For multidisciplinary research on socio-ecosystems
The Zones Ateliers (ZA) focus on a functional unit (a river and its watershed, landscapes - agricultural or urban - and biodiversity, from Antarctica to sub-Saharan Africa, or the coastline, or the environments characterized by chronic radiation of natural or enhanced natural origin) and develop a specific scientific approach based on observations and experiments on workshops sites, to conduct multidisciplinary research in the long term. A ZA is therefore, most often, a network of workshop sites.
ZAs carry the ecosystems (marine, mountain, agricultural, river, etc.) at the center of the system, considering observation, analysis and experimentation, as well as human practices on these environments, but also ecological functionalities such as for example, ecosystem services. They are in direct contact with the stakeholders in this area and especially questions from the world of managers, policy makers and associations.
The understanding of these interactions implies a multidisciplinary approach including in particular the natural sciences, life sciences, human sciences and engineering sciences with the aim of answering a specific territorial question which can be elaborated in interaction with the managers.
All the ZAs, currently 14 in number, offer a diversity of contrasting and complementary situations from the point of view of social environments and systems.
ZA according to the natural environments and social systems studied :
- Large rivers and their watershed : ZA Seine, ZA Loire, ZA Bassin du Rhône, ZA Moselle
- Landscapes according to a climatic and anthropic gradient : ZA Antarctique, ZA Alpes, ZA Arc jurassien, ZA Armorique, ZA Plaine et Val de Sèvre, ZA Environnementale Urbaine, ZA Hwange, ZA PYGAR
- The Land / Sea interface : ZA Brest-Iroise
- Ecology, society and natural radioactivity : ZA Territoires Uranifères
The ZAs are organized as a national network, the ZA network. It allows to study, on scales of time and space often nested and in different territories, the complex relationships between human activities and the functioning of ecosystems.
The ZA network is a member of LTER Europe and of ILTER.
Territories of ZAs - the darker zones correspond to the more specifically studied zones (the dots correspond to workshop sites) within larger zones, which include for example the watersheds of large rivers (scale relevant for the understanding of many processes, environmental and social).