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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

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Adaptation to climate change of territories, linked to biodiversity

This research project has produced a forest management simulation game, in free access.

Funded under the Call for Emergence 2016, the Act-Lab project took place over 3 years (2017-2019).

Project leader: Nathalie FRASCARIA-LACOSTE (ESE)


  • academic outside BASC: UMR GAEL
  • non academic : Federation of the Regional Natural Parks of France
Parcs naturels régionaux de France

The socio-ecological trajectories of forests are considerably dependent on the silvicultural practices chosen by their managers. However, these management choices are likely to evolve in order to take into account the impacts of climate change on forest environments. The objective of Act-Lab's work was therefore to understand the changes in forest management induced by adaptations to climate disruption. This project focused on metropolitan France, where forests are one of the most important ecosystems - they cover one third of the surface.

Three research themes were used to address this issue: (1) the diversification of adaptations to climate disruption (which forest ecosystem goods and services does it target?); (2) the importance given by foresters to technical approaches, compared to reflections on the socio-economic organization of forest management; and finally (3) the integration of ecological dynamics in the design and implementation of adaptations to climate change.

petite illustration Act-Lab

In the first part, a census was made of adaptations to climate disruption in private and public forests by means of field surveys with the help of the PNR (Regional Nature Parks). The adaptations listed concerned only a few of the many forest ecosystem goods and services, primarily wood production, carbon storage and preservation of natural habitats. These adaptations were primarily implemented in response to climatic hazards already experienced by foresters. Above all, these adaptations were the result of changes in silvicultural techniques, in which humans intervene in the forest socio-ecosystem by modifying its natural components.

In a second part, we studied the public funding of research projects dealing simultaneously with climate change and forestry. We have shown that one of the causes of the lack of consideration of the socio-economic aspects of adaptations to climate disruption is the prevalence of technical research, with very little focus on socio-cultural, regulatory or supporting ecosystem services.


In the last part, thanks to the learnings from the previous parts, we created a participatory forest management simulation called Foster Forest. In this simulation, various forest management actors were immersed in a strong climate change scenario. In order to carry out their own mission, they were given a set of silvicultural practices inspired by usual practices, but which are not sufficient to cope with climate disturbances. The ten or so applications of this participatory simulation, in different French regions, confirmed the results of the previous games. The games played also shed light on the importance of territorial coordination structures in the development of adaptation projects, at scales that are complementary to the "plot" vision alone. The Foster Forest software is protected by the certificate IDDN.FR.001.350008.000.S.P.2020.000.30200 from the Agency for the Protection of Programs. The Research and Foresight versions of Foster Forest are free, with free access, but are subject to certain rules of use. The Young Researcher Award of the Foundation for Research on Biodiversity was awarded in 2020 to Timothée Fouqueray (AgroParisTech) for his work on "socio-ecological adaptations of forest management to climate uncertainties". His work was rewarded by the National Center of Forest Property (CNPF). 


> Fouqueray, T., Frascaria-Lacoste, N. Social sciences have so much more to bring to climate studies in forest research: a French case study. Annals of Forest Science 77, 81 (2020). 

> Fouqueray T, Charpentier A, Trommetter M, Frascaria-Lacoste N, 2020. The calm before the storm: How climate change drives forestry evolutions. Forest Ecology and Management, 460, 117880

> Fouqueray T, Trommetter M, Frascaria-Lacoste N, 2018. Managed retreat of settlements and infrastructures: Ecological restoration as an opportunity to overcome maladaptive coastal development in France. Restoration Ecology, 26 : 806-812,

> Fouqueray T, Charpentier A, Trommetter M, Frascaria-Lacoste N, 2018. Is Adaptation to Climate Change Threatening Forest Biodiversity? A Comparative and Interdisciplinary Study Case of Two French Forests, in Handbook of Climate Change and Biodiversity, 337-334.


> Adaptations to long-term climate uncertainties: socio-ecological trajectories of French forest management- Timothée FOUQUERAY defended in December 2019 (funding ENS Lyon and BASC), Université Paris-Saclay

Oral communications 



===> The researcher explains the project and its RESULTS in VIDEO

(BASC Sciences day, Novembre 2020)

> Foucqueray T, Presentation of Foster Forest in 30 minutes, March 2020

> FOUQUERAY T, CHARPENTIER A, TROMMETTER M, FRASCARIA-LACOSTE N, Adaptation to climate change, a risk for the multifunctionality multifunctionality of forests? Proceedings of the Colloquium "Between dynamics and mutations, which paths for forest and wood? " of GIP-ECOFOR (Forest Ecosystems), January 2018