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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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API-SMAL - Agroecology and policy instruments for sustainable multifunctional agricultural landscapes

Project holders: Vincent MARTINET (Économie Publique) & Muriel TICHIT (SADAPT)

Other BASC research units involved: Agronomie, BIOGER, ESE

Non-academic partners: CDC-Biodiversité, FNCIVAM

Academic partners outside BASC: BioSP, MaIAGE


Transitions to sustainable agriculture require dealing with some key societal challenges, such as feeding the cities, contributing to climate change mitigation, reducing environmental and human health externalities from agriculture, and preserving functional (e.g., pollinators and pest predators or parasitoids) and emblematic biodiversity. To address these challenges, researchers and practitioners are developing agroecological solutions promoting ecosystem services essential to agricultural production, such as soil fertility, nitrogen fixation, erosion control, pollination, and pests and diseases control. These solutions often rely on ecological dynamics at the landscape scale and require particular spatial arrangement of land-uses (including semi-natural habitats) and agricultural practices. When considered on isolation, each challenge may call for very specific solutions, which can be inconsistent with the solutions for other challenges. Consequences of agroecological solutions on multiple ecosystem services should be assessed to understand the complex trade-offs operating across multiple scales among interdependent challenges.

The objective of the API-SMAL project is to examine how agroecological solutions can reconcile economic, ecological and environmental performances in agricultural landscapes. We aim at exploring and assessing multi-scale landscape management strategies to extend our understanding of the opportunities offered by agroecology to respond jointly to several agricultural challenges at different scales (field, landscape, and region). More specifically, API-SMAL adopts an interdisciplinary approach bringing together agricultural scientists, ecologists, epidemiologists, modelers and economists to examine the synergies and antagonisms among different agroecological solutions for crop protection (diseases and insects), agricultural pollution reduction (greenhouse gases, water pollution by nitrates and pesticides, soil erosion), biodiversity conservation and biodiversity-based ecosystem services provision. We will use dynamic spatially explicit models to analyze the trade-offs among different dimensions of agricultural sustainability, including production, environmental and ecological issues. Collaborations with stakeholders (farmers, land managers, policy-makers) and public economics approaches will be used to assess options for landscape management, including coordination mechanisms and public policy instruments.

The main outcomes of the project will be:

  • the identification of multi-scale agroecological solutions (land use patterns and practices) fostering targeted ecosystem services to reconcile agricultural production, biodiversity and ecosystem services;
  • a description of the effect of agroecological solutions on ecosystem services and agricultural production at different scales;
  • the development and assessment of innovative policy instruments to promote ecologically-based agriculture in Europe.