Land Transport Infrastructures, Ecosystems and Landscapes

[2018] Highway basins and adjacent Territories in amphibian conservation: A socio-eological system to build?

Highway basins and adjacent Territories in amphibian conservation: A socio-eological system to build?
Projet: Labellisé
En cours


/ Organisation: Laboratoire Ladyss
Pech (Directeur de thèse)
/ Organisation: Laboratoire Ladyss





The significant decline of biodiversity is accompanied by its inclusion in projects and the management of transport infrastructures whose wide footprints are not totally hermetic to the presence of fauna and flora that are often of interest. ecological. This approach tends to requalify transport infrastructures in favor of biodiversity, without however hindering their proper functioning or lowering the technical or safety requirements. At the crossroads between ecology and geography, this thesis questions the processes of spontaneous colonization of amphibians on the industrial sites constituted by rainwater catchment areas and the role of management methods applied to these basins as factors of attractiveness for amphibians. . This thesis also questions the territorial strategies developed around motorway infrastructures to integrate these potential new biodiversity sites into the projects of the territories crossed, by investing in the field of action research. These questions are envisaged with the aim of matching technical management with the ecological management of motorway basins, but also with the idea of ​​a global apprehension of the amphibian living territory by the actors in charge of their conservation.

The choice of amphibians is in their characteristics to be taxa revealing the potential of hosting the biodiversity of industrial sites; potentialities that pose new challenges to infrastructure managers in terms of management, but also to scientists in terms of habitat and ecosystem conservation. The choice of amphibians also comes from the specificity of their two-phase lifestyle. Alternating between aquatic and terrestrial sites, amphibians are characterized by a functional territorial unit that transcends the territories defined by human societies. It is therefore the adaptability of the management and partnership processes of the stakeholders concerned with the conservation of amphibians within and in relation to this specific geographical area that will be analyzed.

In order to answer these different questions, 3 field steps are planned for the spring of 2018 in the Auvergne region on the infrastructures of the APRR network. The first consists of a series of semi-structured interviews with the various stakeholders involved in the management of amphibians and their habitats on and near motorways. The interviews will focus on the conditions for the establishment of a partnership that can lead to a shared management of these spaces, as well as the interests of each and the terms of this partnership. The second step is to identify the amphibians present in the highway basins using the Environmental DNA method. This step will make it possible to compare the collected data with the management methods of the basins (cleaning, cutting, etc.) in order to evaluate the impact (positive or negative) of a technical management of the motorway basins on the amphibians that colonize them. Finally, the third step is to identify available terrestrial habitats and potential or existing ecological continuities between these terrestrial habitats and the highway basins. The objective of this thesis is to consider the conditions of a potential match between technical management and ecological management on and near the highways in favor of amphibians.

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