Clément Jean-Christophe

Clément Jean-Christophe

Full Professor, Deputy Director CARRTEL, Director of the Research Fédération FREE-Alpes



Tél. : +33 (0)4 79 75 88 63  

Research focus

Mountain ecosystems (grasslands, wetlands, forests, rivers and lakes) create a functional framework with an important biodiversity and key ecosystem functions (photosynthesis, decomposition, mineralization, denitrification, methanogenesis…). As a result, these ecosystems provide essential services or benefits to people (water resources, support to agriculture and wood production, carbon storage, iconic value, tourism…), but they are increasingly threatened by global changes (drought, snowpack reduction, atmospheric deposition, land-use change, pollutions…). As such, many research questions arise : How wetlands maintain water quality? How the biodiversity and productivity of subalpine grasslands resist to climate change? How plants, soil microorganisms, and their feedback interactions participate, through their composition and functions, to these ecosystem responses ? What is the impact of abiotic conditions (parent material, soil, hydrology, snow pack dynamic…) and agricultural practices (intensive, extensive, organic…) on these relationships and ecosystem functioning?

Through the study of biogeochemical interactions and cycling (pools and fluxes of N, C, P, water…) in the “atmosphere-plant-soil-microorganisms-soil-water” continuum, and using observational and experimental approaches, my research work aims at understanding the mechanisms responsible for the resistance and recovery of the structure and function of these mountain ecosystems when facing natural and anthropogenic influences.


2016-… - Full Pr. with Habilitation

Univ. Savoie Mont Blanc - Centre Alpin de Recherche sur les Réseaux Trophiques des Écosystèmes Limniques (CARRTEL) – Le Bourget du Lac, France


2014-16 - Associate Pr. with Habilitation

Univ. Grenoble Alpes, Lab. d’Écologie Alpine (LECA), Grenoble, France


2012-14 - Full time Researcher for the CNRS

Lab. d’Écologie Alpine (LECA), Grenoble, France


2005-11 - Assistant Pr.

Univ. Joseph Fourier, Lab. d’Écologie Alpine (LECA), Grenoble, France


2004-05 - Visiting Assistant Pr.

West Virginia Univ., West Virginia, USA


2001-04 - Research Associate

Rutgers Univ. & Princeton Univ., New Jersey, USA


1998-2001 – Ph.D. Student

Univ. Rennes 1, Rennes, France


2012 - Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches (HDR)

Grenoble Université Alpes, Grenoble, France


2001 – Ph.D. in Biology

Université de Rennes 1, Rennes, France.


1998 – Master in Environmental Sciences

Univ. Orléans/INAP-G, Orléans-Paris, France


Supervised theses

Baptiste Boggio  – CROZO Project (funds: UMSB and OFB)

Title : Reeds marshes contribution to lake stoichiometry.

Start: Oct. 2019/End: Dec. 2022. (Co-supervisor : Dr. F. Arthaud)


Gabin PitonECOSERVE Project (funds : ANR Biodiversa)

Title : Grasslands Resilience to climatic stress and land-use intensity : an approach based on the microbial functional traits’ framework.

Start : Nov. 2016 /End : Dec. 2019. (Co-supervisor : Dr. A. Foulquier)


Ilann Bourgeois  - DEPONIT project (funds : DiPEE, OSUG, LECA)

Title : Atmospheric nitrate deposition in subalpine grasslands

Start : Oct. 2014 /End : Dec. 2017. (Co-supervisor : Dr. J. Savarino).

Lionel Bernard - REGARDS project (funds : ANR – Biodiversa)

Title : Functional mechanisms behind the resilience of subalpine grasslands facing global changes.

Start : Dec. 2012 /Start : May 2017. (Co-supervisor : Dr. S. Lavorel).


Nicolas Legay - VITAL project (funds : EU-EraNet – Biodiversa)

Title : Relationships between plant functional diversity soil microbial community and nitrogen cycling in subalpine grasslands.

Start : Sept. 2009 / End : May 2013. (Co-supervisor : Dr. S. Lavorel).

Recent lectures given  

Clément JC, Bourgeois I., Voisin D. & J. Savarino. Subalpine grass species are directly fertilized by atmospheric nitrate. AGU 2019, San Francisco, USA. 9-13 December 2019.


Piton G., JC Clément & A.Foulquier. Understanding grassland response to land use intensity and climate change: moving forward microbial trait based approach. International Mountain Conference, Innsbruck, AU. 8–12 September 2019


Clément J.C., Bourgeois I., Nesti C., Caillon N., Deschamps N., Voisin D. & J. Savarino. Subalpine grass species are directly fertilized by atmospheric nitrate. Sfécologie-2018, International Conference of Ecological Sciences, Rennes, FR. 22-25 octobre 2018.


Bourgeois I., J. Savarino & Clement J.C. Response of subalpine watershed to atmospheric NO3- deposits using D17O. Goldschmidt 2017. Paris, FR. 13- -18 Aug. 2017.


Gayet G., Baptist F., Caessteker P., Clément J.C., Fossey M., Gaucherand S., Isselin-Nondedeu F., Jabiol B., Le Bouteiller C. & Mesléard F. L’intégration du dimensionnement des mesures de compensation dans la méthode nationale d’évaluation des fonctions des zones humides. Colloque “Valeurs et Usage des Zones Humides”, CBN, Bailleul, FR, 26-30 Sept. 2017.

Recent publications

Ibanez S., Brun C., Millery A., Piton G., Bernard L., Avrillier J.N., Gallet C., Foulquier & Clément J.C. 2021. Litter and soil characteristics mediate the buffering effect of snow cover on litter decomposition. Plant & Soil.


Piton G., Foulquier A., Martinez Garcia L., Legay N., Arnoldi C., Brussaard L., Hedlund K., Martins da Silva P., Nascimento E., Reis, F., Sousa P., Clément J.C. & G. De Deyn. 2021. Resistance-recovery tradeoff of soil microbial communities under altered rain regimes : An experimental test across European agroecosystems. J. Applied Ecology. 58:406-418.


Legay N., Grassein F., Arnoldi C., Segura R., Laîné P., Lavorel S.& J.C. Clément J.C. 2020. Studies of NH4+ and NO3- uptake ability of subalpine plants and resource-use strategy identified by their functional traits. Oikos. 129:830-84. doi: 10.1111/oik.07282


Bernard L., Decau M.L., Morvan-Bertrand, Lavorel S. & J.C. Clément. 2020. Water-Soluble Carbohydrates in Patzkea paniculata (L.): a plant strategy to tolerate snow pack reduction and spring drought in subalpine grasslands. Plant Biology. 22 (3): 441-449. doi: 10.1111/plb.13081


Bourgeois I., Clément J.C., Caillon N. & J. Savarino. 2019. Foliar uptake of atmospheric nitrate by two dominant subalpine plants: insights from in situ triple-isotope analysis. The New Phytologist. 223:1784-1794. DOI:10.1111/nph.15761  – Commentary paper by F. Soper in the same issue. Prix Jeune Chercheur 2019 de la SFE². Prix de l’Académie des Sciences 2019.


Datry T., Foulquier A., Corti R., von Schiller D., Tockner K., Mendoza-Lera C., Clément J.C. et al. 2018. A global analysis of terrestrial plant litter dynamics in non-perennial waterways. Nature Geoscience. 11: 493-503.


Mayor J.R., Sanders N.J., Classen A.T., Bardgett R.D., Clément J.C., Fajardo A., Lavorel S., Sundqvist M.K., Bahn M., Chisholm C., Cieraad E., Gedalof Z., Grigulis K. , Kudo G., Oberski D.L. & D.A. Wardle. 2017. Elevation alters ecosystem properties across temperate treelines globally. Nature. 542: 91-95. doi:10.1038/nature21027


Reviewer for : Nature Biogeoscience, J. Applied Ecology, J. Ecology, Global Change Biology, ANR, NSF, NERC, INSU "Océan-Atmosphère", ESF…

Editorial Board Member for Environmental Management

Co-organisation de la Conférence ECOVEG 11 à Grenoble en 2015


Conseil Scientifique de l’Agence de l’Eau Rhône-Méditerranée-Corse

Société Française d’Ecologie et d’Evolution

Membre du réseau WinterNet -

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Modification date: 27 June 2023 | Publication date: 31 October 2016 | By: DB