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Evaluation des services fourragers et environnementaux des prairies permanentes à partir de la végétation, du milieu et des pratiques de gestion

Abstract : The contribution of permanent grasslands (PG) to agronomic and environmental services is important. However, their low level of subsidies, a lack of knowledge about their management and a disinterest of these surfaces in favour of more productive forage production have accelerated their downturn. The upgrade of these surfaces in forage systems in particular by studying services of PG is an important issue. In this context, the objective of our study was to identify pedoclimatic and management practices descriptors and characteristics of the vegetation relevant to predict these services. Our approach was based on different steps: i) identification and characterization of forage and environmental services relevant to the PG, ii) identification of aptitude criteria (herbage quality, amount of nectar available ...) which allow to assess the degree of achievement of the services, iii) prediction of values for each criterion of aptitude from characteristics of vegetation (botanical and functional composition) and iv) building links between characteristics of vegetation and pedoclimatic (temperature, soil moisture) and management practices (fertilization, date of first cut) descriptors. From the literature survey, expertise and farm surveys we selected the forage and environmental services, the criteria of aptitude, the characteristics of vegetation and pedoclimatic and management practices descriptors. In total, four environmental services and 11 feed services were studied, taking into account the 12 characteristics of the vegetation (botanical composition (presence and dominance of species) and functional composition (life traits and properties of species)), 15 pedoclimatic descriptors (temperature, soil moisture ...) and 19 management practices descriptors (fertilization, intensity of use of grassland...). The study of a national network of 190 grasslands allowed us to show that botanical and functional composition are non-redundant and influenced by different pedoclimatic and management practices descriptors. The functional composition is influenced by pedoclimatic and management practices descriptors while the botanical composition, which uses a larger number of descriptors, is mainly predicted by pedoclimatic descriptors. The model predictions are better for the botanical composition than for the functional composition. The study of this network and of an experiment in control conditions allowed us to evaluate the quality of prediction of criteria of aptitude for forage services from the functional composition (functional types (FT), proportion of grasses, legumes and forbs, middle stage and dry matter content) of the vegetation. The study in a common environment of three grasslands contrasted on FT composition confirms on the whole growth season the differences in quality and production of grassland that are linked to the FT composition. In contrast, at the scale of the national grassland network, FT composition alone is not sufficient to predict the observed differences in production and quality. Other characteristics of vegetation such as the proportion of legumes and forbs, as well as the mean stage of vegetation or the dry matter content also contribute to explain the differences in production and quality between grasslands. Finally, a multicriteria approach allowed us to build an evaluation method of forage and environmental services from the criteria of aptitude.Thus, this thesis work allowed the development of a method to predict the forage and environmental services provided by permanent grasslands from the knowledge of pedoclimatic characteristics, management practices and of simple vegetation criteria
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Audrey Michaud. Evaluation des services fourragers et environnementaux des prairies permanentes à partir de la végétation, du milieu et des pratiques de gestion. Sciences agricoles. Institut National Polytechnique de Lorraine, 2011. Français. ⟨NNT : 2011INPL039N⟩. ⟨tel-01749522⟩

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