Research Sites and Networks

Research Sites and Networks

ZA Armorique

The Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Site "Zone Atelier" (ZA) Armorique encompasses three geographical areas; two of them are considered in our research:

  • An agricultural area studied since 1993, corresponding to a large part of the Pleine-Fougères canton, in north-eastern Ille-et-Vilaine. This area is a highly heterogeneous landscape mosaic characterized by a gradient of hedgerow density and an alluvial  area (low Couesnon marsh).
  • An agricultural area in southern Ille-et-Vilaine studied since 2012, where most organic farms from the Ille et Vilaine Departement are located. This area is characterized by contrasting situations in terms of percentage or extent of organic farming in the landscape.

The diversity of landscape and agricultural situations in the Zone Atelier Armorique allows to investigate the relationships between spatial, ecological and social processes. This area is important for collaboration with other OSUR research units.

Urban and semi-urban research areas

We have consolidated data collected for many years around the cities of Angers, Nantes and Rennes; since 2002 we have studied the effects of urbanisation gradients on woodland areas and their ecological potential. In 2011 the town planning area of La-Roche-sur-Yon was added and we extended our work to include extensively managed grasslands along rural-urban gradients.

A farmers' network on organic agriculture and farmer seeds

A network of farmers involved in the renewal of on-farm seed production and participative research for low-input organic agriculture has been developped since 2001. At national and local levels, it involves farmers and other stakeholders of the « Réseau Semences Paysannes » created in 2003. In the west of France, two seed associations (Triptolème and Kaol Khoz) are particularly involved, as well as « Initiative Bio Bretagne » (IBB, in particular via PAIS "la plateforme agrobiologique d'Initiative Bio Bretagne à Suscinio") and the GAB-FRAB network of organic farmers in Brittany. Locally an association of farmers (« Semons l’espoir ») and citizens (« Le Collectif Agriculturel de la Prévalaye ») place the problem of cultivated diversity in a local development context.

These networks represent a great diversity of practices and a range of socio-economic contexts and environments, for studying and promoting cultivated diversity in local and organic food systems.


Modification date : 27 February 2023 | Publication date : 13 March 2018 | Redactor : BAGAP research unit