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

Last update: May 2021

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What is the LIA FORESTIA?

FORESTIA stands for “Integrated study of Adaptation to (a)biotic STress of natural and planted FOREsts”. “LIA” is the French and Spanish acronym for “Laboratoire International Associé” and “Laboratorio Internacional Asociado” (International Associated Laboratory). A LIA is a virtual laboratory associating two research laboratories of INRAE in France and other institutes in other countries.

FORESTIA is a LIA created in 2018 between the INRA Val de Loire UMR BIOFORA research laboratory, Orléans, France and the INTA BARILOCHE FOREST research laboratory, Bariloche, Argentina.

On January 1, 2020, INRA (Institut national de la recherche agronomique) and IRSTEA (Institut national de recherche en sciences et technologies pour l'environnement et l'agriculture) merged to become INRAE (Institut national de recherche pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement).

On December 14, 2020, an official agreement between INRAE, INTA and the University of Huanta was officially signed, making UNAH the third partner of LIA Forestia.

On November, 2022, an official agreement between INRAE, INTA, the University of Huanta and the Colegio de Postgraduados was officially signed, making CP the fourth partner of LIA Forestia.

Several researchers from other INTA and INRAE research laboratories from the forest sector, support the project and activities of the LIA and are also official participants of the LIA,:

  • In Argentina: INTA Tandil, Buenos Aires; INTA Montecarlo, Misiones; INTA Castelar, Buenos-Aires
  • In France: UMR PIAF (INRAE Clermont-Ferrand); UR FM (INRAE Avignon); UMR BIOGECO (INRAE Bordeaux); UR ZF (INRAE Val de Loire), UE GBFOR (INRAE Val de Loire).

Link to INRAE intranet website about LIA

Link to the INRAE BIOFORA web site

Link to the INTA Bariloche website

Link to the UNAH website

Link to the Colegio de Postgraduados website


Develop bilateral and international research projects on the study of adaptation of natural and planted forests ecosystems to biotic and abiotic environmental variation, in the global change context


INRA Val de Loire in Orléans, France, and INTA Bariloche, Argentina, developed since 2004 a collaboration program in forest research. The general topic is related to the study of adaptation of forest trees to global change. It integrates genetics, ecophysiology and wood sciences approaches. Leonardo Gallo (INTA Bariloche) and Philippe Rozenberg (INRA Val de Loire Orléans) initiated the collaboration in 2004 in the frame of the EU project Alfa GEMA. Today this collaboration is driven by Alejandro Martinez-Meier (INTA Bariloche) and by Philippe Rozenberg and involves, besides the two founding laboratories, several staff from other INTA and INRAE laboratories.

The first common activities were developed during the European academic staff exchange project between Europe and Latin America “Alfa II GEMA” (“GEnetica de la Madera”, Genetics of Wood, 2004 to 2007). Most exchanges took place between Argentina and France, and especially between INTA and INRA. Several projects of different types followed. Two of them were European Union projects marginally dedicated to this collaboration (EU projects Baccara and Tree4Future), all the others were totally dedicated to this partnership (bilateral project ECOS-Sud 2008-2011, bilateral project Houssay 2011-2012, Studium Fellowship project 2013-2014, Consortium Studium project 2016-2017 “DynaWood”, EU project Marie-Curie RISE “TOPWOOD” 2015-2019).

The research project of the LIA FORESTIA

The FORESTIA scientific project is “Integrated study of adaptation of natural and planted forests to biotic and abiotic environmental variation, in the global change context”.

 The LIA FORESTIA aims at investigating adaptive mechanisms and their application to forest ecosystems, forest tree breeding and silviculture. To achieve that goal, we defined specific objectives:

  • To identify relevant adaptive traits by investigating their relation with fitness
  • To determine the functional role of these relevant adaptive traits
  • To explore the phenotypic, genetic (quantitative and molecular) and environmental variation of the adaptive traits driving the mechanisms of adaptation in different model species submitted to various abiotic or biotic stressors
  • To works on the design, test and validation of innovative tools and methods involved in forest tree breeding, forest management and wood quality studies

For forest trees, the essence of the project is built around the hypothesis that a part of the relevant adaptive traits is directly or indirectly based on basic wood properties and annual rings. Annual rings provide convenient retrospective access to tree response to biotic and abiotic stressors. The main abiotic stressors studied by the FORESTIA LIA are drought and frost. The significance of the annual ring response can be investigated in association with major wood functions like sap conduction. Recent drought-induced diebacks associated to the climate change are opportunities to study the relationships between basic wood properties and the survival component of fitness. Annual rings offer original opportunities to study inter and intra annual phenotypic plasticity. In the end, wood studies also provide information about wood production, quantity and quality. Wood is a central study-object of the FORESTIA LIA. Consequently, the LIA elaborates technological innovations associated to wood measurement.

With the intensification of international trade and travel, an increasing number of forest pests are exotic. More forest biomass is lost to insects than to forest fires (FAO). The FORESTIA LIA would contribute to improve the knowledge of invasion pathways, adaptive traits of target pests and invasion risks via modelling studies.

Finally yet importantly, the FORESTIA LIA wants to be involved in the mitigation of the unfavorable effects of the climate change. That is why it does not only provide basic scientific knowledge but also works on the design, test and validation of innovative tools and methods involved in forest tree breeding and forest management.

The FORESTIA scientific project is strongly integrative and multi-disciplinary, with the main disciplines being wood sciences, dendro-ecology, physiology and ecophysiology, quantitative, population and molecular genetics and evolutionary biology.

Common publications:

  1. Martinez-Meier A., L. Sanchez, M. Pastorino, L. Gallo, P. Rozenberg, 2008. What is hot in tree rings? The wood density of surviving Douglas-firs to the 2003 drought and heat wave. Forest Ecology and Management, vol. 256, no 4, p. 837–843.
  2. Martinez-Meier A., L. Sanchez, G. Dalla-Salda, M. Pastorino, J-Y. Gautry, L. Gallo, P. Rozenberg, 2008. Genetic control of the tree-ring response of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) to the 2003 drought and heat-wave in France - art. no. 102 », Annals of Forest Science, vol. 65, no 1, p. 102–102.
  3. Bessega, B. O. Saidman, M. R. Darquier, M. Ewens, L. Sanchez, P. Rozenberg, J-C. Vilardi, 2009. Consistency Between Marker- And Genealogy-Based Heritability Estimates In An Experimental Stand Of Prosopis alba (Leguminosae). American Journal Of Botany, vol. 96, no 2, p. 458–465.
  4. Dalla-Salda G., A. Martinez-Meier, H. Cochard, P. Rozenberg, 2009. Variation of wood density and hydraulic properties of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) clones related to a heat and drought wave in France. Forest Ecology and Management, vol. 257, no 1, p. 182–189.
  5. Martinez-Meier A., L. Sanchez, G. Dalla-Salda, L. Gallo, M. Pastorino, P. Rozenberg, 2009. Ring density record of phenotypic plasticity and adaptation to drought in Douglas-fir. Forest Ecology and Management, vol. 258, no 5, p. 860–867.
  6. Dalla-Salda G., A. Martinez-Meier, H. Cochard, P. Rozenberg, 2011. Genetic variation of xylem hydraulic properties shows that wood density is involved in adaptation to drought in Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.)). Annals of Forest Science, vol. 68, p. 747 757.
  7. Martinez-Meier A., L. Gallo, M. Pastorino, V. Mondino, P. Rozenberg, 2011. Phenotypic variation of basic wood density in Pinus ponderosa plus trees. Bosque (Valdivia), vol. 32, no 3, p. 221 226.
  8. Gauchat M.E., L.E. Pâques. 2011. Indirect prediction of bud flushing from ex situ observation in hybrid Larch (Larix decidua x L. kaempferi) and their parents. Environmental and Experimental Botany 70 (2–3): 121‑130. doi:10.1016/j.envexpbot.2010.08.001.
  9. Rozenberg P., A-S. Sergent, G. Dalla-Salda, A. Martinez-Meier, S. Marin, M. Ruiz-Diaz, J-C. Bastien, L. Sanchez, N. Breda, 2012. Analyse rétrospective de l’adaptation à la sécheresse chez le douglas. Schweizerische Zeitschrift fur Forstwesen, vol. 163, no 3.
  10. Ruiz Diaz Britez M., A-S. Sergent, A. Martinez Meier, N. Bréda, P. Rozenberg. 2014. Wood density proxies of adaptive traits linked with resistance to drought in douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco). Trees, 1‑16. 2014. doi:10.1007/s00468-014-1003-4.
  11. Dalla-Salda G., M-E Fernández, A-S. Sergent, P. Rozenberg, E. Badel, A. Martinez-Meier. 2014. Dynamics of cavitation in a Douglas-fir tree-ring: transition-wood, the Lord of the Ring?’ Journal of Plant Hydraulics 1 (0): 005. doi:10.20870/jph.2014.e005.
  12. Rossi J-P., M. Nardin, M. Godefroid, M. Ruiz-Diaz, A-S Sergent, A. Martinez-Meier, L. Pâques, P. Rozenberg, 2014. Dissecting the space-time structure of tree-ring datasets using the partial triadic analysis. PLoS ONE 9 (9): e108332. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0108332.
  13. Martinez-Meier A., M-E. Fernández, G. Dalla-Salda, J. Gyenge, J. Licata, P. Rozenberg, 2015. Ecophysiological basis of wood formation in ponderosa pine: linking water flux patterns with wood microdensity variables’. Forest Ecology and Management 346 , 31–40. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2015.02.021.