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Developing long-term monitoring of natural areas for a Unesco world heritage site: study case of la Reunion

Ah-Peng C., Flores O., Legros V., Lequette B., Rochat J., Rouget M., Wilding N., Strasberg D.. 2018. In : Forget Pierre-Michel (ed.), Reeb Catherine (ed.), Migliore Jérémy (ed.), Kuhlmann Heïke (ed.). Challenges in tropical ecology and conservation - global perspectives. Frankfurt am Main : gtö, p. 336-336. European conference of tropical ecology. Annual meeting of the society for tropical ecology (GTÖ), 2018-03-26/2018-03-29, Paris (France).

La Réunion island, in the Mascarenes, has been recognized as a World Heritage site for its Piton, Cirques and Remparts since 2010. The site, coinciding with the core zone of La Réunion National Park, represents 100000 ha, equivalent to 40 % of the island. These dramatic landscapes of rugged terrain, impressive escarpments, forested gorges are dominated by three cliff-rimmed cirques and two volcanoes ¿ a dormant massif forming the highest peak, Piton des Neiges (3069 m), and in the eastern part of the island lies the very active volcano, the Piton de la Fournaise (2632 m). The island harbours a wide variety of natural habitats (tropical montane cloud forests, subalpine shrublands, lowland forests, dry forest¿), now all remnant in the Mascarene archipelago, that host high levels of endemism for both flora and fauna. Thereby, La Réunion is the most significant contributor towards conservation of terrestrial biodiversity in the Mascarene islands. The Divines project (FEDER) aims at developing innovative methods for characterizing and monitoring terrestrial biodiversity in the long term for conservation managers to ensure the protection of this world heritage site. In this poster, a description of the goals, actions and preliminary results of the DIVINES project will be described from gene to ecosystem levels.

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