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Ecological restoration

Ecological restoration

Objectives

The aims of the project are:

Main research themes

Grazing as a major tool for restoration and management

Domesticated herbivores are used for their capacity to favour diversity at various spatial scales. The experiments are being carried out on the Estate, in the Camargue, and at other sites in the Mediterranean region, particularly the Donzère-Mondragon hunting reserve (Cannelle Moinardeau’s thesis, in collaboration with the Mediterranean Institute of Biology and Ecology – IMBE). This role of “ecosystem engineers” is not limited to mammals alone, and the impact of ants is also being tested in dry grasslands, where they are expected to favour the development of key species with low colonisation dynamics (Tania De Almeida’s thesis, in collaboration with the IMBE).

Introduction of species

When wetlands are rehabilitated, many plants colonise them naturally. However, the slowness of this colonisation can limit the arrival of target wildlife and/or make the habitat vulnerable to undesirable species, in which case the transfer of propagules is required. The rehabilitation of the Le Cassaïre site (70 ha) in the Camargue (village of Mas Thibert, municipality of Arles) gives us the opportunity to test the relevance of techniques of species introduction to recreate a high conservation- and hunting-value wetland from abandoned agricultural land.

Controlling undesirable species

The sowing of commercially available seeds is commonly used to limit the permeability of vulnerable habitats with regard to undesirable species. The benefits of selecting a particular density, diversity, or certain characteristics of the species sowed are being investigated in another thesis (Manon Hess, in collaboration with the IMBE). The possibility of treating infested soils directly in the field to destroy any chance of the invasive species reproducing is also being tested, in the framework of the development of an industrial process (PARIS project).

Setting up hydrological conditions and ad hoc water management systems

This theme concerns all the sites where we are involved, in particular:

Team

Partners

Scientific and technical partners

Partenaires financiers

Main publications