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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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M.O.S. network (Manipulation of soil organic matter)

Network and its devices names
MOS network (Manipulation of soil organic matter)
Coordination : Champenoux, 54280, France; sites spread in the North of France.
Réseau MOS
Network description

The M.O.S. network (Manipulation of Soil Organic Matter) includes 18 experimental sites, all located in lowland production forests in the northern half of France. It is composed of 6 beech sites, 6 oak sites and 6 Douglas fir sites. The stands were selected to cover an age just before their current maximum annual increment (MAI), i.e. between 30 and 60 years..

This network is designed for long-term monitoring of the effects of intense biomass exports on soil fertility and biodiversity (macro-, meso- and micro-fauna), tree growth and health. The experimental sites have a study area of 2-3 ha sufficient to determine ecosystem responses. We have defined 12 sub-plot sizes of 40 m by 40 m in each site. Four treatments corresponding to four levels of biomass export were established at each experimental site.

The treatments are:

  1. Control (only the strong wood stem is taken at each thinning),
  2. Logging with elimination of small woods in addition to strong wood (at each thinning),
  3. Logging with the elimination of small woods in addition to hardwoods (at each thinning) and litter on the ground (annually), and
  4. Logging with removal of small woods (at each thinning) and remediation with wood ash/dolomite.

Each treatment is randomly repeated three times per site. Soil physical and chemical properties are monitored once a year in all plots by infrared spectrometry (NIRS & MIRS). The sites support studies on biodiversity, soil organic matter, soil biogeochemistry and tree physiology.

Services offer

New data specific to the submitted project, compilation of experimental and monitoring data on the sites, implementation of new experiments on the site.

The chemical and physical parameters of the soil are measured once a year using the NIRS & MIRS system. This monitoring of the soil physico-chemical properties makes it possible to detect the effects of the treatment early enough and to indicate which property is impacted. In addition, this innovative monitoring tool makes it possible to classify the soils of the control plots over decades and thus provide original data on the impact of local, regional or national events (extreme climate, global change, ...) on the functioning of forest ecosystems. Biodiversity reacts negatively to treatment, but many functions are maintained by less diversified but fully operational groups.

The M.O.S. network is unique at the European and international level in terms of the number of sites, species tested, plot size and stage of development. Research on the resilience and/or resistance of forests to the stress of increased biomass harvesting is of primary interest with regard to the sustainability of wood production and forest management policies.


The network is managed by a research engineer, an assitant engineer for the interpretation of NIRS-MIRS spectra in biogeochemical terms, a design engineer for statistical analyses, two permanent and one non-permanent technician (on average 30% each on the M.O.S. network).

In parallel, the research unit offers scientific knowledge in biogeochemistry in forest ecosystems, mainly on Carbon, Nitrogen and cation cycles. We regularly welcome international students and researchers.

Work description and access modalities

On average, the time spent using the facilities on a research project is one week. The work consists of sample collection (soils, plants), pre-treatment and/or analysis of samples, assessment of microbial or wildlife diversity, tree physiology measurements and evaluation of treatment effects (temporal dynamics, spatial variability).

Our approach is to interact as much as possible with the user(s) in order to discuss all aspects of their project. This step allows each request to be handled individually and the support to be adapted to the request. We mainly offer scientific, technical and logistical support. It is possible to use ANAEE-France's mobile platform (MPOETE) as additional support for field campaigns, experiments and data acquisition.

Access unit and cost

The access unit is defined as one week. During a project/access, we offer access to all sites in the M.O.S. network. For each access unit, we offer a package including laboratory space for sample preparation and processing, training by highly qualified technicians. This package includes access to maintenance data at each site. The cost of an access unit for private institutions, excluding travel expenses of the applicant, is xxxxx euros per week. The cost of an access unit for public institutions, excluding travel expenses of the applicant, is 1100 euros per week.


For some sites: meteorological station, water content in the soil.