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The Ecotron

Ecology in a Bubble

A cutting-edge instrument that can be used to isolate parts of ecosystems and expose them to variations in climate and stress may sound like science fiction. Yet this is just one of the objectives of the Ecotron research facility, the first stone of which was laid on October 2nd by CNRS President Catherine Bréchignac. The pioneering aspect of this world-class research facility will lie in its ability to measure variations to the ecosystem induced by changes in the environment. In its three experimental arrays, researchers will be able to measure the carbon, water, nutrient cycles, and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the importance of biodiversity and its evolution. This cutting-edge instrument should prove to be of immense scientific benefit in studying, analyzing, and predicting how global changes impact organisms, ecosystems, and biodiversity. It could help respond to environmental concerns both now and in the future, in a context of increased international awareness about the consequences of human activity on the environment. The Ecotron is expected to be operational in 2009.



Prototype of one of the twelve 35 m3 chambers (with its block of soil and vegetation) that will be equipping the Ecotron.






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