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Why are there so many small woodlots in southwestern France landscapes?

Deconchat, Marc and Sourdril, Anne and Andrieu, Emilie and Cabanettes, Alain and Balent, Gérard Why are there so many small woodlots in southwestern France landscapes? (2010) In: Taking stock of smallholder and community forestry: Where do we go from here?, 24 March 2010 - 26 March 2010 (Montpellier, France). (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Despite a trend during the last century towards a disconnection between agriculture and forestry, small woodlots strongly associated to farming activities are still very common in south western France. To explain the origin of this particularity and its consequences, we engaged ethnological, biotechnical and ecological studies. The ethnological study showed that the ‘house-centred’ social system - which is characteristic in this region - has shaped landscapes and reinforced the need for scattered small woodlots. Due to a principle of self-sufficiency, each farm had to have a direct access on its property or in its vicinity to all the resources needed. Woodlots had been maintained on lands that might have been cultivated and they contain a large diversity of woody species - even in the dominant tree layer - corresponding to the species needed for the family uses. Even if they are less able to apply all the usual practices, small woodlots are still seen by farmers as important components of their resources and landscapes. Their management lead to a particularly fine-grained mosaic of stands with different historical trajectories. Ecological studies revealed that these woodlots, and especially their edges, are key components of processes impacting agricultural activities, such as pest regulation. We argue that the small woodlots maintained in rural landscapes in south western France are beneficial for agriculture, forestry and rural activities, especially in a global change perspective. The question is how to keep their characteristics when their managers are leaving because of the lack of support from policy makers.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
ProdINRA Id:262925
Audience (conference):International conference without published proceedings
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - INPT (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - INRA (FRANCE)
Other partners > Université de Paris Diderot - Paris 7 (FRANCE)
Other partners > Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (FRANCE)
Other partners > Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis (FRANCE)
Other partners > Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense (FRANCE)
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Deposited By: INRA INRA
Deposited On:15 Jan 2018 14:58

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