CE32 - Dynamique des socio-écosystèmes et de leurs composants en vue de leur gestion durable

Trajectories of agrO-Pastoral systems in mountains: land management adaptations to climate, ecological and socio-economic changes – TOP

Submission summary

The project TOP focuses on the livestock farming systems that rely on the use of high altitude pastoral areas for part of the year. These systems are at the crossroads of several societal issues: the maintenance of mountain agriculture and valuation of local dairy products, the conservation management of remarkable ecosystems and biodiversity, the understanding of the effects of global changes (climate and use) on the functioning of ecosystems and the services that these ecosystems provide to societies. The project TOP proposed an integrated and transdisciplinary approach to these issues, bringing together the climate and biodiversity sciences and the human and social sciences, in close relationship with key actors of this sector. The project TOP builds on the conceptual framework of socio-ecosystem and land science to understand the trajectory, vulnerability and resilience of these systems to changes in climate, vegetation and socio-cultural and economic context. It is built around three axes: (i) an analysis explaining the links between the dynamics of the social and biophysical templates, with particular attention paid to grassland governance systems, (ii) an in-depth analysis of climatic and ecological trajectories and changes in pastoral practices at the scale of high altitude pastoral areas, of farms and landscapes, and finally (iii) an effort to build possible futures for these livestock systems and their capacity to adapt to changes, which favors a participatory approach, co-construction between stakeholders and synthesis between narrative elements and quantitative data from climate and ecological models. The main methodologies implemented are (i) surveys of mountain pastoralism stakeholders, (ii) remote sensing to capture with unequalled temporal depth (more than 30 years) and spatial resolution (10 to 30 m) the seasonal and multiannual dynamics of snow cover and fodder production, (iii) modelling of climate and regional bioclimate through re-analyses and projections, and (iv) development of fuzzy cognitive mapping to analyse the vulnerability and adaptive capacities of systems to change. The project concerns the French Alps and Pyrenees: it includes both a fine characterization of "test cases" and an analysis at the scale of the massifs, making it possible to spatialize essential socio-ecological indicators and variables. It benefits from a dense network of non-academic partners with whom the members of the TOP project have been working for several years in the framework of the research infrastructure Réseau des Zones Ateliers. The expected outcomes of the project are (i) key improvements of scientific knowledge, (ii) strengthening of the fabric of relations between the academic world and local stakeholders (managers of protected areas, local authorities), (iii) data and results to inform and guide public decision-making and (iv) awareness-raising among the general public through popularization activities and scientific tourism.

Project coordinator


The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


CESBIO Centre d'études spatiales de la biosphère
ECODEV Unité de recherche Écodéveloppement
CNRM Centre national de recherches météorologiques

Help of the ANR 741,087 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: - 48 Months

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