On the Plurality of Environmental Regimes of Anticipation

Insights from Forest Science and Management

  • Antoine Dolez PACTE / IRSTEA
  • Granjou Céline Université Grenoble Alpes/ IRSTEA 2 rue de la Papeterie BP 76 – 38 400 St Martin d’Hères cedex / UMR PACTE (Grenoble) ; LISIS (Paris Est Marne la Vallée)
  • Louvel Séverine PACTE UMR 5194 Univ. Grenoble Alpes, PACTE, F-38000 Grenoble, France / Sciences Po Grenoble, PACTE, F-38000 Grenoble, France


In recent years, the social sciences have increasingly investigated ways in which futures are anticipated, fostered, and pre-empted. However, less attention has been given to how various predictive approaches inform different ways of acting in the present. Our article presents the results of an investigation into the current practices and agendas of forest scientists and managers in France. We first suggest how an anticipation of environmental futures is coming to the fore as an emerging field of expertise and practices in forest sciences, including predicting but also monitoring, preparing and adapting to projected futures. We then account for the co-existence of three “micro-regimes” of anticipation combining a certain approach to the forest, a certain vision of the future, and a certain type of scientific predictive approach, including different anticipatory objectives, different modelling practices, and different interactions between research and management: i/ Adapting forestry to future climates; ii/ Predicting Future Tree Biology; iii/ Monitoring forests as indicators of climate change.


Download data is not yet available.


Adams HD, Williams AP, Xu C, Rauscher SA, Jiang X and, McDowell NG NG (2013)” Empirical and process-based approaches to climate-induced forest mortality models”. Frontiers in Plant Science. 4: 438. doi:10.3389/fpls.2013.00438.


Adams, V., M. Murphy M and A. E. Clarke AE (2009). “Anticipation: Technoscience, life, affect, temporality”. Subjectivity 28 (1):, 246–265.


Aleixandre-Benavent R, Aleixandre-Tudó J, Castelló-Cogollos L, and Aleixandre J (2017). Trends in scientific research on climate change in agriculture and forestry subject areas (2005–2014). Journal of Cleaner Production, 147, pp.: 406-418


Amoore L. (2013). The politics of possibility: risk and security beyond probability. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Result score too low

Ancelin P, Courbaud B, et al. (2004). Development of an individual tree-based mechanical model to predict wind damage within forest stands. Forest ecology and management, 203: 101-121


Anderson B (2010) . “Preemption, precaution, preparedness: anticipatory action and future geographies.” Progress in Human Geography, 34 (6): , pp. 1-22


Andersson J and Duhautois S (2016) “Futures of Mankind: The Emergence of the Global Future.” In: Van Münster R and Casper S (eds) In the Politics of Globality: Assembling the Planet. Oxford, Routledge, pp.106-125


Aradau C, and van Münster R, (2013). Politics of Catastrophe. 1st ed. London [u.a.]: Routledge. Result score too low

Aykut S, Foyer J, Morena E, (eds), Globalising the Climate. COP21 and the climatisation of global debates, Routledge, 2017, 198 p.


Bloomfield, B. P., 1986. Modelling the world. The social constructions of systems. Blackwell: London. Result score too low

Bouchon J (1988), Les tables de production et les modèles de croissance: un outil de diagnostic sylvicole. Revue Forestière Française. XL, n° spécial, pp. 46-50.


Chuine I and Cour P. (1999) “Climatic determinants of budburst seasonality in four temperate-zone tree species”, New Phytologist, 143, pp. 339 – 349


Chuine I. (2000) “A unified model for tree phenology”, Journal of Theoretical Biology, 707, pp. 337 – 347 Result score too low

Coleman R. and Tutton R., 2017. Introduction to Special Issue of Sociological Review on ‘Futures in Question: Theories, Methods, Practices’ The Sociological review 65 (3), pp. 440-447.


Collins H. and Pinch T. (2002) [1998]. The Golem at large: What everyone should know about technology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Cordonnier T, Courbaud B and Franc A, (2006). “The effect of colonization and competition processes on the relation between disturbance and diversity in plant communities.” Journal of Theoretical Biology, 243(1), pp.1–12.


Courbaud B. (1997). Modélisation de l'éclairement et de la croissance de l'épicéa (Picea abies L. Karst) en forêt irrégulière de montagne. PhD Thesis, University of Lyon I. FR. 236 p.


Courbaud B, Lafond V, Lagarrigues G, Vieilledent G, Cordonnier T, Jabot F and de Coligny F (2015). “Applying ecological model evaluation: Lessons learned with the forest dynamics model Samsara2.” Ecological Modelling, 314, pp.1-14.


Courbaud B, Pupin C, Letort A, Cabanettes A and Larrieu L (2017). “Modelling the probability of microhabitat formation on trees using cross-sectional data.” Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 8 (10) pp. 1347 - 1349


Dahan-Dalmedico A, (2010). “Putting the Earth System in a numerical box? The evolution from climate modeling toward global change.” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 41 (3), pp.282-292.


Dahan-Dalmedico, A. (ed.), 2006. Les Modèles du Futur. La Découverte, Paris. Result score too low

Decocq G, Kalaora B and Vlassopoulou C (2016). La forêt salvatrice. 1st ed. Ceyzérieu (Ain): Champ Vallon. Result score too low

Dufour-Kowalski S, Courbaud B, Dreyfus P, Meredieu C and de Coligny F (2011). “Capsis: an open software framework and community for forest growth modeling.” Annals of Forest Science, 69 (2), pp.221-233.


Edwards P N, (2010) A Vast machine: Computer Models, climate data and the politics of global warming, MIT Press. Result score too low

Estiarte M. et al. (2016) “Few multiyear precipitation-reduction experiments find a shift in the productivity-precipitation relationship”, Global Change Biology, 22, pp. 2570 – 2581 Result score too low

Farquhar GD, von Caemmerer S and Berry JA, (1980) “A biochemical model of photosynthetic CO2 assimilation in leaves of C3 species”, Planta, 149, pp. 78 – 90


Frickel S., Gibbon S., Howard, J., Kempner J., Ottinger, G., Hess, D. (2010). “Undone science: charting social movement and civil society challenges to research agenda setting”, Science, Technology & Human values, vol. 35 no. 4, pp. 444-473.


Gea-Izquierdo G. et al. (2015) “Modelling the climatic drivers determining photosynthesis and carbon allocation in evergreen Mediterranean forests using multiproxy long time series” Biogeosciences, 12, pp. 3695 – 3712


Goreaud F, de Coligny F, Courbaud B, Dhôte JF, Dreyfus P et Pérot T (2005). « La modélisation : un outil pour la gestion et l’aménagement en forêt. » VertigO - la revue électronique en sciences de l'environnement 6 (2) URL : http://vertigo.revues.org/4260 ; DOI : 10.4000/vertigo.4260


Gustafson EJ et al. (2015) “Integrating ecophysiology and forest landscape models to improve projections of drought effects under climate change”, Global Change Biology, 21, pp. 843 – 856


Hacking I. (1994) “Styles of Scientific Thinking or Reasoning: a new analytical tool for historians and philosophers of the sciences” in Gavroglu K., Christianidis J., Nicolaidis E. (eds) Trends in the historiography of Science, Boston Studies in the philosophy of science, vol. 151. Springer


Jasanoff S and Martello M (2004). Earthly politics. 1st ed. Cambridge: MIT Press. Result score too low

Jabot F, Faure T and Dumoulin N, (2013). “EasyABC: performing efficient approximate Bayesian computation sampling schemes using R.” Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 4 (7), pp.684–687.


Knorr-Cetina K. (1999). Epistemic Cultures. How the sciences make knowledge,. Cambridge, Massachusetts; London, England, Harvard University Press. Result score too low

Korzukhin MD, Ter-Mikaelian MT and Wagner RG, (1996). “Process versus empirical models: which approach for forest ecosystem management?” Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 26(5), pp.879–887.


Kwa C. (2011). Styles of knowing. A new history of science from ancient times to the present. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.


Lagarrigues G. (2017) “Effects of environmental gradients on demographic processes and the durability of the uneven-aged forest management: application of Approximate Bayesian computation to improve simulation models”, PhD-Thesis, Irstea Grenoble Result score too low

Lafond V et al. (2017). “Trade-offs and synergies between ecosystem services in uneven-aged mountain forests: evidences using Pareto fronts” . European Journal of Forest Research. Pp. 1-16


Legay JM (1997) L’expérience et le modèle – Un discours de la méthode, Sciences en question, INRA, Paris. Result score too low

Lempereur M et al. (2017) “Recent climate hiatus revealed dual control by temperature and drought on the stem of Mediterranean Quercus ilex” Global Change Biology, 23, pp. 42 – 55


Leslie, P, H (1948) “Some further notes on the use of matrices in population mathematics”, Biometrika, 35:213-245


Loustau D. (dir.) (2004) Final report of the project CARBOFOR. Carbon sequestration in the big forest ecosystems in France. Quantification, spatialization, vulnerability and impacts of different climatic and forestry scenarios Result score too low

Meadows DH, Meadows DL, Randers J, Behrens WW. (1972). The Limits to Growth: a report for the Club of Rome’s project on the predicament of mankind, Universe Book


Michael M. (2017) “Enacting Big Futures, Little Futures: Toward an ecology of futures”, The Sociological Review, Vol. 65, 3, pp. 509-524.


Misson L. et al. (2009) “Functional changes in the control of carbon flux after 3 years of increased drought in a Mediterranean evergreen forest?” Global Change Biology, 16, pp. 2461 – 2475 Result score too low

Morin X., Fahse L., Scherer-Lorenzen M and Bugmann H. (2011) “Tree species richness promotes productivity in temperate forests through strong complementarity between species”, Ecological Letters, 17, pp.1526 – 1535


Morin X et al., (2014). “Temporal stability in forest productivity increases with tree diversity due to asynchrony in species dynamics.” Ecology Letters, 17(12), pp.1526–1535.


Perez-Ramos IM, Ourcival JM, Limousin JM and Rambal S (2010) “Mast seeding under increasing drought: results from a long-term dataset and from a rainfall exclusion experiment”, Ecology, 91, pp. 3057 - 3068


Pestre D (2003). “Regimes of knowledge production in society: Towards a more political and social reading.” Minerva, 41 (3), pp.245–261. Result score too low

Renecofor’s assessment committee (2006) Renecofor network’s evaluation. Suggestions for the future. 14th November 2006 Result score too low

Roques A. (ed) (2015) Processionary Moths and Climate Change: An Update, Springer Netherlands, pp. 427 Result score too low

Rossi JP et al.,(2015). “Trees outside forests in agricultural landscapes: spatial distribution and impact on habitat connectivity for forest organisms.” Landscape Ecology, 31 (2), pp.243–254.


Sarewitz D., Pielke R-A., and Byerly R. (eds) (2000). Prediction: science, decision making and the future of nature. Island Press: Washington DC. Result score too low

Shinn T. (1999) “Change or mutation? Reflections on the foundations of contemporary science”, Social Science information, 38/1, pp. 149-176


Skrydstrup M, (2017). “Envisioning the future by predicting the past: Proxies, praxis and prognosis in paleoclimatology”. Futures . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.futures.2017.03.004


Tavory I and Eliasoph N, (2013). “Coordinating Futures: Toward a Theory of Anticipation.” American Journal of Sociology. 118 (4), pp.908–942.


Thuiller W. (2003) “BIOMOD – optimizing predictions of species distributions and projecting potential future shifts under global change”, Global Change Biology, Vol. 9, 10, pp. 1353 – 1362


Vieilledent G et al., (2010). “Individual variability in tree allometry determines light resource allocation in forest ecosystems: a hierarchical Bayesian approach.” Oecologia, 163 (3), pp.759–773.