Sycomore research projects

The Centre-Val de Loire region has 955,000 hectares of production forests, i.e. 24% of its surface area. Forests offer numerous benefits: timber and energy production (logs, wood chips), carbon storage, soil protection, flood control and groundwater recharge, preservation of biodiversity and water quality, and recreational activities (hiking, cycling, hunting). Successive droughts and heatwaves since the early 2000s have led to increased dieback of the region’s oaks and Scots pines. Modelling work suggests that these species may find it difficult to maintain themselves in a large part of the Paris Basin before the end of the century, due to the coming intensification of climate change. Silviculture must therefore be adapted as a matter of urgency.

Forêt d’Orléans (taken in May 2022, © Hélène Le Borgne)

Foresters must both contain forest dieback, by intervening as early as possible, and devise, evaluate and adopt new management practices to maintain a healthy forest, productive of quality wood and a haven of biodiversity for future generations. The Sycomore program is based on three research projects, the objectives of which are to prevent the risks of decline in current forest stands (RECONFORT), to determine the best strategies for renewing stands (RENOUV), and to better characterize the genetic resources available and select the most suitable in the short and long term (GENFORFUTUR).

  • Dieback plot of Scots pine [part of the CNPF study

    RECONFORT

    Assess and anticipate dieback to maintain sustainable, multifunctional forest management.

  • RENOUV

    Renew the region's forests to make them more resilient in the face of climate change.

  • GENFORFUTUR

    What forest genetic resources for the future in the face of climate change?