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Modelling interaction networks for enhanced ecosystem services in agroecosystems

Tixier P., Peyrard N., Aubertot J.N., Gaba S., Radoszycki J., Caron-Lormier G., Vinatier F., Mollot G., Sabbadin R.. 2013. In : by Guy Woodward and David A. Bohan (eds.). Ecological Networks in an Agricultural World. Amsterdam : Elsevier, p. 437-480. (Advances in Ecological Research, 49).

The development of new methods and approaches for ensuring the sustainability of agriculture and ecosystem services is an important challenge that ecologists, agronomists, and theoreticians must address together. Enhancement of ecosystem services needs to be addressed at different scales and should include the interaction between farmland biodiversity and stakeholders (farmers, managers, policy makers, etc.) to optimize service delivery. Predictions require an understanding of the interactions between numerous management options and components of biodiversity. Here, we argue that interaction networks on a broad sense (from food webs to landscapes networks in which nodes could be species, trophic groups, fields or farms) can help address this high level of complexity. We examine how tools from mathematics and artificial intelligence, developed for network modelling and reasoning, could be useful for assessing and enhancing ecosystems services. In doing this we highlight the gaps that currently exist between our questions about ecosystem service provision and our ability to answer them with current modelling approaches. We illustrate the use of these tools with three case studies related to 'pest regulation services'. These include food web approaches to assess animal pest regulation services and decisional models to address management strategies for diseases and weeds. Finally, we describe how different types of network models might operate at different scales of management. The future challenge for agroecologists will be to produce models of interactions and emergent ecosystem services, which are sufficiently quantified and validated. We suggest that network ecology is a nascent research topic that is developing a strong and unified empirical and theoretical foundation, which could serve as the central paradigm for a sustainable, intensive agriculture in the future. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : enquête organismes nuisibles; organisme nuisible; mauvaise herbe; Étude de cas; modèle mathématique; modèle; modélisation environnementale; agroécosystème; groupe d'intérêt; Écosystème; service; service environnemental

Thématique : Conservation de la nature et ressources foncières; Méthodes mathématiques et statistiques; Ravageurs des plantes; Autres thèmes

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