Mélanie Saulnier

Mélanie Saulnier
French National Centre for Scientific Research | CNRS · UMR 5602 GEODE laboratory

PhD
Post-doctoral researcher - CNRS UMR 5602 GEODE laboratory

About

38
Publications
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179
Citations
Introduction
Assessing of global change impact on sensitive forest ecosystem (old growth forests, high latitude/altitude forests) is the central theme of my research interests. I used dendrochronology and pedoanthracology to infer the long- and short-term history at high spatial resolution.and to well-known dynamics of forest ecosystems inorder to: (i) specify impact of global change on forest dynamics, tree growth and tree sensitivity; (ii) integrate past forest dynamics in current sustainable management.

Publications

Publications (38)
Article
Through a reconstruction of the chronology and intensity of charcoal-making activities, this paper re-opens the debate about the supposed impact of the charcoal iron industry on forest cover in the French Pyrenees. This reappraisal focuses on the former territory of the communities of Haut-Vicdessos valley. This more refined chronology, based on th...
Article
Natural disturbances strongly influence forest structural dynamics, and subsequently stand structural heterogeneity, biomass, and forest functioning. The impact of disturbance legacies on current forest structure can greatly influence how we interpret drivers of forest dynamics. However, without clear insight into forest history, many studies defau...
Article
Centuries of charcoal making has profoundly shaped European mountain forest ecosystems. However, it remains difficult to assess this impact due to a lack of knowledge about the full operational sequence and related silvicultural systems. To accurately reconstruct such practices and shed light on the resulting legacies, we carried out an interdiscip...
Article
Full-text available
Aims We examined differences in lifespan among the dominant tree species (spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.), fir (Abies alba Mill.), beech (Fagus sylvatica L.), and maple (Acer pseudoplatanus L.)) across primary mountain forests of Europe. We ask how disturbance history, lifetime growth patterns, and environmental factors influence lifespan. Loc...
Article
Full-text available
Wind is the leading disturbance agent in European forests, and the magnitude of wind impacts on forest mortality has increased over recent decades. However, the atmospheric triggers behind severe winds in Western Europe (large‐scale cyclones) differ from those in Southeastern Europe (small‐scale convective instability). This geographic difference i...
Article
Numerous charcoal kiln remains can still be found throughout the world, evidencing wood harvesting related to former industries. These remains represent effective sources and tools for studying (i) pre-industrial pressures on forest resources and (ii) past strategies related to woodland management. However, radiocarbon dating (AMS), which is the ma...
Article
While shifting disturbance rates and climate change have major implications for the structure of contemporary forests through their effects on adult tree mortality, the responses of regenerating trees to disturbances and environmental variation will ultimately determine the structure and functioning of forests in the future. Assessing the resilienc...
Article
Montane biomes are niche environments high in biodiversity with a variety of habitats. Often isolated, these non-continuous remnant ecosystems inhabit narrow ecological zones putting them under threat from changing climatic conditions and anthropogenic pressure. Twelve sediment cores were retrieved from a peat bog in Tatra National Park, Slovakia,...
Article
Dendrogeomorphic analyses provide long and continuous chronologies of mass movements that are useful for the detection of trends related to climate change. Socio-environmental changes can, however, induce non-stationarities. This study addresses the following questions: (1) How does the evolution of forest cover induce non-stationarities in tree-ri...
Article
Full-text available
Human activities have profoundly transformed mountain woodland landscapes, particularly in the Pyrenees where they have intensified and diversified since the Bronze Age. Quantification of the role played by past practices with regard to woodland cover is critical for accurate assessment of how ongoing global environmental change may affect its dyna...
Article
Mortality, driven by both climate and disturbance legacies, is a key process shaping forest dynamics. Understanding the mortality patterns in primary forests in the absence of severe disturbances provides information on background natural dynamics of a given forest type under ongoing climate change. This can then be compared to mortality rates in s...
Poster
Full-text available
This poster proposes to approach charcoal kiln terraces as an ethnobotanical tool for reconstructing with high temporal resolution, former silvicultural practices and those of charcoal makers. We present here the results of the combined study of radial cracks, cell collapses, hyphae infestation (mycelium of wood-rotting fungi) and tree felling seas...
Poster
Full-text available
This poster presents the results of the dendroanthracological study carried out on 25 charcoal kiln terraces (16 were dated) in the ancient charred forest of Bernadouze. The dendro-anthracological protocol developed by Paradis-grenouillet 2012, based on a mathematical formula: trigonometry in an isosceles triangle combined with AnthracoloJ open sou...
Article
Climatic constraints on tree growth mediate an important link between terrestrial and atmospheric carbon pools. Tree rings provide valuable information on climate‐driven growth patterns, but existing data tend to be biased towards older trees on climatically extreme sites. Understanding climate change responses of biogeographic regions requires dat...
Article
In the current context of anthropogenic global warming, one of the purposes of dendrogeomorphic analyses is to provide long and continuous chronologies of mass movements, so as to detect potential trends or shift related to increasing temperatures. However, on documented slopes, the comparison between historical archives and tree-ring records sugge...
Article
Human activities have profoundly transformed mountain forest landscapes, particularly in the Pyrenees where they have intensified and diversified since the Bronze Age. Quantification of the role played by past practices with regard to forest cover is critical for accurate assessment of how ongoing global change may affect their dynamics in the futu...
Article
A better understanding of the respective role of key climatic variables on tree growth is crucial for an accurate assessment of how ongoing global changes may affect both dynamics and distribution of forest tree species in the future. The aim of this study was (i) to explore growth patterns of European larch (Larix decidua Mill.) through a network...
Chapter
Full-text available
At the centre of concerns related to curbing the decline in forest biodiversity caused by increasing anthropogenic pressure and global change, old-growth forests are mainly characterised by the continuity of their tree cover. This has been defined mainly by their appearance on historical maps and by ecological criteria dating back to certain tempor...
Poster
Full-text available
L’étude anthracologique de 28 charbonnières et de 3 fosses pédoanthracologiques de la forêt de Freychinède montre qu’il s’agit d’une forêt très ancienne où se sont tour à tour déroulées des activités sylvo-pastorales, des prélèvements de bois et de charbonnage. L’étude des charbons du sol révèle à l’âge du Bronze l’existence d’une forêt séculaire,...
Article
Full-text available
Key messageThis paper presents ring width data of silver fir trees(Abies albaMill.) from buildings and living trees from 1214 to 2009 in southeastern France. A 796-year chronology spanning the period 1214–2009 has been built. Data can be used for dating projects, paleoecology studies, and climate reconstructions. Dataset access is athttps://hal.arc...
Presentation
Full-text available
In the European Alps, tree species will be particularly threatened by the current global changes. Larch is one of the most emblematic species of the high altitude forest ecosystems and is particularly suitable for dendrochronological approach. We used a dendroecological approach based on a wide network of sites and a very long climate data set for...
Poster
Full-text available
This poster present the first results of the anthracological and dendroanthracological study of FODYNA project realize in the beech forest of Bernadouze. This is an ancient charcoal-making forest marked by several centuries of charcoal-making activities. The main objective is to reconstruct with high spatio-temporal resolution the past forest dynam...
Presentation
Full-text available
The French Pyrenees have a long-term history of anthropogenic forest pressure which triggered change to forest ecosystems. Within the context of global climate change, especially in mountain areas, the characterisation of past forest composition and function is a crucial step to improve our knowledge about the processes that lead to current vegetat...
Article
Full-text available
In the subalpine forest ecosystems of the French Alps, European larch trees (Larix decidua) are periodically affected by outbreaks of a defoliating insect, the larch budmoth, Zeiraphera griseana (LBM). In order to assess the long-term dynamics of LBM populations, we propose a spatio-temporal analysis of a long outbreak chronology reconstruction for...
Article
In the context of global change, the assessment of the past history and current dynamics of forest species is essential for improving our knowledge of the settlement and evolution of the present-day landscape. Several paleoecological approaches are well suited for reconstructing past landscapes and Holocene dynamics. Today, the subalpine forest of...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis Mill.) and umbrella pine (Pinus pinea L.) are two abundant trees within the Mediterranean region. These two species may coexist in their distribution areas when soils are deep and sandy. Nevertheless these two types of pinewood can induce different ecosystem processes and services. Umbrella pine has been favorised by r...
Article
Full-text available
Climate / growth relationships in Pinus cembra were studied in 42 populations following the latitudinal gradient in the French Alps. Both complementary methods used in this study, pointer years and response functions, focus on high and very high frequency variations. Climatic data are issued from historical archives and HISTALP dataset. Results evi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In subalpine French Alps forest ecosystems, larch is periodically affected by larch budmoth (Zeiraphera diniana Guénée) (LBM) attacks. Tree defoliation causes severe reductions in radial growth. This study aims at reconstructing LBM outbreaks history by analysing site ring-width chronologies provided by increments cores collected in 53 host (Larix...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In the Southern French Alps submitted to Mediterranean bioclimate conditions, Stone pine (Pinus cembra L.) appears as an emblematic species in forest ecosystems. In the context of climatic change, this species, well-adapted to alpine conditions, will be particularly threatened by elevation of temperatures. Assessing climate–growth relationships is...
Article
Full-text available
•Introduction In the context of climate change, assessing climate–growth relationships is of high importance in order to understand how forest ecosystems evolve and to test climate models at regional scale. •Objectives This study aims to identify the climate variables that explain most of the variation in Pinus cembra radial growth at different spa...
Article
With respect to the past millennium and Europe, only a few temperature reconstruction from sensitive composite tree ring width records exist from northern Scandinavia (Briffa et al. 2007; Helama et al. 2005) and the Alps (Büntgen et al. 2005; Nicolussi and Patzelt 2000). Only one, in the Spanish Pyrenees (Büntgen et al. 2008) concerns the Mediterra...
Article
Full-text available
While instrumental data have been used to quantify changes in extremes during recent times and model projections may suggest likelihoods for potential future changes, the link between extreme weather events, climate variability, and climate change is poorly understood over pre-instrumental time. Proxy data, and tree rings in particular, may be usef...

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Projects

Projects (8)
Project
ANR JC JC – BENDYS (ANR-19-CE03-0010) Scientific evaluation committee CES 03 Human-Environment interactions BENDYS is an interdisciplinary project focusing on the last European Old-Growth Forests (OGFs) that brings together, for the first time, researchers in Humanities and Social Sciences (sociology, anthropology, archaeology, history, geography) and in Environment and Life Science (ecology, biogeochemistry, geology, biology). The project is focusing on the last European old-growth fir-beech forests that are today threatened by global warming, unsustainable uses and a lack of global conservation plans. The major issue for their better understanding and conservation is to accurately define their reference state. To tackle this issue, we must study long-term legacies and ongoing impacts of anthropogenic and natural drivers on the structure, functioning and biodiversity of current forest ecosystems. We propose to perform a comparative study on the Eastern Romanian Carpathians, where there are secular forests just classified by UNESCO, and the Northern central Pyrenees, which present the highest density of old-growth forests in Western Europe. To reconstruct their long-term trajectories and characterise the tolerable ones for biodiversity, we propose to combine palaeoecological, ecological, historical and sociological approaches into a multiscalar and systemic research in a retrospective and prospective perspective.
Project
In this project, my research aims to identify the main climatic parameters that explain tree growth in mountain areas. In the context of global change, better understanding these relationships is essential to assess the resilience capacity of forest species.