ALTER Network (Alternatives to Herbicides)

ALTER Network (Alternatives to Herbicides)

ALTER Network (Alternatives to Herbicides)
Coordination : Champenoux, 54280, France

The ALTER network, initiated in 2011, aims to design and evaluate site preparation methods before planting and to quantify the technical and environmental performance of these different methods. Sites are monitored for approximately 10 years.

The network consists of 9 experimental sites, 6 of which are currently active, all located at sites with acidic soils and vegetation dominated by eagle fern or mullein, with major challenges for successful planting. Each experimental site has plots planted with oak (sessile or pedunculate) or pine (Scots, maritime or laricio).

Each site compares different site preparation modes (multi-function subsoiler, reversible scarifier, herbicides, local modes) and control plots. Each plot contains about 100 plants and is repeated 2 to 3 times per site. The plants and accompanying vegetation are monitored annually the first few years. Crop profiles have been carried out for some at 5 sites. The sites are also used for studies on plant diversity and soil organic carbon.

Services offer

The data collected from all the sites is centralised and available for use in collaborative projects.


The network is coordinated by the Pôle Renfor Silva UMR (INRAE Nancy). Monitoring is carried out by the Network’s various partners (INRAE, ONF RDI, FCBA) depending on the geographical proximity of the teams. The partners also ensure the link with land owners and managers.

Operations and data access

The network's experimental sites are open to other research teams within the framework of their research projects or in more formal collaboration (collaborative projects or research agreements). The sites are also open to teachers and trainers for all levels of training.

Data access and cost

The cost is determined according to each project

Available measurements

No particular devices

Modification date: 16 August 2023 | Publication date: 12 June 2018 | By: Catherine Collet (INRAE) - Juin 2018