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Taxonomic and functional biodiversity positively influence agronomic characteristics of permanent grassland

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Abstract

European permanent grasslands are the main source of livestock fodder and the main hotspot of botanical diversity, but the trade-offs between fodder production and botanical diversity conservation remain debated. This study aims to identify what grassland features influence fodder characteristics and to estimate the direction of correlation between biodiversity and fodder characteristics. We focused on a diverse sample of 58 permanent grasslands from the Vosges Mountains (eastern France). For each grassland, we estimated the quantity and quality of the fodder using 10 fodder characteristics, and extracted 26 grassland features related to management, environment, taxonomic and functional diversity. We used random forest algorithms to investigate what grassland features best predicted fodder characteristics. Our results showed that fodder characteristics could be well estimated using only 14 grassland features (R²>0.4) pertaining to management, soil, climate, taxonomic and functional diversity. Diversity was negatively correlated to three fodder characteristics, but positively correlated to six. We conclude that biodiversity is a key predictor of grassland fodder characteristics, and enhances most of them. We argue that conservation of permanent grasslands biodiversity and agricultural production can both benefit from synergies.
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Dates and versions

hal-03750499 , version 1 (12-08-2022)

Identifiers

  • HAL Id : hal-03750499 , version 1

Cite

Geoffrey Mesbahi, Anne A. Poutaraud Naidenov, Cécile Bayeur, Sylvain Plantureux. Taxonomic and functional biodiversity positively influence agronomic characteristics of permanent grassland. 29th General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation, Université de Caen, Jun 2022, Caen, France. pp.1-3. ⟨hal-03750499⟩
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