Guyaflux: a TOWER for measuring the carbon flow. Experimental facility to measure the carbon stocks in the Guyanese forest and the CO2 balance between the forest and the atmosphere. © Ch. Maître

Environmental research infrastructure

AnaEE: European Union’s Infrastructure for Analysis and Experimentation on Ecosystems  

AnaEE is an EU science infrastructure project whose goal is to overcome the current fragmentation of ecosystem research in Europe by setting up a coordinated ensemble of experimental fora (ExpeER, AnaEE-S). They are mandated to test, analyse and model ecosystem reactions to climate changes and to develop appropriate management techniques.

By Sébastien Broquere, translated by Daniel McKinnon
Updated on 04/02/2014
Published on 05/27/2013

More than 2,000 researchers in Europe

This project, managed by INRA, gives ecology and agronomy science communities a coordinated network of experimental infrastructure and analytical platforms to understand and predict the impacts of climate change and land management methods on biodiversity and the dynamics of continental ecosystems. With more than 2,000 researchers in Europe, AnaEE marks a place for France in the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures Roadmap and includes several SOERE recognised by AllEnvi. AnaEE also includes and supports two flagship projects: ExpeER at the EU level, and AnaEE-Services at the national level.

The ExpeER project

The ExpeER project is coordinated by INRA. Its goal is to establish at EU-level an ensemble of experimental platforms (both in situ and in controlled environments) connected to analytical and modelling platforms. They include, for example, experimental field systems to test defined variables such as tilling/no tilling, grasslands/crops, animal load, or the nitrogen fertilization of a plot. Field systems like these are complemented by ecotrons, controlled environment facilities where factors such as temperature, humidity, and evaporation are strictly managed. These high-tech facilities will interface with networks of instrumented observation sites equipped to monitor the area, tracking changes such as CO2 and nitrogen levels and microbial activity in the soil.

ExpeER is a large collaborative project of theEU’s Seventh Framework Programme for environmental research infrastructure. The EU’s contribution of 7.4 million euro and the notably innovative nature of the infrastructure make this project of particular interest to INRA. ExpeER is a European consortium of 37 partners in 22 countries lead by INRA. Of the 33 sites in the network, five are located in France, three of which are managed by INRA (1).

The AnaEE-Services project

The ACBB observatory set up in 2010 in Estrées-Mons (80).. © INRA, MAITRE Christophe
The ACBB observatory set up in 2010 in Estrées-Mons (80). © INRA, MAITRE Christophe

AnaEE-Services (Analysis and Experimentation on Ecosystems) is the only national programme devoted entirely to the study of ecosystems.
AnaEE brings together a number of experimental analytic and modelling platforms dedicated to terrestrial and aquatic European ecosystem biology and the interaction between life sciences and environmental sciences. Several SOEREs managed or jointly managed by INRA are involved: ACBB, F ORE T, GLACPE, and PRO.

The project’s experimental infrastructure opens access to the best experimental facilities, their biological resources and the outcome data. The facilities cover a large range of experimental conditions, ecological complexities and anthropic pressures. INRA will, in particular, develop environmental biology platforms to better understand the diversity of microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, fauna) and their roles in the soil, sediment and water. AnaEE-S will provide databases and modelling platforms to portray ecosystem dynamics and to investigate the pairing of ecological and adaptive approaches.

Coordinated by CNRA (project coordinator: Jean Clobert), INRA, and Joseph Fourier University, AnaEE-Services is supported by the French Stimulus Initiative Investissements d’avenir. The project represents France’s contribution to the European Union’s AnaEE project.

AnaEE: analysing ecosystems on an international scale

AnaEE is consonant with the ExpeER project, although with larger objectives. With an international focus, this facility jointly built by INRA and CNRS will be the core support for research programmes. Planning and building costs are estimated to be 210 million euro. AnaEE will be operational after 2015. It will allow 200 researchers in France and more than 2,000 researchers in Europe to benefit from shared access to European facility resources and drawn on diverse ecosystems made available for experimentation. Nationally, AnaEE will contribute to the harmonisation and continuity of SOEREs and will allow for their integration into multiscale approaches.

(1) Founded in 2008, the Foundation for Biodiversity Research (FRB) is a liaison between science and society. It facilitates collaborative actions in science such as France’s national ECOSCOPE forum. INRA is a founding member of FRB.

Scientific contact(s):

  • Jean-François Soussana, Scientific Director - Environment