BONAL Damien

BONAL Damien

BONAL Damien

Tree- and Ecosystem-level Integrative Ecology and Ecophysiology


Born in 1970 in Chambéry (73), France
Married, 2 children
(33) +3 83 39 73 43


  • 2010 « Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches »
  • 2000 PhD in Forest Biology - Université H. Poincaré – Nancy - France
  • 1994 Master of Science in Forest Resources - Clemson University - SC - USA
  • 1994 Diploma from the Engineering School in Agronomy - ENITA Dijon - France
Three-species mixture plot in Finland – FundivEurope project
Three-species mixture plot in Finland – FundivEurope project

Scientific Activities

  • Jan. 2024 - …: Senior Scientist – INRAE Grand-Est Nancy. UMR SILVA
  • Jan. 2018 – Dec 2023: Senior Scientist – INRAE Grand-Est Nancy. Head of UMR Silva
  • Oct. 2009 – Dec. 2017: Senior Scientist - INRA Nancy - UMR EEF – France
  • Sept. 2000 – Sept. 2009 : Junior Scientist - INRA Kourou - UMR Ecofog – French Guiana
  • Déc. 1996 - Mars 2000 : PhD - Université Nancy I. “Interspecific variability in water use efficiency in the tropical rainforest in French Guiana”
  • Sept. 1994 - Déc. 1995 : National Peace Corps - Tawau - Bornéo Island - Malaisia. « Influence of environmental factors on rattan sylviculture
  • Jan. 1993 - Juin 1994. Master of Science - Clemson University, SC - USA. “ Impact of intermediate harvest on the distribution and development of bottomland oak regeneration”

Field of expertise

  • Functional Ecology of trees

Main areas of interest:

  • Functional diversity among tropical and temperate tree species (photosynthesis,13C discrimination, water-use efficiency, respiration, stomatal conductance)
  • Influence of environmental conditions (soil drought, flooding) on tree species growth and leaf gas exchange
  • Tree species adaptation to environmental constraints in mixed forest
  • Use of natural abundance or labeling of stable isotopes (13C, 18O) to study inter and intra-specific variability in functional traits of trees
  • Influence of environmental conditions on ecosystem fluxes (eddy covariance methodology)

Principal Investigator (PI) of the Guyaflux flux tower site (French Guiana)

Member of the LABEX ARBRE and LABEX CEBA

View from the Guyaflux tower
View from the Guyaflux tower
Leaf gas exchange measurements in the tropical rainforest in French Guiana – 30 m high
Leaf gas exchange measurements in the tropical rainforest in French Guiana – 30 m high








Recent publications


  • Bennett A et al. 2023. Sensitivity of South American tropical forests to an extreme climate anomaly. Nature Climate Change 13:967–974
  • Ziegler C, Levionnois S, Bonal D, Heuret P, Stahl C, Coste. 2023. Large leaf hydraulic safety margins limit the risk of drought-induced leaf hydraulic dysfunction in Neotropical rainforest canopy tree species. Functional Ecology 37:1717–173. 10.1111/1365-2435.14
  • Fortunel C, Stahl C, Coste S, Ziegler C, Derroire G, Levionnois S, Maréchaux I, Bonal D, Hérault B, Wagner FH, Sack L, Chave J, Heuret P, Jansen S, John G, Scoffoni C, Trueba S, & Bartlett MK. 2023. Thresholds for persistent leaf photochemical damage predict plant drought resilience in a tropical rainforest. New Phytologist 239:576–591 10.1111/nph.18973
  • Wang Y, Liu J, Wennberg PO, He L, Bonal D, Köhler P, Frankenberg C, Sitch S, Friedlingstein P. 2023. Elucidating climatic drivers of photosynthesis by tropical forests. Global Change Biology 29 4811-4825
  • Martin-Blangy S, Meredieu C, Jactel H, Bonal D, Charru M. 2023. Species-mixing effects on crown dimensions and canopy packing in a young pine–birch plantation are modulated by stand density and irrigation. European Journal of Forest Research 142 197–216.


  • Sousa TR, Schietti J, Ribeiro IO, Emílio T, Fernández RH, ter Steege H, Castilho CV, Esquivel-Muelbert A, Baker T, Pontes-Lopes A, Silva CVJ, Silveira JM, Derroire G, Castro W, Mendoza AM, Ruschel A, Prieto A, Lima AJN, Rudas A, . . . Costa FRC. 2022. Water table depth modulates productivity and biomass across Amazonian forests. Global Ecology and Biogeography,
  • Thomas A., Priault P. Bonal D., Piutti S., Marron N. 2022. Leaf and tree water-use efficiencies of Populus deltoides × P. nigra in mixed forest and agroforestry plantations. Tree Physiology, 42:2432–2445 10.1093/treephys/tpac094
  • Joetzjer E, Maignan F, Chave J, Goll D, Poulter B, Barichivich J, Maréchaux I, Luyssaert S, Guimberteau M, Naudts K, Bonal D, & Ciais P. 2022. Effect of tree demography and flexible root water uptake for modeling the carbon and water cycles of Amazonia. Ecological Modelling 469, 109969.
  • Schmitt S, Trueba S, Coste S, Ducouret É, Tysklind N, Heuertz M, Bonal D, Burban B, Hérault B, & Derroire G. 2022. Seasonal variation of leaf thickness: An overlooked component of functional trait variability. Plant Biology, 24(3), 458-463.


  • Poyatos R, et al. 2021. Global transpiration data from sap flow measurements: the SAPFLUXNET database. Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 13, 2607–2649. 
  • Johnston, A, Meade, A, Ardo, J, Arriga, N, Black, A, Blanken, P, Bonal, D, Brummer, C, Cescatti, A, Dusek, J, Graf, A, Gioli, B, Goded Ballarin, I, Gough, C, Ikawa, H, Jassal, R, Kobayashi, H, Magliulo, E, Manca, G, Montagnani, L, Moyano, F, Olesen, J.E, Sachs, T, Shao, C, Tagesson, T, Wohlfahrt, G, Wolf, S, Woodgate, W, Varlagin, A. and Venditti, C, 2021. Temperature thresholds of ecosystem respiration at a global scale, Nature Ecology and Evolution, 2397-334X (online), 5: 487-494, JRC120935. 
  • Harper AB, Williams KE, et al. 2021. Improvement of modeling plant responses to low soil moisture in JULESvn4.9 and evaluation against flux tower measurements. Geoscientific Model Development 14, 6, 3269-3294. doi 10.5194/gmd-14-3269-2021. 
  • Famiglietti CA, Smallman TL, Levine PA, Flack-Prain S, Quetin GR, Meyer V, Parazoo NC, Stettz SG, Yang Y, Bonal D, Bloom AA, Williams M, Konings AG. 2021. Optimal model complexity for terrestrial carbon cycle prediction. BioGeoSciences 18, 8, 2727-2754. doi 10.5194/bg-18-2727-2021. 
  • Martin-Blangy S, Charru M, Gerard S, Jactel H, Jourdan M, Morin X, Bonal D. 2021. Mixing beech with fir or pubescent oak does not help mitigate drought exposure at the limit of its climatic range. Forest ecology & Management 482, 118840. doi 10.1016/j.foreco.2020.118840      
  • Jacobs K, Bonal D, Collet C, Muys B, Ponette Q. 2021. Mixing increases drought exposure through a faster growth in beech, but not in oak. Forest Ecology & Management 479, 118593. doi10.1016/j.foreco.2020.118593. 
  • Migliavacca M, Musavi T, Mahecha M, et al. 2021. The three major axes of terrestrial ecosystem function. Nature 598, 468–472 - 10.1038/s41586-021-03939-9 
  • Yang X, Wu J, Chen X, Ciais P, Maignan F, Yuan W, Piao S, Yang S, Gong F, Su Y, Dai Y, Liu L, Zhang H, Bonal D, Liu H, Chen G, Lu H, Wu S, Fan L, Gentine P, Wright J. 2021. A comprehensive framework for seasonal controls of leaf abscission and productivity in evergreen broadleaved tropical and subtropical forests, The Innovation. Volume 2, Issue 4 
  • Esquivel-Muelbert A, Phillips O, Brienen R, Fauset S, Sullivan M, Baker T, Chao K-J, Feldpausch T, Gloor E, Higuchi N, Houwing-Duistermaat J, Lloyd J, Liu H, Malhi Y, Marimon B, Marimon Junior BH, Monteagudo-Mendoza A, Poorter L, Silveira M, Torre EV, Dávila EA, del Aguila Pasquel J, Almeida E, Loayza PA, Andrade A, Aragão L, Araujo-Murakami A, Arets E, Arroyo L, Aymard C. G, Baisie M, Baraloto C, Camargo PB, Barroso J, Blanc L, Bonal D, Bongers F, et al. Nature Communications 11. [https://doi:10.1038/s41467-020-18996-3]https://doi:10.1038/s41467-020-18996-3 
  • Levionnois S, Ziegler C, Heuret P, Jansen S, Stahl C, Calvet E, Goret JY,· Bonal D, Coste S. 2021. Is vulnerability segmentation at the leaf‑stem transition a drought resistance mechanism? A theoretical test with a trait‑based model for Neotropical canopy tree species. Annals of Forest Science, 78-87 
  •, Cecilia Blundo, et al. 2021. Taking the pulse of Earth's tropical forests using networks of highly distributed plots. Biological Conservation 260
  • De Guzman ME, Acosta-Rangel A, Winter K, Meinzer FC, Bonal D, Santiago LS. 2021. Hydraulic traits of Neotropical canopy liana and tree species across a broad range of wood density: implications for predicting drought mortality with models. Tree Physiology 41:24-34.
  • Meunier F, Verbeeck H, Cowdery B, Schnitzer SA, Smith-Martin CM, Powers J, Xu X, Slot M, De Deurwaerder HPT, Detto M, Bonal D, Longo M, Santiago LS, Dietze M. 2021. Unraveling the relative role of light and water competition between lianas and trees in tropical forests. Journal of Ecology, 109:519-540. doi:

All productions

Modification date : 12 February 2024 | Publication date : 03 August 2023 | Redactor : Corinne MARTIN