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Managing grasslands biodiversity at a landscape level to foster ecosystem services in intensive cereal systems: from ecological knowledge to collective action


  • Vincent Bretagnolle

    () (CEBC - Centre d'études biologiques de Chizé - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Elsa Berthet

    () (SADAPT - Sciences pour l'Action et le Développement : Activités, Produits, Territoires - AgroParisTech - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, CGS i3 - Centre de Gestion Scientifique i3 - MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris - PSL - PSL Research University - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)


Effective solutions for integrating agricultural development and conservation of biodiversity at the landscape scale remain to be identified. We present a case study in an intensively farmed French cereal plain, where the reintroduction of grasslands has been proposed first for conservation purposes in order to protect the Little Bustard, a highly threatened bird species. In these highly fragmented and disturbed habitats, the presence, abundance and distribution of grasslands therefore have a critical role in ecological and environmental regulatory processes. To restore these processes, it is critical to rationalize the inclusion of grasslands in the cropping system (in time, space and according to management practices). However, currently, grasslands are severely depleted by farmers who privilege cereal crops for economic reasons . We therefore raise the issue of whether crop allocation at the landscape scale can be changed without public funding, in order to increase the proportion of grasslands. A solution explored here is to identify the interdependencies between farmers related to the ecosystem services grasslands provide at the landscape scale. The recognition of grassland emergent functions when considered at the landscape scale gives them a status of common good: a good that should be collectively managed to maximize ecosystem services. This consideration leads to involve new stakeholders such as citizens, scientists, government bodies or NGOs in the collective management of grasslands and opens an innovative way to reconcile agriculture and conservation at the landscape scale.

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  • Vincent Bretagnolle & Elsa Berthet, 2012. "Managing grasslands biodiversity at a landscape level to foster ecosystem services in intensive cereal systems: from ecological knowledge to collective action," Post-Print hal-00781244, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00781244
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Swinton, Scott M. & Lupi, Frank & Robertson, G. Philip & Hamilton, Stephen K., 2007. "Ecosystem services and agriculture: Cultivating agricultural ecosystems for diverse benefits," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 245-252, December.
    2. Elinor Ostrom, 2000. "Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 137-158, Summer.
    3. Stallman, Heidi R., 2011. "Ecosystem services in agriculture: Determining suitability for provision by collective management," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 131-139.
    4. Goldman, Rebecca L. & Thompson, Barton H. & Daily, Gretchen C., 2007. "Institutional incentives for managing the landscape: Inducing cooperation for the production of ecosystem services," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 333-343, December.
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    Agro-ecosystem; ecosystem services; grasslands; cereal crops; biodiversity; design; collective action; commons;

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