant physiology, tree species ecology, wood sciences.

Fields of research

The unit is organised into three teams :
PHARE team (Physiology of Trees in Response to Environment)
♦ Study the mechanisms controlling the development and functioning of trees, and the diversity of their responses to environment factors (drought, ozone, gravity, wind, high [CO2])
♦ Develop mechanistic and integrative approaches, and analyse all tree compartments : roots, wood (formation, properties, functions and quality), stem and leaves, at a variety of scales from the cell wall to the whole tree
♦ Study a small number of model species, whose intraspecific genetic diversity is taken into account to better understand individual responses
♦ Bring a better understanding of the adaptation mechanisms of trees facing changes of the environment

The ForeSTree team (“Forest, Stand, Tree”)
♦ Study the functioning of trees (internal carbon and nitrogen allocation) and stand dynamics in interaction with silvicultural management and environmental factors, using dendrometric approaches and measurements of gas flow (CO2, H2O, CH4, N2O) and element balances (N, C, H2O) at scales varying from the organ to the ecosystem
♦ Analyse the processes of allocation and intra- and interannual partitioning of nitrogen and carbon within the tree by ecophysiology approaches
♦ Develop phenomenological approach to study forest growth (from tree to stand) and the links with wood properties (quality criteria, biomass, carbon, extractables...) in relation with the environment and competition and modulated by the silviculture
♦ Provide knowledge to optimize the management of forest socio-ecosystems, by addressing the issues related to climate change (adaptation, mitigation), sustainable development and bioeconomy

The EcoSILVA team (Ecology of Forests and semi-natural Ecosystems)
♦ Analyse the mechanisms linking environmental factors (mostly climate and soil) to the evolution of semi-natural ecosystems, mainly forested but also including grasslands
♦ Study vulnerability, adaptation and resilience of trees and ecosystems to disturbances as climatic accidents, biotic hazards and long term evolutions of climate, fertility and management practices, at time scales varying from the season to the century
♦ Focus the research (i) on changes in tree growth and tree health, and mechanisms that can lead either to their mortality or resiliency, and (ii) on changes in herbaceous communities, in relation with climate change, nitrogen deposition, land use or management change, changes in density of wild ungulates
♦ Detect and quantify the relative impact of environment changes on ecosystems, and also to identify tree and herbaceous species or communities that are particularly sensitive to these changes, as well as the mechanisms and functional traits driving their vulnerability

For more information
- Check out the open access publications of Silva on HAL-AgroParisTech :
- Check out all Silva’s recorded productions on HAL-AgroParisTech

Contact details
damien.bonal chez inrae.fr
bruno.ferry chez agroparistech.fr
+ 33 (0)3 83 39 40 41

16 rue Claude Bernard
F-75231 Paris Cedex 05
Tel: 33 (0) 1 44 08 18 43
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