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Long-Term Ecosystem Research in Europe

LTER-France (Zones Ateliers)

About LTER-France (ZA)

The Zones Ateliers: a French interdisciplinary network for long-term environmental research on human-dominated landscapes

The Zones Ateliers (ZAs) are an interdisciplinary network of researches, involving several institutes and organisms. ZAs are supported by the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) since 2000. The ZAs conduct long term fundamental and applied researches, in the field of environmental sciences, in response to the society’s demands. The ZAs are tools for environmental sciences related researches around a structuring element (river, landscape, town, …). They ensure a national service of observation and research in environment in an international scientific framework.

The most recent national network profile (mindmap, biomes, site categories, site number development) is available as PDF here.


Zone Atelier Territoires Uranifères dans l'Arc Hercynien (ZATU)

Starting year: 2015


Geographical area: Massif Central - Massif Armoricain

ZATU studies life in environments under chronic exposure to natural radioactivity. Its goal is to explore through multidisciplinary collaborations in such fields as biology, chemistry, geography, ecology, geology, medicine, physics and social sciences how life is impacted by radioactivity.


Zone Atelier Antarctique – ZATA

Starting year: 2000


Geographical area: Antarctica (Adélie Land) French sub-Antarctic Islands and southern ocean

The ZATA measures the impacts of climate change and human activities on antarctic and sub-antarctic ecosystems.


Zone Atelier Brest Iroise - ZA Br-I

Starting year: 2012


Geographical area: Brittany / Finistère

The ZA Br-I studies the functioning and the long-term dynamics of the coastal socio-ecosystem of the Bay of Brest and the Iroise Sea in a context of changes and a prospect of integrated management of the coastal zone.


Zone Atelier Armorique

Starting year: 2002


Geographical area: Brittany / Ille et Vilaine

The ZA Armorique conducts an interdisciplinary exploration of landscapes from urban areas to rural countryside, integrating social and environmental dynamics.


Zone Atelier Plaine et Val de Sèvre – ZA PVS

Starting year: 2009


Geographical area: Poitou-Charente

The ZAPVS aims to elaborate an alternative agricultural system to the productivist model, for ensuring the sustainable management of natural resources.


Zone atelier Loire – ZAL

Starting year: 2001


Geographical area: Loire River basin

The ZAL studies the Loire River basin on a long-term scale (-15000 years until today). It focuses on the functioning of the hydrosystem, the human societies living there and on the co-evolution hydrosystem – societies.


Zone Atelier Bassin de la Moselle – ZAM

Starting year: 2000


Geographical area: Lorraine / Moselle

The ZAM acquires knowledge for better controls the impact of human activities on the quality of the water resources in Lorraine County (France), in the watershed of the Moselle River.


Zone Atelier Alpes – ZAA

Starting year: 2009


Geographical area: Alps / Vercors and Oisans

The ZA Alps works on the coupled dynamics of alpine ecosystems, their land use and the climate, through the study of two areas that contrast in their ecological and human pressures: the Vercors and Oisans Massifs in the French Alps.


Zone Atelier Bassin du Rhône – ZABR

Starting year: 2001


Geographical area: Rhône River Basin

The ZABR aims at elucidating, using a multidisciplinary approach, the relationship between a large river, the Rhône river, its landscape and the societies that establish in the landscape.


Zone Atelier PIREN-Seine

Starting year: 2001


Geographical area: Seine River Basin

The ZA PIREN Seine aims at studying how a region and its inhabitants construct the aquatic environment itself, as well as the quality of surface- and ground-waters.


Zone atelier environnementale urbaine – ZAEU

Starting year: 2010


Geographical area: Alsace / Bas-Rhin

The ZAEU is an environmental monitoring system on urban areas in relation with regional collectivities. It structures researches on complex issues related to natural processes and social dynamics.


Zone Atelier Arc Jurassien (ZAAJ)

Starting year: 2013


Geographical area: Jura

The ZA AJ works on interactions between environment, society and socio-ecological systems’ dynamics of the Jura. It studies the impacts of the past and present climate and landscape’s evolution on populations and community.