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Does the diversity of integration practices enhance the resilience of mixed crop-livestock systems

Stark F.S., Archimède H., Poccard Chapuis R., Poccard-Chapuis R., Gonzalez-Garcia E., Moulin C.H.. 2016. In : Book of Abstracts of the 67th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science. Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers, p. 152. Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science. 67, 2016-08-29/2016-09-01, Belfast (Irlande).

The mixed crop-livestock systems (MCLS) are characterized by the diversity of productions and the crop- livestock integration (CLI) practices. From an agro-ecological perspective, four main emergent properties are expected from MCLS: resilience, productivity, efficiency and self-sufficiency. The objective was to assess, at farm level, the resilience of MLCS and explore if CLI could confer more resilience. We performed the study on 17 family farms in three territories of the humid tropics , Guadeloupe (8), Brazilian Amazonia (4) and Cuba (5), contrasted from a socio economic point of view, thus looking to cover a range of CLI configurations. The farms range from 2 to 100 ha, 1 to 5 workers and combine cattle or pigs, pasture or forage crops, and crops for food and cash. We used the ecological network analysis (ENA) method to study the flow network s of nitrogen (N) for a sample of seventeen farms. We characterized CLI in terms of intensity and organization of flow s, and examined the resilience of the N flow networks, from indicators of development capacity, ascendancy and overhead proposed by Ulanowicz and Norden (1990). The results show that both the intensity and organization of CLI flows are consistent in characterizing CLI in a range of situations i.e. from low CLI intensity based on few flows to high C LI intensity based on complex flows. The resilience indicator is independent of the intensity of the CLI practices at farm level. On the other hand, the resilience exhibits a strong correlation (r=0.9 1) with the organization of flows. The CLI seems effective in promoting resilience, viewed as the stability provided by the homogeneous distribution of flows among the farming system compartments. This study shows the interest of ENA quantifying CLI and resilience at farm level. The diversity of CLI flows provides a certain type of resilience, besides other interest like the nutrient recycling, leading to a better efficiency of N use.

Mots-clés : agroécologie; système agropastoral; guadeloupe; amazonie; brésil; cuba

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