The ORPHEE tree species diversity experiment was established in south-western France in 2008 to investigate biodiversity and ecosystem functioning under the influence of a changing climate. The research focuses on the importance of leaf phenology, using 5 tree species of 2 functional groups (deciduous vs. evergreen).
|Aerial view of the site in 2015|
The research site consists of 8 blocks, with 32 plots in each block. Every possible 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5-species combination was planted in each block; the last plot of a block was also planted with all 5 species. The plots are 20 m x 20 m large, and the planting distance between two trees was 2 m. Thus, 100 trees were planted per plot. The plots are randomly distributed in each block.
Half of the blocks will be irrigated to observe the changes in ecosystem functioning under a changing environment.
|The plots within a block:
1 (light) - 5 (dark) species per plot
|Planting design in a 3-species plot||Half of the blocks (in blue) will be irrigated.|
|location||Pierroton||former land use||pine stands (Pinus pinaster)|
|soil type||sandy podzol on sandstone bedrock|
|area||ca. 12 ha|
|no of plots||256|
|plot size||20 m x 20 m|
|no of trees planted||25 600|
|planting date||January and February 2008|
|diversity variables||species richness
|diversity gradient||1, 2, 3, 4, 5 sp.
|species pool||deciduous: Betula pendula, Quercus pyrenaica, Quercus robur
evergreen: Quercus ilex, Pinus pinaster
|contact person||Hervé Jactel|
The research will focus on the differences in tree growth and herbivory damage between the two leaf phenology groups and the irrigation treatment. Plant-plant interactions will be studied along the gradient of species richness and functional levels.
Send an e-mail to the contact person, visit the experiment online, or explore the publications:
|One of the ORPHEE blocks in December 2010||The irrigation treatment has started! (May 2015)|