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M2 internship position at CEFE Montpellier, France

M2 internship position at CEFE (Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive) Montpellier, France
Predicting the role of species mixture in forest on drought risks using a new hybrid model

Tree species diversity has been promoted as an important nature-based solution to improve the resilience of forests and tree plantations (Messier et al., 2022). Yet, there is no clear consensus regarding the effects of tree diversity on forest resistance and reilience to drought (Grossiord et al., 2014; Grossiord, 2020). Indeed, recent reviews showed that diversity can have positive (de-Dios-García et al., 2015; Lebourgeois et al., 2013; Ruiz-Benito et al., 2017), neutral (Grossiord et al., 2014; Merlin et al., 2015) or even negative impacts (Grossiord et al., 2014; Vitali et al., 2018). Overall, this suggest that peculiar, tree to tree interactions, which depend on the local forest structure (size and departure between trees) and on the functional identity are crucial to determine the actual drought stress experienced by trees. Such interactions can be positive or negative and related to the complementarity in water use species-specific behaviours (Moreno et al 2023) but also to microclimatic effects related to forest structure (Decarsin et al in prep).

In this internship, we propose the fellow to improve our understanding of inter-specific interactions in mixed forest by using and further developing the newly developed process-based model PHOREAU (Postic et al in prep). PHOREAU assembled a species distribution model (PHenofit), a forest gap model (fORceeps) and a trait-enabled-plant hydraulic model (SurEAU) therefore allowing to explore how tree to tree interactions affect water stress. The model is available on the Capsis platform, coded in Java, and has been designed to represent plant physiological response of many tree species in

The selected candidate will work on the model to (1) improve the micro-climatic module of the model and (2) test the model on different European forest experimental sites where measurements of water stress were performed during the extreme drought that occurred during the summer 2022. The candidate will be based in Montpellier at CEFE and will work in close collaboration with the model developers (Tanguy Postic, Xavier Morin – CEFE – and Nicolas Martin – INRAE URFM Avignon), François De Coligny (INRAe AMAP,Montpellier) the programming engineer who developed the Capsis platform, and with researchers who collected the experimental water stress data (Renaud Decarsin – URFM INRAE Avignon, Joannes Guillemot – Eco&Sol Cirad Montpellier, and Nicolas Martin).

➢ Good programming skills (especially in R, knowledge in Java is desirable but
not compulsory)
➢ Background in forest ecology, ecophysiology
➢ Good collaborative skills

Applications should be sent to and