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Ecosystem services assessment in complex agricultural landscapes using farmers perception

Birman D., Moraine M., Tittonell P., Martin P., Clouvel P.. 2010. In : Wery Jacques (ed.), Shili-Touzi I. (ed.), Perrin A. (ed.). Proceedings of Agro 2010 : the XIth ESA Congress, August 29th - September 3rd, 2010, Montpellier, France. Montpellier : Agropolis international, p. 147-148. ESA Congress. 11, 2010-08-29/2010-09-03, Montpellier (France).

Biodiversity performs major ecological services supporting soil fertility, crop protection and productivity. At the local landscape scale, crop rotation organization in farms contributes to crop-mosaic pattern and thus associated properties (Thenail et al., 2009). Hedges also provide services in terms of flood mitigation, water flow, soil erosion, and pest regulation (Baudry et al, 2000). At the farm level, Alfieri (1999) suggests that, in addition to the time scale of crop rotation, functional biodiversity might also be generated at the space scales of the field (intercropping...), the crop field boundaries (hedges...) and the cropping system (crop/livestock mixtures...). In Western Kenya, smallholder agricultural landscapes exhibit a high level of complexity in relation to the omnipresence of hedges, intercropping and mixed crop/livestock cropping systems. Such a situation provides ideal observation conditions for investigating what services can be expected from spatiotemporal biodiversity of agro-ecosystems. The aim of the study was to identify the determinants of landscape organization at the farm level, based on farmers' perception. A socio-technical survey was conducted in 2009 on 36 farms located in the district of Kisumu (Nandi escarpment and Piedmont plain), in a context of high rural population density (600 hab.km-2).

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