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5 new strategic projects for 2020 – 2023

Since its beginning, CEBA is giving the scientific community the opportunity to respond to annual and strategic grant calls. CEBA’s strategic projects are the operational implementation of the scientific program. CEBA has launched in September 2019 a new funding call

The main central theme of most preproposals, global warming and its consequences, were largely investigated in the proposed projects.

All the principal investigators were invited to
present their projects during last year’s CEBA Annuals Meetings that took place
in Cayenne (October 2019). The selection process involved reviews of all the
submitted projects by an international committee and a final decision made by
the CEBA board of directors. Five new strategic projects have been funded for a
period of four years.

GUYAVEC

Véronique
Eparvier (ICSN) & Olivier Duron (MIVEGEC)

Vector-borne diseases are caused by parasitic
agents carried and inoculated by blood-feeding vectors, such as mosquitoes,
ticks and triatomines. The dynamics of transmission of these diseases depends
on complex interactions between biotic factors (presence, alongside a parasitic
agent, of organisms of the same species or different species, which exert
competition, competition, cooperation etc.) and abiotics (physico-chemical
phenomena: light, temperature, air humidity, etc.). The objective of the
project is to determine the impact of vector biology on the circulation of
infectious diseases in Guyana. In particular, this project will focus on two
key mechanisms that can have an impact on the transmission of parasitic agents
by vectors: the composition of the vector microbiome and the interactions
within their microbial communities, and the ability of vectors to feed on
humans and certain animals.

TREEMUTATION

Myriam Heuertz (Biogeco) & Niklas Tysklind
(Ecofog)

Science has long sought to understand how
mutations accumulate in genetic information in aging individuals. Some of these
accumulations can have negative consequences and be linked to phenotypic
variations, cell malfunction, or the appearance of diseases. Until now,
research has mainly focused on humans and certain animals, and yet it is known
that some trees can live for more than 1000 years! The main objective of the
project is to examine the accumulation of mutations in the tissues of tropical
trees across the light gradient of the canopy to test the hypothesis that the
most exposed tissues have a higher mutation rate. In addition, we propose to
assess the evolutionary importance of mutations by studying their transmission
to offspring and to examine the genetic underpinnings of any differences in the
mutation processes between tropical tree species.

UNDERSTORY

Coordinators: Géraldine Derroire (Ecofog) &
Jérôme Chave (EDB)

Amazon forests are exposed to a range of
threats, and detailed forest dynamics models provide an opportunity to assess
their responses to environmental change and assess the likelihood of tipping
points. To configure these models of forest dynamics, long-term ecological
observatories are essential. In French Guiana, two of these observatories are
located on established forest research stations, Paracou and Nouragues. The
project aims to inventory the trees of small diameters that constitute the
understorey, and thus fill a gap in these long-term forest monitoring programs.
He proposes to establish two forest plots of 4 hectares, with the aim of
extending them to 12 ha each, on which all the trees over 1 cm dhp – diameter
of the trunk measured at 1.3 m above the ground level, will be inventoried.
These and similar data across the Amazon will be used to tailor an individual
forest model coupled with bioclimatic conditions.

Metradica

Clément Stahl (Ecofog) & Ghislain
Vieilledent (AMAP)

Tropical forests have been shown to be very
vulnerable to the increase in extreme droughts seen in recent decades. Even
greater climate change is expected in the future, including an increase in the
frequency of droughts. These changes could cause deep disturbances in the Amazon
forest in the future. The objectives of the METRADICA project are to explain
the abundance and distribution of tree species according to the interaction
between the environment (climate and soil) and the biological characteristics
of the species (wood, seeds or leaves) measured on the field and then predict
changes in the abundance and distribution of species as a result of climate
change in the Amazon region.

PhenObs

Nicolas
Barbier (AMAP)

The diversity, drivers and
consequences of the seasonal dynamics of vegetation in tropical forests are
poorly understood. This is due to the great diversity of phenological behaviors
– seasonal biological variation – across, but also within, plant species. The
documentation of several crucial aspects of this variation, such as the renewal
and aging of the leaves as well as the leaf area, requires dedicated
measurement protocols, which are barely implemented across the Amazon
(crypto-phenology). However, this information is essential for understanding
and predicting the influence of environmental factors and climate change on the
functioning of forests or the timing of gas exchanges or carbon allocation
models at any significant scale. The project proposes to set up innovative
approaches using in particular drones, laser scanners, deep learning or citizen
science, combined with measurements of physiological traits and development of
models of forest dynamics, to allow quantitative monitoring. of the phenology
of Guyanese forests in interaction with variations and changes in climate