The Life Natur'Adapt project aims to integrate the challenges of climate change into the management of Europe's protected natural areas, innovating on the basis of existing resources. Programmed for five years (2018-2023), it is coordinated by Réserves Naturelles de France, relying on a dynamic collective learning process with nine other partners.
It is structured in three main axes: the elaboration of tools and operational methods to develop a diagnosis of vulnerability to climate change and an adaptation plan; the development and animation of a community of experts and professionals of adaptation in natural areas; the activation of all the levers necessary for the concrete implementation of adaptation. The various tools and methods will be tested in six project reserves, then reviewed and tested in 15 other sites before being implemented at national and European levels.
The Massane reserve is one of the 6 pilot sites of the Natur'Adapt project. It was selected for its incredible ecological richness. In fact, at the interface between Mediterranean, Pyrenean and Iberian influences, Massane is home to more than 8,000 species listed on just 336 hectares. The reserve was created in 1973 on the initiative of the scientific world in a forest in free evolution since 1880. A great effort was made to find out about biodiversity (it is one of the best known sites in the world), including the effects of climate change on this biodiversity.
The changes resulting from climate change are already observed in the reserve (droughts, heat waves, storms,...). A climate observatory was established in 1999 to monitor the effects of climate change on the beech forest (50,000 trees monitored 3 to 4 times a year). Being located at the southern edge of its range, the geographic location of this beech forest makes it especially vulnerable to climate change. A great deal of research is currently being carried out on the genetics of beech populations to refine the knowledge of their regeneration in a context of climate change.
The adaptation measures implemented to face climate change are of several types:
- Forest in free evolution;
- Genetic preservation,
- Monitoring and focus;
- Limited communication to the public;
- Conducting prospective studies.
This Natur'Adapt project is an opportunity to establish a diagnosis of vulnerability to climate change, in order to integrate an adaptation plan into the reserve's management plan. The objective is to promote the resilience of these Pyrenean-Mediterranean ecosystems and the biodiversity of Massane.
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