Marais Poitevin (France)

Wader conservation in the Marais Poitevin (France)

The objective of this work is to asses, at different spatial and temporal scales the trade-offs between production and bird conservation in a grassland agroecosystem used for meat cattle breeding. The research methodology is based on several models, built within the mathematical framework of the viability theory. These models formalize the interactions between grazing and mowing practices and the ecological dynamics of two grassland bird species at three nested spatial scales (field, farm and landscape). The five major findings of this work are as follows: at field scale: (1) The timing and intensity of grazing are the major drivers of the trade off between production and bird conservation. (2) The best ecological performances are obtained for intermediate levels of productive performances. (3) The inter-annual variations of management practices, made possible by result-oriented agri-environment schemes, improve ecological performances while at the same time increase grassland management flexibility. (4) At farm scale, the proportion of management regimes is a major driver of the trade-off between production andconservation, but bird conservation always implies a production cost. (5) At landscape scale, the spatial arrangement of different land uses improves the trade-off between production and conservation. Current developments of this project relates to the design of a role play game based on the Commod methodology aimed at collective management of marshland agro-landscapes.

Related publications:

PhD Thesis (pdf, 4.29MB)

Sabatier R, Teillard F, Rossing WAH, Doyen L, Tichit M (in press), Trade-offs between pasture production and farmland bird conservation; exploration of options using a dynamic farm model, Animal

Sabatier R, Doyen L, Tichit M (2014), Heterogeneity and the trade-off between ecological and productive functions of agro-landscapes: a model of cattle-bird interactions in a grassland agroecosystem, Agricultural Systems, 126(2014) pp38-49,

Sabatier R, Doyen L, Tichit M (2012), Action versus result-oriented schemes in a grassland agroecosystem: a dynamic modelling approach,  PLoS ONE 7(4): e33257.  doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033257 (open access)

Sabatier R, Doyen L, Tichit M (2010), Modeling trade-offs between livestock grazing and wader conservation in a grassland agroecosystem Ecological Modelling 221, pp. 1292-1300


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