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Actions in the « Pic Saint-Loup » experimental site (France, Occitanie-34)

(photos : © ONF / Olivier VINET)

The french National Forest Office (ONF) is involved in the CERES project mainly within the framework of the Specific Tasks Group « GTS 2 - Pilot projects demonstrating an improvement in the quality and ecological connectivity of forest ecosystems », and more precisely the « Activity 2.4 - Implementation of pilot demonstrative actions ».

Because of the COVID sanitary crisis, all the actions that we were supposed to run in the Forêt Domaniale du Pic Saint-Loup during the year 2020 have been delayed, appart from the forest inventories and descriptions of the 4 specific locations inside that forest.

During the year 2021, we’ve finally been able to launch the naturalistic initial state for ants, spiders and carabid beetles, with the help of the Conservatoire des Espaces Naturels d’Occitanie (CEN) who will determine and analyze all datas. The survey started with the installation of the equipment in the field, consisting in 15 pitfall traps randomly spread in each location (60 traps in total). One and a half day was necessary to set all traps in the forest (17 and 18/03/2021).

All the traps have been monitored during slightly more than 3 monthes, with samplings realized every 2 weeks. We are now waiting for the CEN to analyze all the samples and deliver several results such as a list of species and the number of individuals, for each location studied.

The goal will be to re-schedule a similar survey after the different types of forestal harvest have occurred, and then to compare the results between the 2 campains.

Later this summer, we also managed to mobilise an internal drone driver who came to the Pic Saint-Loup and flew over the forest in order to realize an aerial photograph of each location, just before the loggings.

Next step of the project : the two alternative forest loggings are planned for the month of january (and maybe early february) 2022.

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