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Welcome to the Bridge project

The BRIDGE project (Bridging Information on Tree Diversity in French Guiana, and a Test of Ecological Theories) brings together researchers from nine different European research groups in tropical ecology, and seeks to improve our knowledge on the various dimensions of tree biological diversity in French Guiana (specific, functional, evolutionary).


Project funded by the ANR - 2006 Biodiversity Call


04/10/2008 More image galleries online!

A few pictures of the Saut Lavilette and Kaw field trips are now online.

26/06/2008 ATBC 2008 Presentations

Many of the participants in the BRIDGE project convened in Paramaribo, Suriname from 9-13 June to participate in the annual meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation. The oral and poster presentations are available here. Elodie Courtois was honored for winning the Alwyn Gentry Award for the Best Student Poster with an article in France Guyane, the daily newspaper for French Guiana. You can read that article here. Mailyn and Elodie's awards have also been mentioned in an article in Biotropica.

31/03/2008 More image galleries online!

A few pictures of the Acarouany and BAFOG field trips are now online.

20/01/2008 Symposium proposal ATBC 2008

J Chave, C Baraloto, S Patino and T Baker will co-organize a symposium around the BRIDGE project themes at the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation annual conference, early june 2008 in Paramaribo, Surinam. Current abstract reads: "Developing satisfying explanations of why there are so many coexisting species of tropical trees, or how species functional traits influence species distributions, depends on our ability to develop consistent and testable theories and large, empirical datasets to test them. For example, from a theoretical perspective, niche theory predicts that each species in a local community possesses a unique combination of traits that enables it to avoid competition with other species. In contrast, neutral theories ascribe no role to competition and niches for local species coexistence. From an empirical perspective, over the past two decades, several networks of long-term inventory plots have been initiated within tropical forests to monitor forest structure, composition and dynamics, These plots have been the main testing grounds for theories of species coexistence and also offer the chance to understand how differing physiological characteristics of different species influence where they are able to grow and succeed. The goal of this symposium is to present the recent achievements of these plot networks and to confront theoretical and empirical advances. We will specifically focus on advances in measuring functional traits and their relevance in measuring niche overlap; on insights to species identification gained from molecular genetics; and on improvements in modelling techniques"

14/01/2008 Image galleries online!

A few pictures of the Paracou and Nouragues field trips are now online.

1/01/2008 Timothy Paine, new post-doctoral associate

In 2008, Timothy Paine is joining the BRIDGE taskforce to collaborate on the analysis of tree functional traits. Tim holds a PhD from Lousiana State University, under the supervision of Kyle Harms. He has spend a long time at Manu Biological Station, where he worked on seedlings dynamics. He is the author of the Manu Plants website. Tim is based in Kourou.

9/11/2007 Field trip at Montagne Tortue

This time, the BRIDGE project sampled a 1-ha plot established by our partner ONF (Office National des Forêts), not so far from Nouragues, on piste de Bélizon. The sampling was fulfiled thanks to our amazing climbers, Nathanael and Salim. Lesson from the trip: don't burn trash using gaz (L Blanc, pers comm).

30/09/2007 Darin Penneys, new BRIDGE post-doctoral associate

Darin Penneys joined the BRIDGE project early in august 2007, to supervise the creation of a phylogenetic hypothesis of all tree genera in French Guiana. Previously, Darin was a PhD student at University of Florida Gainesville, where he specialized in the systematics of Melastomataceae. He has created the project Melastomataceae of the World. Darin is based in Toulouse.

22/09/2007 The Nouragues Station field trip was a great success

We were able to collect data from all trees in the 2 ha we had chosen. Many samples (notably in the Sapotaceae) were fertile. We were lucky to work with four professional tree climbers, who were able to collect all 1000 or so trees in the 2 weeks time. PHOTO GALLERY OF THE NOURAGUES FIELD TRIP

30/07/2007 Planning the second field trip, Nouragues Station

The second field campaign of the BRIDGE project will be conducted at the Nouragues Research Station (see the Station's new website), from 10 September to 21 September.

12/07/2007 End of the first field trip, Paracou Station

The first field campaign of the BRIDGE project gathered over 15 people during 2 full weeks (25 June to 06 July) at the Paracou Research Station, close to the village of Sinnamary. We collected herbarium vouchers, leaf functional data, tissue and wood samples, for each tree in two 1-ha plots, or over 1,100 individuals surveyed. To collect a twig from each tree, we combined several techniques (classic rope climbing, French spikes, and shot-gun collection). PHOTO GALLERY OF THE PARACOU FIELD TRIP.

19/02/2007 Kick-off meeting, Kourou

The partners of the BRIDGE project gathered in Kourou during two days to organize the details of the project, and coordinate future effort in collecting data. To learn more, please click here (in French)