23 Apr 2018
10 Apr 2018
Changes in aboveground vegetation carbon stocks in sub-Saharan Africa over 2010–2016. Regions with significant negative (carbon source) or positive (carbon sink) carbon changes are shown, respectively, in red or green. © INRA, M. Brandt – Université de Copenhague

A new tool to monitor the carbon budget of vegetation: first application to the African continent

How do the vegetation carbon stocks change at the continental scale? What are the drivers of these changes? These are central questions for the sciences of Climate and for the application of international agreements on climate. A study coordinated by the University of Copenhagen (1) has developed a new approach to investigate this issue. In collaboration with scientific teams (2) from CEA, CNES and CNRS, INRA has coordinated the development of the new data set derived from space-borne microwave observations which is used to quantify vegetation carbon stocks. The study demonstrates that over the African continent and during the 2010-2016 period, the net carbon balance is negative (corresponding to a decrease of the quantity of carbon stored in the vegetation biomass) and that most of the carbon losses occurred in dryland savannahs. These results were published on 9th April 2018 in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution.

25 May 2018
Oak well-head constructed around 3700 years ago in Erstein (Alsace, France) © Stéfanie Wagner

High-throughput DNA sequencing of ancient timbers: a new method to explore the evolution of forests

From recreational use to timber production, and not forgetting numerous other ecosystem services, forests are faced with many challenges, notably in a context of global change. To open new perspectives that will provide a clearer understanding of the evolution of forest populations and predict their future in the context of climate change, an international scientific team involving researchers from INRA and CNRS has successfully isolated and sequenced the DNA of oak in the remains of ancient pieces of timber – some dating from nearly 10,000 years.

  • Biofilm mixte de Lactococcus lactis (coques jaunes) et de Listeria monocytogenes (bâtonnets roses), observé en microscopie électronique à balayage.. © inra, Thierry MEYLHEUC
  • Supermarché. © MAITRE Christophe
  • Ciel d'orage en Eure et Loir.. © INRA, WEBER Jean
  • Floating market.. © INRA, Chloé Le Bastard
  • Céréales et tournesols fleuris sur fond de ciel.. © INRA, BEGUEY Alain