Field Trips > Field trip # 4: Aubrac Natural Regional Park, the power of a coherent basket of goods (cattle, cheese, knife, gastronomy, local heritage and landscape)

The Massif Central presents a very specific ecological situation. It is the first barrier that stops the wet oceanic air masses. As a consequence, the amount of rain is very high (up de 1500 mm / year on the highest picks of Cantal and Sancy mountains) with important contrasts between western and Eastern exposures and climate is harsh. That is why the Massif Central is called the “Water tower of France” and offers the possibility to observe various types of lakes. Moreover, as this mountain is dedicated to farming for at least the middle of the Neolithic time, natural forested vegetation turned to grasslands with a large diversity of plants and associated fauna.

Aubrac Laguiole

The aim of this field trip is to meet several researchers dealing with this complexity with three spots :

On the top of the Puy de Dome volcano, the research centre for the study of the atmosphere presents original tools for analysing climate changes (i.e. a cloud vacuum)

On the west part of the Sancy Mountain, the national Agronomic Research centre studies the diversity of grasslands and how it is possible to enrich biodiversity and feed cattle

In the heart of the Sancy Mountain, the Clermont and Auvergne University studies the functioning of a famous crater lake (the Pavin lake) that is one of the deepest in France (89 m) with an original fauna and a anoxic phase in its deepest part.

The field trip will mixt discussions on the fields, visits of experimental places and walk in the countryside to admire the landscapes.

• Flyer of Field Trip 4



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