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Forest. © INRA

Montiers Ecosystem Research

Updated on 02/13/2015
Published on 01/19/2015

The site of Montiers: an integrated experimental site to study forest functioning

The installation of this facility results from a partnership between the INRA (National Institute of Agronomical Research) and the Andra (French National Agency for Radioactive Waste Management). The purpose of this site is to follow the biogeochemical and biological functioning in representative forest ecosystems of the Long-lasting Monitoring Observatory of the Environment (OPE) of the Meuse / Haute-Marne.

Montiers: an integrated experimental site. © INRA, M-P Turpault
Montiers: an integrated experimental site © INRA, M-P Turpault

For that purpose, three long-lasting biogeochemical stations and a flux tower were jointly settled by the INRA and the Andra in a beech grove of fifty years developed on a soil succession. This project joins in the frame of i) the program of Observation and Surveillance of the Environment and the Installations of the Andra and ii) the program " Functioning of the Ecosystems and the Biogeochemical Cycles " of the department "Ecology of Forests, grasslands, and Aquatic environments" of the INRA.

The objectives of the OPE are:

-   To establish a current situation of the environment,

-   To preserve the memory of the environment,

-   To prepare an environmental plan of surveillance around a potential storage center of radioactive waste,
-   To understand the functioning of the environments (among which the biogeochemical cycles of radionuclides and chemical toxins of interest, and the characterization of the flux of C and energy) to estimate exactly the   impact of such a storage,

-   To define the origin of any observed disturbance.

The program developed by the INRA has 3 major objectives:

1) Determine the influence of the soil type and the climate on the cycles of water, carbon, nutrients and trace-elements and on the growth of a forest ecosystem (beech grove / forest) as well as on the functional diversity of the soil microorganisms.

2) Estimate la sensibilité de ces sols face to climate change, notably a decrease of the precipitations in summer, and a change in forest management, i.e., increase of biomass exportation to respond to an increasing demand of wood for energy.

3) Define sustainable management practices adapted to the soil type and to global change.

Montiers site. © INRA, M-P Turpault
Montiers site © INRA, M-P Turpault