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EMGR - Mountain Ecosystems research unit

  • Department : Territoires
  • Center : Grenoble [EN]

Relief (altitude, gradient, aspect), climate and human influence are all factors responsible for the wide variety of mountain environments. These environments are organized along various gradients and form a complex mosaic sensitive to disturbances. Mountains therefore provide an excellent location for the study of climate and anthropogenic changes and their impact on ecosystems.

Learning how these environments work in order to manage them, assess their vulnerability, anticipate changes, restore some functions and mitigate risks are all goals driving this research and assessment work.

The EMGR research unit

The work of the unit focuses on the analysis of mountain ecosystem dynamics on different scales, and their vulnerability in a context of global change (climate and uses).
The team's research aims to help improve knowledge of ecological processes (the functional approach of plant communities, the modeling of dynamics, validation of ecological concepts and theories in mountain situations, and spatio-temporal modeling) and to produce methods and operational tools for the management of mountain ecosystems and ecological engineering.
The team aims to provide methodologies for managing these environments that combine biodiversity conservation goals and economic and social functions (forest management, pasture management, protection against natural hazards, and space, landscape and territorial management) as part of collective learning and adaptive management approaches.
It relies primarily on in situ experimental activities in national (Zone Atelier Alpes) and international (LTER) observation sites.

Research Topic (RT)

Organizational chart



  • Image processing station
  • Soil ecology laboratory (NIR spectroscope, microscopes, binoculars, etc.)
  • Plant ecology laboratory (culture chamber, ovens, freezers, etc.)
  • Tree-ring chain analysis, resistograph, tomograph
Field-based experiment equipment
  • Long-term monitoring of vegetation: Huez, the Vercors highlands and Les Saisies
  • Forest regeneration monitoring plots along a climate gradient (Belledone and Vercors)
  • Network of forest trend monitoring plots
  • Revegetation of eroded ravines in Draix
  • Rockfall experiments in Vaujany


Find all the EMGR research unit partnerships here


François Véron
Head of the Mountain Ecosystems research unit, Grenoble Center
2, rue de la Papeterie – Domaine universitaire
BP 76
38402 St-Martin-d’Hères Cedex
Tel.: +33 (0)4 76 76 27 56
Fax: +33 (0)4 76 51 38 03