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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

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Séverin YVOZ (04-03-2021)

Séverin YVOZ  (04-03-2021)
Multi-scale analysis of the trade-offs between ecosystem services provided by weeds

Abstract :

Weeds contribute to the provision of various ecosystem services, negative when linked to their harmfulness (disservices) and positive due to the provision of trophic resources (floral resources, seeds) to pollinators and pest natural enemies (services). In this PhD thesis, we analysed how crop management strategies (coherent crop sequences and associated farming practices) implemented by farmers within a small agricultural landscape modulate the weed contribution to (dis)services provision. We also assessed the relative contribution of field cores and field edges (narrow area between the 1st row of the crop and the boundary) to these services. At the annual scale, we show that crop type highly impacts the (dis)services provision, through an effect on the composition of the weed assemblages, but also on the growth rate of individual weed plants and their probability to reach the flowering and seeding stages. Services are thereby higher and more stable within year in the less competitive crops. Similarly, and despite the small area they cover, field edges play a major role in the provision of services at the field scale because they harbour higher weed abundance and richness with individual plants that contribute more to services than the plants located in field cores. At the pluriannual scale, crop management strategy (and notably the crop sequence), drives the level of (dis)services provision. We observe positive correlations between services and disservices, however we managed to identify weed species which provide, in specific growing conditions (crop type, location in the field), the best (dis)service bundles. By a statistical simulation method focussing on the effect of the crop management strategy assemblage at the studied small landscape scale, we show that scenarios composed of a large number of strategies in even proportions are those that deliver the best compromises. Scenarios in which field size was reduced (and which therefore increased the area of field edges in the landscape) resulted in the increase of both services and disservices provision but a higher temporal stability in the provision of services. These results suggest that crop diversification, in space and time, could be an interesting solution to increase weed contribution to ecosystem services provision, without producing too much disservices.