The Pyrenees, located between Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean sea, is particularly representative of the main climatic challenges in the mountain areas. This territory presents a high degree of vulnerability especially with regard to biodiversity. The flora and vegetation of Pyrenees could be affected by climate changes with consequences for conservation of this exceptional heritage (species, natural and social environments, landscapes, ) and valorization of the resources they represent.
FLORAPYR program is the continuation, capitalization and consolidation of collaborations, sharing resources and results of biodiversity component of the Pyrenean Climate Change Observatory conducted from 2011 to 2014 (OPCC – EFA235/11).
Based on shared resources of Pyrenees Flora Atlas and Pyrenean snowbeds monitoring system, developed in previous program, FLORAPYR program develops new coherent actions to strengthen cross-border cooperation in Pyrenees with stakeholders in knowledge of floristic heritage of Pyrenees and in a transversal way with the partner organizations of OPCC.
FLORAPYR program will maintain, develop and make available knowledge of Pyrenean flora and vegetation, essential for studying the effects of climate change. It will also actively contribute to the production of indicators related to these evolutions thanks to different monitoring devices.
Atlas flora of the Pyrenees constitute an updated database, available to all actors. It allows a better knowledge of the challenges and of the actions and monitorings to priorize, in relation with the conservation of the vascular flora. Its extension to other biological groups (bryophytes), as well as to vegetation catalog, will provide a solid basis for assessing and managing Pyrenean plant diversity. Objectives of the project are to improve functionality of atlas to facilitate access and use to different users (researchers, teachers, educators, environmental managers and the general public). To this purpose, it will offer new request possibilities (by territories, groups of species, periods, etc.) and allow visualization of different information layers throw the OPCC web portal.
In addition, the snowbeds monitoring system, begun since 2011, will be strengthened and improved by collecting data to optimize the information obtained and increase its relevance. A simulation of warming effects (OTC) wil be added. Satellite remote sensing monitoring of snowfields will be an original and innovative approach benefiting from the latest technologies. Participation in Gloria program will increase the interest of this device on Pyrenean scale and will contribute to international visibility of the OPCC.
The project aims new developments:
- a red list of Pyrenean vascular flora exemplary in Europe by a biogeographic and cross-border territory-wide approach, not restricted to political or administrative boundaries, more relevant for assessing extinction risks or to develop conservation policies, than arbitrary states or regions scales, because closely related to populations characteristics species distribution patterns throughout the chain;
- involvement of a wider audience in data collection in order to inform about the possible climate change effects of on mountain flora, its phenomena and issues, in the Pyrenees.
These objectives will be achieved through three main actions :
- Complete, synthesize, facilitate access to state of art of pyrenean flora and vegetation knowledge in order to put them in perpective with climate evolution;
- Define the main problems of plant diversity cnoservation, select priority species and communities for conservation and guide conservation policies coherent for the whole Pyrenees;
- Produce and complete monitoring indicators of pyrenean flora and vegetation in relation to the climate;
The project is based on the experience and results obtained by specialized institutions in their area of intervention. The mission framework of these institutions will enable them to maintain tools developed and to follow data management and monitoring protocols related to this project in longer term.
It also meets expectations of decision makers and to a wide public to access to a relevant and organized information on a scale of so an exceptional territory as the Pyrenees, which is an asset for long-term sustainability. The permanent plots for the monitoring of snowbeds, precisely localized and described, thus constitute irreplaceable reference states for future diachronic comparisons.
The main expected results of the FLORAPYR program are the continuation of the cross-border cooperation, the exchange of experience, the coordination between the actors of the knowledge of the flora and the vegetation to produce usable and widely appropriable results at a Pyrenean scale:
- Access to detailed flora datas and to Pyrenean floristic heritage synthetic datas (online atlas of Pyrenean flora, catalog of high mountain vegetation);
- Production of tools for assessing threats and issues at the Pyrenean massif scale and its subterritories (red list of Pyrenean vascular flora);
- Production of monitoring indicators related to the climate (Pyrenean snowbeds monitoring system, participation in the Gloria international program, Phenoclim participatory science program);
- Communication and ownership of issues by the public, including through participatory monitoring.
The project has been 65% cofinanced by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Interreg V-A Spain France Andorra programme (POCTEFA 2014-2020). POCTEFA aims to reinforce the economic and social integration of the French–Spanish–Andorran border. Its support is focused on developing economic, social and environmental cross-border activities through joint strategies favouring sustainable territorial development.