Cultivating biodiversity to transform agriculture

Hainzelin Etienne. 2013. Cultivating biodiversity to transform agriculture. Heidelberg : Springer [Allemagne]-Ed. Quae, 275 p. ISBN 978-94-007-7983-9

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Abstract : Présentation de l'éditeur : Agriculture is the primary human activity: it involves 1.3 billion people, nearly a quarter of the world's population and half of its labour force. The cultivated area, i.e., the area where humans plan and directly control the vegetation cover, now represents over 20% of the landmass. Faced with the challenges of demography and poverty, agricultural systems, in all their diversity, are being called upon to intensify and enhance the production of goods and services. At the same time, they are expected to be able to cope better with climatic and other risks and uncertainties. How can biodiversity contribute to the transformation of these agricultural systems? The diversity of living organisms has served agriculture since its origins in the Neolithic Era. But modern farming has aimed for ever increasing and consistent yields, relying on massive use of synthetic inputs and fossil energy to do so. Indeed, we seem to have forgotten how much plant, animal and microbial biodiversity are the engine of all production processes and the basis for the regulation of ecosystems, both cultivated and natural. We will have to understand biodiversity better, remobilize it, enrich it and plan it - in one word cultivate it - in order to intensify production in a sustainable manner and ensure global food security. This will put agriculture in the developing world at the centre of discussions on possible transformations of agricultural systems. This book approaches these issues from various angles and shows how these transformations are not limited to the plot and its crop but also concern the profound links between rural communities and their living heritage, their ways to conserve this agrobiodiversity and their innovative ways for benefitting from it. Contents: 1. Introduction (Étienne Hainzelin). 2. The diversity of living organisms: the engine for ecological functioning (Étienne Hainzelin, Christine Nouaille). 3. From artificialization to the ecologization of cropping systems (Florent Maraux, Éric Malézieux, Christian Gary). 4. Rethinking plant breeding (Nourollah Ahmadi, Benoît Bertrand, Jean-Christophe Glaszmann). 5. Ecological interactions within the biodiversity of cultivated systems (Alain Ratnadass, Éric Blanchart, Philippe Lecomte). 6. Conserving and cultivating agricultural genetic diversity: transcending established divides (Sélim Louafi, Didier Bazile, Jean-Louis Noyer). 7. Towards biodiverse agricultural systems: reflecting on the technological, social and institutional changes at stake (Estelle Biénabe)

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Biodiversité, Agriculture, Développement agricole, Développement durable, Recherche agronomique, Intensification, Innovation, sécurité alimentaire, Agroécosystème, Écologie, Amélioration des plantes, Système de culture, Conservation des ressources, Pays en développement, Facteur climatique, Communauté rurale, agrobiodiversité, agroécologie

Classification Agris : A50 - Agricultural research
P01 - Nature conservation and land resources
F08 - Cropping patterns and systems
F30 - Plant genetics and breeding
E80 - Home economics and crafts

Champ stratégique Cirad : Axe 1 (2005-2013) - Intensification écologique

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Source : Cirad - Agritrop (

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