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Dealing with ecosystem services in the management of agro-ecological systems

Abstract : Agroecology is based on the use of biodiversity and ecosystem processes to increase biomass production by enhancing regulation ecosystem services while improving resource-use efficiency and system resilience. The key decision process issue concerns how farmers take into account ecosystem services in management strategies and actions. Indeed appropriate management practices are critical to realizing the benefits of these services and reducing disservices. Adopting, discovering or implementing agroecological practices requires fundamentally different ways of designing, monitoring and managing agroecosystems to take into account: the existence of a wide range of partially known and interacting ecological processes to be considered at field to landscape scales and short to medium-long terms, and the diverse decision-making logic and attitude of farmers managing resources, both individually and collectively (e.g. landscape matrix). Therefore, the concept of farm management strategy needs to be revisited to meet specificities of agroecology and fit the local environmental, social, economic and cultural contexts. Designing strategies and making decisions about how to efficiently generate and combine ecosystem services is difficult for several reasons. First the monitoring of biophysical state is more demanding in terms of number of variables and frequency of observation (data intensiveness issue). Second the consequences of different actions may be hard to quantify, both economically and environmentally (uncertainty issue). Third the temporal and spatial patterns of highly desirable ecosystem services require strong goal-oriented anticipation (planning issue). In this communication we resume our current hypothesis about how farmers use their partial knowledge about agroecology and ecosystem services to make situation-dependent management decisions and change practices. The focus is put on the essential cognitive structures involved such as goals, plans, beliefs about biophysical causality, desirability of situations, and event-base reactive behaviors.
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  • HAL Id : hal-02737788, version 1
  • PRODINRA : 474749

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Roger Martin-Clouaire, Patrick Taillandier, Olivier Therond. Dealing with ecosystem services in the management of agro-ecological systems. European Ecosystem Services Conference, Oct 2018, San Sebastian, Spain. ⟨hal-02737788⟩

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