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Evolution of traditional agroforestry landscapes and development of invasive species: lessons from the Pyrenees (France)

Abstract : The term agroforestry covers practices that are promoted to maintain or even enhance biodiversity. However, the relationship between agroforestry and invasive species is rarely addressed, even though the spread of such species is an important issue, not only ecologically but also economically and socially. Over the past few decades, humans have greatly accelerated the process of biological invasions, to such an extent that they are now recognized as the second cause of rapid decline in biodiversity. In France (as in other parts in Europe), abandonment of agricultural land in remote areas is a major problem having socio-economic, landscape and environmental implications. The objective of the research presented here was to find a method for studying the relationship between traditional agroforestry systems and invasive species, despite a lack of available data. We investigated the evolution of a traditional agroforestry system in the Pyrenean foothills, where invasive species are abundant, by implementing two complementary methods: (1) interviews highlighting the local stakeholders' perception of landscape evolution, invasive species and the challenges they represent for the local traditional agroforestry landscapes, and (2) detailed mapping of an area occupied by invasive plants, by means of very high-resolution spatial technologies using UAV's and aerial photography. The results show that invasive species have spread in relation with the abandonment of agricultural land, which has also led to "landscape closure" by the encroachment of natural afforestation. They also underline the difficulty of assessing the spread of invasive species. This situation is of major importance in terms of land-use planning, as the various stakeholders have different perceptions of the problem, and it raises questions about the sustainability of practices and territories.
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Submitted on : Monday, June 7, 2021 - 11:11:33 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 8, 2021 - 3:39:32 AM

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Sylvie Guillerme, Hugues Barcet, Nicolas de Munnik, Eric Maire, Claire Marais-Sicre. Evolution of traditional agroforestry landscapes and development of invasive species: lessons from the Pyrenees (France). Sustainability Science, Springer Verlag (Germany), 2020, 15 (5), pp.1285-1299. ⟨10.1007/s11625-020-00847-1⟩. ⟨hal-03251597⟩



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