DyAFor - Dynamics and community assembly of tropical forests

Community ecology
Functional ecology
Forest dynamics

Our main objective is to improve our understanding of tree community dynamics and assembly in tropical forests, in order to predict their potential future under different global change scenarios.

Using a diversity of tools from different fields (e.g. ecophysiology, genomics, remote sensing, modelling) in various environmental and anthropogenic contexts across the tropics, we provide evidence-based knowledge on the mechanisms that shape the temporal and spatial variability of the diversity, structure, and functioning of tropical forests.
To this end, we use three complementary approaches: i) the implementation of experiments that allow to empirically control variables or processes of interest in order to understand their effects; ii) the collection of field observations to document existing patterns and inform their underlying processes using statistical frameworks; iii) the development of models to assimilate various data and evaluate empirical knowledge on processes and their interactions. The integration of these three mutually-informative approaches allows to identify the spatial and temporal scales at which ecological and evolutionary processes act and interact in shaping the dynamics and assembly of tropical forests, and improve our ability to predict the fate of tropical forests with increasing anthropogenic pressure and climate stress. Our work focuses mainly on plants, but can also integrate other trophic levels (e.g. herbivores and micro-organisms) that play a key role in certain processes, such as the maintenance of local diversity through negative density dependence, or carbon and nutrient fluxes through decomposition.

Our multidisciplinary team develops research projects in South America (French Guiana, Peru and Ecuador), Central Africa (Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, Sao Tome and Principe, and DR Congo), Asia (India and Thailand) and the Pacific (New Caledonia and Pacific islands), thus opening up perspectives for regional syntheses and intercontinental comparisons across the tropics. In each of these projects, we rely in particular on networks of permanent forest plots et up and monitored by ourselves and our collaborators in French Guiana (Guyadiv), Central Africa (Africadiv) and New Caledonia (NC-PIPPN). These networks represent c. 850 plots of 100 m2 up to 1 ha and c. 200,000 inventoried trees. We also leverage data from large international networks, such as the Amazon Tree Diversity Network or ForestGeo. Some projects benefit from collaborative research infrastructures, such as LabEx CEBA in French Guiana, LMI BioInca in Ecuador and Colombia, or LMI DYCOFAC in Central Africa. Our group regularly goes in the field on short trips or long stays (e.g. expats), thus ensuring the long-term maintenance of field set-ups and local collaborative networks

Acronym Title Duration
ADMIREPartenariat pour l’Analyse des DynaMIques de REforestation et de la résilience forestière
Project PI: Philippe BIRNBAUM 
2021 - 2024
ALTAmazonian Landscapes in Transition
Project PI: Jérôme CHAVE (EDB, Toulouse)  
2022 - 2025
Carto Veg NHPC Phase 2Suivi de la dynamique du couvert végétal et des compensations du barrage de Nachtigal
Project PI: Nicolas BARBIER 
2022 - 2026
CoForFuncToward a biome-scale monitoring of the COngo basin FORest FUNCtional composition
Project PI: Raphaël PELISSIER 
2024 - 2027
DESSFORDegraded Stable States in Tropical Forests
Project PI: Maxime REJOU-MECHAIN 
2021 - 2024
DOPAMICSDomestication and adaptation in Neotropical palms – a microevolutionary history
Project PI: Louise BROUSSEAU 
2022 - 2027
EDENEExtinction dynamics of endemic trees in exotic-dominated ecosystems
Project PI: Robin POUTEAU 
2023 - 2026
IFIHSAInventaires forestriers par imagerie hyperspectrale aéroportée
Project PI: Olivier BRUNAUX (ONF)  
2023 - 2024
ISLETSIsland Leaf Ecophysiological Trait Synthesis
Project PI: Claire FORTUNEL / Kasey BARTON (University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa)  
2023 - 2025
MELANOBSTowards a Melanesian observatory of forest response to global change
Project PI: Thomas IBANEZ 
2023 - 2025
OFVIOne Forest Vision Initiative
Project PI: Jean-François SOUSSANA (INRAE)  
2023 - 2027
PhenobsTowards a phenology observatory in French Guiana to study climate-vegetation feedbacks and the diversity of plant strategies
Project PI: Nicolas BARBIER 
2020 - 2024
RIFTSoutien aux infrastructures, tours de Flux
Project PI: Jérôme DEMARTY (IRD)  
2024 - 2027
SynTreeSysSynthesis of Neotropical Tree Biodiversity with Plot Inventories
Project PI: Jérôme CHAVE (EDB, Toulouse)  / Adriane ESQUIVEL MUELBERT (University of Birmingham (UK))  
2021 - 2024

BADOUARD Vincyane 2022 - 2024. Déterminants de la distribution spatiale des arbres du sous-étage en forêts tropicales. Ecole doctorale : GAIA / Université de Montpellier. Dir : VINCENT Grégoire / Co-dir. : MARCON Eric

CARDENAS Yvonne Tatiana 2024 - 2024. Mieux comprendre la biodiversité dans les écosystèmes tropicaux (en lien avec les recherches développées par le LMI BIOINCA et le LabEx CEBA). Ecole doctorale : GAIA / Université de Montpellier. Dir : DANGLES Olivier

CATHELINEAU Paul 2023 - 2026. biomécanique des fibres de palmiers d’Amazonie. Ecole doctorale : Diversités, Santé et Développement en Amazonie - ED 587 / Université de Guyane. Dir : BOSSU Julie / Co-dir. : BROUSSEAU Louise

LOFT Andrew-Ty 2024 - 2026. Revealing the Political Drivers of Ecosystem Degradation in the Miombo Woodlands. Ecole doctorale : Université d'Oxford / Université d'Oxford. Dir : OLIVERAS MENOR Immaculada

ROJAT Margaux 2023 - 2026. Interactions biotiques entre les plantes exotiques envahissantes et les arbres menacés endémiques des Mascareignes. Ecole doctorale : GAIA / Université de Montpellier. Dir : PELISSIER Raphaël

SOTO MINUTTI Valentina 2023 - 2027. Modélisation du bilan carbone et de la biodiversité des forêts tropicales fragmentées.. Ecole doctorale : SEVAB / Université de Toulouse. Dir : CHAVE Jérôme