A proposed tool to discern how farming activities contribute to environmental functions in a landscape - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Conference Papers Year : 2006

A proposed tool to discern how farming activities contribute to environmental functions in a landscape


In areas where a large proportion of the land is used for farming, such as in European countries, evaluating links between farming activities and landscape multifunctionality is delicate and complex. In the last fifteen years social demand and policy orientation have evolved and now voice greater and more varied expectations concerning landscape characteristics, which are frequently linked to farming activity. However, it is still difficult clearly to identify and understand the contribution of farming to landscape multifunctionality because of the many interlocking forms of farm activities and land uses present in a given landscape. In assessing the contributions of farming land use to multifunctionality, research focuses most often on farm units and less frequently on landscape units, and rarely takes into account the complementarity of different farm types. In addition, it usually ignores combinations of non-productive functions in a landscape. Our research objective was thus to devise a framework that could successfully take into account and appraise complementarities among different farms and multiple functions in a landscape entity. We chose a geo-agronomic viewpoint to address the spatial organisation and complementarities of farming practices in a landscape. After methodological proposals an exploratory practical case-study was developed in a small diversified livestock farming area on two sensitive environmental functions (preservation of surface water resources and preservation of a mosaic pattern of vegetation). The main finding of this study was the multiform contribution of the farms to these two environmental functions, both in the overall landscape and on each farm. Two main spatial configurations appeared: 1) large farms with a spatially limited and disseminated contribution to the two landscape functions, and 2) medium and small farms with a relatively large localised contribution to the two functions. Improvements are now necessary, e.g. in the identification of land users expectations, in the identification of the fulfilment conditions of various function sets, and in the simplification needed to make comparisons between many and larger landscapes. The ultimate aim is to produce tools and references at landscape scale for policy and decision making concerning agriculture and multifunctionality.
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Dates and versions

hal-02751923 , version 1 (03-06-2020)


  • HAL Id : hal-02751923 , version 1
  • PRODINRA : 22334


Hélène Rapey, Etienne Josien, Sylvie Lardon, Gérard Servière, Cecile C. Fiorelli. A proposed tool to discern how farming activities contribute to environmental functions in a landscape. International Conference on Sustainable Land Use in Intensively Used Agricultural Regions, Sep 2005, Leipzig, Germany. ⟨hal-02751923⟩
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