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

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

Menu Logo Principal IN-SYLVA France ONF FCBA CIRAD CNPF OFB Université de Rouen

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FOI network (Forest-ungulates interaction)

Network and its devices names
FOI network (Forest-ungulates interaction)
Coordination :
OFB- Birieux, 01330, France; for sites in the north-eastern part of France
INRAE-CEFS, centre Occitanie Toulouse, Castanet Tolosan, 31326, France for sites in the south-western part of France

Réseau FOI

Network description

Le réseau FOI (Forêt Ongulés Interaction) comprend 4 sites expérimentaux, situés dans des forêts de production et dans des îlots boisés en agrosystème. Il est composé de 2 sites dans le nord-est de la France (La Petite Pierre et Trois-Fontaines) et 2 sites dans le sud ouest (Gardouch et Aurignac).

This network provides data on undergrowth vegetation dynamics (plant diversity, fruiting, plant species abundance, browsing pressure on woody plants, etc.) as a function of the abundance of wild deer (and associated descriptive variables of the populations) and the environmental context (forest typology, forest fragmentation, etc.). These experiments are set up to monitor the effects (positive or negative) of ungulates on forest vegetation over the long term.

Two of the experimental sites are enclosures, Gardouch (15 ha, 9 of which are oak woodland), Trois-Fontaines (1360 ha of oak-beech woodland), where the abundance of roe deer is set and controlled by the experimenter (INRAE for Gardouch, OFB for Trois Fontaines). The other two sites are unfenced areas where the abundance of deer (stags and roe deer) is controlled by the hunters' federations. On these last two sites, there is local variability in forest fragmentation with plots distributed both within large forest massifs and in groves of different sizes. The Aurignac site (10,000 ha) covers a very extensive gradient of forest fragmentation (mainly oak grove) (from 8 to 90% of the wooded area depending on the sector) and is mainly home to roe deer, whereas the Petite Pierre site (2,760 ha) is more forested (beech-oak grove, pine forest, spruce and fir forest) and is mainly home to deer.

Services offer

The basic services offered by the FOI network are the provision of existing raw longitudinal data (on vegetation, environment, meteorology and ungulate population), the provision of pre-processed results (e.g. aggregated according to environment or deer population descriptors, mapping, etc.). Additional services are available on request for the realization of new measurements on the environment (e.g. remote sensing, LIDAR, soil and litter...), fauna (e.g. deer, birds...) or flora (e.g. phenology and functional traits) or the provision of samples on soil, fauna or flora. In addition, the network can provide on request a training service for students or professionals regarding measurements on undergrowth vegetation (e.g. deer browsing measures) or techniques for studying deer populations. Finally, this network can provide information on the impact on undergrowth vegetation of major disturbances such as droughts, storms, insect or pathogen invasions.


For the sites in the North-East of France, the network is managed by a research engineer, and 2 permanent technicians (on average 60% each on the FOI network) and 1 non-permanent (on average 30%). The monitoring of sites in the south-west is carried out by INRAE CEFS thanks to a researcher and a team of 4 technicians.

Work description and access modalities

Requests for service are made to the site managers (Sonia Saïd for the Trois Fontaines and La Petite-Pierre sites, Hélène Verheyden for the Aurignac and Gardouch sites). Requests for services involving the implementation of new measures or the setting up of specific in situ experiments, as well as requests for training services are evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the site managers. For requests for the provision of existing raw data and for requests requiring processing (cartographic or descriptive statistics), a standard quotation is provided applying the basic rate. Requests involving new measurements and requests for training that are deemed feasible by the site managers are subject to a specific quotation. Our approach is to interact as much as possible with the user(s) to discuss all aspects of the project.

Access unit and cost

Server for data storage

For some sites: meteorological station, soil moisture content will be required.