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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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MORPHINE Network: Multispecies tropical fORest PlantatIon NEtwork (MORPhINE) - Tropical Multispecies Plantations

Network and its devices names
MORPHINE Network: Multispecies tropical fORest PlantatIon NEtwork (MORPhINE) - Tropical Multispecies Plantations

The network of multi-species tropical forest plantation plots includes 5 sites in Brazil :

  • 3 experiments with two associated species, Eucalyptus/Acacia model
    • 2 sites on the Itatinga Experimental Station (USP/ESALQ), State of São Paulo
    • 1 site at the Sinop experimental station (Embrapa), State of Mato grosso
  • 2 experiments with more than two associated species, native species model of the Mata Atlântica
    • 1 site on the Itatinga Experimental Station (USP/ESALQ), State of São Paulo
    • 1 site on the Anhembi Experimental Station (USP/ESALQ), State of São Paulo
Network description

Le réseau de parcelles de plantations de forêts tropicales multi-espèces s’intéresse aux mécanismes biologiques et aux interactions écologiques qui conditionnent les relations entre biodiversité et fonctionnement des écosystèmes forestiers.

The Itatinga (SP) station 200 km west of São Paulo and the Anhembi (SP) station 80 km north of Itatinga are representative of sub-tropical conditions. The Sinops (MT) station, 2000 km from São Paulo in a central region of Brazil, has tropical conditions. The size of the experiments is variable according to the sites; 5.2 ha and 2.6 ha for eucalyptus/acacia experiments (Itatinga and Sinops), 6 ha for native species experiments in Itatinga, 2.6 ha for native species experiments in Anhembi.

Various levels of mixed forest species are tested: two species with Eucalyptus grandis and Acacia mangium, gradient of species native to the Mata Atlântica (Itatinga site), 20, 60 and 120 species native to the Mata Atlântica (Anhembi site). In addition to the study of the effects of the mixed forest species, the effect of certain practices (different according to the sites) is studied: fertilization, planting density and spacing between species, the proportion of species in the stand, a reduction in rainfall, ...

Services offer

The network of multi-species tropical forest plantation plots offers the opportunity to work on simpler systems than natural forests, allowing multifactorial experimental devices of major interest for the study of the biological mechanisms underlying forest ecosystems functioning .

Research conducted at these sites is improving our understanding of the biological mechanisms controlling carbon, water and nutrient cycles in forest plantations at different spatial and temporal scales, by studying very deep soil horizons (> 10 m). The knowledge acquired in this network represents an opportunity to improve silvicultural practices and reduce their environmental impacts through ecological intensification of silviculture.


The network is coordinated by Agnès Robin and Joannès Guillemot (CIRAD researchers, UMR Eco&Sols, based in Brazil). The network benefits from strong support from private and public Brazilian partners (IPEF, SOS Mata Atlântica, University of São Paulo/USP, ESALQ, Embrapa) to monitor and maintain the experiments.

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

Work description and access modalities

Le réseau est en partie financé par les partenaires brésiliens. Par conséquent, le partage des données brutes dans le cadre de coopérations scientifiques est soumis à l’assentiment des partenaires.

Le suivi du réseau comporte des campagnes d’inventaires dendrométriques, des mesures de biomasses et minéralomasses, des collectes de litière, ainsi que des analyses de sols à des fréquences variables selon les paramètres mesurés.

Access unit and cost

Access to the network for ad hoc sampling campaigns and collaborative projects is encouraged and will be greatly facilitated by the presence of the network coordinators in Brazil.

The raw data and databases for each site remain under the responsibility and ownership of the institutions in charge of each site, but may be shared within the framework of scientific cooperation with CIRAD and the Brazilian partners involved, which may differ depending on the site.

The minimum cost of maintaining and monitoring the network is estimated at 50 k€ per year. Brazilian forestry service companies are being mobilized to ensure the quality and regularity of measurements (Floragro, AgroAmbiença, etc.).


All sites have a meteorological station.

The Mata Atlântica species association experiment (Itatinga experimental station) is fully installed since the end of 2018. Instrumentation is set up with soil moisture monitoring, measurement of soil CO2 emissions (Li-8100, Li-COR®), foliar ecophysiology (Li-6400, Li-COR®), monitoring of litterfall and root dynamics (minirhizotrons).