Type of project


Project status


Implementation period

01.04.2006 - 30.09.2010

Contract number

Source of funding

Financing amount


Coordinator / leading department

Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique – INRA (Krajowy Instytut Badań Rolniczych – INRA), Bordeaux, Francja

Project supervisor

Project description

EVOLTREE is a network of excellence (NoE) funded under the Sixth Framework Programme for European Research & Technological Development of European Union, Priority 6.3 Global Change and Ecosystems.

Project goals

EVOLTREE will implement genomic and molecular approaches to understand, monitor and predict genetic diversity, ecosystems structures, dynamics and processes in terrestrial ecosystems. The EVOLTREE Network of Excellence will first study the genetic diversity of trees, as dominant species and drivers of terrestrial biodiversity, and then expand its scope to diversity issues at the community level, by considering selected associated organisms of trees – insects and mycorrhizal fungi – and their interactions with trees. EVOLTREE will therefore contribute to the emergence of ‘ecosystem genomics’, a new discipline that relates the functioning and diversity of genes to their role in the adaptation of species and biotic interactions.

The EVOLTREE NoE will group together 25 European partner institutions, between universities and research centres, which represent a critical mass of leading actors in the field. Synergy will be achieved through the specialisation of the research groups, thus facilitating the implementation of large-scale genomic projects that require costly equipment, and by integrating different groups into multidisciplinary research teams. To this end and in view of continuing EVOLTREE’s activity after the duration of the project, five major objectives related to research integration, have been identified and will be addressed over the next four years:

  • reduce the fragmentation of European research on ecosystem genomics;
  • restructure European research in the field of ecosystem genomics;
  • spread a high level of excellence in terrestrial biodiversity;
  • improve mobility and training for researchers;
  • implement a strong management structure.

Characteristics of the project

EVOLTREE will associate four major disciplines – genomics, genetics, ecology and evolution – for understanding, monitoring and predicting genetic diversity, ecosystems structures, dynamics and processes.

This strategy will be applied to three major interacting elements of terrestrial ecosystems: trees, phytophagous insects and mycorrhizal fungi. The functional role of trees as drivers of biodiversity will be deciphered by investigating their adaptive diversity, their structuring role on diversity of associated species and their own evolutionary rate in response to biotic and abiotic environmental changes.

The network will capitalise on the substantial expertise in the four major disciplines and the availability of genomic resources accumulated during previous collaborative projects. It will integrate interdisciplinary research to dissect the structure, expression and polymorphism of genes of ecological significance, and contribute to the emergence of a new research area “ecosystem genomics”. The genomic activities will be conducted within a ‘Laboratory without walls’ where high throughput techniques will be integrated and then applied to a wide range of tree and associated species, starting with model species.

EVOLTREE will install and enhance the necessary experimental infrastructures, information systems and bioinformatics resources for common use by the partners. Large data sets will be compiled and made accessible by developing data mining procedures for the analysis of geographic and temporal distribution of genetic diversity. EVOLTREE will spread its knowledge and expertise for the purpose of education, biodiversity monitoring, and conservation. The network will develop training capacities and facilitate mobility opportunities throughout Europe. A dynamic communication strategy will disseminate its results to the scientific community, end users and public. EVOLTREE is a consortium consisting of 25 partners from 15 different countries, which has adopted a strong management policy to organise its internal functioning and ensure the durability of the network.

Scope of IBL participation

Forest Research Institute will participate in following tasks:

IA2.2 Gene Bank

IA2.3 Intensive study sites (ISS)

  • development of the GIS database based on traceability procedures;
  • installation of permanent and precise geographic references on-site for long-term monitoring of the ISS;
  • inclusion of pre-existing information of interest into the database;
  • inclusion of data provided by the partners in due format into the database, with respect to datasharing procedures;
  • make all the information easily available to the Network through the internet, in a user-friendly way, with respect to data-sharing procedures;
  • provide datasets in due format to any Network partner upon request (e.g. for synthetic analysis), with respect to data-sharing procedures (coordination with IA1.4 is needed to ensure format compatibility with modelling platforms);
  • produce specific editions upon request of activity leaders, in particular for training or dissemination activity, with respect to data-sharing procedures EVOLTREE;
  • organise training on the database system upon request of activity leaders;
  • inform the Network on major events occurring in the ISS (e.g. changes in ownership or protection status, etc.);
  • introduce the Network partners acting within the ISS to the land managers.

JERA1.1 Identification of genes of ecological significance

JERA 3.3 Case studies in terrestrial ecosystems

SEA2.2 Dissemination to stakeholders

SEA2.3 Public awareness

Project contractors

Department of Genetics and Forest Tree Physiology
3 Braci Leśnej Street, Sękocin Stary,
05-090 Raszyn, Poland
tel. + 48 22 7150 470, fax. + 48 22 7150 313

dr inż. Jan Kowalczyk, Eng
dr inż. Kazimierz Zajączkowski, Eng
dr Justyna Nowakowska
dr Małgorzata Sułkowska
mgr inż. Jan Matras, Eng
dr Iwona Szyp-Borowska


Role* No Participant name Short name Country
C P1a Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique INRA Bdx France, Bordeaux
TP P1b Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique INRA Avign France, Avign
TP P1c Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique INRA Nancy France, Nancy
TP P1d Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique INRA Orleans France, orleans
TP P1e Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique INRA Evry France, Evry
TP P1f Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique INRA Nancy France, Nancy
CR P2a Alterra – Wageningen University and Research Alterra Netherlands, Wageningen
TP P2b Plant Research International – Applied Research Plant and Environment PRI Netherlands, Wageningen
TP P2c Agro Food Innovations ARI Netherlands, Wageningen
CR P3 ARC Seibersdorf Research GmbH ARCS Austria, Vienna
CR P4 Bundesforschungsanstalt für Forst und Holzwirtschaft BFAFH Germany, Hamburg
CR P5a Consiglio Nazionale Ricerche CNR-IVG CNR Firenze Italy, Roma
TP P5b Consiglio Nazionale Ricerche CNR Porano Italy, Roma
CR P6 Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology VIB Belgium, Zwijnaarde
CR P7 Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland GEUS Dania, Kopenhaga
CR P8 Georg-August Universität Göttingen UGOE Germany, Göttingen
CR P9 INRA Transfert IT France, Paris
CR P10 International Plant Genetic Resources Institute IPGRI Italy, Roma
CR P11a Natural Environment Research Council CEH CEH Dorset United Kingdom, Dorset
TP P11b Natural Environment Research Council CEH CEH Oxford United Kingdom, Oxford
TP P11c Natural Environment Research Council CEH CEH Lanc United Kingdom , Lancaster
TP P11d Natural Environment Research Council CEH CEH United Kingdom , Edinburgh
TP P11e Natural Environment Research Council CEH CEH United Kingdom , Banchory
CR P12 Phillips University of Marburg UNI MAR Germany, Marburg
CR P13 Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL WSL Switzerland, Birmensdorf
CR P14 Technical University in Zvolen TUZVO Slovakia, Zvolen
CR P15 Technische Universität München TUM Germany, München
CR P16a Instituto Nacional de Investigacion y Technologia Agraria y Alimentaria INIA Spain, Madrit
TP P16b Universidad Politécnica de Madrid ETSI Spain, Madrit
TP P16c NEIKER-Instituto Vasco de Investigación y Desarrollo Agrario NEIKER Spain, Vitoria-Gasteiz
CR P17 Università degli Studi di Udine INIUD Italy, Udine
CR P18a Centre national de la recherche scientifique CNRS Orsay France, Paris
TP P18b Centre national de la recherche scientifique CNRS Marseille France, Marsylia
TP P18c Centre national de la recherche scientifique CNRS Bordeaux1 France, Bordeaux
TP P18d Centre national de la recherche scientifique CNRS Montpellier France, Montpellier
TP P18e Centre national de la recherche scientifique CNRS Bordeaux2 France, Bordeaux
CR P19 Umeå Plant Science Centre SLU Sweden, Umeå
CR P20a University of Bydgoszcz KWUB Poland, Bydgoszcz
TP P20b Instytut Badawczy Leśnictwa IBL Poland, Sękocin Stary
TP P20c Instytut Dendrologii PAN IDPAN Poland, Kórnik
CR P21a University of Oulu UOULU Finland, Oulu
TP P21b Finnish Forest Research Institute METLA Finland, Vantaa
CR P22 University of Southampton Soton United Kingdom, Southampton
CR P23a University of West Hungary UWH Hungary, Sopron
TP P23b Institute of Environmental Sciences OMMI Hungary, Budapest
TP P23c Forest Research Institute ERTI Hungary, Budapest
CR P24 Uppsala University UU Sweden, Uppsala
CR P25 Max Planck Gesellschaft Zur Foerderung Der Wissenschaften E.V. MPI-COE Germany, München

* K – koordynator, P – partner, ST – strona trzecia

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