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Atlas of seeds

Study sites where seeds were collected

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The Bay of the Mount Saint Michael

The Bay of the Mount Saint Michael is a wide area (about 35000 ha) located south of the Cotentin peninsula bordering Brittany made of a set of rich and diversified habitats : intertidal mudflats, muddy sand, sandbanks, salted meadows on the maritime domain, polders, wet peripheral areas, marshlands and meadows liable to flooding on the earthly domain. These habitats are prime habitat for thousands of Waterbirds, Laridae, Anatidae and Waders. All these surroundings form roost and foraging sites where they can rest and and feed during their annual cycle of presence particularly during the wintering and migration periods. The main species that can be found from August to March are the Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), the Common Teal (Anas crecca), the Wigeon (Anas penelope), the Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata), the Pintail (Anas acuta), the Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna) and the Black Scoter (Malanitta nigra)



The Seine Bay

The Seine Estuary and its bay are the largest estuarial complex of the north west of France. Strongly marked by the human activities, this area is an important way of communication for economic development. The occurrence of succession of very distinct habitats: intertidal sandy, mudflats and salted meadows made possible by the alternation of fresh and sea water makes of this estuary a major ecological site Just as the Bay of St Michael's Mount, the Seine Bay is situated on the Atlantic East migration pathway that is used as a stopover twice a year by migratory birds from the Occidental Paleartic and as a wintering place by some species (Anatidae in particular). The species of ducks observed on stopover and wintering are the Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), the Wigeon (Anas penelope), the Common Teal (Anas crecca), the Pintail (Anas acuta), the Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata), the Gadwall (Anas strepera), the Common Pochard (Aythya ferina), the Tufted Duck (Aythya fulligula) and the White-winged Scoter (Melanitta fusca)



The Perthois(Marne/Haute Marne)alluvial pits

The Perthois is a small natural area inserted in median position into the large depression of the wet Champagne. There is a Quaternary alluvial plain in its southernmost part wherein the river Marne leaves the calcareous deposits of Jurassic origin. The exploitation of these materials, started at the end of the 18th century, continues to date nowadays at the rate of 20h per year. This industrial activity has created more than 300 gravel pits (in water) totalising an area of about 740 ha These gravel pits are supplied by free, calcium bicarbonate and by moderately mineralised ground water The Perthois pits, about 2m deep, are well provided in flooded grassbeds. Floristic inventories carried out in about 20 sites have yielded 28 species of hygrophytes and 11 species of Charophyceae seaweeds. Nevertheless, the river banks generally steep show very little vegetation. According to the age of the gravel pits and to the nature of substratum, it consists of pioneers fallow lands, temporary flooded river bank, small reed beds or ligneous species. In winter, the gravel pits welcome up to 8 000 waterfowl and coots.

pits and screening gravel unit

Hydrophytes living on the bottom of a pit
(Spiked Water-milfoil and Charophyceae)

Lines of alluvial pits


The Dombes

Situated in the East Centre of France, the Dombes is a large clay plateau with more than one thousand fish farming lakes of a total water area exceeding 12 000 Ha. This artificial ecosystem is closely connected with human activities (fish farming, agriculture and hunting) that influence the management of each lake. Scattered in a landscape actually very marked by cereal growing, the lakes offer natural diversified habitats: reedbeds, mudflats, rushes, aquatic plants. In contrast to other French fish farming lakes, the lakes at Dombes are regularly dried up where oats and corn are often cultivated. This area is one of the main sites for the reproduction of waterbirds in France, though the populations of ducks have been suffering a collapse since the seventies. T he ducks nesting there are the Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), the Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina), the Common Pochard (Aythya ferina).and in a lower quantity the Gadwall (Anas strepera) and the Tufted Duck (Aythya fulligula). The geographic location of the Dombes on a major migratory axis makes it a favourable reception for an exceptional migratory avifauna.



La Brenne

The Brenne is also a lake area which that harbours an exceptional biodiversity.This area of about 100 000 Ha is characterised by 2237 lakes covering more than 8 000 Ha of water. Their number has been in constant increase over the last 40 years, since there were 600 lakes covering an area of 5600 Ha of water in 1950. These lakes are destined to fish farming and thus they have a great socio-economic and cultural interest. The Brenne is a mosaic of different habitats (lakes, woods, moors and wet meadows), which favours a great botanical richness, particularly at the gently slopes of the water edges of the lakes. These artificial lakes have been built for the first ones that date from the XIth century when fish farming started in the region. Traditionally extensive, the pisciculture has greatly increased its importance in recent years , which has led to the important damage to the natural patrimony of the lakes. Every year from October to February, these lakes are emptied and fished. They are also used for hunting on waterbirds. The Brenne forms a restricted area that welcomes an important population of wintering ducks: the Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), the Common Teal (Anas crecca), the Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata), the Gadwall (Anas strepera), the Common Pochard (Aythya ferina) and the Tufted Duck( Aythya fulligula).



The Rochefort marshland

This marshland covers an area of about 120 000 ha between the Charente estuaries on the north and the Seudre river on the south and facing Oleron island. It has come to be as the result of the simultaneous action of geological transgression and human action creation of salt marshes. The Rochefort marshland is a soft and very parcelled area with a microrelief of mounds, pits, natural meadows (90%) and a small areas of cropping (wheat, corn) and fallow land that are occasionally liable to flooding. A gramineous vegetation predominates in the mounds and pits where there is a diversified vegetation dominated by halophytes. The Rochefort marshland is also a very important area for the wintering and the migratory stages of waders and ducks.