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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

Menu Logo Principal University of Lorraine

UMR EEF - Forest Ecology and Ecophysiology


This team conducts research programs on the carbon and water cycles and balance at the tree and ecosystem levels, in interactions with climatic conditions, water availability, and management practises. The main research topics are:

    Whole-tree labelling device to study tree and soil carbon allocation.

    Whole-tree labelling device to study tree and soil carbon allocation

    Two-species mixture plot in Hainich forest, Germany 

    Two-species mixture plot in Hainich forest, Germany 

  • Water and carbon cycles, and their coupling: water-use efficiency. The objectives are to understand, quantify and model the interactions between the forest and its environment, soil and atmosphere.

  • Tree water relations: water flow and water potential, water exchange in the tree. This research focuses on the effect of drought on the functioning of the tree in its natural environment.

  • Allocation of carbon in trees and soils. This topic is mainly addressed by isotopic labeling or by monitoring temporal variations of carbon 13 natural abundance.

  • Dynamics of storage compounds in trees (in collaboration with the Forest Plant Ecology team). This research is aimed at understanding and modeling the long-term tree resilience to stress, or conversely tree sensitivity and the risk of decay.

  • Biogeochemical cycles in short- and very short-rotation coppice plantations. The objective of this research is to understand the dynamic inter-and intra-rotations and the allocation of nitrogen and carbon in these intensively managed plantations to prevent the risk of impoverishment of the environment associated with large exports

  • Functioning of mixed forests. The objectives are to identify whether interactions (competition, complementarity, facilitation) between species in mixed forests influence ecosystem functioning (transpiration, water-use efficiency) and its ability to adapt to soil drought in the context of climate change

These research programs are based on approaches used and experiments in natural environments, in workshop-instrumented sites.

  • The Hesse experimental site (Moselle) is installed in a 44 years old (in 2010) beech forest. Some measurements of H2O and CO2 fluxes exchanged between the canopy and the atmosphere are performed with the Eddy Covariance technique since 1996 (ozone since 2009). Some meteorological, edaphic and canopy growth measurements are also performed to complete the data set. This site is part of the SOERE FORET ( and is equipped to be incorporated in the future European structure named ICOS (
  • The Montiers-sur-Saulx (Meuse) site is located in a 50 years old beech forest (in 2013). The Montier-sur-Saulx experimental device is relatively similar to the Hesse one and is managed in collaboration with the Observatoire Pérenne de l’Environnement.
  • The experimental agroforestry short rotation coppice (SRC) plantation of la Bouzule (Meurthe-et-Moselle). The plantation allows to study the effect of the introduction of woody (alder) or herbaceous (alfalfa) nitrogen-fixing species in mixture with non-fixing species (poplar, cereals) compared with monocultures of each species. The site is instrumented. The applied goal is to find management practices that allows both maximum production while limiting the use of inputs (especially nitrogen fertilizers). More info (in French) here.

Bouzule 3 août 2016 (14)

Row of alder trees in a triticale plot