André Evette: protecting goods and people all along the riverbank
André Evette, a researcher and engineer at LESSEM, in Grenoble, works to restore riverbanks and to control alien invasive species. His goal is to develop vegetation engineering techniques in order to minimize civil engineering techniques (cement, walls, and rockfills).
PRESS RELEASE - The effects of climate change and human activity like deforestation threaten the rainforest and its vital capacity to stock carbon. INRAE teamed up with researchers from CEA and the University of Oklahoma to use satellite observations of plant biomass and deforestation monitoring to study the evolution of carbon stocks in the Brazilian Amazon between 2010 and 2019. Their findings, published in Nature Climate Change, show that deforestation gained considerable ground in 2019: approximately 3.9 million hectares compared with 1 million in 2017 and 2018. But first and foremost, the study’s findings reveal that over the past ten years, the Brazilian Amazon released more carbon than it absorbed and that forest degradation, caused by both human activity and climate change, are the main culprits.
Spontaneous forest regrowth is a common phenomenon in Europe due to the widespread abandonment of farmlands and rural areas. Within the framework of the European project SPONFOREST, coordinated by Arndt Hampe, research director at the research unit BIOGECO (INRAE Nouvelle-Aquitaine Bordeaux research centre), a group of French, Spanish, Portuguese, and German researchers have analysed the phenomenon in five South-West European landscapes. Combining approaches from ecology and social sciences, their results show that second-growth forests tend to favour biodiversity and show elevated drought resilience. Spontaneous forest regrowth can thus represent a great opportunity for the preservation and management of landscapes in the context of rural exodus and climate change, thus contributing to the well-being of human populations.
PRESS RELEASE - Since the 1950s, the forest cover of Europe has expanded by 300,000 km2—about the area of Italy. This increment is the result of extensive tree-planting programmes, but also of the spontaneous establishment of forest vegetation—known as second-growth or secondary forests—following a widespread rural exodus and farmland abandonment, particularly in southern and eastern Europe. These new forests represent an opportunity for conserving biodiversity and associated ecosystem services that is still insufficiently capitalized. Several European teams studied second-growth forests over 4 years and were able to show their beneficial effects in terms of biodiversity and their resilience in the face of droughts. The findings are compiled in a series of six articles published in the journal Annals of Forest Science*.