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 pilots demonstrative actions ».
During the year 2019, we worked to develop this action, according to the CERES spirit and goals. Finally, we decided to experiment alternative methods for forest harvest on mediterranean coppices. Because of its very low economic value, mediterranean forests (Quercus ilexand Q. pubescens) are usually managed as simple coppices, which implies short-term rotations and large clearcuts. This management can easily lead to habitat fragmentations, with negative consequences on species with low moving or dispersal abilities. Thus, CERES represent a perfect opportunity to experiment several alternative logging methods within that kind of forest stands.
The forest choosen to run this action is the Forêt Domaniale du Pic Saint-Loup, in the Hérault (34) department, in the south of France. We have already spotted 4 locations where all the actions will occur, in 2020. 2 of these locations will be concerned by 2 types of alternative logging. Another area will remain unharvested whereas the last one will suffer a « classical » clearcut.
In early and mid 2020, in each area we will run several studies (forest inventory, inital state for ants, spiders, carabid beetles and probably an acoustic survey for bats and grasshoppers). Later in the year, the forest works will occur in the 2 alternative areas.