Gabin PitonScientist

INRAE Montpellier


Campus de la Gaillarde, bâtiment 12, 2 place Viala

34060 Montpellier Cedex 2, Montpellier, France

Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tel : +33(0)

Research scope and skills

My researches mainly focus on three questions:

How soil microbial community respond to variation in plant traits (litter and roots)? farming practices? climate conditions? and their interactions?

What are the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms underlying these responses of soil microbial communities?

What are the consequences for plant nutrient acquisition, C-sequestration, C:N:P coupling? and their resistance/resilience to climate stresses?

To address this question, I mostly use in situ and ex situ experiments. My researches rely on the characterization of plant and soil microorganism traits to develop a mechanistic understanding of ecosystem functioning. Building a transdisciplinary research, across plant and microbial ecology, based on the functional trait framework, is central in my approach. I have worked with various methods to characterize plant, soil and microbial communities but my main technical expertises cover plant functional traits, C:N:P stoichiometry, soil enzyme activities, metagenomic, experimental design and statistical analyses.

Hired at Eco&Sols in 2021, I have started new researches on the understudied subsoil (<60cm). More precisely, the aim is to assess the potential to improve cultures resource acquisition and C-sequestration with deep rooting cultures in multispecific agrosystems (eg. Agroforestery), under current and future climate associated with increasing hydric stress. Soil microbial community functioning and the interaction with living and dead roots are key drivers of this potential. However, how the specific conditions of the subsoil affect its response to roots is still poorly understood. My research addresses this knowledge gap.


-2021-… Chargé de recherché INRAE, Eco&Sols Montpellier (France)

-2020-2021: Postdoc, University of California Irvine (USA): “The global functional spectrum of soil bacteria “ & “ Bacteria trait evolution under drought”

-2020 : Postdoc, Laboratoire d’Écologie Alpine de Grenoble (France) : “ Role of soil enzyme in plant-soil linkage across the French Alpes “

-2016-2019 : PhD, Laboratoire d’Écologie Alpine de Grenoble (France) : " Grassland ecosystems resilience to climate stresses under different management intensities: an approach based on the microbial functional trait concept"

-2014-2016 : Master biologie des organismes et écologie, Univ. Catholique de Louvain (Belgique) : “ Plant functional traits and forage quality dynamic in subalpine plant communities”




Weil S., Martinez-Almoyna C., Piton G., Renaud J., Boulangeat L., Foulquier A., Saillard A., Choler P., Poulenard P., ORCHAMP Consortium, Münkemüller T. & W. Thuiller. (2021) Strong links between plant traits and microbial activities but different abiotic drivers in mountain grasslands. Journal of Biogeography, 48(11), 2755-2770.

Ibanez S., Brun C., Millery A., Piton G., Bernard L., Gallet C., Foulquier A. & J.C. Clément (2021) Litter and soil characteristics mediate the buffering effect of snow cover on litter decomposition. Plant & Soil, 460(1), 511-525

Piton G., Martinez L., Foulquier A., Legay N., Brussaard L., Hedlund K., Nascimento E., Reis F., Sousa P., Clement JC. & G. De Deyn (2020) Resistance-recovery tradeoff of soil microbial communities under altered rain regimes: An experimental test across European agroecosystems. Journal of Applied Ecology , 58(2), 406-418.

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