Georges Kunstler Forest ecologist


ANR DECLIC - Tree DEmographic responses to CLImate stresses and Competition for a trait-based biogeography

ANR project from 2021 to 2024


Abstract. In the face of climate change, we need to understand the drivers of changes in forest composition. Functional traits hold great promise as a way to explore and depict how the interplay of species climate stress tolerance and competition drives these changes. To date, progress has, however, been limited because we have a poor understanding of how traits control tree demography. DECLIC will build on the increasing availability of forest inventory data documenting tree demography and the emergence of key physiological traits directly linked to survival to determine how those traits control tree demography response to drought, frost, and competition in Europe and North America. This will allow us to develop size-structured community assembly models predicting forests dynamics along climatic gradients based on species traits. These models will be used to derive metrics of forest vulnerability to climate change such as evaluations of the risk of forest dieback, productivity decline and regeneration impeding at the scale of French ‘sylvoécoregions’. Then we will co-construct with French forest managers the best approach to present these metrics and their uncertainty on a web-platform adapted to disseminate them broadly.


  • Laura Touzot
  • Max Larter