Forest Station of Reunion Island


STAFOR is also a network of permanent plots and climate stations throughout Réunion Island.

STAFOR is an observation station dedicated to the observation and research of natural forest environments on Reunion Island.

Under the supervision of the Peuplement des Végétaux et Bioagresseurs en Milieu Terrestre (UMR PVBMT) laboratory, the station has a reception building for students and researchers, located in Saint Philippe, 11 km from the lava flows, 2 km from the Mare Longue forest and close to the coastal zone. It gives European researchers, students and doctoral schools direct access to the island’s tropical environment.

STAFOR is also a network of permanent plots and climate stations throughout Réunion Island.

The creation of this research station dedicated to natural sciences dates back to 2012, and was made possible thanks to European funds P.O. FEDER 2007-2013, Measure 2.02.

Organization chart

Organization chart

Scientific objectives

In conjunction with national research infrastructures

  • Long-term monitoring of plant communities in tropical forests
  • Vegetation dynamics in tropical forests
  • The role of tropical vegetation in the hydrological cycle
  • Impact of invasive alien species and climate change on tropical forest vegetation
  • Monitoring peatland areas on Reunion Island (under development)
  • Define and apply indicators and methods for the study and management of natural and human landscapes disturbed by multiple threats (volcanic eruptions, fires, drought, cyclones, biological invasions, etc.).

In connection with research training

  • Hosting staff and students on internship or research mobility from universities in the outermost regions (Canaries, Azores, Madeira, etc.), and regional cooperation (Mauritius, South Africa, Madagascar).
  • Two Erasmus+ mobility programs:
    • MIC (International Credit Mobility) with the University of Cape Town (South Africa) for staff and student exchanges (training and teaching)
    • BIP (Blended Intensive Program) on the structure and functioning of ecosystems with the University of Marburg (Germany) and Turku (Finland)
  • Participation in teaching programs from undergraduate to doctoral level, hosting interns and doctoral students
  • Hosting European doctoral schools

Linking up with international observation networks

  • Diversity, dynamics and functioning of a tropical forest (Centre for Tropical Forest Science)
  • The role of nebulous waters for epiphytic vegetation (Hawaii network)
  • Better understanding of the critical zone: composition and biomass of litter at Mare Longue, plant-atmosphere relationships (specific epiphytes)
  • Long-term monitoring of ecosystems (eLTER)

Other scientific objectives of the station

  • Enhance the value of data and knowledge for private and public stakeholders in charge of development in the southeast region of Réunion (e.g. interpretation of landscapes and lava flows, participation in management plans).
  • Provide fieldwork and accommodation facilities for local and international researchers.
  • Hosting activities: hosting research teams (transnational: ENVRI+), managers (CBNM, PNR, ONF, etc.).
  • Structuring research programs : ANR (MOVECLIM, ISLAND BIODIV), Feder (Divines).