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

Last update: May 2021

Menu Logo Principal AgroParisTech Université de Lorraine UMR SILVA

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UMR Silva comprises about 110 permanent staff (see list of staff) and welcomes students (Undergraduates, Masters and PhDs), post-docs, and non-permanent staffs. It is located on three sites, Nancy (AgroParisTech), Champenoux (INRAE), and Vandoeuvre-les-Nancy (UL).

The aim of the UMR Silva is to develop pure and applied research works in order to answer society questions, in particular those of forest managers, on the adaptation of forest ecosystems to global changes and of changes in social expectations of forest products and services, including their contribution to climate change mitigation.

UMR Silva is strongly committed to initial training, through people from AgroParisTech and Université de Lorraine who compose it, and more generally in training through research; in this context, UMR Silva offers a diversified range of initial and advanced courses of higher level in the fields of wood, forest and ecology

Research objectives are studied within 4 research teams which are complementary in the different approaches and scales that are implemented:

  • The PHARE "Physiology of trees in response to environment" team.
  • The ForeSTree "Forest, Stand, Tree" team.
  • The EcoSilva "Long term dynamics and vulnerability of ecosystems under low anthropisation" team.
  • The Wood-Stock "wood formation and properties, traditional and innovative uses" team.

These research teams are supported by an analytical platform « Silvatech », a GIS-DataBase technical platform, and an « Administrative Management » team. [liens vers chacun]

UMR Silva is part of the « Laboratoires d’Excellence » « Labex-ARBRE » and « Labex-CEBA », of « Lorraine Université d’Excellence », and of the “AgreenSkills mobility program“.


UMR Silva 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 that allow (i) 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, (ii) to promote the adaptation (and restoration) capacities of ecosystems, (iii) and to optimize sustainable wood production in forest ecosystems.

Our scientific project is divided into 5 central scientific themes (see Diagram) which aim to meet the main challenges and the current issues of society about forest ecosystems.

Objectives UMR Silva

In order to study these different themes, UMR Silva is structured into 3 scientific teams:

  • The PHARE « Physiology of trees in response to environment » team analyses mechanisms controlling the development and functioning of trees and the diversity of their response to environmental factors (mainly drought, temperature, atmospheric pollution, wind, high [CO2]). Research work is conducted mainly from cell and organ level up to tree level, and for short time-scales.
  • The ForeSTree « Forest, Stand, Tree » team analyses tree functioning and population dynamics in interaction with climatic factors in order to improve forest ecosystems management. Research work is conducted at organ and tree level and up to populations and ecosystems levels, with time-scales from hour to centuries (using modelling).
  • The EcoSilva « Long term dynamics and vulnerability of ecosystems under low anthropisation » analyses mechanisms linking environmental factors and changes of ecosystems and the ways trees and ecosystems adapt - and are resilient – to disturbances caused by environmental changes, mainly inter-annual variations, trends in climate, or changes in land use.
  • The Wood-Stock "wood formation and properties, traditional and innovative uses" team sets its research within the larger framework of the study of forest ecosystems structure and functioning, effects of chronic and exceptional changes of environmental factors, and sustainable supply of ecosystem services. 

These research teams are supported by an analytical platform « Silvatech », a technical platform on GIS and databases « SIG-BD », and an « Administrative Management » team. Furthermore, our unit includes an experimental station labelized by INRA (« Installation Expérimentale Croissance »). Two specific « missions » are also identified in our organization (Missions « RENFOR » and « GIS-Coop »): they correspond to the memorandums of understanding of joint, long–term research programs signed between our supervisory bodies (INRAE, AgroParisTech) and public or private partners (eg. ONF, FCBA, CNPF, etc.).


Our Unit implements research programs in the following disciplines (in alphabetical order): bioclimatology, biology, biomechanics, community ecology, dendrochronology, ecophysiology, forest dynamics, forestry, functional ecology, genetics, modeling, molecular biology, plant physiology, tree species ecology, wood sciences.


Research programs are based on studies carried out at different time (from the second to millennia) and spatial (from the gene to the continent) scales, with links among each other, in particular through modeling. They have a strong regional base (Grand-Est region), with a common focus on semi-natural deciduous forests. However, we are also working in other ecosystems all over France and Europe, such as on temperate forest (plantations, semi-natural forests, including coniferous) and agro-forest systems, as well as in tropical forest ecosystems (fast-growing plantations or natural rainforests).