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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

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BioDiv : Diversity of Biotic Interactions and Forest Ecosystem Functioning 

Team leaders: Arndt Hampe & Bastien Castagneyrol

Manager : Léa Peypelut

 Our research has three main objectives: (i) to study the complex interactions between trees and their associated organisms, (ii) to evaluate their contribution to the functioning of forest ecosystems, and (iii) to integrate this knowledge into sustainable forest management practices.

Background and motivation

Forests host a very large part of terrestrial biodiversity, so that trees are at the center of a complex network of interactions between numerous organisms belonging to different taxonomic groups and trophic levels. These biotic interactions play a fundamental role in the functioning of forest ecosystems (regeneration, primary productivity, resistance of trees to multiple stresses) and support many services provided by forest ecosystems to human societies. Our work aims to unravel the complexity of direct and indirect interactions between trees and associated organisms to better understand the mechanisms underlying the functions and services provided by forest ecosystems, to predict their response to global changes (climate change, biological invasions) and to develop biomonitoring and sustainable forest management practices.

Objectives and scientific strategy

Our research has three main objectives: (i) to study the complex interactions between trees and their associated organisms, (ii) to evaluate their contribution to forest ecosystem functioning, and (iii) to integrate this knowledge into sustainable forest management practices.

Our team has the expertise to characterize interactions between trees, microorganisms, insect herbivores and their predators, and seed dispersing birds, at different levels of integration (from gene to community) and at different spatial scales (from local to continental). We are particularly interested in the influence of genetic, specific and functional diversity of trees on these biotic interactions and the functioning of forest ecosystems. Our approaches range from field ecology to computer modeling, from experimentation to meta-analysis. Our research mobilizes both new sequencing technologies and traditional taxonomic approaches. We rely on large-scale experimental approaches and on the observation of processes in natural and anthropized forest ecosystems. Our team manages a biodiversity observation site in the relict beech forest of the Ciron valley as well as the ORPHEE experimental device ( which belongs to the international network TreeDivNet ( We are also developing multi-criteria methods for the analysis of multiple risks in forests.


Biodiversity; Biomonitoring; Global change; Ecosystem functioning; Forests; Insect pests; Biological invasions; Microbiota; Ecological networks; Risks; Ecosystem services; Sustainable forest management

Staff members




Olivier Bonnard (TR INRAE)

Ana Farinha

Audrey Bourdin

Bastien Castagneyrol (CR INRAE)

Yasmine Kadiri

Alex Stemmelen

Arndt Hampe (DR INRAE)

Elena Valdés-Correcher

Hervé Jactel (DR INRAE)

Séverin Jouveau (AI INRAE)

Yannick Mellerin (TR INRAE)

Céline Meredieu (CR INRAE)

Corinne Vacher (DR INRAE)

Inge van Halder (IE INRAE)