The research site was established in 1989. Back then, research questions covered the production of timber as additional income for farmers. Since then, research has shifted on studies to limit heat stress of sheep during summer in an agroforestry system.
Field trial Permanent grassland
* MAT: Medium Average Temperature
** MAP: Medium Average Precipitation
The objective of this study is to know if trees could be a way of adaptation to climate change by measuring precisely the benefits of their presence in the grasslands and the consequences on biomass production (quantity and quality) and on animals’ internal temperature and behavior.
I am proud of our experimentation because we were able to develop a methodology to continuously measure the animals’ behavior on pasture. If we could establish the experiment again, we would replicate these systems in different French soil and climate conditions to further study silvopastoral systems.”
Mickaël Bernard INRAE
In our pedoclimatic context (the French mid-mountain), our first results show that agroforestry systems can play a positive role in climate change adaptation by providing a more favorable microclimate for animals and grass. Sheep can modulate their behavior by seeking shade, by shifting or reducing the duration of their intake, allowing them to better regulate their internal temperature and thus improve their welfare under stressful conditions.
For grassland, the presence of trees can impact biomass production when the density is high (more than 100 trees/hectare) but compensate by a better capacity to valorize grass with a slowed phenological development, a more stable quality resulting in a better flexibility of use of the grasslands.
Discover our eight agroforestry and mixed farming trial sites
Camille Béral, Donato Andueza, Cécile Ginane, Mickaël Bernard, Fabien Liagre, et al.. PARASOL: AGROFORESTERIE EN SYSTÈME D’ÉLEVAGE OVIN - Étude de son potentiel dans le cadre de l’adaptation au changement climatique. Agroof; Inra; Idele; UniLaSalle. 2018. ffhal-02932381f 158p.