Guyafor

Objectives

Guyafor is a network of permanent forestry plots installed in French Guiana. It is dedicated to the long-term study of forest dynamics and biodiversity. Its main objectives are:

  • to understand the structural and floristic organization along environmental gradients
  • to understand the long-term forest dynamics of natural and exploited forests by focusing on:
    • the roles of demographic processes (regeneration, growth and mortality)
    • the carbon cycle of the living above-ground biomass
    • the effects of climatic variations

This network is a research platform available to researchers. Researchers benefit from the data acquired on these forests and from the infrastructure of these sites, allowing them to develop their own research. Beyond the researched pursued, this observatory of Guiana’s forests is a tool for long-term monitoring of forests and can thus also play a role in land use planning and sustainable local development.

This network is co-managed by research organizations (CIRAD and CNRS) and by the manager of Guianese forests (ONF). In addition to acquiring knowledge on the functioning of tropical rainforests, it provides the scientific basis for defining the rules of sustainable management of Guianese forests.

Among all the devices, those of Paracou and Nouragues are full-fledged research stations with their own functioning. These stations have been hosting scientists since the early 1980s on research topics that go far beyond the scientific framework of this network. Among all the research tools present on these stations, only the forest plots are integrated into the Guyafor network.

Location

The plots were installed preferentially in the forests of the coastal strip but are gradually integrating the forests of the interior of the territory (see map). GUYAFOR currently covers 300 hectares of forest in 17 sites.

Forest sites of the Guyafor network

The GUYAFOR network is built from pre-existing permanent sites installed since the 1970s (Bafog, Paracou) and the establishment of new sites since 2000.

Sites Nb Plots Area (ha) Censused since
Acarouany 1 6 2006
BAFOG 7 33.1 1968
Kaw 2 5 2014
Laussat 1 4 2009
Montagne Plomb 1 6 2005
Montagne Tortue 3 15.3 2002
Nouragues 2 22 1992
Nouragues Balenfois 1 2 2010
Parare Arataye 1 6 1985
Organabo 6 26 1995
Paracou 16 118.75 1984
Paracou Arbocel 1 6.25 1989
Regina St-Georges 3 14.1 2003
Risquetout 6 24 1980
Tibourou 1 6 2006
Tresor 1 1 2003
Trinite 1 4 2012

Measurements

Trees measurements

On each plot, the trees are numbered, mapped and botanically determined (at least with a vernacular name) and their diameter at breast height is measured at regular intervals (approximately 2,120,000 measurements for more than 260,000 trees (2021)). The tree measurement protocols have been homogenized and standardized between the 3 network partners.

Environment

Audiometers were also installed on most of the sites. Soils are described for each site according to the WRB classification. Topographic surveys were also carried out. This work was carried out under the direction of V. Freycon (CIRAD) and B. Ferry (AgroParisTech).

Botanical Identification

Botanical identifications are made through the use of the IRD Herbarium platform of Guyana (CAY) http://publish.plantnet-project.org/project/caypub, as well as by reference to the botanical inventories of the Guyadiv network of the UMR AMAP carried out in the permanent plots. An herbarium collection has been set up in the UMR EcoFoG premises in order to preserve the samples used for botanical determinations. In 2019, this collection consisted of 2810 samples representing about 750 taxa.

Data Management

All measurements are centralized in a database (before and after corrections). It is coupled with an Access interface, an R access and a web platform for Paracou. Data management and data availability are covered by a tripartite agreement (CIRAD, CNRS, ONF). Data management is ensured by the UMR EcoFoG. Analysis routines using the open source software R allow the calculation of forest structure and dynamics parameters from the data in the Guyafor database.

View online : Paracou web site

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