ETRS-European Tropical Research Stations



Open-air Platform

Parent institution: CNRS, INRA, CIRAD
Active since 1986
Active through 1986 - present

Co-located with

  • ICOS
  • LifeWatch

Fields of study

  • Climatology, Climate Change
  • Soil science
  • Mapping, GIS
  • Terrestrial biology, Ecology

Contact Information

Goujon, Vincent

Courtois, Elodie

Derroire, Geraldine

ETRS is the only experimental site in Europe allowing to study tropical rainforests. It is composed of two coordinated sites where long-term environmental monitoring are conducted: forest dynamics monitoring (> 30 years), eddy-flux towers and meteorological stations (>15 years).

PETRS (Paracou) is a large-scale (environ 150ha), long-term (>30yr) experiment of forest disturbance (several intensity of biomass removal through logging and silvicultural improvement). NETRS (Nouragues) possess long-term (>30yr) permanent facilities allowing observational and manipulation studies in a remote site. Both sites also host a forest fertilisation experiment (starting 2016).

Beyond the initial silvicultural objectives, the sites are of international importance for the study of resilience of tropical forest to global changes and more generally for a broad range of studies including ecosystem science, functional ecology, biodiversity, biogeochemical cycles, genetics...).

The Location

Country: France (French Guiana)

Latitude: 4.089972

Longitude: -52.679448

Nearest town: Régina

Distance from neaerst town: 60 km

Relevant Research Questions

The following topics are investigated at the facility; ecosystem functioning- particularly in response to environmental changes, Tropical forest response to disturbance, (part. logging), Carbon balance of tropical rainforests, influence of environmental conditions on CO2 fluxes -Characterization and management.


Both sites are integrated in a dynamic local scientific community (UMR EcoFoG, UNR LEEISA, Labex CEBA) and host numerous international scientific projects. French Guiana being an overseas EU territory, ETRS benefits from easy access for international researcher and political stability. Both sites offer basic accommodation and field lab facilities. PETRS is easily accessible by road while NETRS can be accessed by river/air.


No major limitations.

Experimental Capabilities

Experimental Facilities


Experiments duration: Weeks, Months, Years, Decades;

Experimental Aerea

Total area: 3500000 m²

Additional experiments may be set up anywhere in the scientific research area but outside the 150ha undergoing the current treatments.

Available area: 7000000 m²

Experimental Unit Size

unit size: 62501 m²

Experiments may be set up anywhere in the scientific research area


Replicates number: 3

Temporary storage

  • Drying oven
  • Other
  • Refrigerator
  • Liquid N
  • Freezer

Available Instruments

  • microscopy
  • meteorological stations
  • eddy-fluc measurement
  • respiration chambers

Electricity available on site.

Distance from Laboratory facilities


Years measured: 4


Mean Temperature: 25.2 °C

February Mean Temperature: 24.4 °C

July Mean Temperature: 24.9 °C


Mean Annual Speed: 0.9 m/s

Max. Annual Speed: m/s

Dominant Direction: 147


Precipitation type: Rain;

Total annual precipitation: 2520 mm

Mean snow cover duration: 0 days

Soil Types

State Variables

Continuously Measured

  • Air humidity
  • Air temperature
  • Atmospheric pressure
  • Canopy temperature
  • Incident PAR
  • Incident shortwave radiation
  • Soil temperature
  • Soil water content

Spot Measured

  • (aquatic) Current speed
  • (aquatic) Nutrient levels
  • (aquatic) Turbidity
  • Population densities
  • Phenology
  • Species richness

Environmental Pressures

Variable Ecosystem Status
Precip Forest Active
Management - Nutrients (levels or nutrient type) Forest Active
Management - species and/or ecotype combinations Forest Active
Management - other Forest Active
Biodiversity Forest Active

On site Staff and Accomodation

Peak season staff

Up to 2 people

Off season staff

Up to 1 people

Visiting personnel

Up to 40 visitors

Bedrooms available

Up to 40 beds

Showers on site

Showers on site

Laundry on site

Laundry on site