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

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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CNPF network : CNPF experiments network (Research and developement & extension of forestry techniques)


Network and its devices names
CNPF network : CNPF experiments network (Research and developement & extension of forestry techniques)
Coordination : Service Expérimentations à Bordeaux, France; Sites spread over the whole national territory
Network description

The CNPF Experiments network brings together all of the CNPF's Research & Development and extension experimental sites (CRPF regional delegations and the Institute for Forest Development). These sites are mainly located in Private Forests.

This network has two major objectives:
  • to evaluate, considering territorial representativeness, innovation in terms of forestry techniques, silvicultural itineraries, or forest plant material (species, provenances, cultivars).
  • to train and inform private forest stakeholders (owners, managers, forest operators, advisers) on current and future forestry techniques.
A very wide variety of devices make up this network in terms of their age, the species and techniques studied, and the experimental designs used (from simple comparison devices to more complex devices, with simple references as well).

Every year, devices are set up in the regions according to the needs for technical references, identified locally, or for national programmes.

The basic principle of this network is to operate on devices of simple design, easy to implement and monitor (low number of modalities studied, number of individuals and variables measured reasoned according to objectives, adapted monitoring schedule). This principle of simplicity is dictated by the combination of the CNPF's experimental needs and its resources. These needs are those of territorial representativeness and monitoring over time, which lead to a multiplicity of sites to be monitored over the medium and long term.
All of the data from these devices (metadata characterizing the sites and raw tree data) are stored in the CNPF's ILEX experiments database. This client-server database currently contains more than 2000 references of georeferenced sites. Many sites are still being registered.

The themes studied are species (more than 100 species studied, including Douglas fir, poplar, maritime pine, robinia, chestnut, etc.), silviculture (depressing, thinning, density, etc.), maintenance operations, climate change (arboretum, adaptive silviculture), etc.

Services offer

The services provided by this network are in line with the CNPF's missions as an actor of forest development at the service of private forests via advice to forest owners and stakeholders in the sector, their information and training, but also via the competence of its team.

The network provides technical knowledge on the conditions of use and instructions for various silvicultural techniques and other forest species, but is also considered a living support for training and extension. This knowledge is transmitted to private owners and other stakeholders in the sector through information meetings, technical publications (articles, brochures, guides, books), training (FOGEFOR and others), or technical advice during the preparation of forest management plans.

These well-identified and characterised experimental sites (stand, station, forestry, history) can also be used as a basis for further studies or research on themes other than those that led to their initial establishment.


The sites are set up and managed by the experimental teams of the regional delegations of the CRPFs and the branches of the Institute for Forestry Development, permanent teams made up of sector technicians and regional engineers. National coordination is ensured by the CNPF's experimentation network.

The local technicians provide the essential relational link with the owners, but also ensure follow-up in the field.
The implementation and follow-up of these experiments also calls upon non-permanent technicians and engineers and end-of-study trainees, depending on the needs and programs.

Work description and access modalities

For example, for a site, the work on this network consists, following the identification of a need and after the decision to install a new device, in setting up the site, monitoring it (and more particularly taking data), and finally in exploiting the results obtained.

Setting up a site in the stricto sensu is a more or less cumbersome stage (from one day to several days) depending on the complexity of the system, with a preparatory phase that can last several months (making contacts, decisions, preparing the ground).

If the follow-up is carried out over a short period of time (generally 1 day maximum), it is more or less recurrent depending on the programme established by the follow-up protocol. This recurrence is spread over several years, even 10 years or more.

The exploitation of the results depends on the results obtained, but also on the programmes and means of dissemination of the knowledge retained. As in the case of monitoring, the exploitation of results is spread over several years.  

Access to the infrastructure (experimental sites, data) is mainly linked to its positioning in the Private Forest. In fact, whether it is physical access (going to the experimental plots) or access to the data (information from an identified private property), the conditions of access are subject to authorisation from the owner according to the intended use.

Access unit and cost

The physical access unit is the experimental site.



For some sites: weather station, wildlife fence