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EXPERT-SFM project

EXPERT-SFM - Long-term Expansion of French Forests: Causal processes and Tools to support Sustainable Forest Management

This project, funded by ADEME, Région Lorraine and Labex ARBRE, started in 2015. It is a joined project associating INRA (EEF) and AgroParisTech (LERFoB).

This project’s objectives are:
- the develoment of macro-scale modelling tools of forest dynamics robust for extended conditions of forest management,
- the analysis of major changes at play in the French forests over the 20th century from historical inventories and documentation,
- the use of the forest dynamics model to decipher the past and current processes of forest expansion in France, as a baseline for assessing the development and availability of wood resources.

The analyses will be based on:
- macro-scale forest modelling concepts covering forest growth, forest area dynamics and density-dependence processes,
- modern National Forest Inventory (NFI) implemented in the 1960s, as forest sequences for model calibration and evaluation,
- the first French forest statistics ’Daubrée’ (1912), providing early information on forest composition and structure at the scale of administrative ’Departements’. These sources will be used to evaluate forest changes between 1912 and contemporary NFI inventories, and for model initialization in a simulation analysis of the historical causes of forest expansion.

Thus, it aims at describing and understanding the drivers of long-term forest expansion in the growing stock of French forests over the 20th century, resulting from forest transition. It will rely on historical NFI data, ancient forest statistics, and models of forest macro-dynamics.