Contribute to the sustainable management of forests and associated settlements
Maintaining genetic diversity in forests is a way to protect species that are part of them. This statement motivates researches dedicated to the evaluation and to the study of evolution of forest trees genetic diversity, even if it requires experimental validations difficult to reach in trees. Studies started in the fifties on the genetic variability of forest trees in provenance tests allow to describe forest trees genetic variability but not its evolutionnary mechanisms. The Gep team (population genetics) aims at identifying principal factors of passed and future genetic diversity dynamics, in ordre to transfer to foresters means to manage and use diversity. Forestry, like forest planning, use technical operations (thinning, regeneration methods, spatial disctribution of stands, high forest or coppice treatments, etc...) that all act with different intensities on mechanisms of diversity evolution (population sizes, geneflow, etc...). It is important to identify the modifications of levels and of spatial organisation of diversity due to forester, to be able to suggest ways of adjustments. Conserving diversity using dedicated populations is only one application of such researches. It is often the most popular among the general public or among foresters. However, our ambition and our mission are more concerned with daily management of forest settlements and of associated ecosystems.
Evolutionnary biology and population genetics of forest trees.
Our activities concern the evolution of neutral genetic diversity (cytoplasmic and nuclear genomes) and selected (genes involved in adaptation of species to their environment) and the evolution of phenotypical traits variability (morphology, growth, adaptation,...). Comparing genetic diversity on the molecular and phenotypic levels is an important aims of our researches
Biological main models are Fagaceae (mostly European oaks from temperate zone (sessile and pedunculate oaks)), maritime pine and about fifteen forest tree species of French Guyana.