Ecophysiology of tree responses to water deficit
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Aims & strategy
We aim at understanding better the diversity of tree physiological responses to water deficit in a context of global change. Physiological responses are approached through the prism of (i) water relations (water transport and hydraulic dysfunction, stomatal regulation, xylem functional anatomy, etc…) and (ii) carbon sink-source relationships (photosynthesis, growth dynamics, allocation, carbon reserves, etc…). We conduct experiments under controlled conditions (growth chambers, greenhouse), semi-controlled conditions (field nurseries and common gardens), or natural conditions (riparian forest, plain forest) to account for multiple drought contexts (rapid vs. long lasting, moderate vs. lethal). We have a long-standing record on tree physiological responses to water deficit, but our current efforts are directed towards:
- Identifying the suites of traits involved in acclimation or resilience/mortality and associated physiological thresholds.
- Assessing to what extent recurrent droughts affect subsequent responses through priming (see also the Axis Epigenetics).
- Understanding how and to what extent other interacting abiotic factors such as nutrient status can shape response trajectories and favour resilience or in contrast act as predisposing factors.
Poplar remains the main biological model for practical, physiological, ecological and economic reasons with the aim of understanding genetic variations in drought tolerance in relation to population evolutionary histories (local adaptation) or for tree breeding and the selection of ideotypes.
We translate our expertise to other tree species depending on project opportunities and questions addressed. In this context, we develop remote sensing approaches with the aim of bridging gaps between fine-scale tree physiology and large-scale processes such as forest die-offs and mortality, especially in oak and pine forests.
Figure 1: scales, processes, related traits and methods to study tree physiological responses to water deficit
Recent projects & collaborators
- RECONFORT (2021-2024): Evaluation and forecasting of forest die-offs in the region CVL for a sustainable and multifunctional forest management
Funding: région CVL ARD SyCoMore
PI: C. Vincent-Barbaroux (ARCHE LBLGC)
Coll.: INRAE UR EFNO, INRAE UMR BIOGECO, CNRS UMR CESBIO, FiBois CVL, CNPF-IDF, DSF, ONF, UNISYLVA
Link: coming soon
- 2E-BioPop (2018-2023): efficient and resilient sylvicultural practises for the production of poplar lignocellulosic biomass
Funding: région CVL
PI: R. Fichot (ARCHE LBLGC)
Coll.: INRAE UMR BioForA, INRAE UE GBFor, FCBA, FiBois CVL
- EPITREE (2018-2023): Evolutionary and functional impact of epigenetic variation in forest trees
PI: S. Maury (ARCHE LBLGC)
Coll.: INRAE UMR BioForA, INRAE UMR BIOGECO, INRAE UMR GDEC, CNRS UMR LAMME, CEA
- PRESTO (2020-2023): High throughput prediction of trees and vine vulnerability to abiotic and biotic stresses
Funding: région CVL – FEDER
PI: R. Gobin (INRAE UMR BioForA)
Coll.: ARCHE LBLGC, INRAE UR Sols, INRAE UR EFNO, INRAE UE GBFor, University of Tours BBV
- GenForFutur (2021-2024): adapting genetic forest resources for the future under climate change
Funding: region CVL ARD SyCoMore
PIs: Y. Rousselle (ONF UMR BioForA) & E. Sevrin (CNPF-IDF)
Coll.: ARCHE LBLGC, INRAE UR EFNO, INSA CVL UMR CITERES, FiBois CVL, CRPF, DSF, UNISYLVA
Link: coming soon
Ph.D. students and postdocs
- Florian Mouret (2022-2024): Remote sensing of pine and oak forests die-off in region CVL.
- Julien Vigneaud (2019-2022): The role of epigenetics in phenotypic plasticity and adaptation in response to water deficit in poplar.
- Laure Bouyer (2015-2019): Effect of nutrient status on water and carbon relations in poplar under moderate or severe droughts. Link (French): https://theses.univ-orleans.fr/public/2019ORLE3100_va.pdf
- Marlène Lefèbvre (2016-2019): Genetic variation and phenotypic plasticity for adaptive traits in seedlings of European black poplar (Populus nigra L.). Link (French): https://theses.univ-orleans.fr/public/2019ORLE3044_va.pdf
- Scientific articles: see personal web pages F. Brignolas, M. Feinard-Duranceau, R. Fichot, C. Vincent-Barbaroux
- Public outreach:
• Video on project 2E-BioPop (French): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFQ8lDUBSPY&t=32s
• Panel exhibition “Forest tree breeding under climate change: the example of poplar” (French, pdf version): http://gofile.me/72B3p/tCIHYU499
• Press article “The role of nutrient status in shaping tree drought resistance” (French, online version): https://www.echosciences-centre-valdeloire.fr/articles/le-role-du-statut-nutritif-dans-la-resistance-a-la-secheresse-des-arbres
• Press article on ARD Sycomore project (French online version) : “Scientists looking for solutions to adapt regional forests under climate change” https://www.larep.fr/orleans-45000/actualites/des-scientifiques-cherchent-a-adapter-les-forets-du-loiret-et-du-centre-val-de-loire-au-changement-climatique_14131514/
• Press article (French online version): “Forests at risks: how remote sensing and big data can help preserve forests” https://theconversation.com/forets-en-peril-comment-limagerie-et-la-big-data-peuvent-contribuer-a-les-proteger-191321
• Video on project ARD Sycomore “Esprit Sorcier” (French): coming soon
• Panel exhibition on project RECONFORT: coming soon