Platform description


As part of the Phénotypage au Champ (PAC, Field phenotyping) team, the Phéno3C high-throughput phenotyping platform occupies a 7ha plot near the INRA research centre in Crouël (Clermont-Ferrand, France). Its objective is to study the effects of climate change, in semi-controlled conditions close to agronomic conditions (field). Globally it is composed of 24 plots of 600 m² allowing the application of treatments (plots A-E) and an agronomic rotation (plots 1-3). It allows the control of soil water availability to apply droughts and the control of atmospheric CO2 concentration to mimic future conditions.


Water stress:

Control of soil water availability:

Soil water availability is managed by a combination of automatic mobile shelters and precision irrigation systems. 


Shelter movements according to rainfall.

Test block layout


Phéno3C consists of 4 experimental plots that can be covered by mobile shelters. At the same time, similar plots are managed in natural conditions.

Each shelter is equipped with an irrigation system that allows the adjustment of soil water supply.


Control of atmospheric CO2 concentration:

The platform will soon be equipped with FACE (Free Air CO2 Enrichment) systems for two of its plots. Each system will have a surface area of 600 m² and will allow applying CO2 concentrations predicted by the models for the 2050 (~550 ppm) or 2100 (~700 ppm) horizons.



The unit of experimentation is the micro-plot, on which a distinct variety or genotype is sown. Each micro-plot has 8 rows of plants sown over a little less than 2 m in length for an area of about 2 m² (1.15 wide x 1.90 long exactly).

The platform can therefore be used to analyze:

4 plots x 96 micro plots = 384 micro-plots sheltered

4 plots x 96 micro plots = 384 control micro-plots

2 plots x 96 micro plots = 168 micro-plots equipped with FACE



Soil characteristics:

Phéno3C is installed on a "browned fluvisol" type soil with a predominantly clay-loam soil. The surface horizon consists on average of the following characteristics:



Organic matter (%)







Soil depth (cm)

Water reserve (mm)








Modification date : 22 May 2023 | Publication date : 26 June 2017 | Redactor : Boris Adam