Ecohydrology

This research axis focuses on climate-soil-vegetation dynamics and is embedded in the concept and theories of ecohydrology.

Two main case studies are considered :

- under mountain climate, species assemblages are strongly determined by snowcover. The duration, and depth of the snowpack impact soil temperature, soil water content dynamics, growing season length and hence ecosystem functioning. We investigate turnover in taxonomic and functional diversity along snow melting gradients and examine how contrasting patterns of Plant Functional Diversity impact some of the key components of the carbon cycle: CO2 fixation, litter decomposition and soil respiration.

- under tropical climate, the timing and magnitude of precipitation events is the main factor controlling soil water content and ultimately vegetation dynamics. However, plant growth dynamics in water-limited ecosystems remains poorly captured by current Land Surface Models. Since 2009, I have been initiating reasearch on the phenology of C4 semi arid tropical grasslands dominated by the Mitchell Grass and located in Northern Australia. We attempt to model the coupled dynamics linking precipitation, soil water content and leaf dynamics. Model outputs are compared to time series of ground observations and remotely-sensed data (more...).

  
 Early and late snowmelting sites in the Roche Noire valley, between Lautaret and Galibier passes (May 2006) Wet and dry season images close together showing Mitchell Grass country (Northern Territories, Australia). Courtesy Google earth.