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Project presentation

Context - Our Motivation

Forest of Orléans drought    Forest of Orléans drought
Severe or recurrent drought events, such as those that occurred in Europe in 1976, 1989 to 1991, 2003 and 2018-2020 are known to be major causal factors in many cases of forest dieback and forest health crises.

The exceptionally severe water deficits in 2003 and more recently in 2018 highlighted in particular the emerging need to be able to quantify intensity and severity levels of water deficit occurring in forests. It became clear that forest managers lacked the necessary diagnostic tools to further understand major water fluxes in forest ecosystems. These tools would allow them to quantify the respective impacts of climate, soil type and management techniques on water availability for trees.


Dieback in the Tronçais forest
Dieback in the Tronçais forest following the drought of 1976; dry pedunculate oak and healthy sessile oaks.
Our primary goal was to create a website to provide technical and theoretical information to the user community on the water balance of forest ecosystems. We hope to provide these users with several training sessions presenting the core concepts concerning water balance (such as large flows and drought indicators) in detail. Ultimately, we would like to encourage these users to master the BILJOU tool and to promote its use to a wider audience.

BILJOU users also will be able to perform real time simulations of operating water stands in observed climate conditions. This tool also will allow them to create test scenarios for susceptibility studies on forests and/or climate to gauge the water consumption levels of forest stands and the intensity and recurrence of drought events.

BILJOU users will also be able to consult pre-calculated drought maps for metropolitan France for a large number of typical stands. Depending on the user's interest, he can build his query and consult on map the characteristics of droughts in absolute value and in anomaly.

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