Know more

Our use of cookies

Cookies are a set of data stored on a user’s device when the user browses a web site. The data is in a file containing an ID number, the name of the server which deposited it and, in some cases, an expiry date. We use cookies to record information about your visit, language of preference, and other parameters on the site in order to optimise your next visit and make the site even more useful to you.

To improve your experience, we use cookies to store certain browsing information and provide secure navigation, and to collect statistics with a view to improve the site’s features. For a complete list of the cookies we use, download “Ghostery”, a free plug-in for browsers which can detect, and, in some cases, block cookies.

Ghostery is available here for free:

You can also visit the CNIL web site for instructions on how to configure your browser to manage cookie storage on your device.

In the case of third-party advertising cookies, you can also visit the following site:, offered by digital advertising professionals within the European Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA). From the site, you can deny or accept the cookies used by advertising professionals who are members.

It is also possible to block certain third-party cookies directly via publishers:

Cookie type

Means of blocking

Analytical and performance cookies

Google Analytics

Targeted advertising cookies


The following types of cookies may be used on our websites:

Mandatory cookies

Functional cookies

Social media and advertising cookies

These cookies are needed to ensure the proper functioning of the site and cannot be disabled. They help ensure a secure connection and the basic availability of our website.

These cookies allow us to analyse site use in order to measure and optimise performance. They allow us to store your sign-in information and display the different components of our website in a more coherent way.

These cookies are used by advertising agencies such as Google and by social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Among other things, they allow pages to be shared on social media, the posting of comments, and the publication (on our site or elsewhere) of ads that reflect your centres of interest.

Our EZPublish content management system (CMS) uses CAS and PHP session cookies and the New Relic cookie for monitoring purposes (IP, response times).

These cookies are deleted at the end of the browsing session (when you log off or close your browser window)

Our EZPublish content management system (CMS) uses the XiTi cookie to measure traffic. Our service provider is AT Internet. This company stores data (IPs, date and time of access, length of the visit and pages viewed) for six months.

Our EZPublish content management system (CMS) does not use this type of cookie.

For more information about the cookies we use, contact INRA’s Data Protection Officer by email at or by post at:

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

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

Menu Logo Principal Osur

ORE agro-hydrosystèmes

Zone de texte éditable et éditée

Research projects

  • ANR SOILSERV Multi-scale assessment of soil ecosystem services in agroecosystems. 2017-2020. 

The SOILSERV project combines biophysical and socio-economic approaches to assess at different spatial
scales ecosystem services of agricultural soils and to analyse their economic valuation in farmers’ choices or
their consideration in territory planning. Within mixed agroecosystems involving crops, livestock and
uncultivated areas, SOILSERV aims to jointly evaluate provisioning (crop production), regulating (water
quality, air quality, biodiversity conservation) and supporting (preservation of soil quality) ecosystem services
and to study their interactions. The selected spatial scales correspond either to decision levels for agricultural
practices (field, farm) and landscape management (the commune, set of communes) or to relevant scales in
terms of biophysical processes (watershed).
The project involves three research axes:

(1) the biophysical assessment of SES at different spatial scales, by
mobilizing and comparing descriptors derived from measures, modelling results or more easily accessible
indicators. A collective expertise of existing approaches will define a framework of SES assessment
methodologies, implemented and tested on two existing long term environmental research observatories;

(2) the prediction at the required spatial scales of soil characteristics necessary to soil ecosystem services
assessment, through innovative disaggregation and change of support approaches of existing soil spatial

(3) the integration of soil-related information into farm management models and territory
planning strategies in order to consider soil sustainability criteria into the decision-making process.

By assembling a multi-disciplinary academic team with professional partners, SOILSERV aims to clarify the
concepts and consolidate the methods of SES assessment, by identifying approaches best suited according to
the target scale and available information. The joined biophysical evaluation of ecosystem services with their
economic assessment within agricultural holdings and within a real situation of territory planning, intends to
identify the social conditions and the potential impact on production and environment of a multi-SES strategy.
In the end, SOILSERV aims to increase the synergy between the ecosystem functioning and social organization
of the territories, taking into account the complexity of the soils and associated uncertainties but also the point
of view and interest of the SES’s beneficiaries.

PARTNERS: The project involves six French partners and an international collaborator

    • Partner 1: UMR 1069 SAS, INRA-Agrocampus Ouest, Rennes, France
    • Partner 2: UMR 1032 SMART, INRA-Agrocampus Ouest, Rennes, France
    • Partner 3: US 1106 Infosol, INRA, Orléans, France
    • Partner 4: UMR 1349 IGEPP, INRA-Agrocampus Ouest-Université Rennes1, Rennes, France
    • Partner 5: SCE Society, Spatial planning and environment, Keran Group, Nantes, France
    • Partner 6: Pôle Métropolitain de Nantes et St Nazaire, Nantes, France
    • Partner 7: Quebec Research and Development Centre (QRDC), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    • (AAFC), Quebec, Canada.
  • Coordination: UMR SAS Rennes, (C. Walter)


  • EC2CO PHOSNAPInterface zones hillslope-streams/lakes as bioreactors producer of dissolved phosphorus. Mecanisms and role of groundwater dynamics, fluxes estimates. 2015-2016
  1. Nature of production mecanisms and role of groundwater in selecting involved mecanisms. Role of soil characteristics and agricultural practices. Estimation of related fluxes. 
  2. Speciation of dissolved P (sequential extractions, ultra-filtrations, ICP-MS, XANES, Nano- SIMS, RMN…
  3. Role of microbial drivers and of organic pool of phosphorus in soils. 

Coordination : UMR Géosciences, Rennes (G. Gruau).    


  • REMEDES: Residuals of medical drugs in surface water. 2013-2015. Action ONEMA.

According to the national program on medical drug residuals in waters and to the Water Framework Directive, the project aims at studying simultaneously the occurrence of medicinal residual and faecal contaminant tracers which indicate the source of pollution (human, swine, and cattle). In 2012 a previous action led by the research unit on Kervidy-Naizin catchment provided a quantification of residual of medical veterinary products used in swine production in stream water. The new action proposes to couple the analysis of veterinary product residuals and tracers of faecal contamination and to study catchments which present various sources of contamination: human, swine and cattle. Monitoring of medical residuals in waters will be associated with monitoring of stanols, E. coli, DOC, Nitrogen and phosphorus in two headwater catchments. The catchment of Kervidy-Naizin (oRE AgrHys)  is characterized by animal-derived contamination pressures (farming systems) while the catchment of the Rance river is more characterized by human-derived contamination pressures. Monitoring will be carried out during and between flood events, and during and between manure application operations. The potential sources of contamination and the potential transfer pathways associated to the physical environment will be confronted to the quantification of the molecules in order to identify the areas with contamination risk.  

Coordination: UMR SAS, Rennes (A. Jaffrezic). 


  • TRANS-P.Transfer of Phosphorus from agricultural lands to streams: Storages and loads, from observation to modelling. 2013-2016. funded by Agence de l'Eau Loire Bretagne.

The projects consists of 3 WP:

1. Variability and spatial distribution of stores and pools of phosphorus in soils, from headwater catchments to regional scale ( french Brittany).

The purpose of this WP is to characterize the variability of the soil compartments of phosphorus and their controls, at different spatial and nested scales in order to develop some strategies for the monitoring of soil quality, and e relevant integration of soil data in agro-hydrological models of phosphorus transfer at regional and local spatial scales.

2. Temporal and spatial variability of phosphorus concentrations and loads, uncertainty related to the sampling frequency.  La variabilité temporelle et spatiale des concentrations et des flux de phosphore, l’incertitude en relation avec la fréquence d’échantillonnage.

This WP will characterize phosphorus fluxes, their temporal and spatial variability, and their controllers. The relationship between the fluxes of water, suspended solids and dissolved and particular phosphorus will be analyzed to identify the relative importance and the sources of dissolved phosphorus. Monitoring strategies for these fluxes in catchments will be proposed.

3. Modelling P transfers from headwater catchments to regional scale. 

This WP aims at linking using different approaches the agricultural practices and the output fluxes.
Coordination: UMR SAS, Rennes (C. Gascuel-Odoux).


  • ANR MOSAIC – Landscape approach of soil organic matter dynamics in intensive mixed agrosystems, in the context of global change. - 2013-2017 (ANR Agrobiosphère).

The general objective of the project is to investigate SOM dynamics (stocks and related fluxes) in intensive mixed-agricultural landscape, and the impacts of global changes on SOM and on cropping systems resilience. Two components of global change are considered: climate change and change in cropping systems. The project focuses on quantifying and understanding the heterogeneity in SOM dynamics at landscape scale, in landscape presenting contrasted cropping systems in terms of organic matter inputs and soil water regime. The project is divided into three main research axis: (1) quantifying variability and co-variability of existing organization of cropping systems, environmental factors, and SOM stocks, over agricultural landscape, (2) better understanding of processes governing SOM dynamics in a range of cropping systems and environmental conditions, (3) modeling and prospective simulation of SOM dynamics over landscape. These issues will be addressed on the long term research study site (ORE AgrHys). The project is interdisciplinary and will combine different approaches of SOM dynamics: advanced techniques regarding SOM dynamics (geochemistry, biology), and landscape perspective of production and environmental functions of agroecosystems (agronomy, landscape ecology). This program involves observations, experiments and modeling.

The results of this research will ultimately contribute to design landscape management strategies to adapting farming systems to global change.

Coordination: UMR SAS - Rennes (V. Viaud) 


  • ANR ESCAPADE – Assesing scenarios on the nitrogen cascade in rural landscapes and territorial modelling. - 2013-2017 (ANR Agrobiosphère)

The project aims at analyzing the effect of agricultural activities and of landscapes organization and composition on the nitrogen cascade in territories using co-construction of scenarios for nitrogen management and then to evaluate these scenarios using ensemble modelling for the quantification of nitrogen fluxes in the environment. The main scales which are considered are rural landscapes from 5 to 30 km2 but also larger regional territories.

The elaboration and evaluation of the scenarios will provide some guidelines for mitigating the loss of reactive nitrogen in the environment using relevant adaptation of production systems to global changes. The consortium is based on a pluri-disciplinary partnership including research and development on the management of nitrogen and territories.

The catchment of Kervidy-Naizin is one of the three pilot sites of the project on which the ensemble modelling will be implemented and assessed by comparison with measured nitrogen fluxes.  L’élaboration des scénarios couplée à leur évaluation par les modélisations vise à proposer des pistes d’atténuation des pertes d’azote réactif dans l’environnement et des pistes d’adaptation des systèmes de production aux changements globaux.Le consortium est basé sur un partenariat pluridisciplinaire recherche / développement sur la gestion de l’azote et des territoires.

Coordination: UMR EGC- Grignon (J-L Drouet)


  • Equipex CRITEX – Challenging equipments for the temporal and spatial exploration of the Critical Zone at the catchment scale.- 2012-2019 - Funded by the French State

The philosophy of CRITEX is to build a shared and centralized instrumental facility for the long-term monitoring and exploration of the Critical Zone, complementing and over-performing the existing site-specific equipments. INSU/CNRS is in charge of this research infrastructure. The equipments have been selected as they introduce scientific breakthrough, either in the form of prototypes of new instruments, or by combining different mature techniques. All instruments will be shared within the community network. The first Objective is to develop high frequency monitoring in catchments (at the interface with the atmosphere, in the soil and at the outlet). Much information on the processes operating in catchments can be gained from refined temporal monitoring. High temporal monitoring of river catchments is also a prerequisite for closing energy, water and carbon budgets in selected catchments. The second objective is to develop multi-disciplinary monitoring of “hot spots” and during “hot moments” of the Critical Zone in catchments. CRITEX scientific approach is to investigate the Critical Zone across a wide range of spatial scales, ranging from the parcel to the whole catchment and coupling a process-based approach to an integrated holistic investigation using geophysical and geochemical techniques.

CRITEX has a strong international ambition. It is designed as the French component of the international initiative on the Critical Zone (CZEN). Building bridges with international scientific communities, CRITEX is also working hands in hands with other French initiatives such as the Zone Atelier equipex (ZA2020), avoiding proposing similar instruments. With 21 laboratory partners, 4 national institutions of environmental research and more that 20 universities, CRITEX is a major national initiative, scheduled for a period of 10 years, embodying an unprecedented effort of the national research forces on the monitoring of rivers and catchments to foster a new style of scientific approach and to improve academic, societal, political and business partnerships with both operational and international spheres.

Coordination: IPGP-Paris (J. Gaillardet)

Web site


  • GP5 - 2010 -2012 – Scenarios for recovering water quality in brittany coastal catchments. (Grand projet 5, Granted by the State PITE)

Coordination: UMR SAS- Rennes (P. Durand)


  • ANR ACASSYA - Accompagnying agroecological evolution in farming systems in coastal catchments - 2009-2013 (ANR Systerra)  

This project aims at overcoming the knowledge gaps on the nitrogen cycle and to analyze the transfers of nitrogen in managed catchments.  

Coordination: UMR SAS-Rennes (C. Gascuel & L. Ruiz)


  • Project EC2CO CODYCARBAZO - 2009-2011- Linkage of Carbon and Nitrogen dynamics : isotopic tracing of C and N in SOM on the hillslope of Kerrien (REO AgrHys).

Coordination: UMR Bioemco – Paris ( M. Sebillo).


  • PSDR-Grand Ouest CLIMASTER- 2009-2011 – Climate change, agricultural systems, natural resources and territorial development.

This program aims at analyzing the effect of climate on agricultural systems, on the water resources, and on the soils resources in relation with agriculture adaptations.  

Coordination: UMR SAS-Rennes (Philippe Mérot)


  • ANR Jeunes Chercheurs SURFREE 2008-2011.

The project is dedicated to 3 main objectives:

The determination of the shape of the REE spectrum for the different sorption surfaces in soils ou in colloïds.

To describe further the effect of competitions between sorption surfaces on the REE spectrum shapes in waters and solids.

Developing a thermodynamic model able to predict the variability of the REE spectrum observed in waters and complex solids (soils, particles, colloïds).

Coordination: UMR Géosciences (M. Davranche)


  • Défis scientifiques émergents  FEREDINF’ : Fe bioREDuction processes at Mineral/Water/Soil/Bacteria INterFaces (Programme Université Rennes1 – Action incitative) 

Qualitative, quantitative, and pluri-disciplinary approach of bioreduction of iron oxyhydroxydes and its consequences on sequestration or liberation of associated REE in wetlands. 2009-2010

Coordination: UMR Géosciences- Rennes (A. Dia)


  • EC2CO-CYTRIX BIOREFE : Iron BIOREduction: secondary products and mobility of associated elements. 2009-2010

Developping methods to quantify in situ the process of iron oxyhydroxydes.  

Coordination: Géosciences- Rennes (A. Dia)


  • EU NitroEurope IP - 2006-2010 - The Nitrogen cycle and its influence on the European greenhouse gas balance.

The part 4 (C4: Nitroscape, leaded by P. Cellier) provided an approach for measuring and integrated modelling of nitrogen cycle in ecosystems in landscape. The catchment of Kervidy-Naizin was an experimental site part of a European network. (PI: P. Durand, C. Fléchard).

Coordination: CEH Edinburgh (M. Sutton)


  • AFSSET - 2006-2010 – Molecular tracing of fecal contamination in agro-systems.

The project provided to water managers analytical tools for discriminating the human and animal source of fecal contamination.  

Coordination: UMR Géosciences-Rennes (Emilie Jardé)

  •  Pollution of surface water pumping stations in french Brittany by organic matters. - 2005-2010 - (Contrats Région Bretagne-DRASS de Bretagne-Agence de l'Eau Loire-Bretagne).

Identifying the respective role of physical factors (soils, geomorphology, climate) and of agricultural practices on the transfer of organic matter in catchments. Developping tools for tracing the sources of OM.

Coordination: UMR Géosciences-Rennes (Gérard Gruau)      


  • Assessment program of the Action Plans « European litigation catchments » (Financement Etat PITE) 2007-2008

Coordination: UMR SAS-Rennes (Patrick Durand)

  •  ECOGERPAPIER - 2006-2008 – Rural landscapes, pollutant fluxes, ecological impacts in rivers.

The objective was to identify the effect of agricultural activity and landscape management on ecological status of rivers. Suspended solids have been monitored in the site of Kervidy-Naizin.

PI: Montuelle B. / Grimaldi C. UMR SAS - Rennes.

  • CASDAR Phosphore. 2006-2008. founded by Region Bretagne

Diagnostic of the risk of phosphorus transfer from agricultural plots to streams and development of an assessment methodology for intensive systems in the Big west of France. Loads and dynamics of phosphorus in the site of Kervidy-Naizin.

Resp. ACTA.
PI: C. Gascuel UMR SAS - Rennes.

  • PRIR DATEAUX -2003-2007- Development of methodologies for water datation. (Programme de Recherche d'Intérêt Régional).

PI: Luc Aquilina - Thierry Labasque Géosciences Rennes

  • EC2CO- ECODYN - 2003-2007 – Iron Bio-geochemistry and associated contaminants (As, Cr, Cd)

PI: G. Morin UMR 7590 IMPMC CNRS

  • EC2CO-PNRH ATRAP  - 2005-2006 – Analysis of pollutant transfers in catchments : residence time distribution and modelling.  

PI: H. Bendjoudi, UPMC, UMR Sysiphe

  • ECCO-PNRH SONATE - 2004-2006- Role of the interface Soil-Aquifer on solute transfer processes, on chemical erosion, and on bacterial biodiversity in a catchment.

PI: Jérome Molenat, UMR SAS - Rennes.

  • CPER - 2003-2006 – Controlling the water quality in french Brittany.  

PI: G. Gruau, Géosciences Rennes

  • Assessment program of BEP (Pure Water Brittany) actions using modelling. (regional grants)

Coordination : P.Durand