September 18th, 2015

The completion of the Life+ Cap DOM programme!

After five years of work, the Life+ Cap DOM programme, supported by the European Commission and…
August 31st, 2015

[Video] The STOC in French Guiana

Since 2012, GEPOG has been running a STOC (point count) survey in French Guiana, along with the…
August 25th, 2015

[Video] SEOR: a look back over the five years of the programme

A few weeks before the end of the Life+ Cap DOM programme, François-Xavier Couzi, Director of…

Savannah vegetation under the microscope

Since the beginning of August, the botanist undertaking this work for GEPOG, accompanied by a paid worker, has been combing the savannah along the shore to determine exactly which spots to choose for more detailed study, within the framework of its map of the area. Areas where there are houses and gardens are excluded: their presence is evidence of how the natural environment has been altered since 2005, the date when the last detailed study was made, and complicating the task considerably.

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Détermination floristique à la loupe
© Anna Stier 2011

At every chosen spot, the flora within a range of 100 metres is carefully searched for and identified. All the species present are noted on a dictaphone, and any unidentified plants are collected for further assessment.

Bush fires, Trou Poissons, in French Guiana: Anna Stier
Bush fires, Trou Poissons, in French Guiana: Anna Stier

At the same time the GEPOG worker records a number of different variables: the distance from the road and the nearest forest edge, evidence of fires, of grazing, of the soil having been turned, of paths, of the number of bushes and shrubs within a range of 100 metres … All the sites chosen are photographed and their position identified within a 100 metre circle drawn on paper.

Relevé des basfonds, Savane des Pères, Guyane, Anna Stier
Relevé des basfonds, Savane des Pères, Guyane, Anna Stier

In boots with water up to the knees, or breaking the sheets of solid sand hardened to a crust by the dry season which is in full swing, it needs between 5 and 8 hours a day to cover three recording points, bearing in mind the working conditions, particularly the ambient temperature. Thirty points must be chosen in each of three types of terrain, a total of 90 along the entire shore.

Equally, ornithological and soil-sample studies will have to begin soon.

Anna Stier
Project leader

Keywords : French Guiana, French Guiana savannas