France Living Lab

Responsible  institution: INRAE, umr Biogeco

Responsible person: Hervé Jactel

Contact e-mail:

Other persons/ contacts: Nattan Plat, Benoit de Guerry,


Type of restoration in the Living Lab: Restoration of intensively managed conifer plantation landscape affected by multiple disturbances through planting of broadleaved hedgerows.

Restoration goals: Planting a network of mixed broadleaved hedgerows (along the edges of pine plantations) to provide habitats and dispersal corridors for forest biodiversity and protection against biotic and abiotic hazards (barriers to the spread of windstorms, wildfires, native or exotic pests). 

Restoration scientific challenges: Nature based Solution, following the land sparing approach, to increase the resilience of forest plantation landscape to climate change mediated disturbances. Analysis of ecological and socio-economics trade-offs between biodiversity restoration vs sustainable wood production.

Restoration potential upscaling: Similar forest plantation landscapes (dominated by large tree monocultures).

Nature Contribution to People: Provisioning ES: wood; Regulating ES: climate regulation (C sequestration), protection against natural disturbances (fire, storms, pests and diseases); Cultural ES: Experential use of wildlife and settings, hunting, mushroom picking, enjoyement of aesthetic landscapes, protection against sand dune erosion.

Living Lab information:

Area size : 50000 ha.

Current forest/vegetation type: Plantation of site-native tree species (Maritime pine, Pinus pinaster).

Initial state: Landscape of monospecific plantation forests (maritime pine) with intensive management. Few riparian forests. Lack of ancient and old growth forests. Abiotic pressures: forest fires (highest rate of fire outbreaks in France), windstorms (two hurricanes in 1999 and 2009 that destroy 30% of the forest). Biotic pressures: bark beetle outbreaks, biological invasions (pine wood nematode about to invade SW France). Main catchment area of the river feeding the Bassin d'Arcachon where oysters are reared. Social pressure : need to demonstrate that plantation forest landscape are resilient and preserve biodiversity. Demand for more beautiful landscape (hidding ugly clearcuts).

Land use history: Plantation forest since 19th century. Formally heathlands.

Current management: Intensive management of pine plantations.

Key-stakeholders: Private and state owned forest organisations (ONF, CRPF/CNPF, Union of private forest owners), forest cooperative (AFB, the biggest in France), Forest Technical Institute (FCBA), Fire Risk Association (ATGeRi), NGOs on Nature conservation (IEFC, SEPANSO), Research Institute (INRAE).

Funding (current measures): Combination of regional public funding and inkind contribution of stakeholders, possibly subsidies from carbone offprint. .

Ownership: A combination of private (ca. 90%), municipality and state owned forests.

Socio-economic opportunities&challenges: Sustain wood production in face of growing threats mediated by climate change (forest fires, storms, pest outbreaks) and global change (international competition for low quality wood products; biological invasions). Payment for ecosystem services (carbon sequestration, through the Low Carbon Label scheme).

Expected impact on local communities: Job opportunities. Protection against extreme disturbances (windstorms, forest fires) that threaten homes. Enhanced well-being through landscape aesthetics and recreational activities (hiking, biking, hunting).

Data collection:

  • Insect sampling using pitfall traps and Malaise traps and DNA metabarcoding.
  • Survey of reptiles and small mammals.
  • Soil microbiome in rhizotrons and DNA metabarcoding.
  • Passive acoustic monitoring of bats and birds.
  • Tree and understorey plant inventories.
  • Tree related microhabitat inventory.
  • Multispectral drone surveys and ground-based LiDAR.
  • Soil biota and soil carbon.
  • Assessment of pest damage.

Modification date: 04 January 2024 | Publication date: 20 September 2023 | By: Ammar SHIHAN