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Guayule cultivation as a sustainable leverage to rehabilitate urban brownfields

Boukcim H., Taugourdeau O., Hedri E., Nespoulous J., Berder J., Palu S., Leclerc J.. 2019. In : Development of innovative alternative crops for the production of natural rubber. Book of abstracts. Montpellier : CIRAD, 1 p.. Conference on the Topic of Alternative Sources of Natural Rubber, 2019-11-04/2019-11-06, Montpellier (France).

Brownfields are a common species of modern urban landscape. Urban brownfields can have various origin (industrial, residential or commercial ¿) but they often present similar issues: degraded soils (compaction, lack of fertility, pollutants ¿), limited biodiversity and associated ecosystem services furniture, unwanted species (including humans) and vague future. Producing high value biomasses on these brownfields is a promising leverage to ¿use¿ these areas. Cultivating biomasses on urban brownfield will improve soil quality, increase ecosystem services furniture and prevent unwanted species installation. For this purpose, Guayule is a promising crop as it can be economically profitable on small areas (>1ha, Sfeir et al. 2014) and is able to grow on low fertility soils. AgroGuayule project (ADEME-GRAINE cofounding) aims at breaking numerous technical-economical barriers to allow Guayule cultivation on brownfields. Pilot plantations were made across various brownfields to access the feasibility of guayule growing in various conditions. Several scenarios of soil and plant fertilizers are currently tested to estimate their cost-benefice balance. During the talk, we will present the AgroGuayule projects aims and the first results from the pilot plantations and how they can be scale up at a national scale with an ecological engineering and agroecological perspective.

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