VOLAIRE Florence

 Chargée de Recherche HC - CE - INRAE - HDRPortrait

Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive
1919, route de Mende
34293 Montpellier 5

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Personal interests

As an ecophysiologist, my research is focused on the adaptive strategies of plants under drought (Volaire, 2018, Global Change Biology). I have particularly analysed the adaptive strategies to cope with severe water deficit, such as summer dormancy (Volaire & Norton, 2006, Annals of Botany). I also investigate the  dehydration tolerance and embolism resistance of perennial herbaceous plants under severe summer droughts as occurring in Mediterranean and semi-arid areas.  We proposed a critical view of the so called 'functional' traits that are increasingly challenged as unsuitable to fully understand plant and communities functioning (Volaire et al., 2021 Ecology and Evolution). As a consequence, I highlight the importance of seasonal phenological adaptations across species and types to survive dehydration stress (drought, frost), based on the important framework in ecology, the 'growth-stress survival' tradeoff' (Volaire et al., 2022 Annals of Botany). I am developing collaborative research projects with geneticists and ecologists to understand plant traits and strategies associated with drought survival with application to plant breeding in forage species for better adaptation to increasing aridity under climate change.

Intérêts personnels
Mes travaux portent sur les stratégies adaptatives des plantes à la sécheresse. Je travaille notamment sur les espèces herbacées pérennes sous sécheresses estivales sévères de type méditerranéen. Je couple des approches en écophysiologie, agronomie et écologie fonctionnelle. L’objectif principal est d’analyser le fonctionnement des espèces et communautés herbacées sous contrainte hydrique forte dans le cadre du changement climatique. Un cadre conceptuel et terminologique unifié des stratégies adaptatives des plantes à la sécheresse a été proposé en 2018. Les études portent notamment sur la stratégie de dormance estivale et plus largement sur la généricité du compromis fonctionnel entre potentiel de croissance et survie au stress. Une revue multi-espèces et multi-stress a été publiée en 2023 dans Annals of Botany qui propose de considérer mieux la phénologie des plantes au travers d'un 'Plant economics spectrum' saisonnier. 

Selection of publications

Barkaoui K, Volaire F. (2023) Drought survival and recovery in grasses: Stress intensity and plant-plant interactions impact plant dehydration tolerance.  Plant Cell and Environment 46 (5) 1489-1503

Volaire F, Barkaoui K, Gremillet D, Charrier G, Dangles O, Lamarque L, Martin-StPaul N,  Chuine I. (2023)  Is seasonal growth potential a convergent strategy to survive drought and frost in plants?"  View point for Annals of Botany 131 (2): 245-254

Lüscher A, Barkaoui K, Finn JA, Suter DA, Suter M, Volaire F. (2022) Using plant diversity to reduce vulnerability and increase drought resilience of permanent and sown productive grasslands Grass and Forage Sciences 77 (4) 235-246

Hidalgo-Galvez MD, Barkaoui K, Volaire F, Matias L, Cambrolle J, Fernandez-Rebollo P, Carbonero MD, Perez-Ramos IM. 2022. Can trees buffer the impact of climate change on pasture production and digestibility of Mediterranean dehesas? Science of the Total Environment 835.

Shihan A, Barre P, Copani V, Kallida R, Ostrem L, Testa G, Norton MR, Sampoux JP, Volaire F. 2022. Induction and potential role of summer dormancy to enhance persistence of perennial grasses under warmer climates. Journal of Ecology 110(6): 1283-1295.

Keep, T., Sampoux, J. P., Barre, P., Blanco-Pastor, J. L., Dehmer, K. J., Durand, J. L., . . . Volaire, F. (2021). To grow or survive: which are the strategies of a perennial grass to face severe seasonal stress? Functional Ecology 35(5): 1145-1158.

Volaire, F., Gleason, S.M. & Delzon, S. (2020) What do you mean "functional" in ecology? Patterns versus processes. Ecology and Evolution, 10, 11875-11885.

Tramblay, Y., Koutroulis, A., Samaniego, L., Vicente-Serrano, S.M., Volaire et al.  (2020) Challenges for drought assessment in the Mediterranean region under future climate scenarios. Earth-Science Reviews, 210.

Shihan, A., Volaire, F. & Hattenschwiler, S. (2020) Neighbor identity affects growth and survival of Mediterranean plants under recurrent drought. Oecologia, 194, 555-569.

Volaire, F., Morvan-Bertrand, A., Prud'homme, M.P., Benot, M.L., Augusti, A., Zwicke, M., Roy, J., Landais, D. & Picon-Cochard, C. (2020b) The resilience of perennial grasses under two climate scenarios is correlated with carbohydrate metabolism in meristems. Journal of Experimental Botany, 71, 370-385.

VOLAIRE F. (2018) A unified framework for plant adaptive strategies to drought : across scales and disciplines. Global Change Biology, 00 :1-10.

BRISTIEL P., GILLESPIE L., Østrem L, BALACHOWSKI J., VIOLLE C., VOLAIRE F. (2018) Experimental evaluation of the robustness of the growth-stress tolerance trade-off within the perennial grass Dactylis glomerata. Functional Ecology. Doi: 10.1111/1365-2435.13112

VOLAIRE F. , Lens F., Cochard H., Xu H., Chacon Doria L., Bristiel P., Balachowski J., Rowe N., Violle C., Picon-Cochard C. (2018) Embolism and mechanical resistances play a key-role in dehydration tolerance of a perennial grass Dactylis glomerata L. Annals of Botany 10.1093/aob/mcy073

Ergon A., Sedaiu G., Korhonen P., Virkajärvi P., Bellocchi G., JØrgensen M., Østrem L., Reheurl D., Volaire F. (2018) How can forage production in Nordic and Mediterranean Europe adapt to the challenges and opportunities arising from climate change ? European Journal of Agronomy 92 : 97-106

GILLEPSIE LM, VOLAIRE F. (2017) Are winter and summer dormancy symmetrical seasonal adaptive strategies? The case of temperate herbaceous perennials. Annals of Botany 119: 311-323, doi:10.1093/aob/mcw264

BARKAOUI K., NAVAS ML, CRUZ P., ROUMET C., VOLAIRE F. (2017) Does water shortage generate water stress? An ecohydrological approach across Mediterranean plant communities. Functional Ecology DOI: 10.1111/1365-2435.12824

BALACHOWSKIi JA, VOLAIRE F (2017) Implications of plant functional traits and drought survival strategies for ecological restoration. Journal of Applied Ecology, 55: 631-640, DOI :10.1111/1365-2664.12979

BARKAOUI K., ROUMET C., VOLAIRE F. (2016) Mean root trait more than root trait diversity determines drought resilience in native and cultivated Mediterranean grass mixtures. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 231: 122-132

Balachowski JA, Bristiel PM, Volaire F (2016) Summer dormancy, drought survival, and functional resource acquisition strategies in California perennial grasses. Annals of Botany 118 (2), 357 - 368. , DOI : 10.1093/aob/mcw109)

Roy J, Picon-Cochard C, Augusti nA.,c, Benot ML, Thiery L. , Darsonville O., Landais D. , Piel C. , Defossez M. , Devidal S. , Escape C., Ravel O. , Fromin N. , Volaire F., Milcu A., Bahn M., Soussana J. (2016) Elevated CO2 maintains grassland net carbon uptake under a future heat and drought extreme. pnas.1524527113

NORTON M., MALINOWSKI D., VOLAIRE F. (2016) Plant drought survival under climate change and strategies to improve perennial grasses. A review. Agronomy for Sustainable development, 36:29-DOI 10.1007/s13593-016-0362-1

Zwicke M., Picon-Cochard C., Morvan-Bertrand A., Prud’homme M.P., Volaire F. (2015) What functional strategies drive drought survival and recovery of perennial species from upland grassland? Annals of Botany, 116: 1001-1015.

VOLAIRE. F., BARKAOUI K., NORTON M. (2013) Designing resilient and sustainable grasslands for a drier future: adaptive strategies, functional traits and biotic interactions. European Journal of Agronomy, 52: 81-89.

Pérez-Ramos I., Volaire F. Fattet M., Blanchard A., Roumet C. (2013)Tradeoffs between functional strategies for resource-use and drought-survival in Mediterranean rangeland species. Environmental and Experimental Botany, 87: 126-136

Poirier, M., J. L. Durand, Volaire F. (2012). "Persistence and production of perennial grasses under water deficits and extreme temperatures: importance of intraspecific vs. interspecific variability." Global Change Biology 18(12): 3632-3646.

Lelièvre F., Seddaiu G., Ledda L., Porqueddu C., Volaire F. (2011) Water use efficiency and drought survival in Mediterranean perennial forage grasses. Field Crop Research 121: 333-342

LELIEVRE F., VOLAIRE F. (2009) Current and potential development of perennial grasses in rainfed Mediterranean farming systems. Crop Science 49: 2371-2378

VOLAIRE F., SEDDAIU G., LEDDA L., LELIEVRE F. (2009) Water deficit and induction of summer dormancy in perennial Mediterranean grasses. Annals of Botany 103 (8) 1337-1346.

VOLAIRE F., NORTON M., LELIEVRE F. (2009) Summer drought survival strategies and sustainability of perennial temperate forage grasses in Mediterranean areas. Crop Science 49: 2386-2392

VOLAIRE F.(2008) Plant traits and functional types to characterise drought survival of pluri-specific perennial herbaceous swards in Mediterranean areas. European Journal of Agronomy 29: 116-124.

VOLAIRE F., NORTON M. (2006) Summer dormancy in perennial temperate grasses. Annals of Botany 98, 5: 927-933. 

VOLAIRE F., NORTON M., LELIEVRE F. (2005) Seasonal patterns of growth, dehydrins and water-soluble carbohydrates in genotypes of Dactylis glomerata L. varying in summer dormancy.  Annals of Botany 95: 981-990

VOLAIRE F.(2002) Drought survival, summer dormancy and dehydrin accumulation in contrasting cultivars of Dactylis glomerataPhysiologia Plantarum 116 : 42-52

VOLAIRE F. F. and LELIEVRE F (2001) Drought survival in Dactylis glomerata and Festuca arundinacea under similar rooting conditions in tubes.Plant and Soil  229 : 225-234

VOLAIRE F., Thomas H., Lelievre F.(1998) Survival and recovery of perennial forage grasses under prolonged Mediterranean drought. I. Growth, death, water relations and solute content in herbage and stubble.The New Phytologist, 140 : 439:449.

VOLAIRE F., Thomas H., Bertagne N., Bourgeois E., Gautier M.F., Lelievre F. (1998) Survival and recovery of perennial forage grasses under severe Mediterranean drought. II. Water status, solute accumulation, abscisic acid concentration and accumulation of dehydrin transcripts in bases of immature leaves.The New Phytologist, 140 : 451-460.

VOLAIRE F. (1995) Growth, carbohydrate reserves and drought survival strategies of contrasting cocksfoot populations in a Mediterranean environment. Journal of Applied Ecology, 32: 56-66.

VOLAIRE F., Thomas H (1995) Effects of drought on water relations, mineral uptake, water-soluble carbohydrates accumulation and survival of 2 contrasting populations of cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata L.). Annals of Botany, 75: 513-524.