AMAPinfos 53-54 (Janvier - Décembre)

Vie scientifique

ECO-MOUNTAIN: bridging the gap between agro-ecological restoration and erosion using eDNA fingerprints

Mountains are geomorphologically complex and dynamic. Landslides, debris flows and flash floods are frequent and are dangerous for local communities and their assets. This is also evident in the Pyrenees. In the « Pays de Lourdes et des Vallées de Graves » the hydro-climatic event of 18 June 2013 showed what can happen if all goes wrong. Storms overnight produced very heavy rainfall, with measured reports from 100 to 200 litres. The water can hardly be stopped in such a steep landscape, but severe erosion on the mountain slopes also brought tons of sediment to the rivers. The damages were substantial and event caused two fatalities.
Improving the resilience of mountains to natural hazards is crucial, especially facing a more violent hydro-climatic system in the near future. Local stakeholders have therefore strengthened their efforts to control erosion and improve the agro-ecological management of the area. The objective of the ECO-MOUNTAIN project is to bridge the knowledge gaps that exist between agro-ecological restoration and erosion. Special focus is given to developing a novel sediment source fingerprinting method to understand and monitor environmental connectivity. As strong interrelations exist between vegetation, soils and geomorphology, plants leave an eDNA signature on sediments. This relationship allows to understand the provenance of sediments in detail. The latter will enable stakeholders to follow-up the effectiveness of restoration schemes after the completion of the project.

Plus d’infos : ECO-MOUNTAIN is a two-year project funded under the Maria Skłodowska-Curie Actions of the European Commission. It started on 1st September 2020

Cliquer sur l'image pour l'agrandir

Study sites, treatments and conceptual scheme depicting the predictions  
Céline LEROY