Mise en valeur et développement durable des zones de moyennes montagnes par l'agroforesterie : l'association arbre-herbe-animal - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Conference Papers Year : 1997

Improvement and sustainable development of medium altitude areas through agroforestry : tree-grass-animal association

Mise en valeur et développement durable des zones de moyennes montagnes par l'agroforesterie : l'association arbre-herbe-animal

Philippe Balandier
Hélène Rapey


Since 1989, trial planting of valuable tree species has been experimented on grazing prairies in France, mainly in Auvergne and Languedoc-Roussillon. These trials were born out of a marriage between research and land planning: research into more intensive silvicultural methods that apply the technical progress made over the last decades and the concerns of national and regional decision-makers regarding whole-scale reforestation of land threatened by abandonment due to CAP reforms and to the restructuring of agricultural production. Agroforestry, i.e., the association of tree planting with cropping or livestock on the same plot of land, means that production can be diversified and that short-term revenue (from cropping or cattle) can be linked to a more long-term income (production of quality timber). Agroforestry therefore encourages the sustainable development of fragile areas by maintaining human activity while conserving specific ecological diversity. A survey of why land-owners adopted these trial agroforestry systems confirms these objectives: refusal of reforestation alone, interest in tree cultivation, tree colour, shape, etc., and genuine demand for this type of development. This practice is therefore multiple-use as well as multi-objective. Although agroforestry provides considerable socio-economic benefits, it also requires specific techniques and management. Our first plantings show the importance of selecting appropriate tree species for the environment and of initial care for the plants: localized weeding at the tree base to inhibit grass competition for water, pruning in order to obtain a base that is straight and knotless, etc. In the same way, herd behaviour has to be adapted (grazing load and number of yearly crossings); trees can be damaged by grass shortages or stress. Nevertheless several problems remain to be solved. One of the key problems is to protect trees from animals. Currently, no system yields complete satisfaction, either concerning tree growth or their effective protection. It is the object of ongoing trials. Similarly, tree density is still the object of debate. Original density was estimated at 100 plants per hectare in order to obtain 60 future trees and to reduce planting and pruning costs. This density currently appears too weak to ensure a final stand of quality; yet an increase in density could lead to higher investments and loss of forage. Moreover, the fiscal and regulatory status of these multiple-use plots has not been defined yet, hence current efforts to build models of the relationships between the various components of the agroforestry system (tree, grass, animal) in order to test different technical and economic strategies.
La plantation de feuillus précieux en prairie pâturée est expérimentée en France (principalement en Auvergne et Languedoc-Roussillon) depuis 1989. Ces expérimentations sont nées d'une convergence entre recherche et aménagement du territoire : recherche de sylvicultures plus intensives utilisant les progrès techniques des dernières décennies et les inquiétudes des responsables nationaux et régionaux vis-à-vis du reboisements massifs des terres menacées de déprise suite aux réformes de la PAC et à la restructuration des productions agricoles. L'agroforesterie, association d'arbres et de cultures ou d'animaux sur une même parcelle permet de diversifier les productions et d'associer un revenu à court terme (la culture ou le bétail) à un revenu à plus long terme (la production de bois de qualité). Elle favorise donc le développement durable des régions fragiles dans la mesure où elle permet de maintenir des activités humaines tout en préservant une certaine diversité écologique. Une enquête de motivations pour l'agroforesterie réalisée auprès de propriétaires expérimentant ces nouvelles plantations confirme ces objectifs - refus de boisements fermés, intérêt pour la culture d'arbres, pour leur couleur, leur forme, ... - et l'existence d'une réelle demande pour cette forme de développement. C'est donc une pratique "multi-usages" autant que "multi-objectifs".


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Dates and versions

hal-02576094 , version 1 (14-05-2020)



Philippe Balandier, Hélène Rapey, J.L. Guitton. Mise en valeur et développement durable des zones de moyennes montagnes par l'agroforesterie : l'association arbre-herbe-animal. 11ème congrés forestier mondial, Antalya, TUR, 13-22 October 1997, 1997, Turquie. pp.6. ⟨hal-02576094⟩
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