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Project presentation

Context - Our Motivation

Forest of Orléans drought    
Forest of Orléans drought
Severe droughts, such as those that occured in Europe in 1976, 1989 to 1991 and in 2003, are known to be major causal factors in many cases of forest dieback.

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

Objectives

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 on the water balance of forest ecosystems to a core user group. We will provide these users with several training sessions to present in detail the core concepts concerning water balance (such as large flows and drought indicators). Ultimately, we would like to encourage these users to master the BILJOU tool and to promote its usability it 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 water consumption levels of stands and the intensity and recurrence of droughts.

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