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Last update: May 2021

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DIVERCROP (A Mediterranean research project)

The DIVERCROP project aims to highlights interactions between current dynamics of the Mediterranean agricultural practices, species diversity and local food systems at multiple spatial scales. The main assumption is

  • that the current land use dynamics in Mediterranean area may enhance, in many cases, situations of land use pattern diversity (inside agricultural areas with changes in agricultural practices, in perirurban situations with the competition between agricultural and urban uses or in semi-natural areas used by extensive farming systems), and
  • this diversity is an indicator of places where, on one hand,evolutions of the couple ecosystems/agricultural systems could be the foundations of a new sustainable agriculture and, one other hand there is an ability to develop local food systems (an homogenous area of monospecific agriculture isn’t usually in favor of the new farming systems integration). So, an assessment of the land use diversity processes and related changes occurring on the Mediterranean area (e.g.intensification, extensification, urbanization and land abandonment) and their drivers (geographical, agronomical and socio-economic) will be carried out. From this framework, we will evaluate how these changes impact the agricultural and species diversity at different spatial scales, and how this measure of diversity allows to locate areas that should potentially experience an enhancement of local food systems.
  • In order to better focus our analysis, we will concentrate this project on the Western part of the Mediterranean Basin (WMB) where we will develop and test a methodology to connect the local and the regional scales in a feedback process. The project is composed of the following steps:

1) An assessment of the current spatial agricultural dynamics, competition between agriculture and other land uses and between different agricultural management practices, from which the main drivers will be carried out at the WMB scale.
2) An identification of local drivers of territorial dynamics in terms of governance and stakeholders’ behavior, through studying specific case studies sampled according to spatial trends and management drivers.
3) The development of a multi-scale model that investigate the consequences of local and regional land system changes on agricultural practices and species diversity, and on the spatial capabilities for cities to enhance local food systems.
4) In order to address our scientific and technological ambitious objectives, DIVERCROP gathers a multidisciplinary team of researchers from different fields covering both spatial quantitative approaches including planning sciences, landscape ecology, landscape agronomy and biophysics and qualitative approaches such as sociology and human geography.

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