Consortium > CNRS

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

Organization short name: CNRS - CEFE
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Description of the organization

The Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionelle et Evolutive is a research centre from CNRS, the French National Centre for Scientific Research. CEFE is the largest ecology laboratory in France, with a staff of 60 tenured scientists and an equal number of support staff. Research at CEFE addresses a wide range of topics in ecology and evolutionary biology. CEFE scientists have been actively involved in international research networks and have participated in European research projects under the Framework Programs. On-site research station includes greenhouse facilities, field plots for controlled experiments, as well as LTER sites such as Puéchabon .

Expertise and experience of the organization

CEFE has a wide experience in vegetation studies and ecosystem responses to climatic and man-induced perturbations in Mediterranean areas. Research concerned ecophysiological functioning of plants, communities and ecosystems facing climatic change and anthropic perturbations. Projects involved gradient studies, eddy- covariance/micrometeorological measurements and field manipulation experiments. Expertises are on canopy micrometeorology, plant ecophysiology, plant/soil water balance, photosynthesis, and plant/soil respiration, tissue biochemistry, organic matter quality and composition. Furthermore, numerous mathematical models centered at different hierarchical levels were developed to integrate processes over time and spatial scales.

Selected reference projects

  • MEDEFLU 1998-1999 “Carbon and water fluxes of Mediterranean Forest and impacts of land use/cover changes” [ENV4-CT97-0455].
  • ECOVOC 1998-1999 “Parameterization of Environmental and physiological Controls of Volatile Organic Compound emissions from European forests” [ENV4-CT97-0412].
  • CARBOEUROFLUX 2000- 2003 “An investigation on carbon and energy exchanges of terrestrial ecosystems in Europe” [EVK2-CT-1999- 00032]
  • CARBOEUROPE-IP 2004-2008 [GOCE-CT-2003-505572]
  • MIND 2003-2006 “Mediterranean terrestrial ecosystems and increasing drought: vulnerability assessment” [EVK2-CT-2002-000158].
  • IMECC 2007-2011 “Infrastructure for Measurement of the European Carbon Cycle” Integrated Infrastructure Initiative (I3) contract no 026188.

Key scientific / technical personnel

Dr. Serge Rambal, expert in plant ecology and ecophysiology, with 30 years of research on how environmental constrains affect structure, dynamic and functioning of ecological systems. He has been principal investigator and leader of a large number of EU funded projects. He is leading the department of ecosystem functioning at CEFE.
Dr. Richard Joffre, Senior expert in biogeochemical cycles in Mediterranean ecosystems, involving studies on organic matter quality and biochemistry.
Dr. Jean-Marc Ourcival, expert in ecophysiology and micrometeorology including eddy-covariance measurements.

Selected recent relevant publications

Allard V, Ourcival J-M, Rambal S, Joffre R and Rocheteau A. Seasonal and annual variation of carbon exchange in an evergreen Mediterranean forest in southern France. Global Change Biology, 2008. link to publisher

Misson L et al., Partitioning forest carbon fluxes with overstory and understory eddy-covariance measurements: A synthesis based on FLUXNET data, Agric. Forest Meteorol., 144 (1-2), 14-31, 2007. doi:10.1016/j.agrformet.2007.01.006. link to publisher

Misson L et al., Seasonality of photosynthetic parameters in a multi-specific and vertically complex forest ecosystem in the Sierra Nevada of California. Tree Physiology 26: 729-741, 2006. link to publisher

Ciais P ..., Ourcival JM, ... Rambal, S, et al., Europe-wide reduction in primary productivity caused by the heat and drought in 2003. Nature 437 (7058): 529-533, 2005. link to publisher

Rambal S et al., The growth respiration component in eddy CO2 flux from a Quercus ilex mediterranean forest. Global Change Biology 10: 1460-1469, 2004. link to publisher

Rambal S et al., Drought controls over conductance and assimilation of a Mediterranean evergreen ecosystem: scaling from leaf to canopy. Global Change Biology 9(12): 1813-1824, 2003. link to publisher