Mechanical resistance of different tree species to rockfall in the French Alps

Stokes Alexia, Salin Franck, Kokutse Adzo Dzifa, Berthier Stéphane, Jeannin Henri, Mochan Shaun, Dorren Luuk, Kokutse Nomessi Kuma, Abd Ghani Murad, Fourcaud Thierry. 2005. Mechanical resistance of different tree species to rockfall in the French Alps. Plant and Soil, 278 : pp. 107-117.

Journal article ; Article de revue à facteur d'impact
[img] Published version - Anglais
Access restricted to CIRAD agents
Use under authorization by the author or CIRAD.

Télécharger (357kB)

Abstract : In order to determine the mechanical resistance of several forest tree species to rockfall, an inventory of the type of damage sustained in an active rockfall corridor was carried out in the French Alps. The diameter, spatial position and type of damage incurred were measured in 423 trees. Only 5% of trees had sustained damage above a height of 1.3 m and in damaged trees, 66% of broken or uprooted trees were conifers. Larger trees were more likely to be wounded or dead than smaller trees, although the size of the wounds was relatively smaller in larger trees. The species with the least proportion of damage through stem breakage, uprooting or wounding was European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.). Winching tests were carried out on two conifer species, Norway spruce (Picea abies L.) and Silver fir (Abies alba Mill.), as well as European beech, in order to verify the hypothesis that beech was highly resistant to rockfall and that conifers were more susceptible to uprooting or stem breakage. Nineteen trees were winched downhill and the force necessary to cause failure was measured. The energy (Efaji) required to break or uproot a tree was then calculated. Most Silver fir trees failed in the stem and Norway spruce usually failed through uprooting. European beech was either uprooted or broke in the stem and was twice as resistant to failure as Silver fir, and three times more resistant than Norway spruce. Efail was strongly related to stem diameter in European beech only, and was significantly higher in this species compared to Norway spruce. Results suggest that European beech would be a better species to plant with regards to protection against rockfall. Nevertheless, all types of different abiotic stresses on any particular alpine site should be considered by the forest manager, as planting only broadleaf species may compromise the protecting capacity of the forest e.g. in the case of snow avalanches. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Arbre forestier, Résistance mécanique, Stabilité, Risque, Pierre, Mouvement, Enracinement, Expérimentation, Pinales, Acer pseudoplatanus, Fagus sylvatica, Fraxinus excelsior

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Alpes, France

Classification Agris : K70 - Forest injuries and protection

Champ stratégique Cirad : Hors axes (2005-2013)

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Stokes Alexia, CNRS (FRA)
  • Salin Franck, INRA (FRA)
  • Kokutse Adzo Dzifa, CNRS (FRA)
  • Berthier Stéphane, CNRS (FRA)
  • Jeannin Henri, CNRS (FRA)
  • Mochan Shaun, Forest Research (GBR)
  • Dorren Luuk, CEMAGREF (FRA)
  • Kokutse Nomessi Kuma, CNRS (FRA)
  • Abd Ghani Murad, CNRS (FRA)
  • Fourcaud Thierry, CIRAD-AMIS-UMR AMAP (FRA) ORCID: 0000-0001-9475-7239

Autres liens de la publication

Source : Cirad - Agritrop (

View Item (staff only) View Item (staff only)

[ Page générée et mise en cache le 2020-10-22 ]