Based in the forest in the Domaine des Barres, the Nogent-sur-Vernisson Centre is located in immediate proximity to the National Forest Inventory, the Chesnoy School of Agriculture and the National Arboretum in Barres.
This strong identity in the field of forestry is enhanced by its regional participation in the “Resonat” group, which is in the process of becoming a scientific interest group dedicated to soils, forests and biodiversity. The centre intends to strengthen its position in Europe and its projects in support of public policies and international negotiations for the environment. The centre also leads a course module on biodiversity at the University of Orléans and carries out numerous activities with the ONF, most importantly its work on mixed forests.
The centre is entirely devoted to forests and consists of just one research unit, the EFNO Forest ecosystems unit.
The Nogent Centre has about fifty permanent staff members, including 24 engineers/researchers. It also welcomes doctoral students, post-doctoral students and contract employees as well as interns.
► 86 publications and papers produced in 2010 by the centre’s 20 research and development engineers
Managing forests to preserve its biodiversity
Forests are important reserves of biological diversity upon which future forest productivity partly depends. Conducted along with the ONF, the Nature Reserves of France and INRA, the Forest Management project and Naturalness, Biodiversity compares the biodiversity of exploited and non-exploited forests with a view to improving forest management indicators. To overcome the lack of data surrounding non-exploited forests while rigorously testing indicators, an innovative statistical approach is applied to seven groups of different species (animals, vegetation and fungi) in several forested areas in France.
The initial results of the bibliography show that exploited forests are home to a more narrow variety of living species. In contrast, forests that remained in their natural state for longer host a wider variety of species. This indicates that this part of forest biodiversity regenerates slowly over time. Many findings highlight the importance of preserving some non-exploited forests, thereby creating a network of wilderness areas; these are findings that encourage us to manage forests in an environmentally-sound manner, and for this reason the project’s indicators may prove useful.