Short Scientific Visit report

Amel Ennajah_SSV_360.jpg : 156.1806640625KbWorking on Mediterranean ecosystems since my PhD, my research is centred on the interactions between Mediterranean ecosystems, such the Kroumirie, and the climate (actual and future). For this Scientific visit I spent one month at the IMBE Institute, supervised by Dr. Frédéric Guibal.

In this study visit entitled: ‘Intra-annual xylem production in Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis Mill.) in the Mediterranean south-eastern France forest by means of periodic micro-cores sampling’, mechanisms of cell production and dynamics of xylem formation were studied.

Photo: Amel Ennajah

Histological analyses have been learned and will be applied to Tunisia forests in INRGREF institute. Participation in micro-cores collection in the field was realized, technical treatment of the micro-cores was conducted, and counting of xylem cell files at each date of collection and the annual time-table establishment of xylem formation and its relation with climate variables were made.

aleppo pine2_200.jpg : 101.6318359375KbThis visit took place in October when a high number of wooden micro-cores collected since April were available and when a radial growth recovery induced by autumn precipitation was expected to occur, thus necessitating autumn micro-cores sampling.

Indeed, observations made from 2008 to 2010 in Fontblanche experimental site and regional climate analysis led to conclude that there is a strong relationship between precipitation and cell division. The influence of spring and autumn precipitation on wood cell production without time lag was also identified. We found pronounced characteristics in cambial activity throughout years, between treatments and trees.      

Photo: Sarah Adams

Understanding how and when plants produce their annual structures during the growing season and react to environmental stresses in natural, fast growing and urban systems is therefore of great interest. This study provides new points of view for further research and other possible innovative approaches to histological method.

Results will fall in the public domain, in the form of scientific publications in peer reviewed journals. In terms of scientific outcomes, the project, by combining highly detailed structural and functional approaches will open new perspectives for modelling environmental change impacts on ecosystems. This project will allow us to apply this method to Tunisian forests in our Tunisian institute.

Finally, it was a great experience for me to starting out in my career to get involved in international level forest research and cooperation, to learn new techniques in dendrochronology and to use methods and tools not available in my institution. This experience was more instructive and it was an interesting opportunity for me to discover new scientific tools and approaches.

I greatly acknowledge the EFIMED Short Scientific visit programme for funding this study. I thank Dr. Frederic Guibal my framer along this course and all members of the laboratory of dendrochronology in Aix Marseille University.

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