Ecologie Fonctionnelle

CHUINE Isabelle

Research Director at CNRScrédit photo: Gonzague Nanda

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CEFE, 1919 route de Mende
F-34293 Montpellier cedex 05

Phone: +33 (0)4 67 61 32 79
Fax: +33 (0)4 67 61 33 36



My research focuses on the developmental cycle and the ecological niche of extra-tropical forest trees, both of which are currently challenged by climate change. Identifying the key traits that allow a particular species adapting to its environment and the identifying the constraints on their genetic evolution are the key motivating forces behind my research, which lies at the interface between functional ecology and evolutionary ecology.

I have initiated pioneering work on process-based species distribution models for plants, which I use to study the evolvability of the ecological niche of tree species. My work is deeply concerned by climate change and the models I develop are also used to provide accurate forecast of trees’ distribution for the upcoming centuries.

I am using a combination of modelling (PMP, PHENOFIT), experimental work in both field and controlled conditions, as well as long term monitoring of natural populations to feed my research. I have also founded a national research group on phenology whose main achievements are an open database, a national observatory and the Citizen Science program Observatoire Des Saisons.

Research interests

Adaptation – Citizen Science – Climate change – Process-based modeling – Phenology – Species distribution

Modelling activities

PMP - Phenology Modelling Platform

PMP is a software allowing to build and parametrize process-based phenological models.


PHENOFIT is process-based species distribution models designed for forest tree species leaving in boreal, temperate and Mediterranean climates.

Short CV


 2011 Habilitation in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology. Univ. Montpellier, France.
 1998 PhD in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology. Univ. Montpellier, France.
 1995 Master in Evolution and Ecology, Agro M. & Univ. Montpellier. Diploma of engineer in Agronomy, SupAgro Montpellier



 2020 Fellow of the French Academy of Sciences 
 2020 Fellow of the French Academy of Agriculture
 2020 Silver medal of CNRS
 2019 Research prize of the French Society of Ecology and Evolution
 2018 Bullard Fellow of-Havard University
 2009 Bronze medal of CNRS
 2006 Pierre & Cyril Grivet Prize of the French Academy of Sciences



Google Scholar profile       Research Gate profile      Web of Science profile


Selected publications

Asse D., Randin C., Bonhomme M., Delestrade A., Chuine I. (2020) Process-based models outcompete correlative models in projecting spring phenology of trees in a future warmer climate. Agriculture and Forest Meteorology, 285-286. 1016/j.agrformet.2020.107931.

Gauzere J, Teuf B., Davi H., Chevin LM., Caignard T., Leys B., Delzon S., Ronce O., Chuine I. (2020) Where is the optimum? Predicting the variation of selection along climatic gradients and the adaptive value of plasticity. A case study on tree phenology. Evolution Letters. :10.1002/evl3.160

Ettinger A.K., Chuine, B.I. Cook, J.S. Dukes, A.M. Ellison, M.R. Johnston, A.M. Panetta, C.R. Rollinson, Y. Vitasse, and E.M. Wolkovich (2019) How do climate change experiments alter plot-scale climate? Ecology Letters, 22(4):748-763.

Asse, D., Chuine, I., Vitasse, Y., Yoccoz, N. G., Delpierre, N., Badeau, V., Randin, C. F. (2018). Warmer winters reduce the advance of tree spring phenology induced by warmer springs in the Alps. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 252, 220–230.

Chuine I & Régnière J. (2017) Process-based models of phenology for plants and animals. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, 48: 159-182. PDF

Chuine I., Bonhomme M, Legave J-M, García de Cortázar-Atauri I, Charrier G, Lacointe A, Améglio T (2016) Can phenological models predict tree phenology accurately in the future? The unrevealed hurdle of endodormancy break. Global Change Biology. 22: 3444–3460. PDF

Duputié A, A Rutschmann, O Ronce, I Chuine. (2015) Phenological plasticity will not help all species adapt to climate change. Global change biology 21 (8), 3062-3073. PDF

Saltré F, Duputié A, Gaucherel C, Chuine I (2014) How climate, migration ability and habitat fragmentation affect the projected future distribution of European beech. Global Change Biology, 21 (2), 897-910. PDF

Saltré F., Saint-Amant R., Gritti E.S., Brewer S., Gaucherel C., Davis B.A.S. & Chuine I. (2013). Climate or migration: what limited European beech postglacial colonization? Global Ecol. Biogeogr., 22(11):1217-1227. PDF

Chuine I., Atauri I.G.d.C., Kramer K. & Hänninen H. (2013). Plant Development Models. In: Phenology: An Integrative Environmental Science (ed. Schwarz MD). Springer, Dordrecht, Netherlands, pp. 275-293. PDF

Cheaib A., Badeau V., Boe J., Chuine I., Delire C., Dufrêne E., François C., Gritti E.S., Legay M., Pagé C., Thuiller W., Viovy N. & Leadley P. (2012). Climate change impacts on tree ranges: model intercomparison facilitates understanding and quantification of uncertainty. Ecol. Lett., 15, 533–544. PDF

Caffarra A., Donnelly A. & Chuine I. (2011). Modelling the timing of Betula pubescens budburst. II. Integrating complex effects of photoperiod into process-based models. , 46, 159-170. PDF

Chuine I., Morin X. et H. Bugmann (2010) Warming, photoperiods and tree phenology. Science 277-278. PDF

Morin X., J. Roy, L. Sonié, et (2010) Changes in phenology of three European oak species in response to experimental climate change. New Phytologist 186(4) :900-910. PDF

Chuine I. (2010) Why does phenology drive species distribution? Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society – Biology 365:3149-3160. Doi 10.1098/rstb.2010.0142. PDF

Morin X, Lechowicz MJ, Augspurger C, O Keefe J, Viner D, et Chuine (2009) Leaf phenology in 22 North American tree species during the 21st century. Global Change Biology, 15: 961-975. PDF

Cleland E. E., , A. Menzel, H. A. Mooney et M. D. Schwartz. (2007) Changing plant phenology in response to climate change. TREE, 22(7): 357-365. PDF

Morin X., C. Augspurger, et Chuine (2007) Process-based modeling of tree species’ distributions. What limits temperate tree species’ range boundaries? Ecology, 88(9) : 2280-2291. PDF

Morin X., T. Améglio, R. Ahas, C. Kurz-Besson, V. Lanta, F. Lebourgeois, F. Miglietta, et Chuine (2007)Spatio-temporal variation of cold hardiness of three European tree species. Tree Physiology, 27:817-825. PDF

Morin X. et(2006) Niche breadth, competitive strength and range size of tree species: a trade-off based framework to understand species range size. Ecology Letters, 9: 185-195. PDF

Morin X. et (2005)Sensitivity analysis of the tree distribution model PHENOFIT to climatic input characteristics: implications for climate impact assessment. Global Change Biology. 11(9):1493-1503. PDF

Chuine I., P. Yiou, N. Viovy, B. Seguin, V. Daux, et E. Le Roy Ladurie (2004) Grape ripening as an indicator of past climate. Nature 432:289-290. PDF

Chuine E. Beaubien (2001) Phenology is a major determinant of temperate tree distributions. Ecology Letters, 4: 500-510. PDF

Chuine I. A unified model for tree phenology (2000) Journal of Theoretical Biology, 707: 337-347. PDF