Based on a national review, we analysed twelve forest and biodiversity monitoring networks in metropolitan France using the conceptual framework of the Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBV). Quite evidently, sampling strategies adopted by each network correspond to its aims and objectives. The national forest inventory is the only network analysed representative of French forests. A given network often covers only one taxon (notably tree and shrub species) and more marginally other taxonomic groups (including lichens, soil micro and macrofauna). The EBV analysis reveals that genetic diversity is the less covered component. The other biodiversity components are better represented, notably community-scale components and to a lesser extent, species traits. Networks sampling dendrometric data allow to derive more than 40 % of EBVs, notably the national forest inventory, but these results should be put in perspective. Indeed, if forest inventories are efficient regarding EBVs, it is only (and mainly) for the sampled taxa, i.e., trees and, more marginally, ground vascular plants. We also present two exemplary biodiversity monitoring networks issued of foreign experience. We also discuss elements of cost and perspectives concerning forest biodiversity monitoring in France.
monitoring, multitaxonomic approach, gap analysis, forest