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Expertise of the scientific community in the Languedoc-Roussillon region (France)

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Number 20


INTERNATIONAL agriculture • food • biodiversity • environment Agropolis International brings together authorities of research and higher education in Montpellier and LanguedocRoussillon in partnership with local communities, companies and regional enterprises and in close cooperation with international institutions. This scientific community has one main objective– the economic and social development of Mediterranean and tropical regions Agropolis International is an international space open to all interested socioeconomic development stakeholders in fields associated with agriculture, food production, biodiversity, environment and rural societies.

Agropolis is an international campus devoted to agricultural and environmental sciences. There is significant potential for scientific and technological expertise: more than 2,700 scientists in over 75 research units in Montpellier and Languedoc-Roussillon, including 400 scientists conducting research in 60 countries. Agropolis International is structured around a broad range of research themes corresponding to the overall scientific, technological and economic issues of development: • Agronomy, cultivated plants and cropping systems • Animal production and health • Biodiversity and Aquatic ecosystems • Biodiversity and Land ecosystems • Economics, societies and sustainable development • Environmental technologies • Food: nutritional and health concerns • Genetic resources and integrative plant biology • Grapevine and Wine, regional specific supply chain • Host-vector-parasite interactions and infectious diseases • Modelling, spatial information, biostatistics • Water: resources and management Agropolis International promotes the capitalization and enhancement of knowledge, personnel training and technology transfer. It is a hub for visitors and international exchanges, while promoting initiatives based

Climate change: impact and adaptation

on multilateral and collective expertise and contributing to the scientific


and technological knowledge needed for preparing development policies.

This Dossier showcases research structures based in Languedoc-Roussillon Region whose activities are focused on addressing challenges encountered in studies on climate change impacts and adaptations:  46 research units (UR, depending on a single supervisory authority), or joint research units (UMR, depending on several supervisory bodies), members of the Agropolis International research community  2 ‘laboratories of excellence’ (LabEx Agro – Agronomy and Sustainable Development, and LabEx CeMEB - Centre Méditerranéen de l’Environnement et de la Biodiversité) and a federative structure (IM2E: Montpellier Institute for Water and Environment) that manage the scientific activities of some research units on these topics  5 research infrastructures of national or European scope that are devoted to observations in the natural environment or in controlled experiments: the Observatoire de Recherche Méditerranéen de l’Environnement (OSU OREME), the Oceanic Observatory of Banyuls-sur-Mer (OOB), one of the three national branches of the European Marine Biological Resource Centre (EMBRC-France), the Mediterranean Platform for Marine Ecosystem Experimental Research (MEDIMEER) and the European Ecotron of Montpellier  5 foreign or international partners set up in the region that conduct scientific activities in collaboration with Agropolis members: the CGIAR Consortium (international organization), ‘external laboratories without walls’ of EMBRAPA (Brazil) and INTA (Argentina), and subsidiary laboratories of CSIRO (Australia) and USDA/ARS (USA). Scientific research carried out by the regional research stakeholders on climate change impacts and adaptations is very broad in scope. This Dossier— which is far from being comprehensive—aims to give readers an overview of this research by highlighting the stakeholders involved and giving a few practical examples of their research activities. These are presented under four major themes:  Climate change & resources, territories and development  Climate change & biodiversity and ecosystems  Climate change & interactions between organisms  Climate change & agricultural and livestock production systems

Climate change: impact and adaptation Foreword


Topics covered


by the research teams Climate change


& resources, territories and development Climate change


& biodiversity and ecosystems Biodiversity and continental ecosystems


Biodiversity and marine ecosystems


Climate change


& interactions between organisms Climate change


& agricultural and livestock production systems List of acronyms and abbreviations

Agropolis International members also offer a broad range of diploma training-education courses (2-8 years of higher education) in which the climate change issue is taken into account in the light of the most recent advanced research on the topic. The list of training and education courses is available online ( Cover photo: Savannah landscape, Ambalavao, Hautes Terres (Madagascar) M. Grouzis © IRD The information presented in this Dossier is valid as of 01/02/2015.


Climate change: impact and adaptation

Climate change impact and adaptation research expertise in Languedoc-Roussillon




he year 2015 is marked by a series of events related to climate change. This priority issue is covered at the Salon International de l’Agriculture in Paris (February), the third Global Science Conference on Climate Smart Agriculture in Montpellier (March) and at the UNESCO* Our Common Future under Climate Change Conference (July), which will provide an occasion for the scientific preparation of the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC** in Paris (December). Climate change will also be a focus of concern at the 3rd UNCCD*** Scientific Conference taking place at Cancún, Mexico in early March. As the laboratories and research organizations established in Languedoc-Roussillon Region are recognized—via the high level of their publications—as the leading French scientific research community in the fields of agronomy, environment and biodiversity, we felt they warranted contribution to this year’s discussions and debates through a publication presenting their teams and research. This 20th Dossiers d’Agropolis International issue regarding impact and adaptation to climate change showcases the work of this community! Research units constituting the Agropolis scientific community, representing French and foreign institutions, conduct highly multidisciplinary research using integrated approaches that are particularly relevant with regard to agriculture and natural resources issues. They participate in many national and international networks, associations and learned societies, all of which offer them a top quality scientific environment for developing these approaches. The regional scientific community therefore has the expertise and tools necessary to contribute to the assessment of climate change impacts and associated adaptation needs.

Climate change: impact and adaptation

The 5th IPCC**** Report is in line with the previous findings of the Panel, confirming their conclusions and strengthening the hypotheses, which are no longer seriously questioned—global warming is now an established fact and an unprecedented number of associated changes have already been observed. These changes have profound direct and indirect impacts, raising critical concerns for human societies. The preservation and evolution of our resources remain in question and a focus of considerable apprehension. Alongside these profound changes, societies are tapping often already degraded and weakened ecosystems to an increasing extent. The development trajectories have thus placed populations or activity sectors in situations of high vulnerability regarding climate change and its impact on agricultural activities, ecosystems and natural resources.


* United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization ** United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change *** United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification **** Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Hence, it is not so much climate change processes sensu stricto that are studied here, but rather their effects on the environment and production systems. The aim is to be able to foresee future changes and design intervention methods or adjustments to be made in order to avoid unwanted situations, according to the concept of ‘adaptive management’. This might lead one to think that the issue is essentially approached from an adaptation perspective, suggesting that there is no place for mitigation approaches. However, scientific reasoning does not differentiate these two aspects of the same issue—contrary to political debates that confront them for strategic purposes without any connection with the reality of the phenomenon. When, for instance, studying livestock farming systems, are we not concerned with both mitigation and adaptation? This Dossier is organized in four main sections that address issues from a systemic standpoint. The first part is focused on the preservation and use of resources at territorial management scales—functioning of aquatic systems and watersheds, water uses, the role and status of forest areas, observation and information platforms, social forms and conditions of territorial and resource governance. The second part deals with ecosystems and the biodiversity that sustains their functionality. This pertains to continental ecosystems, studied using current or past indicators in order to assess their dynamics, as well as the marine environment—both coastal and pelagic—from fish populations to phytoplankton elements. The next part deals with the question of interactions within the ‘host organisms–pest, parasite/pathogen or symbiotic organisms– environment’ triad, including monitoring and control methods based on modelling of these interactions and design of new practices aimed at reducing risks induced by new dynamics associated with climate change. Finally, the last part is devoted to agricultural and livestock production, from genetic research to studies on landscape dimensions, so as to view production systems from a broader scope, thus leading to a better overall understanding of the processes under way and to proposals for action. This overview confirms the importance of developing integrated approaches, from functional biology dimensions to approaches on territorial scales, while relying substantially on observations, experiments and modelling so as to gain a clear overall understanding of the processes involved and to act with discretion to mitigate and adapt to them. Enjoy reading this directory of expertise in which abundant useful references and addresses can be found to fulfil everyone’s needs and expectations. It is also hoped that this Dossier clearly illustrates the high extent of mobilization of our scientific community to address the challenges of climate change currently under way. Bernard Hubert, President of Agropolis International

Topics covered by the research teams (January 2015)

1. Climate change & resources, territories and development 2. Climate change & biodiversity and ecosystems 3. Climate change & interactions between organisms 4. Climate change & agricultural and livestock production systems

The ‘page’ column indicates where the research unit or team is presented. Red dots (•) indicate the main topics focused on by the unit or team, while black dots (•) indicate secondary topics in which they are also involved.

Research teams and units IM2E – Montpellier Institute for Water and Environment (BRGM/CIRAD/CNRS/INRA/IRD/IRSTEA/AgroParisTech/CIHEAM-IAMM/EMA/ENSCM/Montpellier SupAgro/UAG/UM/UPVM/UPVD/UR) Director: Éric Servat, UMR HSM – HydroSciences Montpellier (IRD/UM/CNRS) Director: Patrick Seyler, UMR G-EAU – Water Resource Management, Actors and Uses (AgroParisTech/CIRAD/IRD/IRSTEA/Montpellier SupAgro) Director: Olivier Barreteau, UMR EMMAH – Modelling Agricultural and Hydrological Systems in the Mediterranean Environment (INRA/UAPV) Director: Liliana Di Pietro, UMR GM – Geosciences Montpellier (CNRS/UM) Director: Jean-Louis Bodinier, UR D3E/NRE – Nouvelles Ressources en Eau et Économie (BRGM) Director: Jean-Christophe Maréchal, UR LGEI – Laboratoire de Génie de l’Environnement Industriel (EMA) Director:Yannick Vimont, UR GREEN – Management of Renewable Resources and Environment (CIRAD) Director: Martine Antona, UMR ESPACE-DEV – L’espace au service du développement (IRD/UM/UR/UAG) Director: Frédérique Seyler, UMR TETIS – Spatial Information and Analysis for Territories and Ecosystems (CIRAD/AgroParisTech/IRSTEA) Director: Jean Philippe Tonneau, UMR GRED – Governance, Risk, Environment, Development (IRD/UPVM) Director: Bernard Moizo, UMR ART-Dev – Actors, Resources and Territories in Development (CNRS/UPVM/CIRAD/UPVD/UM) Director: David Gibband, UMR LAMETA – Laboratoire Montpelliérain d’Économie Théorique et Appliquée (INRA/Montpellier SupAgro/UM/CNRS) Director: Jean-Michel Salles, LabEx CeMEB – Centre Méditerranéen de l’Environnement et de la Biodiversité (UM/UPVM/Montpellier SupAgro/CNRS/IRD/INRA/CIRAD/EPHE/INRAP/UNîmes) Director: Pierre Boursot,




















Climate change: impact and adaptation


esearch units and teams mentioned in this Dossier are listed in the following chart.


Topics covered by the research teams

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Research teams and units


UMR CEFE – Center for Functional and Evolutionary Ecology (CNRS/UM/UPVM/EPHE/Montpellier SupAgro/IRD/INRA) Director: Richard Joffre, UMR ISEM – Institute of Evolutionary Sciences of Montpellier (CNRS/UM/IRD/EPHE) Director: Agnès Mignot, UMR AMAP – Botany and Computational Plant Architecture (CIRAD/CNRS/INRA/IRD/UM) Director: Thierry Fourcaud, UR URFM – Écologie des Forêts Méditerranéennes (INRA) Director: Éric Rigolot, UR B&SEF – Tropical Forest Goods and Ecosystem Services (CIRAD) Director: Laurent Gazull, OSU OREME – Observatoire de Recherche Méditerranéen de l’Environnement (UM/CNRS/IRD) Director: Éric Servat, European Ecotron of Montpellier (CNRS) Director: Jacques Roy, OOB – Oceanic Observatory of Banyuls-sur-Mer (UPMC/CNRS) Director: Philippe Lebaron, UMR CEFREM – Centre de Formation et de Recherche sur les Environnement Méditerranéens (UPVD/CNRS) Director: Wolfgang Ludwig, UMR MARBEC – Marine Biodiversity, Exploitation and Conservation (IRD/Ifremer/UM/CNRS) Director: Laurent Dagorn, UMR LECOB – Benthic Ecogeochemistry Laboratory (UPMC/CNRS) Director: Nadine Le Bris, UMR BIOM – Integrative Biology of Marine Organisms (UPMC/CNRS) Director: Hervé Moreau, UMR LOMIC – Microbial Oceanography Laboratory (UPMC/CNRS) Director: Fabien Joux, USR LBBM – Laboratory of Microbial Biodiversity and Biotechnology (UPMC/CNRS) Director: Marcelino Suzuki, UMS MEDIMEER – Mediterranean Platform for Marine Ecosystem Experimental Research of OSU OREME (CNRS/UM/IRD) Director: Éric Servat, EMBRC-France – European Marine Biological Resource Centre at Banuyls-sur-Mer (UPMC/CNRS) Director: Philippe Lebaron, UMR CBGP – Center for Biology and Management of Populations (INRA/CIRAD/IRD/Montpellier SupAgro) Directrice : Flavie Vanlerberghe, UMR LSTM – Laboratory of Tropical and Mediterranean Symbioses (IRD/CIRAD/INRA/UM/Montpellier SupAgro) Director: Robin Duponnois, UMR IPME – Interactions Plantes-Microorganismes-Environnement (IRD/CIRAD/UM) Director:Valérie Verdier, UMR DGIMI – Diversity, Genomes and Microorganism-Insect Interactions (INRA/UM) Director: Anne-Nathalie Volkoff, UR B-AMR – Pests and Diseases: Risk Analysis and Control (CIRAD) Director: Christian Cilas, UR Plant Pathology (INRA) Director: Marc Bardin, UMR BGPI – Biology and Genetics of Plant-Parasite Interactions (INRA/CIRAD/Montpellier SupAgro) Director: Claire Neema,
















• • •














CSIRO European Laboratory (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) (CSIRO) Director: Andy Sheppard, EBCL – European Biological Control Laboratory of USDA/ARS (United States Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Research Service) (USDA/ARS) Director: Lincoln Smith, UMR IHPE – Host-Pathogen-Environment Interactions (UM/UPVD/IFREMER/CNRS) Director: Guillaume Mitta, UMR MIVEGEC – Genetics and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (IRD/CNRS/UM) Director: Frédéric Simard, UMR InterTryp – Host-Vector-Parasite Interactions in Infections by Trypanosomatidae (CIRAD/IRD) Director: Philippe Solano, UMR CMAEE – Emerging and Exotic Animal Disease Control (INRA/CIRAD) Director: Thierry Lefrançois, UR AGIRS – Animal and Integrated Risk Management (CIRAD) Director: François Roger, LabEx Agro – Agronomy and Sustainable Development (CIHEAM-IAMM/CIRAD/CNRS/INRA/IRD/IRSTEA/Montpellier SupAgro/UAPV/UM/UPVD/UR) Director: Pascal Kosuth, UMR LISAH – Laboratoire d’étude des Interactions entre Sol-Agrosystème-Hydrosystème (INRA/IRD/Montpellier SupAgro) Director: Jérôme Molenat, UMR SYSTEM – Tropical and Mediterranean Cropping System Functioning and Management (CIRAD/INRA/Montpellier SupAgro/CIHEAM-IAMM) Director: Christian Gary, UR HortSys – Agro-ecological Functioning and Performances of Horticultural Cropping Systems (CIRAD) Director: Éric Malezieux, UR AIDA – Agro-ecology and Sustainable Intensification of Annual Crops (CIRAD) Director: Éric Scopel, UMR SELMET – Mediterranean and Tropical Livestock Systems (CIRAD/INRA/Montpellier SupAgro) Director: Alexandre Ickowicz, UMR Innovation – Innovation and Development in Agriculture and the Agrifoods Sector (INRA/CIRAD/Montpellier SupAgro) Director: Guy Faure, UMR Eco&Sols – Functional Ecology & Bio-geochemistry of Soils & Agro-ecosystems (INRA/CIRAD/IRD/Montpellier SupAgro) Director: Jean-Luc Chotte, UMR AGAP – Genetic Improvement and Adaptation of Mediterranean and Tropical Plants (CIRAD/INRA/Montpellier SupAgro) Director: Patrice This, UMR DIADE – Crop Diversity, Adaptation and Development (IRD/UM) Director: Alain Ghesquiere, UMR LEPSE – Laboratoire d’Écophysiologie des Plantes sous Stress Environnementaux (INRA/Montpellier SupAgro) Director: Bertrand Muller, UMR B&PMP – Biochemistry and Plant Molecular Physiology (INRA/CNRS/Montpellier SupAgro/UM) Director: Alain Gojon, CGIAR Consortium Director: Frank Rijsberman, EMBRAPA LABEX Europe – External Laboratory Without Walls of EMBRAPA (Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária) (EMBRAPA) Coordinator: Claudio Carvalho, LABINTEX – External Laboratory Without Walls of INTA (Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria) (INTA) Coordinator: Daniel Rearte,


















• •











Climate change: impact and adaptation

Research teams and units


Climate change: impact and adaptation 8

ď ° Bofedal: montain ecosystem of high natural value in the tropical Andes (Bolivia). F. Anthelme Š IRD-UMR AMAP

Climate change & resources, territories and development

In this setting, research must shed light on the major issues by: (1) focusing studies on the impact of climate change on socioecosystems at various territorial levels and characterization of their vulnerability; (2) drawing up—in collaboration with the various stakeholders concerned—adaptation measures to mitigate the effects of climate change; and (3) developing assessment and monitoring tools to support decision making and adaptive resource management. The Agropolis scientific community is particularly well equipped to provide, along with its many national and international partners, answers or ideas regarding these key questions, which arise in different manners in various socioecosystems on all continents and at several territorial scales. Water resource research is federated within the Montpellier Institute for Water and Environment (IM2E), which combines research in hydrology, geology, chemistry/ biochemistry, microbiology, agronomy, engineering science, economics, social science, modelling, etc. Building on substantial technical resources, some of which are provided by OSU OREME (permanent observatories, joint research platforms, large-scale technical platforms, etc.), the scientific questions addressed by the Institute’s research units are focused especially on:  Analysis of water resources, flows and transfers and fluctuations related to climate change: functioning of complex aquifers (especially karstic aquifers typically found in the Mediterranean region, e.g. through the LEZ-GMU project); scenarios regarding changes in hydrological systems associated with global change via modelling and prospective approaches (REMedHE and ClimAware projects); and the impact of climate change on water resource quality.

 Analysis of the vulnerability of territories to climate change impacts: coastline modifications and flooding risks, impacts on freshwater ecosystems, societal risks associated with extreme events (floods, water shortages), the development of relevant monitoring and assessment indicators.  Adaptation challenges: many studies are also focused on water use efficiency in agriculture, at scales ranging from landscapes (e.g. in the ALMIRA project), plots (e.g. with agroecological practices) to plants (HydroRoot and LeafRoll projects); while other studies concern rainfed or irrigated agriculture (studies on the impact of irrigation on water resources, development and dissemination of innovations to reduce water consumption, tapping of new resources through, for instance, wastewater reuse). Other adaptation research is focused on resource management arrangements on political, economic and institutional levels through multi-stakeholder approaches and the development of decision-support tools. Beyond water resources, the regional scientific community addresses the broader issue of the dynamics of nature-society interactions through natural resource management (soil, mineral resources and biodiversity) and the governance of territories and environments. In this area, the research aims to gain insight into relationships between societies and ecosystem services provided by their environment, their evolution with respect to global change, their vulnerability or conflictual nature and their adaptation and resilience capacities. Adaptation strategies are analysed by assessing linkages between global and local dynamics, between issues and stakeholders —individuals, local, regional, national and international institutions (AFCAO, ‘Of lands and waters’, SERENA, EcoAdapt projects). Finally, one of the driving forces of the regional scientific community is also the spatialization and historization of environmental knowledge for environmental monitoring and decision support, based on a range of methods: remote sensing and space observation, direct environmental observation, stakeholder surveys, data processing, development of indicators, knowledge and digital data modelling. Éric Servat (IM2E) & Nicolas Arnaud (OSU OREME)

Climate change: impact and adaptation


s indicated in the last IPCC report, changes in rainfall patterns and melting snow and ice under way in many parts of the world are disrupting hydrological systems and impacting the quality and quantity of water resources, as well as dynamics and resources in the ‘critical zone’ for life on Earth. A marked depletion of renewable surface and groundwater resources is expected in most subtropical dryland regions during the 21st century. Moreover, current climate change patterns raise concerns that major problems could arise regarding relationships between societies and their environment, even threatening the ecosystem services from which they directly or indirectly benefit. The impacts of recent extreme weather events —heat waves, droughts, floods, cyclones, etc.—highlight the high vulnerability and extent of exposure of ecosystems and human societies to current climate fluctuations.


Climate change & resources, territories and development

Main teams IM2E Montpellier Institute for Water and Environment (BRGM/CIRAD/CNRS/INRA/IRD/IRSTEA/ AgroParisTech/CIHEAM-IAMM/ EMA/ ENSCM/Montpellier SupAgro/UAG/UM/ UPVM/UPVD/UR) 400 scientists UMR ART-Dev Actors, Resources and Territories in Development (CNRS/UPVM/CIRAD/UPVD/UM) 66 scientists

Climate change: impact and adaptation

UMR EMMAH Modelling Agricultural and Hydrological Systems in the Mediterranean Environment (INRA/UAPV) 53 scientists


UMR ESPACE-DEV L’espace au service du développement (IRD/UM/UR/UAG) 35 scientists UMR G-EAU Water Resource Management, Actors and Uses (AgroParisTech/CIRAD/IRD/IRSTEA/ Montpellier SupAgro) 60 scientists UMR GM Geosciences Montpellier (CNRS/UM) 90 scientists …continued on page 14

A federative structure that positions LanguedocRoussillon as driving force for national water research

 become a leading European resource centre (training and research) attractive to both developed and developing countries.

In view of the range of expertise and technology deployed by the Montpellier Institute for Water and Environment (IM2E – BRGM, CIRAD, CNRS, INRA, IRD, IRSTEA, AgroParisTech, CIHEAM-IAMM, EMA, ENSCM, Montpellier SupAgro, UAG, UM, UPVM, UPVD, UR), LanguedocRoussillon (L-R) is the region where public research on water is the most substantial and diversified in France, excluding the Ile de France region.

The project implemented by IM2E is based on different areas of excellence shared by the scientific community that provide the basis for addressing primary challenges regarding sustainable ecosystem use and adaptation to climate change.

Water resource and aquatic ecosystem management is a major challenge for humanity in the 21st century. Multidisciplinary approaches are required to take the corresponding issues into account (environmental, food, health, societal, economic and financial, political and geopolitical, etc.). In this setting, IM2E brings together a set of technical and human resources to:  take up knowledge and adaptation challenges in order to address water related issues  promote interdisciplinary research to meet environmental issues  acquire international scientific visibility via its position in L-R  produce technological innovations and expertise in interaction with the Competitive ‘Water’ Cluster of global scope (Pôle EAU), and with the SWELIA cluster (pooling over 100 L-R companies specialized in the water sector)  support public policies through recognized multidisciplinary expertise

The aim is also to boost the production of innovations and research capacities in companies, and to put forward recommendations for institutions involved in public policy design, implementation and monitoring (ministries, water agencies local authorities). IM2E’s strengths and successes are based on the pooling of shared resources in many areas: training, technical and analytical platforms, observation and modelling resources. The aim of this federative structure, in the latter sector especially, is to develop complex and highly interactive hybrid models for the future. Training has directly benefited from the emergence of IM2E, which is striving to foster relationships with companies and communities in order to enhance the employability of students who have received diplomas from its partner establishments and laboratories. IM2E also aims to internationalize the training, especially by ensuring that at least 30% of its students are foreign, while also hosting over 200 Master’s and PhD students. •••

 A cultivated landscape in Tunisia. © R. Calvez

ALMIRA: adapting landscapes for sustainable management of crop production, water and soil resources The project ‘Adapting landscape mosaics of Mediterranean rainfed agrosystems for sustainable management of crop production, water and soil resources’ (ALMIRA) aims to mitigate pressure caused by climate and socioeconomic changes. It thus proposes to rationalize the spatial organization regarding land use and cropping systems in order to optimize the provision of several ecosystem services (agricultural biomass production, surface water production in manmade reservoirs, curbing erosion, etc.).

ALMIRA proposes to design, implement and test a new integrated modelling approach to meet these goals. This approach integrates —from farm plot to small regional scales—stakeholders’ innovations and levers in prospective landscape mosaic change scenarios, as well as the spatial organizations, biophysical and socioeconomic processes considered.

In this project, these spatial organizations are called ‘landscape mosaics’ and jointly viewed as:

 designing of spatially explicit landscape change scenarios

 structures that impact flows within the landscape, from the crop plot to the catchment basin, with consequences on the landscape functions and resulting services  levers for the management of cropping areas via trade-offs between agricultural production and soil and water resource conservation.

 combining biophysical processes involved in the hydrology of cultivated catchment basins  digital mapping of landscape features  economic assessment of landscape functions. This integrated modelling approach is being tested in three catchment basins in France, Morocco and Tunisia. ALMIRA brings together researchers from these three countries specialized in a broad range of scientific disciplines. Within this partnership, two research units of the laboratory of excellence LabEx Agro are working specifically on the characterization of cropping systems (UMR SYSTEM, see page 72) and biophysical processes (UMR LISAH, see page 71). Contact: Frédéric Jacob, For further information:

Climate change: impact and adaptation

 networks of natural and anthropogenic elements that integrate relationships between biophysical and socioeconomic processes in a resource catchment basin

Methodologically, implementation of this integrated modelling requires:


Climate change & resources, territories and development

Balancing water resources and uses— will future demands be fulfilled? The GICC REMedHE 2012-2015 project (Management and Impacts of Climate Change – Impacts of climate change on integrated water resource management in the Mediterranean: Hérault-Ebre comparative assessment) combined scientists from HSM and the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement (LSCE, CEA, CNRS, UVSQ) along with catchment basin managers (Syndicat mixte du bassin du fleuve Hérault, Confederación Hidrográfica del Ebro). The aim is to assess potential climatic and anthropogenic patterns in 2050 on hydrological systems and water demand in the Hérault (2 500 km², France) and Ebro (85 000 km², Spain) basins in order to develop different water resource management strategies to maintain the balance between water supply and demand. These issues are assessed through the development of an integrative modelling chain calibrated and validated over a 40-year retrospective period. The modelling involves three steps:

 water resource simulation (natural flow and disturbance by dams and canals)

 representation of the spatiotemporal dynamics of water uses (domestic, agricultural, industrial and energy) and associated demand

 and assessment of water usage/resource balances via vulnerability indicators. Complex prospective scenarios were formalized from the latest simulations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and local socioeconomic scenarios in collaboration with managers. The preliminary results showed that the basins should be subjected to more deficit climatic conditions (increased temperatures associated with decreased spring and summer precipitation) and to increased anthropogenic pressure (increase in population and in irrigated areas). The combination of these conditions should lead to a substantial decline in available water resources and an increase in domestic and irrigation needs, thus undermining the future balance between the resource supply and demand. Adaptation strategies to reduce water demand (improved network efficiency, changes in agricultural practices) or to increase the availability (alternative dam management, inter-basin water transfers) are thus currently being tested in the modelling chain. The aim is to assess the viability of trajectories in an uncertain future setting. Contact: Denis Ruelland, For further information:

Water science research and training

Climate change: impact and adaptation

The HydroSciences Montpellier laboratory (UMR HSM – IRD, UM, CNRS) is a joint research unit (UMR) that is highly devoted to water science research. The studies span a broad range of domains from biogeochemistry to extreme events, including microbiology, underground water and the hydrological cycle. Most of its scientific activity is in the Mediterranean and tropical regions.


HSM activities are organized in four scientific fields:  Transfers, contaminants, pathogens, environment, health  Water, environmental and societal changes  Transfers in ecohydrosystems  Karsts, heterogeneous environments and extreme events. The laboratory conducts two crossdisciplinary technical workshops: ‘ATHYS’ (spatial hydrology workshop) and ‘Hydrosphere tracers’ (workshop promoting the use of analytical techniques for tracing transfers or hydrological processes).

HydroSciences Montpellier is highly involved in researchoriented training and education. The training courses provided by the laboratory (‘Water’ Master’s degree, ‘Health Engineering’ Masters degree, ‘Water Sciences and Technologies’ engineering degree of Polytech’Montpellier) attract French and foreign students alike (especially from developing countries). The UMR is also involved from the Bachelor’s to the PhD levels. The laboratory is a member of the Observatoire de recherche méditerranéen de l’environnement (OREME), an Observatory for Science of the Universe (OSU). Its research is also supported by major technical facilities such as the large regional technical platform for the analysis of trace elements in the environment (GPTR AETE) and the collective laboratory for the analysis of stable isotopes in water (LAMA). One of HydroSciences’ strengths is its involvement in many national and international projects, its extensive network of collaboration with research laboratories and institutions

worldwide, in developed and developing countries, thus giving it a high level of international recognition. HSM also works with public partners such as the Regional Directorate for the Environment, the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety, local authorities (communities of municipalities, joint basin organizations), private consultancy and engineering companies (SDEI, Bio-U, SOMEZ, etc.). HSM has also filed several patents (especially in metrology) and has developed software tools for professionals (‘progiciels’, especially based on data management). One of HSM’s fields of excellence—study of organic contaminants—is the focus of a training and research chair, in partnership with the company Veolia, devoted to ‘Risk analysis related to emerging contaminants in the aquatic environment’. Moreover, HSM is involved in the ‘Water’ (global scope) and ‘Local vulnerability and risk management’ competitiveness clusters (“Pôle EAU” and “Pôle Risques”).

Water management and adaptation to climate change—multidisciplinary research The joint research unit Water Resource Management, Actors and Uses (G-EAU – AgroParisTech, CIRAD, IRD, IRSTEA, Montpellier SupAgro) conducts interdisciplinary research on water management. It brings together expertise in earth sciences (hydrology, hydraulics) engineering (automation, fluid mechanics, structural mechanics), life science (agronomy) and social science (economy, sociology, political science). It also includes methodological expertise for interdisciplinary research. Priority is given to research in Europe and Africa, with a special focus on the Mediterranean Basin. This expertise is encompassed within nine teams, that address issues regarding adaptive water and aquatic environment management, focused on specific topics:  Hydraulic management, optimization and supervision of water transfers  Optimization of irrigation management and technology

 Controversies and public actions  Innovation and change in irrigated agriculture  Tools and governance of water and sanitation  Combined water-society dynamics  Water management participation  Experimental analysis of sociohydrological dynamics and regulations  Assessment—production and use of indicators. The teams address climate change adaptation issues from several angles.  The unit analysed possibilities of adaptation of Seine Basin reservoirs upstream from Paris, for instance.  It also studies the impact of hydraulic projects in Sub-Saharan Africa, such as the expansion of irrigation in the Upper Niger Basin.  Climate change is also considered in terms of the generated vulnerability. The unit is modelling this and assessing the adaptation capacity of individuals and institutions. Several projects have focused on flooding and water shortages in Europe (France, Spain) and North Africa (Tunisia, Morocco).

 The unit also focuses on the unintended impacts of adaptations to change in coastal areas.  Methodologically, the unit is working on the implementation of participatory approaches regarding integrated natural resource management in Africa (AFROMAISON project). This research focuses specifically on uncertainties associated with global change and how this process is perceived.  Finally, adaptation is approached through technological and organizational innovations. The unit is thus assessing highly efficient water use technologies (e.g. optimization of irrigation management under climatic constraints) and possibilities for tapping new resources such as wastewater (e.g. Water4Crops project). •••

The ClimAware project (2010-2013), funded by IWRM-NET (Integrated Water Resource Management—‘Towards a European exchange network to improve the dissemination of research results on integrated water resource management’, aimed to develop adaptation strategies to mitigate climate change impacts through regional case studies in three areas related to water:

© D. Dorchies

ClimAware: reservoir management and adaptation to climate change

 hydromorphology in the Eder catchment basin, Germany (Kassel University, Germany)  irrigation in the Pouilles region, Italy (CIHEAM-IAM at Bari, Italy),  and reservoir management in the Seine Basin, France (UMR G-EAU). An integrated European-scale model was developed for combined analyses at two study scales (Kassel University). The case study on the Seine Basin concerned major socioeconomic issues in the Paris region. It focused on the adaptation of reservoir management, with two main objectives, i.e. minimum flow and flood management. Four large reservoirs with a total capacity of 800 million m3 managed by the Établissement Public Territorial de Bassin (EPTB) Seine Grands Lacs, the project partner, regulate the upstream section of the Seine River and its three major tributaries (Aube, Yonne and Marne).

 Impact of climate change at Paris. Mean daily discharges for seven present time (PST; 19611991) and future time (FUT; 2046-2061) climate scenarios. Naturalized (blue) and influenced (red) flows according to the current lake management scheme.

Contact: David Dorchies,

Climate change: impact and adaptation

A hydrological modelling chain integrating reservoir management was developed to simulate the hydrological functioning of the basin. The parameters were calibrated according to real conditions (climate observations and management over the 1958-2009 period). The modelling chain was then forced with data from seven climate models under present (1961-1991) and future (2046-2065) conditions. Adaptation scenarios regarding annual filling curves and real-time reservoir management were drawn up and their performances were tested under present and future climatic conditions, and then compared with those of the current management scheme.

For further information:


The results showed that climate change could have a significant impact on low flows regardless of the selected management strategy for the four reservoir lakes in the basin.

Climate change & resources, territories and development

Wastewater reuse for irrigation This practice should be promoted by enhancing the assessment of societal, technological, sanitary, agricultural and environmental risks, identifying current constraints, and developing decision support tools to guide public and project developer arbitration. UMR EMMAH conducted a review of around 600 articles on this topic and identified some recycling success and constraint factors in association with Suez-Environnement, TNO (a Dutch applied research organization, the Netherlands), Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain) and UMR Environnement et Grandes Cultures (INRA, AgroParisTech). In collaboration with Veolia Water Systems Iberica and the group Economía del Agua de l’Universitat de Valencia in Spain, it submitted to Climate-KIC (Knowledge and Innovation Community, a network devoted to climate change) a project to assess the economic viability and competitiveness of agricultural waste recycling, identify market opportunities and define win-win strategies.

 Irrigation of an olive grove in Cyprus.

© P. Renault

Wastewater reuse helps address water resource quantity and/ or quality problems that are increasing due to population growth, urbanization, global warming and environmental (refilling rivers or lakes) or recreational (swimming pools, water parks, watering sports fields, etc.) water uses. Wastewater reuse is substantial in semiarid and arid regions (southwestern USA, Australia, Near East, Middle East, Mediterranean countries) and has been growing in recent years in Spain, Italy, Cyprus and Malta. It remains moderate in Greece and is negligible in other southern European countries (Portugal, France, former Yugoslav Republic, Albania, Bulgaria).

The research unit is also conducting studies on the environmental fate (soil, water, plant, atmosphere) of enteric viruses in wastewater. The collaborations combine quantitative microbial risk assessment with (in future) an economic analysis. Several research programmes on these issues are ongoing or pending funding (by CNRS-INSU, the French National Research Agency, Agropolis Fondation, Campus France). They bring together various partners, including Suez-Environnement, the Centre National de Référence des virus entériques, the Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de l’alimentation, de l’environnement et du travail (ANSES), the Laboratory for Molecular Biology of Pathogens (Technion, Israel), and research units, including G-EAU, the Division of Applied Mathematics and Informatics (AgroParisTech, INRA), D3E/NRE, etc. Contact: Pierre Renault, For further information:

Main teams UMR GRED Governance, Risk, Environment, Development (IRD/UPVM) 53 scientists UMR HSM HydroSciences Montpellier (IRD/UM/CNRS) 90 scientists UMR LAMETA Laboratoire Montpelliérain d’Économie Théorique et Appliquée (INRA/Montpellier SupAgro/UM/CNRS) 53 scientists

Climate change: impact and adaptation

UMR TETIS Spatial Information and Analysis for Territories and Ecosystems (CIRAD/AgroParisTech/IRSTEA) 42 scientists


UR D3E/NRE Nouvelles Ressources en Eau et Économie (BRGM) 16 scientists

Impacts of global change on water and adaptation in the Mediterranean environment The joint research unit Modelling Agricultural and Hydrological Systems in the Mediterranean Environment (UMR EMMAH – INRA, UAPV) brings together staff from INRA Avignon, and the Université d’Avignon et des Pays de Vaucluse.

UR Green Management of Renewable Resources and Environment (CIRAD) 18 scientists

The research is focused on:  the impact of global change on water resources (in quantitative and qualitative terms),  and adaptation to global change.

UR LGEI Laboratoire de Génie de l’Environnement Industriel (EMA) 30 scientists

The unit’s studies are base on observation of instrumented sites, experiments carried out in controlled

or semi-controlled conditions (especially in laboratories), and on methodological development to gain insight into and model the functioning of Mediterranean ecosystems. EMMAH brings together a range of expertise that it makes effective use of in studies on landscape changes on a regional scale (especially land use patterns) and on water transfers in the aquifer, deep unsaturated zone, soil, plant and atmosphere continuum. It also studies the impact of biogeochemical reactivity on water quality, the environmental fate of human pathogens, and crop functioning according to climatic conditions.

Climate change, Earth geodynamics and surface manifestations—risk analysis and management The joint research unit Geosciences Montpellier (UMR GM – CNRS, UM) has developed a global approach to Earth dynamics and surface manifestations, while taking couplings between the various layers (including the hydrosphere) into account. The aim is to gain further insight into the dynamic processes involved at different scales and to take societal expectations into account, such as:  supply of non-energy resources (mineral and hydric)  energy choices for the future, from extending carbon-based reserves to developing new energy technologies (natural hydrogen, geothermal energy)  waste storage and confinement (downstream from the nuclear cycle, CO2, mining waste, etc.)  natural hazards (earthquakes, tsunamis, gravity hazards, floods, etc.)  environmental and climatic changes with a high anthropogenic impact (coastline changes, coastal saline intrusion).

Five research teams (Mantle & Interface, Lithosphere Dynamics, Risks, Basins, and Porus Environment Transfers) conduct studies in three main scientific fields: geodynamics, reservoirs and risks. Of particular interest, the Risk and Climate subtheme is focused on climate change issues:  heavy rainfall forecasting  paleoclimates, extreme events and coastal system dynamics  hydromorphodynamic modelling and coastal hazards. In the Mediterranean Basin, UMR GM coordinates two experimental Systèmes d’Observation et d’Expérimentation au long terme pour la Recherche en Environnement (SOERE H+) research sites in Larzac (France) and Mallorca (Spain). The unit is also a member of OREME for which it conducts different observation tasks. It is also involved in GPTR AETE*, and hosts some equipment of the national platforms of the CNRS National Institute of Sciences of the Universe (INSU), including an absolute gravimeter and a scanning electron microscope for electron backscatter diffraction analysis (SEM-EBSD).

GM is also part of a large-scale national and international cooperation network that includes countries and programmes from Europe (HORIZON 2020 programme), the Mediterranean region (North Africa, Middle East), and elsewhere in the world (Taiwan, Japan, India, Australia, New Zealand, Iran, Brazil, Mexico and USA). GM also collaborates with the private sector, especially via the creation of business start-ups by PhD students and for the funding of research contracts and theses. It belongs to the Geosciences Cluster, which was launched in 2011, involving key companies from L-R Region (Geoter, Cenote, imaGeau, Schlumberger, Fugro, Antea, Areva, Lafarge) and R&D and training agencies (GM, BRGM, EMA, CEFREM, HSM research units). ••• * GPTR-AETE: Grand Plateau Technique Régional – Analyse des Eléments en Trace dans l’Environnement.

Climate change: impact and adaptation

© S. Pistre

 Coastal monitoring.


 Tracing experiment to characterize water transfers and assess the vulnerability of the Lez River hydrosystem (France). © V. Leonardi

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Mainstreaming hydrogeological and socioeconomic issues to enhance management of growing water needs


The main missions of the research unit Nouvelles Ressources en Eau et Économie of the Water, Environment and Ecotechnologies division (UR D3E/NRE – BRGM) are to:  study optimal groundwater management conditions (active management), especially for complex aquifers (karsts, crystalline rocks, volcanic environments) in situations when they are subjected to increased constraints (climate change, anthropogenic pressure, socioeconomic change, urbanization, etc.)  develop suitable economic approaches to fulfil emerging needs regarding integrated management of water resources, aquatic environments and risks. The scientific research and public service support activities of this unit are aimed at:  developing innovative methods to study and assess—regarding their

structure and functioning—the potential of karstic aquifers, crystalline aquifers, volcanic environments, thermomineral and mineral water springs  characterizing the distribution of hydrodynamic properties of complex aquifers, including coastal aquifers, in order to develop active water resource management methods through multidisciplinary (geology, hydrology, geophysics, geochemistry and economy) approaches  developing prospective approaches and methods to assess the economic value of environmental resources, to model various water demands, to analyse economic and institutional water resource access regulation mechanisms and assess the economic vulnerability of users to global change  finally, developing modelling and decision support tools to manage these aquifers and predict the impact of global change (climatic and anthropogenic) on different scales, while integrating physical and socioeconomic issues.

The R&D service of this unit addresses societal demands associated with increased water needs by developing the yet relatively untapped potential of natural water resources (complex aquifers) and unconventional water resources (treated wastewater, surface water, rainwater, etc.). Groundwater and aquifers—from hydrogeological and economic standpoints—is therefore the general focus of study of the D3E/NRE research unit. Note however that, through a scientific programme on economic aspects of the environment and risks, the unit’s economists also intend to conduct research topics such as natural risks or contaminated sites and soils (e.g. former industrial wastelands) in R&D, public policy support or international projects. The water management issue is still the key overall focus of the unit’s research, regardless of whether it is assessed from an environmental or natural risk standpoint.



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© J.-C. Maréchal

Max/Mini reference scenari Max/Mini future scenario Mean multi-model reference Mean multi-model future

discharge rate (l/s)

piezometric level (m)

LEZ-GMU project—a study on the impact of global change on groundwater resources based on a case study of the Lez karstic aquifer



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Sep Oct Nov Dec

 Impact of climate change on water resources.

The research project ‘Multiuse management of Mediterranean karstic aquifers–Lez River, its watershed and catchment area’ (LEZ-GMU), coordinated by the French Geological Survey (BRGM), involved a partnership with UR D3E/ NRE, UMR HSM, G-EAU, TETIS, the European Centre for Research and Advanced Training in Scientific Computation (CERFACS) and Biotope, the ecological engineering consultant. This project was funded by Montpellier Agglomération, the Conseil Général de l’Hérault, the Agence de l’Eau Rhône Méditerranée Corse and BRGM.

The aim of this project was to improve knowledge on the functioning of the Lez hydrosystem (Hérault, France) and the quality of the resource in an active management and global change setting. Hydrogeological models to reproduce the Lez catchment hydrodynamic were built for this project. They facilitated studies on the impact of global change on groundwater resources. Nine climate scenarios from the CERFACS SCRATCH 2010 project (fine-scale climate projections for France in the 21st century) were used. These scenarios indicated an increase in temperature and a slight decrease in rainfall by 2050. Comparative results of hydrogeological model simulations for the Lez spring when subjected to nine climate scenarios: for the present (blue) and for 2050 (red). Two variables; the piezometric level of the spring (in m NGF, i.e. in metres relative to the benchmark elevation for France) and its discharge rate (in l/s).

The performance of the karstic system was assessed for different extents of pumping with or without climate change. The findings indicated that climate change would result in an average 30% decrease in the annual recharge. This reduction would mainly occur in the autumn and spring periods and, to a lesser extent in winter. It would be observed through a decrease in the piezometry within the aquifer and result in a slight increase in the duration of the dry period in the Lez spring (+30 days on average compared to the reference period). The extraction scenarios showed a risk of greater water table depletion, but they also highlighted the possibility—while taking the uncertainties inherent to this type of approach into consideration—of increasing the current extraction volume, while maintaining a monthly average piezometric level above pump elevation. Contact: Jean-Christophe Maréchal,

The Laboratoire de Génie de l’Environnement Industriel (UR LGEI – EMA) is one of the three laboratories of the École des Mines d’Alès (EMA), which in turn depends on the French Ministry of Industry. LGEI focuses on resource management, including ecosystems, hydrosystems, anthropogenic systems, as well as raw materials, i.e. fossil and mineral resources. These resources should be utilized in rational and responsible ways to ensure the sustainability of ecosystems and the production capacity of humankind. To meet these challenges, LGEI has developed a multidisciplinary approach on the following topics:  assessment of the chemical and ecological quality of water and effluents; development of treatment systems; integrated

management of pollutant flows (industrial environments, water resources) according to a ‘territorial ecology’ type of approach  understanding and spatializing hydrological processes in catchment basins; understanding and modelling karstic or fractured aquifers for sustainable water resource management  finally, natural and technological hazard analysis and management. LGEI’s research activities are focused mainly on water resource management in connection with anthropogenic and climatic forcing. To address the societal demand (catchment basin managers, water agencies), the unit conducts studies on different types of contamination (persistent pollutants, toxins, algal blooms) in an effort to gain further insight into the status (chemical and ecological) of water bodies and their potential change patterns. LGEI intends to develop integrated systems (sensors, sensor networks,

data processing, modelling) and design decision support tools for different stakeholders (local authorities, companies in charge of sanitation or drinking water purification). Regarding hydrosystem research, LGEI’s expertise is focused mainly on statistical modelling using formal neural networks in order to develop models for nonlinear and nonstationary systems. This choice raises questions regarding the validity of the models—built solely using data—when considering future changes that could arise as a result of climate change and extreme events. LGEI’s teams therefore carefully validate their models testing their performances with regard to the most intense events in the database (floods, drought). See an example of a project conducted by UR LGEI on page 38. •••

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Analysis and management of pollutant flows and natural and technological risks


Climate change & resources, territories and development

Crop water balance and climate change Through field measurements combined with modelling, the Assessment of Annual Cropping Systems team of the AIDA research unit (see page 74) is further assessing the effects of conventional and innovative agricultural practices on the agricultural and environmental performance of crops. This assessment focuses especially on the impact of cropping practices on water usage. In some situations, the enhanced infiltration and reduction in evaporation achieved by leaving a mulch layer on the soil surface enhances cereal crop yields without increasing the interannual variability. However, in other situations (generally more humid conditions), the increased water infiltration only results in increased drainage but has little effect on crop yields, even though this practice contributes to reducing erosion problems.

 Crop residue left in the field.

F. Baudron © CIRAD

Greater representation of these phenomena in crop models enables better ex ante quantification of the potential of innovative techniques designed to enhance adaptation to future climate change. These studies are currently being carried out as part of the Agroecology-Based Aggradation-Conservation Agriculture (ABACO) and Environmental and Social Changes in Africa: Past, Present and Future (ESCAPE) projects. The EU-funded ABACO project aims to evaluate and implement conservation agriculture and agroecology based technical solutions that are also designed to reduce soil degradation and food insecurity. The ANR-funded ESCAPE project assesses the vulnerability of rural societies in sub-Saharan African regions to climate and environmental changes, while studying adaptation strategies to reduce this vulnerability. The AIDA research unit is contributing to this project particularly by assessing the potential impact of future climate change on cropping systems. These projects are being carried out in countries such as Burkina Faso, Madagascar and Senegal, and the scientific questions to which AIDA teams are proposing answers (via an in silico test on technical and organizational changes) are, for instance, “Could economic risks for farms be reduced through crop insurance assistance based on meteorological analyses?” Contact: François Affholder, For further information:

Understanding plant responses to water stress to enhance performance in a climate change setting

Climate change: impact and adaptation 18

The HydroRoot project aims to boost our fundamental understanding of root water transport. This will provide an integrated view of roots by taking the hydraulic properties of tissues and the root architecture into account, and by explaining how these components are molecularly controlled by physiological and environmental parameters. Through the strong physiological and genetic components of this project, this type of research could also have an impact on plant improvement programmes geared towards generating plants featuring optimised water use and stress responses. Leaf rolling resulting from leaf epidermal contractile cell movements is an adaptive response to water deficit that occurs in many cereals. The aim of the LeafRoll project is to identify molecular mechanisms responsible for turgor and contractility variations in these cells by focusing specifically on transmembrane ion fluxes. Molecular, physiological and agronomic analyses will be conducted on a panel of wheat cultivars showing various degrees of drought tolerance and on lines with modified expression of genes coding for ion transport systems. The studies will assess the role of these genes in leaf rolling and wheat productivity under water deficit conditions.

S. Mahboub © Université de Casablanca

This project is being developed in collaboration with the Ecology and Environment laboratory of the Faculté des Sciences Ben M’sik in Casablanca (Morocco), as part of a Hubert Curien Partnership of the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. Contacts: Christophe Maurel, Anne-Aliénor Very, For further information:

 Leaf rolling in durum wheat plants under drought conditions. This decreases the leaf area exposed to sunlight, thus reducing tissue heating and water loss by transpiration.  Schematic diagram of water flow paths in a plant root during its radial transfer from the soil to vascular tissues.

Y. Boursiac © B&PMP

Because of global change and the growing world demand for food, it is crucial to clearly understand how plants take up and utilize soil water and especially how cereal crops tolerate and react to water stress. These issues are studied through two research projects conducted by UMR B&PMP (see page 81).

EcoAdapt project—climate change adaptation for local development The EcoAdapt project has been funded for a 4-year period (beginning in January 2012) by the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme to promote integrated collaboration between science and civil society to benefit ecosystems and inhabitants in three areas in Latin America. EcoAdapt hopes to show that scientists working together with civil society organizations (CSOs) can help design strong socially and technically based strategies for adaptation to climate change. CSOs provide knowledge through their work in the field and with local communities, while researchers provide knowledge acquired through their social and biophysical science research.

© C.E. Manchego

This work of combining different types of knowledge and collectively generating new knowledge is the real challenge addressed by EcoAdapt to support communities living in the project’s focus areas: Jujuy Model Forest in Argentina, Chiquitano Model Forest in Bolivia, and Alto Malleco Model Forest in Chile.

 Measuring climate parameters in the Jujuy Model Forest in Argentina.

EcoAdapt considers that adaptation to climate change cannot be done individually, so collective efforts are needed to bring together organizations with complementary skills and fields of activity. The project consortium includes five CSOs and four research partners, including UR GREEN and UMR ART-Dev. Local stakeholders involved in the project are from model forest platforms (universities, national agencies, producers’ associations, community councils, private operators, etc.). Internationally, the project also has connections with the Latin American network of climate change offices (RIOCC*) and with the Ibero-American Model Forest Network (IAMFN).

The experience of the EcoAdapt project in creating adaptation plans will be utilized to benefit other areas where water-related conflicts could be worsened by the increasing impacts of climate change. To this end, EcoAdapt is using existing networks while strengthening and developing them so that the results are disseminated and shared, with new ideas also being introduced into the project. Contact : Grégoire Leclerc, For further information: * Red Iberoamericana de Oficinas de Cambio Climático.

Since 1994, the research unit Management of Renewable Resources and Environment (UR GREEN – CIRAD) has been investigating—in a systemic and interdisciplinary way—the role of ecosystems and the environment as a development sustainability factor. The unit provides knowledge, methods and tools to gain insight into ecological and social systems (i.e. socioecosystems [SES]). It focuses on different resources (water, forests, land, fisheries, etc.), which it studies on different scales—from village to region and sometimes to the country level, from areas delineated by social dynamics (pioneer front areas) to ecosystems

(watersheds, forest ecosystems, etc.). It spurs cross-disciplinary analyses on biodiversity, land, landuse changes, arbitration between conservation and usage, as well as access and types of appropriation of natural renewable resources. The unit conducts research on all continents in association with many scientific communities in developed and developing countries. Although its headquarters are in Montpellier (France), the team is highly involved in studies in West Africa, the Indian Ocean region, Southeast Asia, and more recently in Central America and Brazil. One of the unit’s research priorities concerns adaptation and transformation. The aim is

to determine how a society in its environment, i.e. an SES, perceives given disturbances. This involves studying, through a set of concepts and tools, how the society prepares and reacts. GREEN’s research includes analyses and factors involved in modifying nature-society interactions within SES—changes in viewpoints and/ or knowledge and/or practices, power games, network mobilization, socioeconomic and environmental processes. •••

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Socioecosystem adaptation and transformation


Climate change Ressources, & resources, territoires territories et and développement development

 SPOT 4 image (19/05/2009), Réunion: false-colour image (MIR/PIR/R), CNES KALIDEOS programme.

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Spatialization of environmental knowledge —for monitoring tropical areas vulnerable to global change


Founded in 2011, the joint research unit L’espace au service du développement (UMR ESPACEDEV – IRD, UM, UR, UAG) conducts research (fundamental, technological and applied) on decision processes in favour of sustainable development in the developing world, at local, regional and global scales. By focusing on environmental monitoring and renewable resource management, the UMR investigates issues regarding the spatialization of environmental knowledge. The aim is to provide decision support in peripheral tropical regions that are vulnerable to global change. UMR ESPACE-DEV has broad ranging skills and knowledge in research, training, expertise and service.

The unit consists of three research units:  The Spatial Observation of the Environment (OSE) team conducts research ranging from satellite data management to the analysis of data flows and their salient features, with the aim of highlighting the environmental dynamics. From Earth observation data, the main activity of the OSE team is to contribute to gaining insight into interactions that regulate tropical systems, especially so-called terrestrial, oceanic and anthropogenic ‘tropical landscapes’, as well as physical, biological and human processes that they host.  The Integrated Approach to Environments and Societies (AIMS) team studies the dynamics, functioning and co-viability of systems (ecosystems and sociosystems) in fragilized environments (islands, coasts, forests, oases, etc.) under the stress of global change. It focuses

© 2009 CNES; BD KALIDEOS ISLE-REUNION; Distribution SPOT Image

on fragmentation processes and on the vulnerability and viability of territories. The AIMS team implements remote sensing, direct field observations and stakeholder surveys in its research.  The Modelling, Knowledge Engineering and Spatial Data Analysis (MICADO) team is specialized in knowledge modelling and digital and symbolic data in the environment field. The data is derived especially from remote sensing and in situ observations. The following five themes are investigated in a cross-disciplinary manner by the three teams:  ontology of spatiotemporal systems  integrated study of the continentcoast-ocean continuum  observatory of environmental, territorial and landscape changes  environment, societies and sanitary hazards  co-viability of social and ecological systems. See and example of a project conducted by UMR ESPACE-DEV on page 65.

LIDAR signal Amplitude Pulse emitted


Backscattered wave form


 LIDAR technology—useful, usable and used information.

The structure of the joint research unit Spatial Information and Analysis for Territories and Ecosystems (TETIS – CIRAD, AgroParisTech, IRSTEA) includes two scientific dimensions, with one being thematic (territories and environment) and the other methodological (remote sensing and spatial information). These two priority areas define the unit’s research field—spatial information— and its mandate is outlined as, “the production of knowledge, tools and methods to gain greater insight into nature/society dynamics and interactions and to support stakeholders in the management of their territories and renewable natural resources (land, water, forests, biodiversity).” The unit implements an integrated approach regarding the spatial information chain, from its acquisition to treatment, including its management and use by stakeholders. Research is focused

on agriculture, the environment, resources, territories, health, etc. On this basis, the unit devotes a major share of its activities to education, training, expertise and public policy support. The TETIS research unit is organised in four research teams: ATTOS, AMoS, SISO and UsIG  Data acquisition and remote sensing (ATTOS). Developing tools and methods for acquiring spatial data through satellite and airborne (drones, planes) remote sensing, and for extracting bio-physical information from remotely- sensed data;  Spatial analysis and modelling (AMoS). Focus on analyzing and modelling spatial structures and temporal dynamics of agroenvironmental systems, developing spatial indicators for characterizing these systems, and evaluating uncertainties related to the data and models used;  Spatial Information Systems: (SISO). Design and implementation of information systems to address environmental and landscape management related issues,

including developing methods for information extraction from spatiotemporal data;  Uses of spatial information for multi-scale development (UsIG). Assessing and improving the relevance of geo information according to stakeholder needs, developing methods for turning data into useful and used information, monitoring and evaluating the use of this information and its impact on actors, management and territorial governance. The research is supported by the Montpellier-based Remote Sensing Centre and the EQUIPEX-GEOSUD (Geoinformation for Sustainable Development) project. Through this project, the Remote Sensing Centre provides access to researchers and innovative satellite data companies, calculation resources, specialized software (image processing spatial analysis, geographical information, statistics, etc.), training facilities and hosting capabilities. ••• See an example of a project conducted by UMR TETIS on page 74.

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Spatial information for the monitoring and analysis of territories and ecosystems


Climate change & resources, territories and development

Changes in governance and territorial and resource management in response to global change The joint research unit Governance, Risk, Environment, Development (UMR GRED — IRD, UPVM) focuses on relationships that societies overall, as well as individuals, have with the environment. It strives to address the following dual-sided question: how do new constraints and vulnerabilities modify the governance and management of territories and resources? Biodiversity conservation and rural system dynamics is the first line of research at GRED. Agricultural societies are hampered by the fragilization of ecosystems and conservation injunctions associated with the globalization of issues. These policies are nevertheless undergoing drastic changes. They are no longer considered independently of development and, moreover, biodiversity and climate change issues tend to overlap, which is a

source of complementarities as well as contradictions. This pattern is illustrated by measures regarding the mitigation of impacts or adaptation to climate change with, for instance, carbon sequestration negotiations being focused at the tropical forest level. The result is that these new policies orient the representation of the forest and affect the vulnerability of communities and the ecosystem. The second line of research at GRED concerns the governance and management of resources and territories. These concepts are priorities for development policies and a strategic social issue, as illustrated by the conflicts and discrimination associated with territorial resource access. In this setting, special attention is paid to individual and collective strategies of the stakeholders involved. Being constrained by existing institutional frameworks, they adapt, circumvent or intervene to develop them. The question of governance scales thus seems crucial, along with the redistribution of decision-making

 Decentralized resource governance. A training session as part of a community management study programme, bringing together teachers, researchers, students and members of a farmers’ association. Maps and diagrams are used for mediation between stakeholder groups.

Climate change: impact and adaptation

© T. Ruf


powers following the emergence of new territories or international regimes. This multiplicity of scales and stakeholders leads to the emergence of hybrid governance strategies and institutional pluralism situations, both of which are drivers of complementarities or —conversely—conflicts. The risks and vulnerability of societies and territories is the last line of research of GRED teams. So far, public efforts to strengthen resilience have been focused on risk prevention through the setting up of material and territorial infrastructures. They have recently turned towards supporting adaptation and resilience phenomenon in order to weigh the risks. However, the questions of the role of sociocultural factors in the vulnerability and that of the adaptation of social and cognitive structures have yet to be addressed. The aim now is to explain these interrelationships and the case of coastal and island areas is specifically targeted from this standpoint. •••

 Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) pilot project. This project aims to reduce the conversion of natural forests into food crop production sites, responsible for GHG emissions (Ranomena, Fandriana-Vondrozo Forest Corridor (COFAV) New Protected Area in Madagascar). © G. Serpantié

SERENA project—ecosystem service issues The Environmental Services and Uses of Rural Areas project (ANR SERENA) implemented by the research units GRED, ART-Dev, GREEN and METAFORT (AgroParisTech, IRSTEA, INRA, VetAgroSup) between 2009 and 2013 focused on issues related to the emergence of the ‘environmental service’ or ‘ecosystem service’ (ES) concept and its inclusion in public policy.

 In Madagascar, the concept was gradually introduced via

The ES concept takes the productive function of ecosystems into account (e.g. carbon sequestration) as well as so-called cultural functions. The latter refer to educational and recreational roles of protected areas as well as the unique relationship between some societies and their environment. This identity aspect confers a heritage value to some practices or threatened natural landscapes and objects.

 In France, the ES concept has yet to gain wide popularity. In

international cooperation from the year 2000, with the aim of boosting public awareness on conservation and providing sustainable funding for New Protected Areas and community management of forests. Stakeholders of these projects then focused on carbon markets, biodiversity, water and tourism.

A comparison of three countries revealed the extent of dissemination of the concept and the marked differences in its application.

Application of the ES concept and its links with international issues (climate change, biodiversity conservation, sustainable water management, ecotourism) has been promoted by the environmental and forestry sectors in international arenas. PES are being developed in Costa Rica on a national scale, and in Madagascar on a more local scale (REDD+ pilot programmes, local water platforms, and conservation contracts drawn up by NGOs). Generally, the agricultural sector—and more generally rural development policies—have not yet appropriated this concept to a sufficient extent to be able to renew their practices and intervention tools. Some existing initiatives (ecotourism, environmental certifications) sometimes include the ES concept, but this is often just empty rhetoric used to justify their legitimacy.

 In Costa Rica, a country that has played a major role, the ES

Contact: Philippe Meral,

‘Payment for environmental services’ (PES) instruments illustrate this type of representation of nature-society relationships. Although the genealogy of the two concepts (ES and PES) was originally distinct, biodiversity conservation stakeholders now put them both simultaneously forward as a justification for economic incentives, nature preservation cost compensation and protected area funding. The role of these tools is to promote services provided by environment managers. Contributions are thus requested from resource users and ES beneficiaries.

concept circulated through a forest policy launched in 1996. It reclassified as ‘PES’ a previous policy of financial support to forest properties that was partly funded by public subsidies backed by a tax on petroleum products and, more recently, on water.

For further information:

Climate change: impact and adaptation

conservation and biodiversity areas, it is currently being introduced through a biodiversity law. In agricultural policies, it is economic incentives, via regulation services rendered by farmers, which attract stakeholders’ attention regarding the new European policy.


Climate change & resources, territories and development

The joint research unit Actors, Resources and Territories in Development (UMR ART-Dev – CNRS, UPVM, CIRAD, UPVD, UM) develops research on the reconfiguration of territories from economic, political and social standpoints, while highlighting relationships between globalization and local dynamics. Its main research themes concern rural and urban territorial trajectories, the natural resource governance question, and other issues regarding mobility and circulation processes in the globalization setting. These themes are studied on the basis of territorial scales and public policies. The unit works on several continents an in many geographical and political settings with marked differences in terms of choices and levels of development. It is striving to promote this wealth through comparative approaches.

Climate change—a factor responsible for environmental disturbances as well as socioeconomic and political tension—is a rising cross-cutting theme within the unit (‘Of lands and waters’, EcoAdapt and BLUEGRASS projects). The research teams are primarily seeking to understand and analyse these impacts by combining analyses on local, national and international scales. Climate change also places new constraints on natural resource management, including the risk of the emergence of conflicts regarding the distribution and appropriation of these resources. Besides these efforts to characterize and analyse climate change impacts, the unit’s research also assesses various current political, institutional, regulatory, technical and behavioural options to address climate change challenges. They include climate change mitigation initiatives (human interventions to reduce sources of or increases in GHG sinks, as well as climate change adaptation strategies (modifications in natural and human systems).

Of lands and waters

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Around the globe smallholder farmers are coping with major disruptive changes that are unfolding simultaneously. Rapid changes in land tenure and water management practices are now overlapped with climate change processes. For instance, uncertainties regarding rainfall or the increased likelihood of extreme weather events coexist with other uncertainties on the future of land tenure or the maintenance of local water management customs. Hence, farmers’ strategies do not simply address climate change related problems, but rather a set of disturbances they are forced to cope with at once.


As the ‘Of lands and waters’ project specifically illustrates, and in which UMR ART-Dev participates, farmers develop their own strategies to manage these combined uncertainties. This project explores ways in which the relationship with land and water is affected by these global changes on very local to global scales. Based on eight case studies involving long-term field surveys in Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique, France, Spain, Nepal, Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories, this project assesses the experience of local agricultural stakeholders in order to gain insight into their perception of issues affecting them and the rationale behind their coping strategies. The project is also focused on processes that underlie these issues on regional, national and global scales.

Adaptation strategies may include setting up incentive economic mechanisms to encourage natural resource users to implement more sustainable practices. They thus accompany climate change policies (INVALUABLE and REDE CLIMAT projects). Research has also revealed that climate change adaptation is necessarily specific to the local setting and that there is no quick fix that could be universally applied anywhere and under any circumstances. As shown in the CIRCULEX project, the complementarity of the different types and levels of stakeholders (ranging from individuals to national and international decision-making bodies) is essential to ensure the proper design and success of these adaptation strategies and linkages between the different environmental issues (climate, biodiversity, water, desertification, etc.).

F. Molle © IRD

Climate change—a new constraint for stakeholders, resources and territories in development

 Irrigation canal in Lebanon.

This scientific research clearly differentiates locally developed strategies that are effective from those that, conversely, induce vulnerabilities. These latter strategies are quite logical from the standpoint of producers on the local level, but they could induce a vulnerability for farmers when they encounter stakeholders active at national or global levels, e.g. foreign investors or development support organizations. Contact: Julie Trottier,

© F. Affholder

ACFAO: for sustainable forest management and climate change adaptation in Sudanian-Sahelian communities The overall aim of the Forest and Adaptation to Climate Change in West Africa (ACFAO) project is to contribute to the development of ecosystem-based adaptation policies and projects to face climate change in the Sudanian-Sahelian region. This involves strengthening sustainable forest and landscape management and enhancing the coping capacities of the most vulnerable social groups, while improving their livelihoods, via ecosystem goods and services sustainably supplied by woodlands and parklands. This project includes five main components:

 analysing forest and adaptation policies (and their linkages) by fostering the involvement of regional, subnational and national stakeholders in planning and discussions and identifying opportunities to influence these policies

 analysing the current and future vulnerability of communities living on pilot sites through a participatory, multiscale and integrative approach, while focusing on links between ecosystem dynamics and the reduction of this vulnerability

 formulating adaptation strategies that take ecosystem services into account and that mainstream local community strategies

 informing stakeholders involved in the project (policymakers, experts,  A forest stand in Senegal at the forest-cropland interface.

practitioners and local operators) and building their capacities

 disseminating information and creating—within and outside of the countries involved in the project—networks of stakeholders concerned about climate change adaptation and ecosystem services in dryland regions. This 4-year project with a €3.9 million budget, in which UR B&SEF (see page 35) participates, is coordinated by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), with cofunding from the French Global Environment Facility (FFEM) and various other sources. Contact: Denis Gautier, For further information:

The Laboratoire Montpelliérain d’Économie Théorique et Appliquée (UMR LAMETA – INRA, Montpellier SupAgro, UM, CNRS) is a generalinterest economics research unit. It encompasses a broad range of theoretical and methodological frameworks—applied econometrics, behavioural economics, experimental economics, public economics, the history of economic thought and philosophy, microeconomics, socioeconomics and game theory. The unit conducts a set of studies structured around several priority topics. The ‘Biodiversity, ecosystem services and natural resource’ priority line includes a broad range

of research projects with a common thematic field—sustainable development and resource management. Most of these research studies concern quantitative and qualitative water management (watersheds and coastal areas), as well as agroenvironmental schemes, a conventional area of expertise and scientific collaboration in Montpellier. Several research programmes (ANR-MISEEVA: French National Research Agency–Marine Inundation Hazard Exposure and Social, Economic and Environmental Vulnerability Assessment; LITEAU SOLTER, or Sustainable Coastal Management–Territorial Solidarity and Strategies for Coastal Flooding Resilience; Alternalive Fondation de France) are focused on coastal hazards (erosion and coastal flooding) related to the sea level rise due to climate change. The aim of these studies is to inform and

support public decisions on climate change adaptation policies (risk of inland and coastal flooding) and to identify awareness and training needs regarding governance. Since 2014, several LAMETA researchers have been participating in a multidisciplinary ANR project entitled ‘Modelling to accompany stakeholders towards adaptation of forestry and agroforestry systems to global changes’ (MACACC, see page 77). This project aims to develop various global change adaptive management scenarios and to test producers’ capacities to adopt them in tropical and temperate regions worldwide. 

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Sustainable development and management of resources from an economics standpoint



Š M. Broin

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Climate change & biodiversity and ecosystems

Acquiring knowledge on the future vulnerability, exposure and response capacity of natural systems interlinked with societies is a major challenge for science due to the large number of factors involved and their complex interactions. The issues are very broadly addressed by research teams working in Languedoc-Roussillon (France) through multidisciplinary studies on changes taking place in the living world, on the evolution of biodiversity and ecosystems, and on adaptations to climate change—all of this on different temporal (short- to long-term), spatial and life (genome to ecosystem) scales.

This research concerns both ‘model’ organisms and the specificities of Mediterranean and tropical environments. It is partially supported by established observatories (in terrestrial and marine environments) and leading-edge research platforms (Ecotron, MEDIMEER, European Marine Biological Resource Centre). This chapter provides an overview of the work of regional research units that are studying the impact of climate change on continental and marine ecosystems from various standpoints. The research seeks to gain insight into the dynamics and functioning of biodiversity (through field monitoring, with the support of OSU OREME, and experiments in controlled conditions, combined with theoretical and modelling approaches). They also aim to foresee the biological impacts of global change (via scenarios), anticipate changes in ecosystem services and identify tailored management strategies for species and the environment. Philippe Jarne (UMR CEFE) & Philippe Lebaron (OOB)

Climate change: impact and adaptation


cientific studies conducted over the recent decades—as widely covered in the latest IPCC report—have revealed modifications in the range, seasonal activities, migratory movements, abundance and interspecies interactions in many terrestrial, freshwater and marine species as a result of climate change presently under way. The nature and extent of future disruptions are hard to foresee because of the limited time scale within which they occur, the diverse range of biological responses, as well as the complexity of species-species and species-environment interactions. One certainty is that these phenomena are unprecedented within such a short period in the Earth’s history.


Biodiversity and continental ecosystems


Main teams European Ecotron of Montpellier (CNRS) 7 scientists LabEx CeMEB Centre Méditerranéen de l’Environnement et de la Biodiversité (UM/UPVM/Montpellier SupAgro/CNRS/IRD/ INRA/CIRAD/EPHE/Inrap/UNîmes) 630 scientists OSU OREME Observatoire de Recherche Méditerranéen de l’Environnement (UM/CNRS/IRD) 10 scientists UMR AMAP Botany and Computational Plant Architecture (CIRAD/CNRS/INRA/IRD/UM) 54 scientists UMR CEFE Centre for Functional and Evolutionary Ecology (CNRS/UM/UPVM/EPHE/ Montpellier SupAgro/IRD/INRA) 86 scientists Climate change: impact and adaptation

…continued on page 31


substantial amount of the research conducted on biodiversity and continental ecosystems is pooled within LabEx CeMEB. The research approaches implemented draw from a broad range of disciplines (ecology, population biology, botany, genetics, physiology, computer science, etc.). The aim is to study ecosystem dynamics and responses to climate change in natural and pseudo-natural environments—as well exemplified by research carried out at the Experimental Site of Puéchabon and in the low wetlands of the Ain river valley (France). Studies are also carried out in controlled environments, e.g. in enclosed chambers at Ecotron, greenhouses or animal research facilities. These approaches are also focused on species adaptation mechanisms to their environment from genotypic, phenotypic and biogeographical viewpoints. This includes, for instance, simulation of the range of several tree species in relation to climate change forecasts (EvoRange project). The studies concern microorganisms, plants and animals in all ecosystems (terrestrial, aquatic, soil) from the Equator to the two poles, with emphasis on Mediterranean and tropical ecosystems. These are investigated regarding their relationship with societies in order to identify tailored management strategies (e.g. REDD and INFORMED projects). Species and their communities are studied in terms of their diversity, structure, organization and functioning. Mathematical and computer representations of organs, plants, populations, landscapes and processes are developed for analysis, prediction and simulation. Soils are the focus of special attention as a nutrient substrate for plants and as a habitat hosting a wealth of biodiversity of organisms essential for biogeochemical cycles. Ecological engineering methods based, for instance, on plant-microorganism symbiosis, and targeted for restoring degraded environments, are also studied. One of the community’s strong features is that human-environment relationships are explicitly taken into account through combined human and social science approaches. This includes studies on ecosystem services and assessments of the capacities of ecosystems as carbon sources or sinks with a view to mitigating the effects of increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Sophie Boutin (LabEx CeMEB) & Philippe Jarne (UMR CEFE)

 Vegetative bud burst and blossoming of female larch flowers, phenological stages monitored at the Observatoire des saisons ( Phenological events—flexible in response to environmental conditions and able to quickly adapt under the effects of global warming—are major adaptive traits in trees (which have a long generation time). This explains a substantial part of their geographical distribution.

© E. Gritti

Accredited as an ‘Excellence Laboratory’ (LabEx) by the ANR ‘Investissement d’Avenir 20112019’ programme, the Centre Méditerranéen de l’Environnement et de la Biodiversité (LabEx CeMEB; headed by UM, UPVM, Montpellier SupAgro, CNRS, IRD, INRA, CIRAD, EPHE, INRAP, UNîmes) is a federative structure grouping eight research units (AMAP, CBGP, CEFE, Eco&Sols, Ecotron, ISEM, LAMETA, MIVEGEC). CeMEB draws up common strategies on its research areas in close collaboration with local and regional partners, including the Observatoire des sciences de l’univers (OSU) OREME, DiPEE de Montpellier, the Comité technique d’établissement (CTE) B3E of the Montpellier University and other LabEx*. It also undertakes research support missions (PhD, postdoctoral), scientific coordination (organization

and financing of workshops, meetings and participatory science programmes), training (public professionals, teachers and future secondary school teachers, etc.), knowledge transfer and development (ecology and biodiversity web portal, participation in the Assises de la Biodiversité 2014 conference, etc.). LabEx CeMEB supports research in the following areas:  biodiversity, ecology and evolutionary biology dynamics  functional role of biodiversity and ecosystem services  health-environment  socioeconomics of the environment  biological impacts of global change. The objectives are:  to understand biodiversity dynamics and functioning by combining observations, experimentations and modelling  to predict the biological impacts of global change via scenarios  to anticipate changes in ecological services and human societies.

The LabEx CeMEB project proposes:  to set up a centre of biodiversity expertise and knowledge to meet growing world demand for interventions by the research community on biodiversity issues for schools, the general public and in more specialized areas. Another aim is to enhance the expertise and support capacities to benefit various stakeholders such as decision makers, planners, managers and public authorities  to create new Bachelor’s and Master’s training courses, and to open PhD courses on management and the economic environment so as to facilitate their vocational integration. ••• * DiPEE: Dispositifs de Partenariat en Écologie et Environnement; B3E: Biologie Écologie Évolution Environnement.

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Knowledge sharing and transfer on biodiversity and ecosystems in a global change setting


Biodiversity and continental ecosystems

Comparing the current biodiversity distribution with that present 200 years ago is a difficult task because of the scarcity of good quality old data. When such data exist, they are usually from surveys carried out just a few decades ago at most. As the time period studied lengthens, substantial changes occur in terms of the nomenclature of the studied species and in the names of the study sites. Moreover, climate data collected during surveys carried out long ago often concern the same stations.

© Delile

Response of fungal diversity to climate change—the use of 170 year old herbarium collections

All of these constraints highlight the tremendous value of data collected in the vicinity of Montpellier between 1820 and 1850 by de Candolle and his successors at the Institute of Botany of Montpellier and currently maintained at the Montpellier Herbarium. These collections represent one of the oldest sets of precisely located mycological data. These data are also accompanied by accurate climate information that was manually logged at the time of sampling. Major efforts were put into rectifying the nomenclature and analysing the meteorological data and comparisons were made with records obtained in the same region over the 20002010 period. The teams involved (Société d’Horticulture et d’Histoire Naturelle de l’Hérault, CEFE, Biotope, Laboratoire de Botanique, Phytochimie et Mycologie, Herbier de l’Université de Montpellier, Laboratoire des Sciences Végétales et Fongiques) were thus able to show that over the past two centuries the fruiting of decomposer and mutualistic fungi has been delayed by 2-3 weeks, while at the same time marked changes in some climatic parameters occurred (mean temperature, temporal rainfall distribution). There were sometimes very substantial specific variations in these general trends, modulated by the ecological traits of the species (associated tree species, type of substrate, etc.), highlighting for instance that some mushrooms widely consumed in the past, and which were sold in Montpellier markets, are now very scarce. Contact: Franck Richard,

 Pivoulade d’éouse, drawn by Delile (Montpellier Herbarium). In French, the Collybia fusipes mushroom is currently called the ‘collybie à pieds en fuseau’, whereas it was also called ‘pivoulade d’éouse’ when sold on the Arceaux market (Montpellier) in the early 19th century. This species is now quite scarce in the vicinity of Montpellier.

Broad scope of biological adaptation to external change

Climate change: impact and adaptation

From microorganisms to ecosystems, from phenotypic plasticity to migration and natural selection, the Centre for Functional and Evolutionary Ecology (UMR CEFE – CNRS, UM, UPVM, EPHE, Montpellier SupAgro, IRD, INRA) conducts research covering a range of ways by which living organisms adapt to climate change.


Understanding and predicting all of these changes is a daunting task due to the complexity of:  changes (general trends, regional or seasonal variations, etc.)  biodiversity and its response fields (genetic, phenotypic, biogeographical)  interactions between these changes and different biodiversity response levels. CEFE—through the range of different approaches implemented in its departments of Evolutionary Ecology, Functional Ecology, Biodiversity

and Conservation and Interactions, Ecology and Society—is a leader in the development of an integrated multidisciplinary view of recent and future changes in our ecosystems. The research carried out combines short- and long-term studies on many classes of organisms through the three following adaptation modes:  Genotypic adaptation concerning the well known ‘Darwinian natural selection’ process. Here the genetic diversity of organism populations is the key factor in species adaptation through selection of genotypes that are best adapted to changes currently under way. The resulting biodiversity loss within species is a potential source of concern regarding the resistance of many classes of organisms to future series of changes.  Phenotypic adaptation corresponds to phenotypic plasticity, which refers to the capacity—from a single genotype—to produce several phenotypes according to the environmental conditions.

This physiological, morphological and even phenological plasticity is called ‘adaptive’ if it can maintain or increase the selective value in an environmental change setting. The limitations and costs of this plasticity, especially under multitrophic interaction conditions, are thus crucial in the capacity of organisms to adapt to climate change.  Biogeographical adaptation concerns species that are able to migrate or disperse to bioclimatic areas that are more conducive to their survival. The capacity of organisms to spread varies markedly between species and depends on the biogeographical setting within their range. Considering how rapidly climate change is currently taking place and the extent of fragmentation of natural areas by human activities, the movement capacity of populations is a major issue regarding adaptation to climate change.

The Institute of Evolutionary Sciences of Montpellier (UMR ISEM – CNRS, UM, IRD, EPHE) combines research in the fields of palaeontology and population biology. It was founded with the aim of promoting multidisciplinary approaches for studying changes in living organisms. ISEM research is focused on the origin and dynamics of biodiversity, and the conditions and mechanisms of its evolution. The unit’s researchers are investigating both current and past biodiversity in a broad range of organisms and environments, combining field, experimental and theoretical approaches. These studies integrate fundamental evolutionary biology issues (adaptation, speciation), advances in data production approaches (genomics revolution, participatory science programmes), as well as scientific and societal questions regarding the responses of biodiversity to global and human-induced change.

 Formalization of cellular automata (below) representing a dryland ecosystem (above). © F. Schneider

Research carried out at ISEM involves studies on adaptation to climate change at many temporal, spatial and organizational scales concerning living organisms—from micro(genome) to macro- (ecosystems) scales. The studied adaptive responses range from physiological modifications in organisms (especially, regarding the adaptation of aquaculture practices to climate change, via studies on standard reactions of fish eggs, embryos and larvae to temperature modifications) to changes in community compositions on a very broad spatial scale. Using datasets from participatory science programmes, ISEM has shown—on a Europe-wide scale— that bird and butterfly communities undergo modifications that could be interpreted with respect to global warming, and also that the community response rate is lower than the rate of temperature increase, resulting in a climate debt for biodiversity. Studies on biodiversity responses to climate change in the past is a strong point of ISEM’s research on adaptations to climate change,

making it possible to place adaptive challenges that species are currently facing in the context of their adaptation history. Another unique feature of the unit concerns its development of comprehensive approaches that combine community and ecosystem ecology with evolution. ISEM focuses studies specifically on the role of evolutionary responses in shaping extinction patterns. It also develops novel modelling tools to mainstream these evolutionary aspects in biodiversity forecast scenarios under climate change. •••

Main teams UMR ISEM Institute of Evolutionary Sciences of Montpellier (CNRS/UM/IRD/EPHE) 89 scientists UR B&SEF Tropical Forest Goods and Ecosystem Services (CIRAD) 45 scientists UR URFM Écologie des Forêts Méditerranéennes (INRA) 15 scientists

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Combining biology and palaeontology to assess climate change induced transformations in living organisms relative to their adaptation history


Biodiversity and continental ecosystems

How does evolution affect extinction and species range dynamics in the context of global change? The EvoRange project*, funded by the ANR Sixth Extinction programme, was coordinated by ISEM. It involved teams based in Grenoble (Laboratoire d’Écologie Alpine), Paris (École Normale Supérieure and the National Museum of Natural History) and Montpellier (CEFE).

Moreover, on a very different scale, they also used phylogenetic reconstructions to assess whether climatic preferences rapidly diversified between related species or whether they remained similar to those of the ancestor.

Several questions were raised by the project:  When can evolution rescue a declining population from extinction?  What are the respective roles of migration, phenotypic plasticity and genetic adaptation in predicted range shifts mediated by climate change? How do these different factors interact?  What could explain the rapid evolution of ecological niches in some populations or species and their high conservation in others?

The model simulations suggested particularly that dispersal more often facilitates than hinders range expansion and adaptation to the new conditions encountered. These evolutionary constraints could be enhanced by some types of dispersal (e.g. that of pollen), by genetic constraints, or by conflicting patterns of selection on different adaptive traits. Although often put forward as a major mechanism in mitigating the impacts of climate change, the phenotypic plasticity of phenology has—depending on the species—different and highly variable effects on the persistence of European tree populations on the northern and southern margins of their range.

© A. Duputie

ISEM and partners addressed these questions using different complementary methods. Mathematical and computer models were developed to simulate the adaptation of species under stress, as well as their movements in response to new pressures. The research teams also took advantage of the very rapid evolution of microbes to conduct laboratory studies to monitor their adaptation to different stress conditions and factors hampering this adaptation. European beec (Fagus sylvatica)

Sessile oak (Quercus petraea)

Contact: Ophélie Ronce, For further information: * How does EVOlution affect extinction and species RANGE dynamics in the context of global change?

Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris)

1 0,5 0,2 0 -0,2 -0,5 -1

 Effects of phenotypic plasticity on the persistence of three forest trees under a global warming scenario (2081-2100 period). The leafing date varies depending on the temperature. These maps show areas in Europe where these variations have a positive impact (in red) or negative impact (in blue) on the persistence of trees. Dotted areas are where each species could persist under this climate change scenario. PHENOFIT model simulations.

Analysing and simulating the development of plant ecosystems

Climate change: impact and adaptation

The activities of the joint research unit Botany and Computational Plant Architecture (UMR AMAP – CIRAD, CNRS, INRA, IRD, UM) fall in two major disciplines:  systematic and structural botany, vegetation ecology, agronomy and forestry  computer science, mathematics and applied statistics.


The teams have unique recognised scientific and technical expertise and their research covers different themes:  It is focused on the characterization and analysis of the diversity, structure and organization of plants and plant communities.  It addresses Mediterranean, temperate and tropical issues

while taking phylogenetic and evolutionary dimensions into account in investigating presentday or fossil plants, as well as plants that are cultivated or grown under ‘natural’ conditions or in areas relatively unaffected by human activities.  It is based on original methods that the teams often contribute to develop, such as computer-assisted identification, plant architecture and development analysis, plant biomechanical analysis, mathematical and computer representation of organs, plants, populations and landscapes, as well as modelling of the growth and dynamics of species and populations. Through its projects, the research unit intends to combine:  cognitive research focused on the description and understanding of vegetation diversity, plant

growth and functioning, structurefunction relationships, as well as relationships with phylogenetics, biogeography and systematics  methodological research to develop mathematical, statistical and computer approaches and models that are general enough to analyse, predict and simulate the structure and development of plants and vegetation in different settings  research targeted towards controlling the dynamics, composition and quantitative and qualitative production of cultivated or natural plant ecosystems. This research specifically concerns variations in above-ground biomass in tropical rainforests according to different natural or anthropogenic factors, with the aim of assessing quantities of carbon present in these forests. •••

Š P. Couteron, N. Barbier & P. Ploton

b. d. 800 m 300




Above-ground biomass inventory and monitoring in tropical forests— a contribution to the REDD mechanism

ď ° Assessment of above-ground biomass in tropical forests. Example of an approach combining accurate assessment of the biomass of individual trees at reference sites (photos a and b), until production, using remote sensing images (photo c) and biomass maps (photo d).

For this project, UMR AMAP has developed reliable methods to temporally monitor variations in sequestered carbon quantities. Carbon is mainly sequestered in above ground parts of trees. It should be estimated in a consistent way, despite constraints associated with often huge and hard to access forest areas. On-site forest inventories mainly involve simple measurements, such as the trunk diameter, and sometimes more detailed measurements and weights to be used to calibrate allometric equations to predict the total biomass of individual trees. These inventories, which are necessarily spatially limited, enable sampling of different types of forests in an area, and to calibrate predictions of tree biomass via remote sensing (laser altimetry, canopy grain analysis on optical images, radar images, etc.). Remote sensing is required to generate maps displaying the field information. The approach used by UMR AMAP is at the interface between the processing of spatial information and field observations, especially through the tree architecture. This combination of expertise in two areas that are generally separate opens new avenues for closer and more direct collaborations combining remote sensing and 3D modelling of plant structures. Moreover, the research unit conducts research in different tropical regions to ensure robust and generic results: Central Africa, French Guiana, India, New Caledonia, and periodically Brazil and Indonesia. Contact: Pierre Couteron,

Climate change: impact and adaptation


In order to meet international objectives for controlling emitted greenhouse gas quantities and the challenges of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) programme, it is essential to survey carbon stocks stored in these forests, especially as REDD plans to offer financial incentives to tropical counties to preserve these stocks.


Biodiversity and continental ecosystems

INFORMED project: integrated research on forest resilience and management in the Mediterranean In the framework of the ERA-Net FORESTERRA* European network, the collaborative project INFORMED** (2015-2017) implements a multidisciplinary approach to the resilience of Mediterranean forests in a global change setting based on the following conceptual scheme. Global change modifies the overall context of a social-ecological system where management drives forest biodiversity and functions, which determine the ecosystem services. Secondly, economic assessment of these services can support the governance system in selecting the most appropriate future management options. This URFM-coordinated project is conducted by a consortium of 15 partners from 10 countries on both sides of the Mediterranean Basin, combining well-balanced expertise in ecology, forest management, governance and economics. INFORMED has three main scientific objectives:

 to fill knowledge gaps on basic mechanisms that determine the flexibility of the social-ecological system in response to disturbances

 to integrate knowledge by combining different process-based models at various spatial and temporal scales

 to use integrated knowledge to develop management strategies, policy and governance guidelines to foster forest system resilience.

 A mixed beech-fir forest ecosystem (Col du Comte, Mont-Ventoux, France).

Contact: François Lefevre,


For further information: * The Enhancing forest research in the Mediterranean through improved coordination and integration (ERA-Net FORESTERRA) network aims to strengthen scientific coordination and the integration of Mediterranean forest research programmes and scientific cooperation in Mediterranean Basin countries and with other areas under a Mediterranean climate.

Mediterranean forests: functioning and dynamics

Climate change: impact and adaptation

The research unit Écologie des Forêts Méditerranéennes (URFM – INRA) has developed a multidisciplinary research project involving expertise in population biology, ecology, ecophysiology, entomology, genetics, applied mathematics, physics and forest science. This project is part of a targeted research approach focused on studies of Mediterranean forests to address general ecology questions on the response of complex and heterogeneous ecosystems to global change.


The URFM research project on the dynamics and functioning of Mediterranean forests integrates three major closely linked research topics:  studies on the dynamics, water use and carbon balance in mixed forests with a heterogeneous species community composition and structure  a demo-genetic approach to the evolutionary dynamics of tree populations and leaf-eating insects at different spatial scales


** INtegrated research on FOrest Resilience and Management in the mEDiterranean.

 Altitudinal zonation of forest tree vegetation.

 a forest fire ecology approach based on the physical behavioural mechanisms and impacts of fires. URFM combines experimental and modelling approaches for each of these topics.

URFM primarily produces academic results while also being actively involved in different types of knowledge transfer. In addition, the unit is highly involved in the European research area.

The scientific project of the research unit Tropical Forest Goods and Ecosystem Services (UR B&SEF – CIRAD) includes studies on tropical forest ecology, while also drawing up, implementing and assessing policies, guidelines, practices and instruments associated with these ecosystems. The overall aim is to facilitate the adaptation of ecological and social systems to constraints and opportunities arising as a result of global changes. It is also to enhance the sustainability of services provided by tropical forest ecosystems to the benefit of people in local communities and worldwide.

Through its research, the unit is striving to address two cross-cutting issues:  Ecological and social tropical forest systems—what is the operational concept of the dialogue between ecological and human sciences, and the modelling of humannature interactions regarding forest resources?  Features of tropical forest ecosystems, the value of ecosystem services and payment for environmental services—what relationships and scales? UR B&SEF is organized around three research teams: ‘Resilience of tropical forest ecosystems impacted by exploitation and global changes’, ‘Relationships between ecosystem resilience and the vulnerability of societies in ecological and social forest systems’ and ‘Policies and instruments of public action regarding tropical forests’.

There are three focuses of study: Tropical forests. These are a development challenge because of their potential for producing goods and services that are essential for our societies. They are at the core of major global changes and represent the richest reservoir of carbon and biodiversity on Earth.  Societies living or depending on these forests. UR B&SEF studies rules, practices, uses, knowledge and representations associated with forests and social capital building and related cooperation or competition dynamics.  Public policies. Policies or instruments that apply to forests may be external to the studied ecological and social system (international conventions, national taxation, national climate change adaptation plans, associated markets and financial mechanisms, etc.) or internal (local markets, management regulations, practices, organizations, institutions, etc.). ••• See an example of an UR B&SEF project on page 25.  Erosion in W National Park (Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger). © A. Billand

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Fostering adaptations to climate change in tropical forest ecosystems


 The Puéchabon observation and experimentation platform, integrated in the large-scale European research infrastructure Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS), serves to observe and measure Mediterranean forest dynamics.

© R. Joffre

Puéchabon research platform—studying the impact of global change on the Mediterranean forest Due to the high magnitude of climate change expected to affect the Mediterranean Basin (intensity and duration of stress periods, frequency of extreme droughts), this region is a major disruption hotspot identified by climatologists. Three fundamental features of changes currently under way (increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration, increasing temperature and changing rainfall patterns) are having direct effects on forest ecosystem functioning and are impacting matter (water, carbon, nitrogen) and energy exchanges at the biosphere-atmosphere interface. Based on micro-meteorological methods, the instrumented Experimental Site of Puéchabon in France (an OREME facility) quantifies these flows at temporal scales from seconds to years. Ecosystem water fluxes will have direct regional consequences in terms of watershed water balances and coastal ecosystem inputs. In addition

Climate change: impact and adaptation

An observatory to assess the impact of climate and anthropogenic changes on Mediterranean environments


The Observatoire de Recherche Méditerranéen de l’Environnement (OREME – UM, CNRS, IRD) is an Observatory for Science of the Universe (OSU) devoted to studies on hazards and vulnerability regarding Mediterranean environments. It focuses on natural hazards and the impact of global and anthropogenic changes on living organisms and inert structures in the Mediterranean region.

to these direct impacts, climate change combined with land-use change will substantially alter the disturbances, especially the fire regime. With the aim to monitor the functioning and biodiversity of regional forest ecosystems in response to these changes, the Puéchabon research platform is integrated in two networks, i.e. Stations expérimentales méditerranéennes forestières (SEMAFOR) and Stations expérimentales méditerranéennes de terrain (STEXMED). It is also linked to the European Experimentation in Ecosystem Research (ExpeER) network and with the worldwide network FLUXNET coordinating regional and global quantitative analyses on mass and energy exchanges using micro-meteorological towers. Contact: Richard Joffre, For further information:

Its mission is to:  support the activity and development of systematic observations for science of the universe and environmental science applications  support the construction of open, shared and internationally referenced environmental databases  promote sharing of expertise and analytical resources (observation, experimentation, modelling)  serve as a local hub for national observation networks and as a major stakeholder in Mediterranean-oriented environmental initiatives.

OREME’s key mission is to collect, integrate and share heterogeneous data associated with these disciplines and established correlations that were not previously highlighted. Such data correlations will allow the discovery of systematic signals that enable assessments of the impacts of climate and/or anthropogenic changes while shedding light on the mechanisms involved (hazards, vulnerability) in these environmental disturbances.

 Measurement of 13C/12C fractionation by the roots of microcosmgrown bean plants. multiplexer

C. Piel © Ecotron

J. Roy © Ecotron

on-line 13C & CO2 analyser

 Ecotron of Montpellier, with the macrocosms domes in the background.

Ecotron of Montpellier—an experimental platform open to the international scientific community The European Ecotron of Montpellier (CNRS) is an experimental research infrastructure devoted to studies on the impact of climate change on ecosystem functioning and biodiversity. Intact or reconstituted ecosystem blocks are set up in the Ecotron facilities. This enables control of their environment under a broad range of climatic and chemical atmospheric conditions, and continuous measurement of variations in the main biogeochemical cycles when different forcing factors are applied. The Ecotron thus provides direct access to parameters of ecological or agricultural interest under future or past climate scenarios. The environmental parameters controlled include: temperature (-10 to +50°C), relative humidity (20-80%), precipitation (sprinkler or drip), atmospheric CO2 (200-1000 ppm), light (intensity and spectral composition) and the 13C/12C isotope ratio of the air CO2.

microcosms (micro-lysimeters with photosynthetic plants, micro-containers with soils, etc.) can be installed.

The ecosystem functions measured online include: evapotranspiration, net ecosystem CO2 flux, soil respiration, methane flux and 13 C/12C isotope fractionation in CO2 molecules. Findings regarding these parameters are used to calculate mass balances for several molecules and ecosystem resource utilization efficiencies (water, nitrogen, light and carbon efficiency). Many other parameters can also generally be measured in samples collected from these ecosystems. The Ecotron stores and packages (e.g. freeze dried) these samples, which can subsequently be analysed in other laboratories. The Ecotron has three platforms for conducting studies at different scales:  Macrocosms (operational since 2011) are 40 m3 units, each able to host 2-12 t lysimeters, with a 2-5 m² canopy area and a soil depth of up to 2 m.  Mesocosms are 2-4 m3 units, each able to host lysimeters of 0.4-1 m depth and 0.4-1 m² area.  Microcosms consist of culture chambers (1 m height, 1 m² area) in which dozens of different

A minimum of 12 units are available per platform to conduct studies on the impact of various factors and their interactions, or to draw up a series of successive scenarios for analyses on response linearity and tipping points. The Ecotron of Montpellier is open to researchers from the French and international scientific community conducting studies in ecology, agronomy, biology and geoscience fields. A call for Ecotron projects is posted on the website. It presents the project submission and acceptance conditions, along with a description and operational costs of each platform. 

The impact of extreme climate events expected to occur around the year 2050 on carbon and water fluxes on an upland grassland highlighted that the negative effects of a heat wave and drought could be buffered by an increase in atmospheric CO2 levels in the coming decades.

Climate change will alter ecosystem biodiversity. The Ecotron thus highlighted the physiological mechanisms by which—on a canopy scale—the plant community diversity can boost the water-, nitrogen- and light-use efficiency, and ultimately the primary production.

Another experiment on Mediterranean forest litter decomposition demonstrated synergistic effects between the functional diversity of the litter, that of the detrivorous macrofauna and the stability of these interactions in a moderate drought situation.

Modelling of biogeochemical cycles is required to predict climate change impacts. The Ecotron recently discovered that the circadian rhythm (which is highly significant on an ecosystem scale), air temperature and relative humidity have additive roles in regulating CO2 and H2O fluxes. It also showed that the circadian rhythm should be incorporated in the modelling of these fluxes.

 Insertion of intact blocks of grassland ecosystems in one of the macrocosms.

Climate change: impact and adaptation

H. Raguet © CNRS

Some examples of research conducted at the Ecotron


 Lônes, oxbows of Ain river, i.e. former stream meanders abandoned upon flooding. © A. Johannet

Variations in low wetlands in the Ain river valley with a finite difference mesh model, to study water resource patterns associated with changes in climate variables derived from several forecasting scenarios drawn up by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).



Flow (m3/s)


Measured flow


Simulated flow



The project generated a simulation of variations in these wetlands when subjected to many management conditions (irrigation, biodiversity conservation). Groundwater-river exchanges were also studied in the Cèze karst basin (Gard region, France). The combined model was then supplemented with precipitation forecasts derived from IPCC climate forecasting models (2010-2040 period) so as to compare the impacts of different scenarios on biodiversity and resources (drinking and irrigation water).


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 Neuronal network simulation of Albarine river flow patterns (tributary of Ain river).

The NEUROHYDRO project, conducted by LGEI (see p. 38) and the SITE Centre of the École des Mines de Saint-Étienne, is part of the ANR WETCHANGE* project. The aim was to draw up forecasts of wetland responses to low water levels induced by global change on the basis of different climatic scenarios for the 2030-2050 period. These responses were studied in terms of both hydrological and biological functioning. The study area was in the low Ain river valley (France), located about 40 km northeast of Lyon. The many wetlands in this area host highly diversified ecosystems. The aim of this project was to develop a model based on neural networks for Ain river basins, combined

The results are specifically focused on hydraulic exchanges between the groundwater and the right and left Ain river banks. In places where the river feeds the water table, groundwater resources can be collected by abstraction for irrigation and drinking water purposes. This is not possible, however, when the river drains the water table, especially when the riverbed is on a sharp slope. In case of river or groundwater pollution, it is essential to be aware of these exchanges in order to take the necessary protective measures. Climate forecasts (2040, 2070) were used to assess the impacts on these groundwater/ river exchanges and the potential drying of oxbows and so-called lônes of the river. Contact: Anne Johannet, For further information: * The WETCHANGE project (Wetland biodiversity and functioning in response to severe low water levels induced by global change) involves three partners: CNRS, École nationale supérieure des Mines de Saint-Étienne and IRSTEA.

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Soil microbial communities and climate change


In terrestrial ecosystems, the activity of microbial communities is one of the main sources of the powerful greenhouse gas CO2. The activity of these organisms actually generates more CO2 per year than fossil fuel burning. UMR Eco&Sols (see p. 77) carried out studies to assess the capacity of microbial communities to adapt to climate change. Laboratory experiments conducted under controlled conditions were focused on the effects of temperature increases on soil respiration. This function did not seem to be altered when the temperature was no higher than 40°C. In this temperature range, the activity of microbial communities depended on the availability of carbon substrates.

Above 40°C, the respiratory activity was stimulated whereas the microbial biomass decreased. A further study specifically assessed the impact of temporary thermal stress (60°C for 16 h) on the diversity of microbial communities. The findings indicated that communities that were resistant to this stress could adapt to temporary changes in their environment. These studies highlighted a modification in the metabolism of soil microbial communities exposed to thermal stress. Contact: Tiphaine Chevallier,

Y. Prin © CIRAD - LSTM

 Left: Spores of an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus (Glomus intraradices). Right: Rhizobium nodules

Effective use of mycorrhizal symbiosis to mitigate water erosion processes One very likely environmental impact of climatic hazards is a change in the plant cover structure, thus weakening the soil and exacerbating water erosion phenomena, leading to the loss of bioavailable soil elements that nourish plants. In this setting, it is crucial to enhance the capacity of plants to gain access to these mineral resources (especially nitrogen and phosphorus), while increasing their tolerance to environmental conditions that are not conducive to their growth. LSTM (see p. 55) is thus developing ecological engineering strategies to optimise the activity of symbiotic soil microorganisms (mycorrhizal fungi, rhizobia, etc.) to benefit their plant partners.

Different forestry and agroecology practices have thus been developed through:

 a so-called ‘holistic’ approach to promote the development of the mycorrhizal and rhizobial potential of soils via the introduction of hypermycotrophic plants (or nurse plants) in the silvicultural sequence

 or a so-called ‘reductionist’ approach whereby forest or crop plants obtain an optimal mycorrhizal status (maximum colonization of their root system by fungal and rhizobial symbionts). The results revealed that it is possible to sustainably revegetate areas that have been affected by water erosion and thus to adapt cropping strategies to expected environmental modifications that could occur as a result of global change. Contact: Robin Duponnois,

 Effects of inoculations of different rhizobial strains on the growth of Dalbergia sp. plants.

For further information:

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Y. Prin © CIRAD - LSTM


Biodiversity and marine ecosystems


Main teams EMBRC-France European Marine Biological Resource Centre (UPMC/CNRS) 90 scientists OOB Oceanic Observatory of Banyuls-sur-Mer (UPMC/CNRS) 80 scientists UMR BIOM Integrative Biology of Marine Organisms (UPMC/CNRS) 15 scientists UMR CEFREM Centre de Formation et de Recherche sur les Environnements Méditerranéens (UPVD/CNRS) 30 scientists UMR LECOB Benthic Ecogeochemistry Laboratory (UPMC/CNRS) 12 scientists

Climate change: impact and adaptation

…continued on page 44


rospective studies on different territorial levels, specific to the challenges and risks induced by climate change, should be able to trace the chain of impacts from potentially combined phenomena to their effects on human activities. Combined methods from different scientific disciplines (climatology, oceanography, geomorphology, economics, sociology, geography, etc.) are required for such research. For anyone wishing to implement anticipatory or adaptation policies, this multidisciplinary knowledge must be scientifically well organized so as to be tailored to any geographical, economic or environmental situation. Although there are still many uncertainties regarding future climate change patterns—especially on local future climatic phenomena—many Agropolis scientific research teams are studying the impact of anthropogenic pressures and global warming on marine biodiversity and on the functioning of Mediterranean ecosystems (MARBEC, CEFREM, BIOM, LECOB, LOMIC, LBBM). These often highly multidisciplinary research units study direct and indirect impacts of climate change on shoreline, coastal and offshore ecosystems, on energy and material fluxes at the land/sea interface, on modification of coastlines, species’ habitats and distribution areas and their interactions and impacts on the functioning of food webs. These studies are supported by monitoring activities linked with observatories and sometimes research units (OREME, OOB, CEFREM) that record longterm variations in physicochemical and biological parameters in the marine environment. Finally, several research platforms are also available and open to the entire regional, national and European community for conducting experiments under controlled conditions (MEDIMEER). It is also possible to gain access to a diverse range of organisms in situ or ex situ and to many logistical services and analytical platforms at EMBRC, a national and European infrastructure in marine biology. Philippe Lebaron (OOB)

© Shutterstock

 School of barracudas (Sicily).

The Oceanic Observatory of Banyulssur-Mer (OOB – UPMC, CNRS) is focused specifically on marine biology, ecology and oceanographic studies in the Mediterranean Sea. OOB training, research, monitoring, hosting and scientific extension missions benefit from the exceptional diversity of biotopes, fauna and flora. Ecosystems and species adaptation to climate change is one of the key features of its observations and long-term ecosystem monitoring. The Observatory benefits from a terrestrial component created in 1973 (Natural Massane Forest Reserve) and a marine component set up in 1974 (Natural Marine Reserve of Cerbère-Banyuls). The monitoring role was strengthened in 1985 when the OOB Arago laboratory was granted a ‘National Oceanographic Observatory’ status. As climatic conditions are rapidly changing, it is essential to acquire knowledge on spatiotemporal ecosystem

dynamics so as to be able to foresee potential patterns and the impacts of these changes on ecosystem services. However, only long-term measurements can highlight natural or disturbed changes in a system with marked seasonal and/or interannual variability. OOB currently has three permanent observation stations located on a coastal-offshore gradient. They are regularly monitored (real-time, weekly or monthly) regarding physical, chemical and biological parameters. These time series of observations began in 1997 for the most coastal station and in 2003 for the offshore station. All of these data are included in national observation networks: SOMLIT* for the Service d’Observation du Laboratoire Arago (SOLA coastal station) and MOOSE** for the Observatoire Microbiologique du Laboratoire Arago (MOLA*** offshore station). Since 2010, some parameters are also being acquired at high frequency and in real time. OOB is an internal school of the Université Pierre et Marie Curie. It offers university training

in oceanography associated with climate change issues. The observatory also set up the Biodiversarium—a scientific mediation centre that includes a public aquarium that is under renovation and extension, and a Mediterranean garden. Both of these host public visitors ranging from school students to the general public with the aim of boosting their awareness on terrestrial and marine biodiversity and on the effects of global change (especially climatic) on biodiversity. ••• * Service d’Observation en Milieu Littoral. ** Mediterranean Ocean Observing System on Environment, *** The MOLA station (Microbial Observatory Laboratoire Arago) is located on the northern side of Lacaze-Duthiers canyon, fr/les_sites_d_observation.html Climate change: impact and adaptation

A Mediterranean observatory for studying and teaching marine biology and oceanography


Biodiversity and marine ecosystems

Temporal monitoring of Mediterranean coastal ecosystem dynamics The Service d’Observation du Laboratoire Arago at Banyulssur-Mer (SOLA, OOB) focuses on overall issues directly concerning the impact of global change on coastal areas and its relative importance regarding local human activities (global vs local).


The SOLA site was selected as representative of a ‘normal’ situation, whereby a typology of seasonal and interannual fluctuations could be defined via the monitoring of relevant parameters on appropriate time scales. OOB members— aware of the problem of the representativeness of a single point in a basin—combine coastal research conducted by the Arago laboratory (especially combined benthic-pelagic research).

 An oceanographic buoy of the Oceanic Observatory of Banyulssur-Mer.

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Multidisciplinary scientific research on the coastal environment


The Centre de Formation et de Recherche sur les Environnements Méditerranéens (UMR CEFREM – UPVD, CNRS) has long been oriented towards the coastal environment, which has brought it closer to socioeconomic issues associated with the different uses of this environment. Its research activities are focused on mass and energy transfers at interfaces with the coastal system, including physical exchanges of water bodies, particles and elements (especially carbon) in the continent-ocean continuum. All of these activities are carried out within the framework of international, national and regional programmes. This laboratory was founded in 1963 around a core team

© L. Zudaire - CNRS - OOB

 The CNRS instrument-equipped research ship Néréis II.

The development of a systematic approach to coastal environmental observations is thus the result of local initiatives based on opportunities and on a tradition of scientific awareness (Réseau des Stations et Observatoires Marins). The Service d’Observation en Milieu Littoral was thus set up in 1995, and accredited by the CNRS French National Institute of Sciences of the Universe in 1996. This service currently includes nine marine stations. Contact: Pascal Conan,

of geologists and sedimentologists and then it gradually became more multidisciplinary until CEFREM was founded in 1997. The present team includes sedimentologists, geochemists, biologists and physicists. CEFREM is participating in the integrated multisite SOERE MOOSE network* (2010-2020), in collaboration with IFREMER and Météo-France, for long-term monitoring of the impacts of climate change and those induced by human activities in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea. The primary aim of this programme is to achieve sustainable long-term time-series data, to streamline observation strategies between laboratories, to implement modern automated measurements for combined ocean-atmosphere

observations, and to substantially increase the real-time data flow so as to better constrain climate-ocean and operational oceanography models. Finally, with the support of models, MOOSE should generate data required to forecast future scenarios that could be used to assess variations in the Mediterranean Sea in response to climate change and human pressure, and thus to propose suitable adaptations. ••• * The Mediterranean Ocean Observing System on Environment (MOOSE), which received a Système d’Observation et d’Expérimentation pour la Recherche sur l’Environnement (SOERE) accreditation in 2010, addresses current requests from society regarding pollution and biodiversity issues.

Role of winter dense water formations in spatiotemporal patterns of pelagic ecosystem functioning impacted by climate change Climate change could lead to increased surface water stratification in the Mediterranean Sea, acidification and oligotrophication that is progressive but rapid and substantial on a biological scale, with major impacts on marine planktonic organisms. It is essential to identify key processes that prompt changes in the hydrological regime and in marine ecosystem functioning. The dense water formation process (which ventilates deep water while effectively exporting organic matter to deeper ocean depths, and contributes considerably to nutrient salt recycling in surface waters) could be significantly altered. Combined experimental research and modelling is necessary to deal with the complexity of these processes and their effects on marine organisms. This approach has been implemented in the MERMEX programme, one component of which addresses the impact of hydrodynamic changes on biochemical budgets in the Mediterranean Sea, with the involvement of UMR LOMIC and CEFREM, etc.

network stations to sample the autumn dense-water preconditioning phase, and then the stratified summer phase. An intense underwater free-floating glider observation network and satellite imagery supplemented this observation phase. A major modelling effort enhanced coordination, facilitated linkages between these operations and made effective use of the data. This operation, supported by the Mediterranean Integrated Studies at Regional and Local Scales (MISTRALS) programme, pooled the initiatives of over a hundred scientists attached to French laboratories such as UMR LOMIC, CEFREM, MIO, LA, LOCEAN, LOV, etc.* It also received financial support from European (PERSEUS, GROOM, JERICO**) and French (EQUIPEX-NAOS and ANR ASICSMED***) programmes, especially regarding underwater free-floating gliders and modelling. Contact: Pascal Conan,

One series of DeWEX 2013 sea research missions was conducted in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea. In the first leg (February 2013), a network of stations set up in a star pattern around the dense water formation zone (42°N-5°E) was surveyed in winter during the convective phase. In the second leg (April 2013), the resulting spring bloom was sampled and the propagation of dense water formed during the winter was tracked. These missions were mainstreamed into a comprehensive implementation plan over the 2012-2013 winter period. Lighter research cruises were conducted on the same

For further information: * MIO: Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography; LA: Aerology Lab; LOCEAN: Oceanography and Climate Lab - Experimental and Numerical Approaches; LOV: Villefranche Oceanographic Laboratory. ** PERSEUS: Policy-oriented marine Environmental Research for the Southern European Seas; GROOM: Gliders for Research, Ocean Observation and Management; JERICO: Joint European Research Infrastructure for Coastal Observatories. *** EQUIPEX: Équipements d’Excellence; NAOS: Novel Argo Ocean Observing System; ASICS-MED: Air-Sea Interaction and Coupling with Submesoscale structures in the Mediterranean.


February 2013—Leg 1


10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

 DeWEX-MERMEX (Deep Water Formation Experiment–Marine Ecosystems Response in the Mediterranean Experiment) research missions. a. Distribution of mean surface chlorophyll concentrations (µg.l-1).


b. Temporal trends in nitrate concentrations (µM) measured at the mixed layer depth (MLD) using PROVOR profilers.



c. Temporal changes in the MLD (m). Shaded areas represent DeWEX–MERMEX research ship missions.

-400 -600 © P. Conan

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Climate change: impact and adaptation



April 2013—Leg 2



Biodiversity and marine ecosystems

© M. Andrello

Climate change will decrease the ability of marine protected areas to seed fishing areas with larval fish

 Effects of different processes on changes in larval dispersal distances over the century. In grey (a), effects of changes in marine current velocities and direction (hydrodynamic changes); in blue (b), effects of hydrodynamic changes and adult reproduction period changes; in green (c), effects of hydrodynamic changes and larval lifespan changes; in red (d), the three combined effects.

Main teams

Climate change: impact and adaptation

UMR LOMIC Microbial Oceanography Laboratory (UPMC/CNRS) 12 scientists


UMR MARBEC Marine Biodiversity, Exploitation and Conservation (IRD/IFREMER/UM/CNRS) 121 scientists UMS MEDIMEER Centre d’écologie marine expérimentale of OSU OREME (UM/CNRS/IRD) 2 scientists USR LBBM Laboratory of Microbial Biodiversity and Biotechnology (UPMC/CNRS) 20 scientists

The Mediterranean Sea has over 100 marine protected areas (MPAs) that serve to maintain sufficient supplies of fished species on the continental shelf. The connectivity between fish populations, especially through the dispersal of larval fish via ocean currents, is a key factor regarding the efficacy of the MPA network to ensure the supply of larval fish to fishing areas. In a study published in the Diversity and Distributions journal and funded by the Fondation pour la Recherche sur la Biodiversité and Total Foundation, UMR MARBEC researchers associated with other partners (IRD, Aix-Marseille Université, UM, CNRS, Météo-France) demonstrated that climate change (+2.8°C at the end of the 21st century) could affect the connectivity of fish populations in the Mediterranean Sea. In particular, the larval fish dispersal distance could decrease by 10% (9 km on average), causing a 3% reduction (around 27 000 ha) in the overall fishing area seeded by the MPA network. An increase in temperature decreases the larval lifespan—thus the distances hatchlings are carried in the ocean currents—while changes in currents expected in the Mediterranean Sea will affect the trajectories of these fish larvae. This study highlighted the combined physical and biological impacts associated with climate change on the efficacy of MPA networks. Contact: David Mouillot,

Reconciling fisheries activities and marine ecosystem conservation

 and achieve a better balance between the use and conservation of these ecosystems.

The joint research unit Marine Biodiversity, Exploitation and Conservation (UMR MARBEC – IRD, IFREMER, UM, CNRS) studies marine biodiversity in lagoon, coastal and offshore ecosystems at different integration levels, from molecular, individual, population and community aspects to human uses of this biodiversity.

The unit’s teams focus research in eight general areas to address these challenges:  evolutionary ecology and adaptation  individuals, populations and habitats  dynamics and functioning of communities  microorganisms and interactions with macroorganisms  contaminants: fates and responses  sustainable aquaculture  multiple uses of coastal systems  ecosystem approach to fisheries.

This research unit is set up at three sites in metropolitan France (Sète, Montpellier, Palavas-les-Flots) and in the Indian Ocean, Asia, Africa and South America and conducts studies to fulfil three main objectives:  describe marine biodiversity, understand its dynamics and marine ecosystem functioning  analyse the impact of human pressure on these ecosystems and develop global change response scenarios

The impacts of global change on marine biodiversity are studied in each of these themes.

Vulnerability and preservation of Mediterranean marine, coastal and deep-sea ecosystems Research carried out by the Benthic Ecogeochemistry Laboratory (UMR LECOB – UPMC, CNRS) is focused on the functions and vulnerability of benthic ecosystems and their interfaces. From the Mediterranean coast to the deep-sea, the ecological models currently studied by the laboratory locate in highly dynamic environments subjected to a range of anthropogenic pressures: rocky

habitats, river mouths, submarine canyons and hydrothermal vents. These sensitive habitats also constitute biodiversity and productivity hotspots protected by conservation measures. LECOB conducts research to:  gain further insights into the dynamic interactions that link marine benthic communities and their functions to environmental properties  model these interactions to predict relationships between biodiversity, resource heterogeneity and habitat fragmentation through metapopulation and metacommunity approaches

 integrate this knowledge in predictive models based on climate scenarios or direct human disturbances  develop and assess methods and tools to test the effectiveness of conservation measures or the relevance of ecological quality indicators for the environment. For its ongoing projects—in addition to support from CNRS and UPMC—LECOB benefits from funding from ANR, from the LITEAU programme of the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy (MEDDE) and from Total Foundation. •••

Hydrodynamic influences on coral conservation in coastal environments and deep submarine canyons Gorgonians are outstanding engineer species that are found along the Mediterranean coast. They play a vital role regarding biomass and bedrock diversity. The LECOB team is assessing the impact of protective measures on the distribution of these species by developing connectivity models involving simulation of larval dispersal patterns that combine experimental studies on larval motility behaviour and numerical hydrodynamics simulations. These connectivity studies are carried out for metapopulations of different gorgonian species (including red coral, and red and white gorgonians) in the Ligurian Sea in the framework of a European PhD scholarship (MARES*) and in the Gulf of Lions as part of the LITEAU IV project (RocConnect**). Scleractinian corals play a similar role in deep-sea environments. These corals are especially vulnerable to the impacts of human activities (trawling, waste) and the effects of global change (warming, acidification and changes in ocean water circulation patterns). They are also protected by international measures. Some submarine canyons offer ideal habitats for these corals due to abundant nutrient resources associated with specific hydrodynamic conditions. The Lacaze-Duthiers canyon off Banyuls (France) is one of them, as it hosts

large populations of Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora oculata corals, which are now integrated in the management plan of the Gulf of Lions Marine Protected Area (Marine Natural Park). LECOB has developed a research programme devoted to the growth and ecological role of these engineer species, combining organic geochemistry and microbial ecology, to assess the sensitivity of deep-sea ecosystems to climate change, and especially the impacts of extreme weather events. These studies are part of the Extreme Marine Environments, Biodiversity and Global Change Chair programme set up by UPMC with the support of Total Foundation. They are supported by CNRS (including incentive funds from a multidisciplinary exploratory project of the Ecology and Environment Institute) and involve a collaboration with Jacobs International University in Bremen (Germany). Contacts: Katell Guizien, Franck Lartaud, & Nadine Le Bris, lebris@obs-banyuls * MIO : Institut Méditerranéen d’Océanologie ; CEREGE : Centre de Recherche et

* Marine Ecosystem Health and Conservation. ** Connectivity of hard-bottom substrates in the Gulf of Lions.

 Growth experiment on deep-sea coral at 500 m depth in the LacazeDuthiers submarine canyon, France.

Climate change: impact and adaptation

© UPMC-LECOB (Total Foundation Academic Chair)


Biodiversity and marine ecosystems

Comparative study of conventional and unconventional marine organism models The joint research unit Integrative Biology of Marine Organisms (UMR BIOM – UPMC, CNRS) carries out academic research mainly. Its project focusses on studies on development and adaptation mechanisms of organisms through evolution, and using unconventional marine models. The comparative studies extend and complement those conducted on conventional models. They enable relevant comparisons between phylogenetically distant organisms.

This type of approach has often led to significant breakthroughs in a range of different biological fields, and comes up with answers to some fundamental biological questions.

The BIOM research unit is interested in studying adaptation of marine organisms to environmental changes include climate change. This is exemplified by the SalTemp project.

We study the biology of marine organisms to investigate their great diversity (19 out of 36 metazoan phyla are exclusively marine organisms) and to use and study this diversity as potential biological models. In this global setting, the two main lines of BIOM research are developmental biology and the study of adaptation mechanisms using both unicellular and multicellular models.

SalTemp project: global warming and migration in Atlantic salmon of the Loire-Allier river axis Temperature impacts metabolism, physiology and behaviour of fish. Each fish has its specific window of tolerance. Temperatures beyond this window put the fish survival at risk. In salmon from the Loire-Allier Basin (France), we will study:

 The mechanisms of thermo-reception  The impact of temperature changes on the daily and seasonal melatonin cycles M. Caunt © Shutterstock

 The impact of temperature on the settings of the downstream migration

 The impact of melatonin on pituitary productions involved in triggering downstream migration.

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Both temperature and light/dark cycles contribute to triggering downstream migration of salmon to the sea. But how do they interact? How do salmon (and more generally fish) integrate the temperature information and what kind of hormonal messages do they produce in response to temperature changes? How will salmon cope with the ongoing global warming?


The SalTemp project, coordinated by the team Environment and Adaptive Mechanisms of the UMR BIOM, aims at finding answers to all of these questions. The goal is to gain insight into how light and temperature interact to determine when salmon migration is triggered. It is important to know more about a crucial event in the fish biological cycle because it relies on the temperatures experienced during its stream movements; and, the photoperiod/ temperature balance is now challenged by the climate change as temperature increases while photoperiod remains the same.

The hypothesis that all or some of the effects of temperature are mediated through membrane-bound calcium channels expressed in the pineal organ and along the neuroendocrine axis will be tested. In vivo and in vitro studies will be performed to elucidate how photoperiod and temperature interact to control the production of, both, the ‘time-keeping hormone’ melatonin and the hypothalamicpituitary hormones involved in the neuroendocrine control of downstream migration. Finally, an experiment will be carried out to study the impact of a 5°C temperature increase on the behaviour (locomotor activity and downstream migration), as well as on molecular, endocrine and physiological mechanisms that control the migratory behaviour. The findings of this study will help understanding and predicting the impact of the ongoing temperature increase and of the abovementioned induced mismatch with photoperiod on migration. The impact on the survival of salmon populations and on the sustainability of restocking initiatives will also be assessed. Contact: Jack Falcón,

Effects of global warming on triggering marine phytoplankton blooms—photoperiodism, composition and adaptation Ocean warming is the main factor responsible for overall changes in productivity, biomass and phenology (bloom timing) in phytoplankton communities. In temperate oceans, phytoplankton abundance and diversity sharply increase between winter and spring. These blooms are likely the result of a combination of physical (light, temperature), chemical (nutrients) and ecological (interactions with bacteria, predation) parameters. The life of most living organisms is governed by the light/dark cycle (photoperiod) that regulates seasonal processes (photoperiodism). Temperature is a key physiological control factor in phytoplankton, and the photoperiod could regulate the timing of blooms. Within the framework of the PHOTO-PHYTO project (ANR 2014-2017), researchers from UMR LOMIC, MARBEC and OOB, in partnership with the company Metabolium (Romainville, France), are studying the role and hierarchy of fluctuating environmental factors (e.g. temperature) and intrinsic factors (e.g. circadian clock controlling

photoperiodism) in triggering spring blooms. This project involves a multidisciplinary approach that combines unique expertise in the fields of oceanography, microbial ecology, functional genomics and experimental evolution on the picoplankton model Ostreococcus tauri. The following questions are raised:  What are the main in situ factors controlling spring phytoplankton blooms?  How do temperature and photoperiod interact to trigger spring blooms?  Will the adaptation to global warming affect photoperiodism and trophic interactions?  How does global warming affect natural microbial communities? Contact: François-Yves Bouget,

 Microplate light simulator to reproduce a range of different light intensity, quality and photoperiod conditions when culturing phytoplankton species. This device can also be used to measure luminescence parameters in order to monitor the impact of environmental (light, nutrients) and anthropogenic (pollutants) factors on reporter gene expression.

 microbial processes and ocean biogeochemistry  ecotoxicology and microbial metabolic engineering.

The overall objective of the Microbial Oceanography Laboratory (UMR LOMIC – UPMC, CNRS) is to study reciprocal interactions between a changing and varying environment— the ocean—and microorganisms inhabiting it in an integrative way from the gene to the ecosystem. LOMIC pools expertise in the fields of marine biogeochemistry, microbial ecology, functional genomics and ecotoxicology. This multidisciplinary approach is effective in addressing issues at the frontiers of science.

These topics encompass both fundamental research (e.g. responses of microorganisms to global oceanic changes) and applied research (blue biotechnology, valorization of microalgae, plastic biodegradation, etc.) issues that are investigated in collaboration with industrial partners (Mycrophyt, Metabolium, etc.).

Research conducted by the LOMIC team is structured around four main topics:  regulation of microbial functions by light and nutrients  reactivity of organic matter and microbial diversity

The LOMIC teams implement different approaches, ranging from experiments on model microorganisms (e.g. Ostreococcus tauri and Photobacterium angustum) to field studies during ocean missions and experiments on microbial communities under controlled conditions.

Amongst other investigations, LOMIC focuses studies on the response and adaptation of autotrophic and heterotrophic marine microorganisms to climate change. This is a key issue in analysing the impacts of environmental modifications on a global scale. These microorganisms are essential to life on Earth and their very diverse metabolisms enable them to achieve many steps in biogeochemical cycles. LOMIC is attached to the CNRS National Institute of Sciences of the Universe, but is also thematically in close collaboration with the CNRS Ecology and Environment Institute and Biological Sciences Institute. In addition, this laboratory is involved in different research projects in the Mediterranean Sea and Southern, Arctic and Pacific Oceans. •••

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Adaptation of marine microorganisms to global change


Biodiversity and marine ecosystems

Understanding factors that govern the activity and diversity of microorganisms in aquatic environments

The aim of this research unit is to gain further insight into how biotic and abiotic factors regulate the activity and diversity of microorganisms in aquatic environments. A major part of its activity is also devoted to making effective use of knowledge derived from this research (biotechnological potential of its microorganism collection, development of diagnostic tools).

 Heterotrophic and photoheterotrophic lifecycles. Left: organic carbon is transformed into cell biomass or used to produce cellular energy via respiration. © A. Courties

The Laboratory of Microbial Biodiversity and Biotechnology (USR LBBM – Sorbonne Universités, UPMC, CNRS) conducts research to understand the biodiversity and functional role of microorganisms in the environment by focusing on aquatic systems (marine, maritime, continental). LBBM thus pools expertise in microbial ecology, microbiology, chemical ecology, biotechnology and exploratory pharmacology.

Right: for an equivalent number of cells, respiration is theoretically less necessary and CO2 production is reduced.

LBBM’s missions are to:  develop leading-edge research in the field of microbial ecology of aquatic environments through studies on microorganism diversity, knowledge of their genetic and physiological properties and the molecules that enable them to interact or act on their environment  support and promote scientific innovation at the healthenvironment interface via collaborative initiatives to address major societal challenges (cancer treatment, the impact and fate of chemical and biological

contaminants in the environment, understanding the potential impacts of climate change on microorganisms)  transfer knowledge through the training of students and young researchers. Research carried out by LBBM comes under three major themes: ‘Environmental omics and natural community regulation mechanisms’, ‘Microbial biodiversity and biomolecules’, and ‘Emerging contaminants in aquatic environments and health’.

Enhancing long-term climate forecasts through studies on the effects of light on proteorhodopsin-containing bacteria in ocean environments spatiotemporal dynamics of photoheterotrophic marine bacteria with physiological studies in photobioreactors targeting isolated strains.

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Advanced molecular techniques will be implemented to determine the diversity of proteorhodopsin-containing bacteria (with light-dependent proton pumps so that light can be used as an energy source) at three contrasting sites: Mediterranean Sea, the English Channel, and the Arctic Ocean. In physiological studies, photobioreactors and model microbial strains will be used to assess the effects of light on the growth performance of these organisms under different light and substrate quality conditions.


 Photobioreactors used in the ANR RHOMEO project for measuring carbon yields under different light conditions.

LBBM coordinates the RHOMEO (Proteorhodopsin-containing Prokaryotes in Marine Environments) project in collaboration with the joint research unit Adaptation and Diversity in the Marine Environment based at the Station biologique de Roscoff (France). The aim of this project is to combine assessments on the diversity and

These experiments will help determine the quantity of carbon produced through photoheterotrophic light energy use. The findings will highlight links between specific carbon source use and the physiology of model strains representative of the environment. In situ and physiological experiments will be combined to assess the effects of light on the metabolism of these organisms at the sampled sites. These results will help gain greater insight into long-term climate forecasts while taking into account these organisms which represent a very important constituent of marine microbial communities in oceans. Contact: Marcelino Suzuki, For further information:

 MEDIMEER in situ mesocosms submerged in Thau lagoon (northwestern Mediterranean region, France). Each mesocosm contains a 2 m3 water volume with a depth of 2 m. © B. Mostajir

This powerful tool links environmental observations and small-scale laboratory studies.

The Mediterranean Platform for Marine Ecosystem Experimental Research (MEDIMEER platform of OSU OREME – CNRS, UM, IRD) based at the Station Méditerranéenne de l’Environnement Littoral in Sète (France), proposes advanced scientific expertise for conducting experiments under controlled conditions (mesocosms) in marine environments to benefit the national and international scientific community.

The aims of MEDIMEER are to offer national and international research groups:  expertise in the field of experimental marine ecology oriented towards mesocosm experiments  and a broad range of research facilities. MEDIMEER has in situ mesocosms submerged in Thau lagoon (but which can be transported and implemented at other sites), onshore mesocosms ready for installation, three platforms (observation, analysis and logistics) and a stock of instruments. This infrastructure package can be used to study the impact of natural and anthropogenic forcings on the functioning of marine ecosystems (production, diversity, mass flows,

A mesocosm is an experimental enclosure in which a volume of water of over 1 m3 is isolated in conditions resembling those of the natural environment and in which environmental factors (temperature, light, CO2, nutrients, etc.) can be adjusted in a realistic manner.

resistance, resilience, etc.) under controlled conditions. MEDIMEER also offers support for more applied research activities such as sustainable resource management, restoration of degraded ecosystems, biomass production for industrial purposes (biofuels, bioenergy), and ecotoxicology (in onshore mesocosms). Research at MEDIMEER can quantify and qualify the impacts of local and global physical, chemical and biological forcings on the diversity of aquatic organisms, on their physiologies and interactions, and on the functioning of aquatic ecosystems. •••

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Research under controlled conditions in marine environments


Biodiversity and marine ecosystems


EMBRC—one of Europe’s largest research platforms on biodiversity

Climate change: impact and adaptation

The three French marine research stations at Banyuls-sur-Mer, Roscoff and Villefranche-sur-Mer, which are jointly run by UPCM and CNRS, have joined forces at the European Marine Biological Resource Centre (EMBRCFrance) in order to gain greater knowledge on marine biodiversity.


Marine biological resources and their potential applications in areas as varied as agriculture, health and cosmetics, have yet to be explored in depth. However, with an area of 11 million km2, France represents the second-ranked exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the world. This EEZ is under a range of different climatic conditions and offers a considerable wealth of biodiversity.

As a prime site for marine bioresource studies in France, in its governance, EMBRC-France benefits from the support of the Investissements d’avenir programme of the French Ministry of Education and Research, the strong involvement of Brittany, Languedoc-Roussillon and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur regions, and that of the Pôle Mer Bretagne Atlantique and Pôle Mer Méditerranée competitiveness clusters.  In a regional and national setting, EMBRC-France—and especially the Oceanic Observatory of Banyulssur-Mer (OOB)—offers companies and academic scientists easy access to ecosystems, marine resources and leading-edge scientific platforms. Through on-site hosting or remote services, EMBRC-France thus overcomes the difficulty of

gaining access to marine resources and provides a key tool for studying and exploiting marine biodiversity from molecular to ecosystem scales.  In a broader context, in 2009 EMBRC was selected by the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) to become a major European research platform of the future. This European centre of marine biology resources is to be launched in 2016 and will link the main European marine biology stations and will soon serve as a catalyst for innovation. 

Š P. Lebaron

Climate change: impact and adaptation

ď ° Aboard the Nereis II station ship: researchers are setting a vertical line of traps to capture sedimenting particles.


Climate change: impact and adaptation 52

 Aphis gossypii Larvae. © J.P. Deguine

Climate change & interactions between organisms

The scientific community must address three key challenges regarding these major changes. The first concerns gathering academic knowledge on the impact of climate change on the biology, distribution or abundance of organisms—which is starting to be fairly well described—as well as the impact of these changes on interactions between organisms and concomitant effects on the dynamics of trophic chains—which have yet to be fully clarified (challenge 1). The second challenge is to predict the agricultural and health risks, especially through modelling approaches (challenge 2). Finally, tailoring current practices or developing new ones that meet cultural, health, policy and social needs is a major challenge to limit the ‘damage’ (challenge 3). Research units of Agropolis International members are conducting studies on a very broad range of interactions between organisms (biotic interactions). These interactions may jointly involve two or several macroorganisms (plants, insects, molluscs, nematodes, mammals), or a macroorganism with microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi). Symbiosis, pathogenesis, parasitism and vectorization are the main types of biotic interactions studied. These biotic interactions concern crop plants, animals, beneficial organisms and pests in both terrestrial and aquatic environments. Fundamental knowledge is required on the mechanisms of biotic interactions of different models of interest so as to unravel the causes and consequences of climate change impacts (challenge 1). For instance, many terrestrial, freshwater and marine species change their

ranges (e.g. rice yellow mottle virus in Africa and pine processionary caterpillars) or their seasonal activities (e.g. Mycobacterium ulcerans, the causative agent of Buruli ulcer). Pathogens also adapt to changes in the behaviour of their vector organisms (e.g. the re-emergence of schistosomiasis). Many joint research units are involved in modelling climate change impacts (challenge 2). This can include studies on epidemiological processes involved in diseases transmitted by vectorial macroorganisms (insect-borne plant diseases, assessments on the transmission of bluetongue in Europe, vector-borne diseases in North Africa and Europe). As biological mechanisms are not the only factors involved, these models may also include social and legal data (RELAIS project on epidemiological risks in Amazonia). The Agropolis scientific community conducts targeted research to design new practices (challenge 3). These practices may be cultural, concern the development of new beneficials for biological control, or policy and health strategies. Agropolis research units involved in the study of interactions between organisms are located on several Montpellier campuses (Saint-Éloi, La Gaillarde, Baillarguet, Lavalette), and elsewhere in the South of France (INRA Avignon, Université de Perpignan). A number of shared and networking tools are required because of this multisite specificity. For instance, the regional Interactions Microorganismes-Hôtes network*, which currently includes more than 20 teams located in Montpellier, Nîmes and Perpignan, focuses studies on biotic interaction mechanisms between microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites) and their hosts (plants, invertebrates, mammals). The aim is to showcase the theme, create scientific activities and collaborations, while participating in structuring the theme for educational and research initiatives. Sophie Gaudriault & Nathalie Volkoff (UMR DGIMI), Elsa Ballini & Claire Neema (UMR BGPI)


Climate change: impact and adaptation


limate change primarily affects abiotic environmental factors upon which living organisms depend—light, temperature, soil and air humidity, chemical composition of water, atmospheric and hydrostatic pressure and the physical and chemical structure of the substrate. Changes in these factors may have a significant impact on the ecosystem structure and functioning, especially by modifying the biology or behaviour of the hosted organisms (plants, animals, microorganisms), thus leading to marked variations in the interactions between them (competition, predation, parasitism, mutualism, vectorial transmission, etc.).


Climate change & interactions between organisms

Main teams CSIRO European Laboratory (CSIRO) 4 scientists EBCL – European Biological Control Laboratory of USDA/ARS (USDA/ARS) 5 scientists UMR BGPI Biology and Genetics of Plant-Parasite Interactions (INRA/CIRAD/Montpellier SupAgro) 39 scientists UMR CBGP Center for Biology and Management of Populations (INRA/CIRAD/IRD/Montpellier SupAgro) 52 scientists UMR CMAEE Emerging and Exotic Animal Disease Control (INRA/CIRAD) 35 scientists UMR DGIMI Diversity, Genomes and Microorganism-Insect Interactions (INRA/UM) 19 scientists UMR IHPE Host-Pathogen-Environment Interactions (UM/UPVD/IFREMER/CNRS) 24 scientists

Climate change: impact and adaptation

UMR InterTryp Host-Vector-Parasite Interactions in Infections by Trypanosomatidae (CIRAD/IRD) 30 scientists


UMR IPME Interactions Plantes-MicroorganismesEnvironnement (IRD/CIRAD/UM) 49 scientists UMR LSTM Laboratory of Tropical and Mediterranean Symbioses (IRD/CIRAD/INRA/UM/Montpellier SupAgro) 45 scientists …continued on page 56

Managing species populations and communities of high socioeconomic or ecological importance Research of the Center for Biology and Management of Populations (UMR CBGP – INRA, CIRAD, IRD, Montpellier Supagro) conducts studies on the biology of certain populations and communities of organisms that should be managed because they represent a major human health, agriculture, forestry and conservation challenge. CBGP members are striving to characterize the diversity of these organisms, describe current and past genetic structures, determine their roles in interactions in which they are involved (parasitism, predation, pathogen reservoirs, etc.), along with intrinsic and extrinsic factors that could modify them. One aim of this research is to predict the evolution of biodiversity under the pressure of global change (climatic or anthropogenic). In addition to the academic importance of the unit’s scientific initiatives, they are aimed at fostering assessment, decision support and/or the development of strategies for controlling pests or preserving endangered species. This joint research unit uses or develops concepts and tools from a broad range of disciplines,

such as systematics, phylogenetics and phylogeography, population genetics and genomics, phenotype studies, the ecology of species communities, immunoecology, epidemiology, multiagent modelling and geostatistics. CBGP’s primary model species are insects (especially crop pests or beneficials for biological control), phytoparasitic nematodes and rodents, including crop and storage pests and/or human pathogen reservoir species. Regarding research specifically focused on the impact of climate change on biodiversity, CBGP is investigating the pine processionary moth whose range seems to be rapidly expanding in Europe as a result of current global warming trends. On a broader time scale, studies are also under way on the impacts of paleoclimatic cycles on the geographical distribution and genetic structure of populations of various African and Eurasian rodents and on those of insects of different families (Noctuidae, Papilionidae, Tenebrionidae). Finally, the unit’s academic activities include many capacity building initiatives, especially to benefit students and staff from developing countries highly exposed to the impacts of global change.

Plant symbioses—host diversity, interaction and adaptation to environmental constraints

These studies involve a dual approach:  assessment of the diversity of tropical and Mediterranean symbioses  characterization of original model symbiotic systems derived from the diversity assessment.

See an example of a project conducted by UMR LSTM on page 39. •••

LSTM contributes to the development of ecological engineering strategies to minimize

© H. Santos

The Laboratory of Tropical and Mediterranean Symbioses (UMR LSTM – IRD, CIRAD, INRA, UM, Montpellier SupAgro) conducts academic and targeted research that is highly oriented towards developing countries and training through research. It studies symbiosis diversity regarding interaction mechanisms, as well as their roles in the adaptation of host plants to environmental constraints (mineral nutrients, water and salt stress, etc.)

the impact of global change on the biofunctioning of Mediterranean and tropical ecosystems and agrosystems. Improving the productivity of plants for food and nonfood uses in ecosystems that have not been markedly affected by human activities and in agroecosystems, and restoring degraded environments are focuses of the research carried out by the unit’s researchers.

whose impact on the productivity and stability of ecosystems and agrosystems will likely be exacerbated by future global change scenarios.

 Pine processionary caterpillars in a winter nest.

© J. Rousselet (INRA Orléans) & J.-C. Martin (INRA Avignon)

 Expansion of the pine processionary range since the late 1960s.

Warmer winters benefit the pine processionary

The pine processionary is currently continuing its northward range expansion and is colonizing different landscapes. As the pine trees it prefers in its original area are more dispersed in the newly invaded areas, it tends to attack isolated trees, ornamental bushes or species planted as part of urban and periurban management plans.

The health impacts of its expansion are thus high as it is in closer contact with humans. In recent years, some pioneer colonies have even been observed in urban areas beyond the colonization front. These colonies are likely the result of passive transport by humans (e.g. planting of tall trees) combined with the fact that the species is able to survive in these locations due to the favourable urban microclimatic conditions which locally resemble climate change. CBGP teams, in collaboration with other researchers, are now trying to draw up a detailed description of these new processes, their effects on the T. pityocampa genome and the adaptive traits of the species (phenology, resistance to extreme temperatures, dispersal, etc.) so as to be able to foresee its future expansion and mitigate its impacts. Contact: Carole Kerdelhue,

Climate change: impact and adaptation

The pine processionary, Thaumetopoea pityocampa, is a moth whose caterpillar is a major coniferous tree pest. This insect is a human health problem since its urticating hairs can induce harmful reactions in professional operators (e.g. forestry staff) and other people. The range of this species of Mediterranean origin has been expanding northward and to higher elevations as a direct result of the increase in winter temperatures. This climate change related expansion has been demonstrated via detailed mapping of changes in its range in France since the 1980s (results obtained by INRA Orléans) and also through experimental tests which revealed that nests moved beyond the expansion boundary were unable to survive.


Climate change & interactions between organisms

Emergence of the rice yellow mottle virus in Africa

The first RYMV outbreaks occurred in irrigated rice growing areas. Controlled irrigation makes it possible to increase rice production, but this in turn creates conditions favourable for RYMV onset. This virus was subsequently observed in lowland and rainfed rice growing areas where the disease became widespread. RYMV is now present everywhere in Africa where rice is grown, but so far not at sites and during periods when temperatures are colder, i.e. in highlands and during the off-season. The situation is changing, however, and RYMV was recently detected in highland areas, possibly as a result of climate change and/or the emergence of adapted virus strains. A study of RYMV diversity highlighted that the range of the main strains reflected the disparity of major climatic zones in Africa. Recently developed biogeography and phylogeography methods should soon make it possible to assess relationships between climatic factors and RYMV population structuring and then to draw up scenarios linking environmental change and RYMV epidemiological patterns. These studies are conducted by UMR IPME researchers in partnership with a network of African virologists from national research institutes (Institut National pour l’Étude et la Recherche Agronomiques in Burkina Faso; Centre National de Recherche Agronomique in Côte d’Ivoire; Centre National de la Recherche

Plant-microorganism interactions under different environmental stress conditions The joint research unit Interactions Plantes-MicroorganismesEnvironnement (UMR IPME – IRD, CIRAD, UM) focuses research on interactions between plants and microorganisms while taking environmental factors into account.

Main teams

Climate change: impact and adaptation

UMR MIVEGEC Genetics and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (IRD/CNRS/UM) 66 scientists


UR AGIRs Animal and Integrated Risk Management (CIRAD) 26 scientists UR B-AMR Pests and Diseases: Risk Analysis and Control (CIRAD) 14 scientists UR Plant Pathology (INRA) 13 scientists

© J. -L. Notteghem

Environmental changes are responsible for the recent emergence and rapid propagation of the rice yellow mottle virus (RYMV) in Africa.

 Rice fields infected at different stages by the rice yellow mottle virus (Office du Niger, Mali, 2003).

Appliquée au Développement Rural in Madagascar; Institut des Sciences Agronomiques in Rwanda; University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania) and international agencies (Africa Rice Center; International Rice Research Institute). These studies were supported by Agropolis Fondation, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Global Rice Science Partnership. Contact: Denis Fargette,

A sustainable development strategy applied to crop protection and improvement is based on in-depth knowledge on the:  available host genetic diversity  interaction mechanisms (pathogenic and mutualistic)  capacity of parasites to overcome resistance  effect of the environment on interactions between the plant and associated organisms. IPME’s activities follow this thematic continuum. The unit’s six teams conduct collaborative studies on plant-symbiotic microorganism and/or pathogen combinations under different stress situations. IPME’s priority research issues concern:  the diversity of microorganisms associated with plants and on related mechanisms during the plant colonization/infection process  the organization, evolution and adaptation of viral and bacterial genomes, as well as nematode genomes  plant responses and adaptation to biotic and abiotic stress.

The unit focuses on issues related to the impact of these processes on agriculture and the environment in developing countries. IPME conducts research on tropical crops of agricultural, economic and nutritional value (e.g. rice, cassava, citrus fruits, legumes and coffee) in tropical and Mediterranean environments. This research is hinged on the emergence of new concepts, prevention methods, plant disease control tools and the improvement of plant resistance to biotic and abiotic stress. The research aims to:  contribute to enhancing the management and sustainability of cropping systems  strengthening the unit’s research and training activities by establishing partnerships  promote knowledge transfer in both developed and developing countries.

 Entomopathogenic nematodes to the rescue of Lebanon cedars.


Entomopathogenic nematodes to save Lebanon cedars threatened by climate change

The current cedar forests, which are located in a mountain area at 1 400-2 000 m elevation, are impacted by the increased harshness of the Mediterranean climatic conditions, locally characterized by a marked decrease in the snowy period (decreased from 4-5 months to 1-2 months a year) and by heat waves. The heat wave in the late 1990s led to the emergence of Cephalcia tannourinensis, an endemic insect pest whose episodic proliferation is now the main threat to Lebanese cedar forests.

Dynamics of pest insects and their natural enemies in different environments The aim of the joint research unit Diversity, Genomes and Microorganism-Insect Interactions (UMR DGIMI – INRA, UM) is to implement integrative approaches to assess multitrophic interactions regarding insect pests and thus contribute to improving plant protection. The interactions studied by the research unit concern insect

Moreover, during the severe pest outbreak that occurred in the early 2000s, two forests were saved in extremis by aerial chemical treatments. Since then, the Lebanese National Council for Scientific Research, Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (Lebanon) and UMR DGIMI have been collaborating to develop an integrated pest management programme for this pest based on the use of entomopathogenic nematodes. The studies have already led to the identification of two endemic nematode populations in the Tannourine forest. Further studies are under way to develop Steinernema feltiae based treatments against C. tannourinensis in two Lebanese cedar forests. The aim is to control outbreaks of this insect, which this year has benefited from the so-called ‘centennial drought’. Contact: Olivier Thaler,

pests (essentially a lepidopteran model) and their natural enemies (viruses, nematode-bacteria complexes, micro-hymenopteran parasitoids), which are potential biocontrol agents. The unit’s teams apply comparative genomics, functional genomics, cell biology or life-history traits monitoring approaches to gain insight into how molecular mechanisms control these interactions and how they are

affected by modifications in biotic or abiotic environments. Other parallel DGIMI projects are focused on the dynamics of these interactions according to environmental conditions. This mainly involves comparing the species diversity of insect pests and their natural enemies in different ecosystems or agrosystems. •••

Climate change: impact and adaptation

The Lebanon cedar, Cedrus libani, is the symbol displayed on the national flag of this eastern Mediterranean country. The species was widespread north and south of Mount Lebanon at the time of the pharaohs, but the original cedar forest has now dwindled to a few relict forests scattered in a handful of natural reserves of a few dozens of hectares. The Lebanese people are very attached to this national symbol of the greatness of ancient Phoenicia.


Climate change & interactions between organisms

Impacts of climate change on pest distributions and outbreaks The research unit Pests and Diseases: Risk Analysis and Control (UR B-AMR – CIRAD) seeks to gain insight into disease and pest outbreak and development mechanisms. Pests reduce the productivity of crops, undermine their sustainability and affect the production quality. These threats are especially prevalent in tropical agrosystems. B-AMR is working towards improving pest control, risk management and the prediction of associated damage. The proposed control strategies account for the socioeconomic, ethical and/ or policy situations, along with the interests and priorities of the different stakeholders. Moreover, the environmental impact should be minimised in order to respect human and animal health and enable beneficial fauna to fulfil their regulatory role. The unit has sufficient expertise to deal with all scientific issues associated with the emergence and development of perennial crop pests in the tropics.

From single-species plantations to desert ecosystems and agroforests, B-AMR monitors a continuum ranging from highly anthropogenic cropping systems to virtually natural ecosystems. Specific pest populations with unique systematics, biological features and relationships with the environment develop in each of these ecosystems. It is thus essential to tailor management programmes on a case-by-case basis, but the scientific reasoning and resulting lines of research are very close in all situations. Hence, beyond a specific model, from the time of the assessment to the operational implementation, the unit’s different teams have to address cross-cutting research questions:  What factors trigger outbreaks? To answer this question, it is necessary to study the ecological, biological and genetic features of the invasive species, characterize the invaded ecosystems and their dynamics, while also focusing on the ‘agricultural practices’ concept.  How do outbreaks and epidemics develop? This involves studying the functional traits of organisms in relation to their environment (quantitative genetics, modelling).

 How can pest risk management be improved? The success of control strategies is highly dependent on having knowledge of interactions between the environment and human societies. Modelling and geographical information systems may be used to spatialize and map the risk. It is known that environmental factors—especially climatic—have an important role in triggering outbreaks and in the development of epidemics. Moreover, climate change has a major impact on the distribution of pest populations and on the onset of epidemics. It is crucial to foresee these phenomena so as to be able to effectively manage them. See an example of a project co-coordinated by UPR B-AMR on page 82

 Coffee agroforestry systems.

Climate change: impact and adaptation



 Bacterial canker on an apricot tree.

Towards sustainable protection of vegetable crops in a global change setting The aim of research conducted by the Plant Pathology research unit (INRA) is to develop efficient rational control methods to protect plant health when high quality sustainable crop production is sought. They are focused on bacterial, fungal and viral diseases of fruits and vegetables grown in the Mediterranean Basin. The preventive methods developed are prophylactic and based on:


 early efficient assessment  sustainable management of varietal resistance  use of biological control agents  disease forecasting based on a clear understanding of the pathogen biology and evolution (including the epidemiology of the diseases they cause).

Global Change’. One aspect of the research carried out by this latter platform is to project scenarios of changes in agricultural landscapes under the intensification of a set of land-use stresses. It is thus possible to assess the role of landscape in the emergence and dissemination of plant diseases.

Research carried out by the unit is based on close partnerships with agricultural development stakeholders and on national and international scientific cooperation, and is hinged on two INRA research platforms: ‘Integrated Horticultural Production’ and ‘Adaptation to

See an example of a project conducted by the UR Plant Pathology on page 81. •••

 Insect nets protect crops but modify the microclimate under the nets.

Studies on the use of insect nets to control arthropod pests of vegetable crops were carried out by the HortSys research unit (see page 73), in partnership:

 in Benin, with the Institut National des Recherches Agricoles du Bénin and the Université d’Abomey-Calavi

 in Kenya, with the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute and Egerton University

 in Tanzania, with the company AtoZ. There were different sources of funding, including the United States Agency for International Development and the Fondation Mutavie (MACIF, France).

These studies demonstrated:  that input treatments on cabbage and tomato crops could be reduced by 70-100%  that the insect nets were effective in protecting crops from lepidopterans and delayed aphid and whitefly infestations, or even halted them completely if combined with repellents. The ‘underthe-net’ ecosystem could nevertheless be disturbed by climate change, so adaptations would be required. Note that differences have already been observed between Kenyan highland areas and Beninese lowland areas regarding the impact on crop yields (via plant physiology effects) and the fungal disease incidence, as shown in published HortSys studies on modifications in the microclimate under the insect nets. Contact: Éric Malézieux,

Climate change: impact and adaptation

© HortSys

Designing better regulated vegetable cropping systems


Climate change & interactions between organisms

Management of crop pathogens in global change conditions and reduction in pesticide treatments Research carried out by the joint research unit Biology and Genetics of Plant-Parasite Interactions (UMR BGPI – INRA, CIRAD, Montpellier SupAgro) is focused on agriculturally important pathosystems, with the aim of controlling diseases of crops grown mainly in tropical and Mediterranean areas. These agroecosystems are subject to pathogen infestations (established or introduced) that could have major economic impacts on crops. Such infestations could further increase with trade globalization, climate change and the reduction in pesticide use. UMR BGPI is also striving to gain insight into biotic interactions by combining studies on different scales ranging from the gene to the landscape in order to contribute to the development of innovative sustainable farming systems. The unit conducts research that combines mechanistic and population approaches with the aim of describing and understanding the emergence and development of fungal, bacterial and viral diseases.  Spatial distribution of black Sigatoka, a banana leaf disease caused by the ascomycete fungus Mycosphaerella fijiensis, in Martinique. Summary of positive spots detected between 20/09/2010 and 16/09/2011.

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Study of epidemiological processes of insect-borne diseases


Part of the research carried out by the Plant Epidemiology and Vector Transmission team (UMR BGPI) is aimed at gaining insight into the dissemination process of plant diseases transmitted by aerial vectors. The challenge is to develop models to quantify, explain and/or simulate epidemics associated with model pathogens:

The epidemiology of these diseases is partly based on biological parameters (population dynamics, lifecycle, feeding behaviour, etc.) of the associated vectors. Global warming cannot be considered as a neutral factor in this setting although it is currently not a major line of research for UMR BGPI.

 plum pox—a quarantine disease caused by the Plum pox virus

This abiotic parameter—by favouring or not the establishment of vectors in cropping areas and wild pathogen reservoirs—indirectly impacts the emergence, installation and propagation processes of diseases that the unit studies. Moreover, this variable should ultimately be taken into consideration in the design of risk assessment models to manage plant diseases such as those being developed by UMR BGPI.

(PPV), a potyvirus that is transmitted in a non-persistent manner by many aphid species

 European stone fruit yellows—a disease caused by Candidatus Phytoplasma prunorum, a phytoplasm that is transmitted in a persistent manner by the psyllid (Cacopsylla pruni)

 wheat dwarf—a disease caused by the Wheat dwarf virus (WDV), a mastrevirus that is transmitted in a persistant manner by leafhoppers of the Psammotettix genus.

Contact: Emmanuel Jacquot, For further information:

 The pointed snail Cochlicella acuta, native to Mediterranean and Atlantic regions of France, was introduced in Australia, where it has an invasive behaviour. © F. Welter Schultes

The CSIRO European Laboratory (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) focuses research on the delivery of ecosystem services for Australian agriculture and the environment generated through the introduction and release of exotic beneficial organisms. On the one hand, it is widely recognised that, under future climatic conditions, the impacts of invasive species on agricultural production, biodiversity and ecosystem function are likely to worsen. On the other hand, there is a need to maximise soil carbon sequestration and storage to mitigate climate associated increases in atmospheric carbon. The introduction of certain invertebrates that are recognised ecosystem engineers could increase soil carbon, at least in extensive agricultural landscapes. The research conducted in Montpellier aims to tackle both of these issues in the context of regionally scaled

changing climatic patterns across Australia, as projected by internationally recognised CSIRO climate models. Pest management is the primary ecosystem service we are working towards increasing. Australia, as is increasingly evident globally, is under significant ecosystem change driven by biological invasions. As parts of the continent become drier, invasive alien species from the Mediterranean will increasingly spread into currently productive temperate climate regions, reducing agricultural production and disrupting the resilience of associated native ecosystems. To curb this process, research is being undertaken into the natural enemies of such species in the native Mediterranean range. The aim is to ensure effective delivery of targeted pest management through biological control services via the selection, risk assessment and release of such biocontrol agents into Australia in order to mitigate further impacts of such widespread pests and weeds. The team is currently focusing on Mediterranean snails

and perennial leguminous weeds of extensive grazing systems and natural woodlands in southern Australia. The second ecosystem service the CSIRO European Lab is working to enhance is soil carbon sequestration and storage. Dung beetles are widely recognised as effective ecosystem engineers that return carbon belowground and improve soil conditions for water storage. CSIRO is working on the selection, rearing and risk assessment of several European dung beetle species to be able to more effectively provide such services in Australia under both Mediterranean and temperate climatic conditions. Australian pastures and rangelands have been significantly modified for grazing industries. Dung beetles adapted to utilising livestock dung currently not present in Australia are ideal ecosystem engineers to improve carbon storage in such modified landscapes. Through their release and action, such ecosystems will be better adapted to cope with future climate change impacts associated with these services. •••

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Biological control for Australian agriculture and the environment


Climate change & interactions between organisms  Asian longhorn beetles (Anoplophora glabripennis) are invasive in North America and Central Europe.


Biological control for American agriculture and the environment

Climate change: impact and adaptation 62

Changing global climatic conditions can thus affect the invasiveness of these species, while also altering the effectiveness of their biological control agents. Climatic changes

 Olive fruit fly (Bactrocera oleae).

in the Eastern Hemisphere can likewise affect the distribution of target plants and arthropods in their ‘native’ ranges, which is important to understand in order to be able to find well-adapted effective biological control agents. Geographically based climatic analysis is typically carried out early in each project: 1) to evaluate the known and projected distribution of the target in USA, and 2) to select regions in Eurasia to explore in order to find well-adapted biological control agents. Plants that are currently studied include giant reed (Arundo donax), yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis), Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia), French


The European Biological Control Laboratory (EBCL) of the USDA/ ARS (United States Department of Agriculture/Agriculture Research Service), located on the Agropolis Campus, conducts research on the biological control of invasive arthropods and plants. As many of the target species are originally from Europe, Asia or Africa, EBCL is exploring this region for prospective biological control agents to use in USA. The geographical distribution and extent of invasiveness of each of these target species is affected by a variety of environmental conditions, including seasonal precipitation and temperature patterns.

broom (Genista monspessulana), Russian thistle (Salsola tragus), medusahead rye (Taeniatherum caput-medusae) and Ventenata grass (Ventenata dubia). Invasive insects include Asian and citrus longhorned beetles (Anoplophora glabripennis, A. chinensis), the olive fruit fly (Bactrocera oleae), stink bugs (Bagrada hilaris, Halyomorpha halys), Lygus bugs (Lygus spp.) and cattle fever ticks (Rhipicephalus annulatus). Research is also being conducted at EBCL field station in Thessaloniki (Greece) on the effects of climate on mosquito populations, including the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), and West Nile virus transmission.

Influence of environmental change on host/pathogen interactions responsible for epidemics/epizooties The joint research unit HostPathogen-Environment Interactions (UMR IHPE – UM, UPVD, IFREMER, CNRS) conducts studies on different interacting biological systems involving invertebrate species of concern in the following fields:  medical and veterinary (molluscschistosome interactions)  aquaculture (oyster-pathogenenvironment interactions)  ecology (coral-pathogenenvironment interactions). The IHPE research unit develops integrative approaches that take environmental parameters affecting these interactions into account at different scales, ranging from molecular mechanisms to population and evolutionary integration. Its research is thus at the crossroads of functional biology, population biology, ecology and evolution. Over the last decade, IHPE has acquired substantial expertise, ranging from environmental genomics (‘omic’ approaches)

to ecology, bioinformatics and epigenetics in order to fulfil these objectives. It is also supported by technical platforms set up at its two sites in Montpellier and Perpignan (France). The regionally-funded TECNOVIV platform in Perpignan, for instance, thus recently acquired technological and human resources as part of its high-throughput sequencing data analysis activity. It can now comprehensively and exhaustively process large-scale (meta)genomic and transcriptomic datasets on hosts and their microorganisms or associated parasites.

These include, for example, two ANR projects carried out in collaboration with Agropolis laboratories:  An analysis of behavioural manipulation by a virus in a host/ parasitoid interaction (ANR Blanc Bodyguard, coordinated by UMR MIVEGEC).  A study on the mechanisms of coral adaptation to fluctuating environments (ANR Bioadapt ‘Adaptive processes in cnidarians: integrative study of the response to thermal stress and climate change, from genes to populations’, in collaboration with ISEM).

Global changes and increased host and pathogen population movements have serious impacts on the emergence or re-emergence of epidemics, as well as epizootic and zoonotic diseases. Several projects carried out by the IHPE laboratory concern processes by which these environmental changes affect host/ pathogen interactions from genome to ecosystem levels. This research is based on the integration of many approaches via partnership collaborations with other laboratories. These partnerships recently yielded both national and international funding.

UMR IHPE also participates in the ‘Microorganism-Host Interactions’ network coordinated by the University of Montpellier. •••

(Re)emergence of schistosomiasis in a global change setting

Moreover, indigenous cases of schistosomiasis have been reported for the first time in Corsica, where the average river temperature has increased by 1°C. The parasite emerged very recently in this region (2011), and IHPE showed that it is actually a hybrid population between Schistosoma bovis, an animal parasite, and Schistosoma haematobium, the causative agent of human urinary schistosomiasis. The persistence of an adult phase in a reservoir host and the capacity of change of the host—via behavioural changes or hybridization between closely related species—make this a zoonotic pathogen whose range is affected by global change.

 The mollusc Bulinus truncatus, an intermediate host of Schistosoma haematobium, was detected in three river in southeastern Corsica.

UMR IHPE has set up multidisciplinary projects (funded by WHO, ANR and the European Commission) that combine eco-epidemiology, genome-wide analysis and functional studies to manage this issue. More multidisciplinary approaches are indeed essential to gain greater insight into the risk factors involved in the (re)emergence of schistosomiasis and to enhance its control. Contact: Jérôme Boissier, For further information:

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Global change (changes in the range of the mollusc vectors, movement of infected populations) is prompting the emergence or even re-emergence of this disease in several regions worldwide. In Oman, for instance, where new cases of acute schistosomiasis have been detected, a new Schistosoma mansoni population was identified by the IHPE laboratory. It seems that a chronobiological modification has enabled this parasite to adapt to the presence of crepuscular rodents that serve as reservoir hosts.

© A. Théron

Schistosomiasis, or bilharzia, is a human parasitic disease endemic to tropical and subtropical countries. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this disease affects around 200 million people and causes 250 000 deaths a year. The causative agent, a flatworm of the Schistosoma genus, has a complex life cycle involving two aquatic larval phases, an intermediate mollusc host and a final vertebrate host in which it achieves its sexual reproduction.


Climate change & interactions between organisms

French Guiana—linkages between the evolution of Buruli ulcer and climate change Little is known about the route of transmission of Mycobacterium ulcerans, the mycobacterium causative agent of Buruli ulcer, the third world ranking mycobacterial disease of humans after leprosy and tuberculosis. No historical (time-series) data has been available so far on the prevalence of this skin disease to enable a biomathematical study of the dynamics of Buruli ulcer cases. In particular, it was unknown whether there are seasonal variations in cases of this disease. Through a study carried out by UMR MIVEGEC on Buruli ulcer cases in French Guiana since 1969, evidence of marked seasonal patterns between March and April in this territory was reported for the first time. This seasonality is influenced by the environment either because of the presence of reservoirs or vectors-hosts whose numbers increase during this period or because the environment is especially favourable for the microbe at this time of the year (e.g. dry wetlands increase the risk of exposure to this persistent microorganism). This study also revealed, for the first time, a longer term impact of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation phenomenon, which disrupts rainfall patterns in this area, thus leading to changes in wetland habitats through drying. The result is that these areas are used to a greater extent by humans (e.g. hunting or fishing), in turn leading to greater exposure to the microbe. This study, which was carried out in French Guiana within the framework of LabEx CEBA (Center for the Study of Biodiversity in Amazonia), thus highlights the possibility of an increase in Buruli ulcer cases associated with climatic conditions that have prevailed in recent years. This means that climate change—by generating habitat and ecosystem modifications—contributes to increasing the number of infections by this mycobacterium. Contact: Jean-François Guégan, For further information:

 Wetland areas like this one in French Guiana are favourable habitats for the bacterium that causes Buruli ulcer. R. Gozlan © IRD

Environmental change and infectious diseases

Climate change: impact and adaptation

The joint research unit Genetics and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (UMR MIVEGEC, IRD, CNRS, UM) focuses studies on complementary topics regarding evolutionary ecology and the control of infectious agent transmission—direct or indirect, via vectors or reservoirs.


The unit’s scientific research fields include ecology, evolution, genetics, infectious diseases and public health. As infectious agents or their vector or reservoir hosts may depend heavily on the bioclimatic conditions, the research teams take the issue of global environmental change— particularly climate change—into account to gain insight into and

predict the expansion (expected or probable) in the range of infectious human or animal diseases. MIVEGEC’s research may be divided into several organization levels regarding the living world:  ecosystem (including physical, biological and socioeconomic variables)  host (vertebrates and invertebrates) and pathogen (viruses, bacteria, parasites) populations, with their phenotypic, genetic, evolutionary and life history traits  pathogens (from genetic and cell biology viewpoints)  relationships between different system components (hostpathogen or genome-genome interactions).

MIVEGEC conducts research in many parts of the world: Bolivia, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Gabon, Thailand, Vietnam and French overseas regions (French Guiana, New Caledonia, Réunion). The MIVEGEC community is also highly involved in training and educational activities in Montpellier (UM), elsewhere in France and abroad.

 A cattle breed in Burkina Faso. © UMR INNOVATION

Environment and human and animal trypanosome diseases The joint research unit Host-VectorParasit-Environment Interactions in Neglected Tropical Diseases caused by Trypanosomatidae (UMR InterTryp – CIRAD, IRD) conducts research on sleeping sickness and Chagas disease in humans, animal trypanosomiasis and leishmaniasis. InterTryp develops methods to prevent and control these neglected diseases, while adapting to the constraints of developing countries. The research aims to enhance knowledge on the parasite-vector-host triad while taking the climatic, ecological and socioeconomic factors into account.

The unit is thus developing a unique approach, that is: (i) common to humans and animals, (ii) integrated by taking all components of the parasite transmission cycle into consideration, and (iii) based on issues encountered in the field. The UMR is focusing particularly on studies of cattle-trypanosome interactions and of adaptive traits that some West African cattle breeds have developed. These breeds are able to tolerate trypanosome infections and are remarkably well adapted to the especially harsh agroecological environment (extremely high temperatures, drought with a major shortage of

grazing resources). A study on the neutral and adaptive genetic diversity of tropical breeds is thus being carried out in close collaboration with the INRA Animal Genetics Division and with other partners in developing countries, such as the Centre international de recherchedéveloppement sur l’élevage en zone sub-humide (CIRDES) in Burkina Faso. InterTryp is also participating, along with INRA and UMR SELMET, in a project on the adaptation of cattle breeds to Mediterranean conditions. See an example of a project in which UMR InterTryp is a partner on page 82. •••

How can we explain the distribution of malaria in Amazonia? Why are there heavy outbreaks some years when the river waters are rising rather than when they are falling, as is usually the case? Why is leishmaniasis so virulent at the border between Pará and Maranhão in Brazil? What impacts will climate change have on vector-borne disease distributions in Amazonia? How will new dams under construction, such as that on Xingu river, change the environment and increase the risk of new disease outbreaks? The answers to these complex questions may be found in datasets describing the environment and society on scales ranging from the mosquito to state jurisdiction.

Epidemiological threats in Amazonia should be correlated with global warming and the creation of large-scale territorial development infrastructures. Brazilian and French researchers have designed the Regional Epidemiological Landscape Amazon Information System (RELAIS) project, mainly in partnership with UMR ESPACE-DEV (see page 20) and MIVEGEC, to gain further insight into these risks. These researchers are from very different backgrounds, ranging from molecular biology to remote sensing, entomology, medicine and anthropology. Together they will strive to better understand processes involved in interactions between the environment and human health. Contact: Laurent Durieux,

Climate change: impact and adaptation

RELAIS project and epidemic risks in Latin America— gaining insight into interactions between the environment and human health


Climate change & interactions between organisms

© H. Guis

 Bluetongue propagation parameters. Each map shows variations (between the 1961-1999 reference period and the 2000-2008 period) in a specific parameter associated with bluetongue transmission in ruminants: (a) biting rate, (b) mean extrinsic incubation period (i.e. time required for the vector-ingested virus to make the vector ‘infective’ at the next blood meal), (c) vector mortality rate, and the (d) vector/host ratio.

 Variations in the bluetongue transmission risk.

© H. Guis

Each spatial map shows variations in the disease transmission risk over given periods between 1961 and 2008. Reference period: August to October. Map (a): Mean R0 for the 1961-1999 period. Maps (b) to (f): Variations (in % and per decade) relative to the reference value for the 1961-1999 period.

Assessment of the impact of climate on the risk of bluetongue transmission in Europe Variations in the basic reproduction ratio (R0, corresponding to the transmission risk) of bluetongue were assessed for past and recent (1960-2008) and future (up to 2050) periods using a set of 11 climate models. These assessments were conducted using models of the effect of temperature on the biting rate, vector abundance, length of the extrinsic incubation period and the vector mortality rate. These spatial models generated risk maps and enabled assessment of the uncertainty associated with these simulations. The results suggest that the risk has increased and will continue doing so in the coming years, and also that different mechanisms are involved in southern and northern Europe.

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Animal and zoonotic disease monitoring and management


The joint research unit Emerging and Exotic Animal Disease Control (UMR CMAEE – INRA, CIRAD) conducts integrated research aimed at improving monitoring and forecasting of the risk of animal and zoonotic disease emergence and dissemination, thus optimising their prevention and control. This research focuses on interactions between pathogenic microorganisms, their domestic and wild hosts, and vectors of these pathogens.

The following partners collaborated in this research project: CIRAD (via AGIRS, CMAEE and TETIS research units), University of Liverpool (UK) and the Centro de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentaria (Spain). Funding was from the following European projects: ENSEMBLES, CIRCE, NERC (Natural Environment Research Council) and the Leverhulme Trust (UK). Contact: Hélène Guis, For further information: 339.full.pdf+html?sid=1807df90-97b1-4057-a5d5-bc6fa9aa0df3

The unit takes both environmental and socioeconomic factors into account as well as global change (including climatic). Research carried out by CMAEE aims to describe and characterise:  the factors that determine the emergence of pathogens, their transmission and dissemination  infectious processes and the dynamics of vector populations. The analyses implemented in these operations are conducted on molecular to population scales.

The scientific strategy is based on three themes:  Disease and vector dynamics  Disease and vector control  Forecasting risks and surveillance. Within these three themes, the unit’s teams are striving to permanently combine research and surveillance on the focuses of the research, i.e. emerging or enzootic diseases in developed and developing countries (vector-borne or direct transmission) and some zoonotic diseases.

 Capturing a buffalo in Zimbabwe. © D. Cornélis

Managing animal health to mitigate epizootic disease risks

out on various AGIRS study sites in Southeast Asia, Southern Africa, Madagascar and the Mediterranean Basin.

The aim of the research unit Animal and Integrated Risk Management (UR AGIRS – CIRAD) is to understand, predict and manage health risks associated with domestic and wild animals in developing countries in a changing global setting (environmental simplification, biodiversity loss, urbanization, deforestation, trade globalization and global warming). A large body of methods are used to achieve this: descriptive epidemiology, ecology, geomatics, biostatistics, health geography, anthropology, quantitative epidemiology and modelling of complex systems.

The first approach aims to identify factors that determine the behaviour, as well as the spatiotemporal patterns, of animal diseases (zoonotic or not) that have marked health and economic impacts. These diseases may be emerging, endemic, vectorborne or directly transmitted (avian influenza, foot-and-mouth disease, tuberculosis, African swine fever, Rift Valley fever, etc.). These diseases—by the mortality, morbidity or decreased milk or meat production that they cause—weigh heavily on the economy and subsistence capacity of small family livestock farms.

Two complementary approaches are jointly implemented within the programmes and projects carried

The second approach is focused on the functioning of socioecosystems in which hosts (wild and domestic

animals, humans, i.e. farmers and/ or consumers) and pathogens coexist. The aims are to assess the animal and public health risks and develop methods for managing these risks (monitoring and control) that are tailored and optimised for the targeted socioecosystems. It is essential to be ready to react quickly upon the emergence of an epizootic disease to ensure efficient control of animal diseases. Meeting this challenge is crucial in developing countries where resources (specific expertise, funding, computer tools, etc.) are limited. AGIRS has close collaborations with many partner research and development institutes in France and in developing countries (Africa and Asia) while also being involved in several international networks. 

The necessary adaptation of health strategies and policies in response to climate change is part of a broader setting of global change concerning increased demand for animal products and their trade globalisation, as well as the impact of many key environmental, socioeconomic and climatic factors on human and animal health. These contextual elements boost the risk of the emergence, spread and maintenance of parasitic and infectious animal and zoonotic diseases. Through adaptation measures, it is therefore essential to increase the resilience of livestock production and health sectors against climatesensitive diseases.

This adaptation requires disease prioritization, risk assessment, and risk reduction methods (monitoring, prevention and control), supported by ad hoc legislation under a ‘one health’ approach. Research conducted by AGIRS is hinged on all of these dimensions. The unit focuses specifically on optimising monitoring through research projects in Southeast Asia and Europe. Contact: François Roger,

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Health strategies and policies under climate change


Climate change: impact and adaptation 68

ď ° Agricultural landscape in the Western High Atlas region of Morocco. V. Simonneaux Š IRD

Climate change & agricultural and livestock production systems

World agriculture (crops and livestock) plays a dual role in this setting. First this activity accounts for almost 12% of global GHG emissions (around 70% of non-CO2 GHG emissions, especially methane) which therefore have to be reduced, while at the same time it must adapt to climate change. Several issues make this a particularly delicate adaptation. First, it should not take place at the expense of the production function. The growing world population, the persistence of malnourished people and the recent food riots in the most vulnerable countries, combined with agricultural price volatility, have pushed food and nutritional security to front stage. Secondly, crop varieties are the result of a long domestication process associated with human needs and with abiotic (climate, soil) and biotic (pollinators, symbiont microorganisms, pests and diseases) environmental constraints. The rapidly changing weather conditions, including water and thermal regimes could have a substantial effect on all of these constraints, leading to breakdowns and bridling the adaptation capacity. Finally, the resources that could be used to regulate the production capacity, e.g. water for irrigation or pesticides to stall the emergence of new diseases, are in turn affected, subject to competing uses or severely constrained by other issues such as environmental health and preservation.

Current and future research challenges regarding the adaptation of agriculture to climate change are thus considerable—to design with and for farmers, especially the poorest and most vulnerable, solutions that will help them adapt to climate change, reduce the percentage of agriculture-related GHG emissions, while maintaining or increasing production. These three pillars are pivotal to the climate-smart agriculture concept put forward by FAO since 2010. The research presented hereafter partially illustrates the diverse scope of research carried out in this area by research units members of Agropolis International: genetic and evolutionary processes involved in the adaptation of crops and livestock to climate change; the impact of cropping and livestock production systems on GHG emissions; characterization of the impact of climate change on agricultural production in West Africa; analysis and development of the climate change adaptation capacity of different cropping and production systems, etc. This chapter ‘Climate change & agricultural and livestock production systems’ has very close links with the other chapters in this Dossier, from the standpoint of resources and territorial development, plant and ecosystem adaptations, and the evolution of interactions between organisms triggered by climate change. Global research, assembled in March 2015 in Montpellier within the framework of the international scientific Climate Smart Agriculture 2015 conference, will further contribute to this debate and outline scientific fronts that could help agriculture cope with the accelerating climate change process. The role of agriculture in international conventions, especially in the UNFCCC, could thus be strengthened and further enhanced at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) of this Convention at Paris in late 2015. Jean-Luc Chotte (UMR Eco&Sols) & Pascal Kosuth (Agropolis Fondation, LabEx Agro)

Climate change: impact and adaptation


he IPCC Fifth Assessment Report unequivocally concludes that global, ocean and surface warming has been under way since 1950 and states that is “extremely likely” that the human influence is the main cause of the observed warming. The different climate models used by IPCC, based on different greenhouse gas (GHG) emission scenarios, predict an amplification of this warming trend—if emissions continue to increase at the same pace as in previous years, it is estimated that the global average temperature will rise by between 2.6 and 4.8°C over the next century. In order to mitigate the disastrous impacts of such a scenario, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has set a goal to limit the global rise in temperature to less than +2°C relative to the preindustrial era. This requires a substantial and sustained GHG reduction.


Climate change & agricultural and livestock production systems Developing research on plants of agricultural interest, from genes to production systems, processing systems, and issues that link society and agriculture

Main teams LabEx Agro Agronomy and Sustainable Development (CIHEAM-IAMM/CIRAD/CNRS/INRA/IRD/ IRSTEA/Montpellier SupAgro/UAPV/ UM/UPVD/UR) 1500 scientists UMR AGAP Genetic Improvement and Adaptation of Mediterranean and Tropical Plants (CIRAD/INRA/Montpellier SupAgro) 176 scientists UMR DIADE Crop Diversity,Adaptation and Development (IRD/UM) 75 scientists UMR Eco&Sols Functional Ecology & Bio-geochemistry of Soils & Agro-ecosystems (INRA/CIRAD/IRD/Montpellier SupAgro) 60 scientists

Climate change: impact and adaptation

UMR Innovation Innovation and Development in Agriculture and the Agrifoods Sector (INRA/CIRAD/Montpellier SupAgro) 58 scientists


UMR LEPSE Laboratoire d’Écophysiologie des Plantes sous Stress Environnementaux (INRA/Montpellier SupAgro) 15 scientists UMR LISAH Laboratoire d’étude des Interactions entre Sol – Agrosystème – Hydrosystème (INRA/IRD/Montpellier SupAgro) 27 scientists UMR B&PMP Biochemistry and Plant Molecular Physiology (INRA/CNRS/Montpellier SupAgro/UM) 47 scientists …continued on page 71

LabEx Agro – Agronomy and sustainable development (Programme Investissements d’Avenir 2011-2019), supported by Agropolis Fondation, pools a continuum of multidisciplinary expertise (biological science, engineering, humanities and social science). This expertise is internationally recognized regarding many different plant species— temperate, Mediterranean and tropical—and production systems and corresponding processing methods. The aims are to understand:  ecophysiological functioning of plants—genetic determinants in cells, tissues and organs; processes of adaptation to biotic and abiotic constraints  processes of crop plant domestication, plant improvement and agrobiodiversity management  functioning, evolution and adaptation of cropping systems and production systems according to climatic, environmental, societal, technical, economic and regulatory settings  processes involved in food and nonfood product processing and the resulting quality  social organization associated with agriculture, and product provisioning, food and health issues regarding communities, land and environmental management. This knowledge is also mobilized to benefit society for:  streamlining production; plant improvement and crop protection against diseases and pests  improvement of agroecosystems under stress and management of their impact on resources, environments and biodiversity

 improvement of food and non-food product quality  formulation of public agricultural and environmental policies. LabEx Agro includes 37 research units, 1500 senior scientists, and 800 support staff working within 12 institutions (INRA, CIRAD, Montpellier SupAgro, IRD, Universities of Montpellier, Perpignan, Avignon and La Réunion, CNRS, IRSTEA, CIHEAM-IAMM, AgroParisTech). It hosts 800 PhD and postdoctoral students, and foreign scientists. LabEx Agro is organized in five closely linked scientific fields: (1) Genetics and genomics, ecophysiology and plant improvement; (2) Plant/microorganism interactions, diseases and pests, population ecology and integrated pest management; (3) Agroecosystems, resource management, environmental impacts, agroenvironmental innovations; (4) Agrifood systems, processing and quality of food and nonfood products; (5) Agriculture/ society interactions, innovation processes and social management of innovations. It acts by:  supporting management of its scientific community  supporting research and higher education projects in all of its scientific fields (research fronts) or on cross-sectoral issues involving these different fields (future plant phenotype building; sustainability of crop and production systems; agroecological transition; integrated approaches to product quality; evolution, adaptation and sustainability of agricultural and food systems, etc.)  supporting the transfer of research results to economic stakeholders, especially via public-private partnerships  showcasing the LabEx community to enhance its international visibility and attractiveness.

Cultivated landscape in the West Indies.

The Laboratoire d’étude des Interactions entre Sol-AgrosystèmeHydrosystème (UMR LISAH – INRA, IRD, Montpellier SupAgro) generates

Main teams UMR SELMET Mediterranean and Tropical Livestock Systems (CIRAD/INRA/Montpellier SupAgro) 42 scientists UMR SYSTEM Tropical and Mediterranean Cropping System Functioning and Management (CIRAD/INRA/Montpellier SupAgro/ CIHEAM-IAMM) 22 scientists UR AIDA Agro-ecology and Sustainable Intensification of Annual Crops (CIRAD) 60 scientists UR HortSys Agro-ecological Functioning and Performances of Horticultural Cropping Systems (CIRAD) 26 scientists

knowledge for engineering cultivated landscapes for sustainable water and soil resource management. In response to global change (climate variations, new agricultural and food needs, etc.), the research unit contributes to the development of cultivated landscape management methods through streamlining of the spatial organization of agricultural activities (land use, soil and water conservation practices crop rotations and treatment practices, etc.) and infrastructures (ditch networks, small dams, embankments, etc.). LISAH’s specific research objectives are to:  develop knowledge on mass transfers and on the ecodynamics of pollutants in soils and catchments, while considering their spatial and temporal organization (natural or anthropogenic)  develop tools for the assessment and prevention of hazards caused by human activities, regarding changes in hydrological regimes or in water and soil resources in cultivated environments  contribute to developing new sustainable management methods for cultivated landscapes

 train students on analysis and modelling concepts and tools regarding the spatial organization, soil and hydrology of cultivated environments. LISAH manages the Mediterranean Observatory of Rural Environment and Water (OMERE) and is developing the OpenFLUID software platform to simulate flows in landscapes. In this setting, the research is primarily focused on Mediterranean cultivated landscapes, and secondarily on tropical cultivated landscapes. The laboratory is thus involved in North African countries with the support of a network of partners:  in Tunisia: the Institut National Agronomique de Tunisie, the Institut National de Recherches en Génie Rural, Eaux et Forêts and the École Nationale d’Ingénieurs de Tunis  in Morocco: the Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II (IAV), the Institut National de Recherche Agronomique and the École Nationale Forestière d’Ingénieurs. See and example of a project conducted by UMR LISAH on page 11. •••

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Cultivated landscape engineering for sustainable water and soil resource management

© J.B. Charlier


Climate change & agricultural and livestock production systems

The joint research unit Tropical and Mediterranean Cropping System Functioning and Management (UMR SYSTEM – CIRAD, INRA, Montpellier SupAgro, CIHEAM-IAMM) studies the features of multispecies cropping systems. It identifies the management leeway to ensure efficient sustainable management of the different ecosystem services that societies expect from agriculture. Research conducted by UMR SYSTEM is focused especially on two themes:  Studying properties associated with plant diversity in cropping systems. The association of different plant species (annual or perennial, herbaceous or woody) within the same area leads to competition for light and soil resources. The aim is to gain insight into the mechanisms of this competition in order to identify facilitation conditions to ensure high overall productivity or ecoefficiency. The structure and spatial organization of these complex systems govern the access to resources and the provision of different environmental services, including soil protection and water dynamics, regulation of pathogenic, pest and beneficial organisms, or biodiversity preservation.

© C. Dupraz

For multifunctional and ecologically intensive cropping systems

 Harvesting peas in an agroforestry system at the Restinclières research site (France).

Perennial cropping systems are set up over long periods. The unit then focuses on the dynamics of the installation and growth patterns of these species, and on the impact of plant diversity on the stability of their performance and on their resilience towards climate change and hazards.  Designing ecologically intensive and multifunctional cropping systems. The unit studies change scenarios regarding cropping systems based on crop diversification. These scenarios are the focus of multicriteria assessments through experiments and prototype simulations carried out in collaboration with the stakeholders involved.

To support these technical changes, the unit also takes changes in the biophysical and technical components of transitional cropping systems into account. It designs cropping systems adapted to prevalent hazards. At the farm scale, the unit studies ways in which strategic choices and cropping systems evolve and how they could maintain their performances in a climate, regulatory and economic change setting, or via modification of the techniques used (e.g. switch to organic farming).

Impact of agroforestry development on greenhouse gas emissions

Climate change: impact and adaptation

A study carried out by INRA in 2014 (on behalf of the French Environment and Energy Management Agency, the French Ministry of Agriculture, Agrifood and Forestry, and the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy) estimated the GHG mitigation potential of innovative agricultural practices in France. This included agroforestry (rows of trees planted in farm fields).


A review of the relevant scientific literature revealed that, in 20 years, carbon storage in biomass and soil may reach 3.7 t of CO2 equivalent/ha/year. This additional carbon sequestration is from storage in perennial plant biomass (which varies depending on the fate of the timber produced) and organic matter recycling in the soil. This study also accounted for other GHG emissions resulting from the introduction and management of trees in agricultural fields, as well as the cost of these operations and the so-called Maximum Technical Potential Applicability (MTPA), i.e. the potentially concerned agricultural area.

Two slow and limited dissemination hypotheses (between 4 and 10% of the MPTA by 2030) were considered regarding agroforestry, which represents a major innovation for farmers. The analysis highlighted that it is possible to introduce trees in crop fields and still maintain the French agricultural production level. Under these hypotheses, the study concluded that, in France, by 2030 agroforestry could allow “saving” carbon stocks by 1.5 million t CO2e, for an approximate cost of €14/t of CO2e. This cost is moderate in comparison to other initiatives considered in the study, indicating that agroforestry is a priority agricultural practice that should be politically promoted for the many environmental services it can provide. Contact: Aurélie Metay, For further information:

 A flowering mango orchard in La Réunion.

Agroecology for innovative sustainable tropical horticulture The main aim of the research unit Agro-ecological Functioning and Performances of Horticultural Cropping Systems (UR HortSys – CIRAD) is to develop scientific bases for the agroecological transformation of horticultural systems (i.e. based on ecological intensification principles) and to contribute to designing innovative sustainable horticulture cropping systems. Research on cropping systems applied to tropical horticultural production is a priority of HortSys. The aim is to substantially contribute to applied agroecological research and to the development of sustainable tropical horticulture. This specifically involves designing new systems that are adapted to climate change while also being ecologically innovative. The unit also provides support and training in this field for its partners in developing countries. HortSys has formalized its research on cropping systems by focusing its scientific investigations in two distinct but complementary priority areas: (i) the agroecological functioning of horticultural systems, and (ii) the assessment and design of horticultural systems that address new economic, ecological and health challenges.

The key hypothesis underlying this research is that some conditions regarding the increase in plant biodiversity in agroecosystems could lead to natural regulation of pests (soilborne or above-ground). The team’s overall objective is to gain greater insight into the mechanisms involved in order to explain, predict and quantify the impacts of interactions between biodiversity and crop plants for enhanced pest control and to facilitate the provision of associated ecosystem services.

 The disciplines studied by the ‘Assessment and Design of Sustainable Horticultural Cropping Systems’ team are mainly systemic agronomy, but also environmental and economic assessment. Horticultural systems are complex and varied and have marked environmental (frequent pesticide use) and socioeconomic (high value-added activities) impacts. The team’s overall objective is to design and implement local and global methods for system assessment (life-cycle assessment–LCA), and methods to facilitate the design of ecologically innovative cropping systems (reduction of pesticide use, biological regulation, optimized biodiversity management). Ecodesign requires the assessment of agricultural, environmental, economic and social performances of the systems, so it is a methodological as well as scientific challenge. See an example of a project conducted by UR HortSys on page 59. •••

Climate change: impact and adaptation

© UR HortSys

The unit is thus organized around two research teams:  The disciplines studied by the ‘Agroecological Functioning, Interactions and Biological Regulations in Horticulture Systems’ team include agronomy, ecophysiology, ecology, entomology and phytopathology. The team uses representative model systems (shared with the other team) to study exemplary and contrasted situations from the standpoint of economic and scientific issues: mango orchards in West Africa and La Réunion; citrus orchards in West Africa and Martinique; vegetable cropping areas in Benin, Kenya, Senegal and Martinique.


Climate change & agricultural and livestock production systems

Remote sensing to predict yields and analyse the impact of climate scenarios on agricultural production A broad range of data, knowledge, tools and methods involving many scientific disciplines—meteorology, climatology (global and regional climate models), remote sensing, modelling and agricultural statistics—are required to characterize the impact of climate change and differentiate it from the effects of climate variability. The problem is that these different types of information concern very different spatiotemporal scales, e.g. plot to region, day to year, etc. However, at the operational scale, spatiotemporal variability and parametering have very substantial impacts on the predictive quality of climate models. For instance, in Senegal, mean interannual yields simulated by the SARRA-H (Système d’Analyse Régionale des Risques Agroclimatologiques, Version H) crop model, using data generated by nine regional climate models, showed significant bias (from 200 to 700 kg/ha).

variabilities (cultivated area, cropping system, phenology, biomass, etc.) in order to generate descriptors to parameter the models used for predicting yields, while analysing the impact of climate scenarios on agricultural production. These studies are supported by several projects (Programme National de Télédétection Spatiale; Analyse Multidisciplinaire de la Mousson Africaine; Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project) along with many institutes and partners (CIRAD, CNRS, INRA, IRD, CNES, AGRHYMET, EMBRAPA, etc.). Contacts: Christian Baron, Agnès Bégué, Élodie Vintrou, Louise Leroux, For further information:

© C. Baron

These data may be compared to the mean 600 kg/ha yield obtained using data from the ground station network. However, the SARRA-H model clearly identified major trends concerning the impact of increased temperatures on crop yields. Regarding the Sudanian-Sahelian area, it thus seems that, beyond a 2°C increase in temperature, increased rainfall would not prevent a decline in crop yield, as photoperiodic varieties have a better capacity of adaptation to such change. UMR TETIS (see page 21) researchers are striving to enhance documentation of these variabilities through a better combination of spatiotemporal scales by seeking consistencies between satellite imagery and modelling indicators. For instance, they are developing national and regional maps that characterize cropping systems and identify crop production anomolies associated with stresses affecting crops. Based on objective, repetitive and comprehensive satellite images, the aim of these studies is to characterize spatiotemporal  Satellite data providing large-scale information on land cover and temporal variations relative to reference periods.

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Sustainable annual crop intensification in stressed tropical environments


The research unit Agro-ecology and Sustainable Intensification of Annual Crops (UR AIDA – CIRAD) conducts research on the sustainable intensification of annual crop production in tropical environments. Its research adresses effective uses of available resources for crop production. The focus is on optimising agro-ecological processes within agrosystems through e.g. integrated management of trophic resources, integrated control of pests and diseases and sustainable use of genetic diversity of crops. The unit develops a broad range of methods and tools (e.g. crop growth modelling and spatial information analysis) for assessment of crop production systems at different spatial and temporal scales.

In collaboration with producers and local stakeholders AIDA seeks to co-design innovative crop production systems and technologies that are tailored to the farming context and production orientations of smallholder farmers in developing countries (e.g.conservation agriculture based cropping systems, pest control techniques for cotton and sugarcane). AIDA also aims to document major societal issues and fuel debates on global food security, trade-offs between agricultural production and environmental quality, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, conservation of water resources and on interactions between agroecosystems, biodiversity and climate change. See an example of a project conducted by UR AIDA on page 18.

 A cotton producer in Burkina Faso. K. Naudin © CIRAD

Ecological intensification of livestock systems The joint research unit Mediterranean and Tropical Livestock Systems (UMR SELMET – CIRAD, INRA, Montpellier SupAgro) develops alternative management strategies that meet the challenges of ecological intensification of agroecosystems while maintaining, or even improving, their capacities to provide the ecosystem services that societies expect from livestock systems. The unit has set three objectives to fulfil this mission:  To analyse and understand changes in livestock agroecosystems and

their settings—under the many and increasingly harsh constraints they are facing, these agroecosystems could show a capacity to adapt or, instead, decline and pave the way for other activities and livelihoods. The aim is thus to analyse their development trajectories, which may also be driven by certain, and usually economic, opportunities.  To assess—in their biophysical and biotechnical environments—the production potential of livestock and crop resources, according to the prevailing opportunities and constraints, in order to assess the situations and develop innovations regarding livestock agroecosystems. These assessments are based on benchmarks.

 El Hammam region (Egypt): cropping and grazing forage crops (Alexandrian clover in winter and maize in summer) on new land irrigated by the El Nars canal. V. Alary © CIRAD

 To design—in collaboration with concerned stakeholders— more efficient systems in a setting in which livestock systems are increasingly constrained by their environments. This involves drawing up development strategies that are sustainable from social, economic and environmental standpoints and that are in line with ecological transition of agriculture objectives. •••

Future of Mediterranean livestock systems

The challenge is twofold:

 to help farmers, local communities, researchers and policymakers better understand and predict future livestock farming trends in the Mediterranean region

 to set priorities, rules and policies that are better able to perceive socioenvironmental issues related to demographic and land pressure, in a setting of rising demand and changes in international competition.

The main objectives of the CLIMED project are thus:  identification and understanding of crop-livestock farming systems to enhance resource use (water, soil, crop residue, grassland fodder, etc.) and to achieve greater socioeconomic efficiency (increased production to meet the rising demand for top quality animal products)  assessment of the adaptation capacities of these systems and their extent of vulnerability and flexibility regarding current pressures and changes  assessment of the socioecological coviability and resilience of these systems with respect to population growth and from a historical perspective  development of future scenarios and formulation of priorities for the development of livestock farming in Mediterranean situations so as to enhance the adaptation capacities of these systems. The project will also—via the sharing of research methods and databases—strengthen interdisciplinary collaboration between different teams from several Mediterranean countries. Contact: Véronique Alary,

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Livestock systems in the Mediterranean region must adapt to a broad range of complex changes linked with the region’s past and present history. The CLIMED project, conducted by UMR SELMET and involving CIRAD, INRA, IRD, the Agricultural Research Center (Egypt) and the Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II (Morocco), aims to gain insight into and assess the technical, economic and socioecological viability of integrated crop-livestock farming systems in the Mediterranean setting.


Climate change & agricultural and livestock production systems

LACCAVE project Adaptation to climate change in viticulture and oenology The LACCAVE project aims to study the impacts of climate change on vines and wine and potential adaptation strategies for French wine regions. It is based on a systemic representation for the analysis of the wine sector in order to analyse both the impacts of climate change (advanced harvest dates, exacerbated water stress, wines with more alcohol and less acidity, etc.) and the diversity of levers for potential adaptation. This analysis is performed at several levels (plant, plot, farm, regional and wine sector) while focusing specifically on regional levels where climate impacts differ and adaptation strategies may be coordinated.

 Collaboration between researchers and wine growers for the adaptation of vineyards to climate change (here near Banyuls, France).

Coordinated by UMR Innovation in Montpellier and Écophysiologie et génomique fonctionnelle de la vigne in Bordeaux (EGFV – INRA, Bordeaux University, Bordeaux Sciences Agro), this project brings together 21 INRA research units, 8 of which are located in Montpellier. Many initiatives are under way: review of knowledge on climate change on a vineyard scale; studies on the physiological and genetic basis of vine responses to climate change parameters; analysis of innovations that could contribute to adaptation and conditions for their implementation on local scales; studies on the costs of adaptation to climate change impacts and on consumer willingness to pay for wines that reflect these costs, etc. These initiatives feed a foresight study, conducted in collaboration with FranceAgrimer that investigates adaptation strategies for different French wine regions.

© E. Delay

Contact: Jean-Marc Touzard, For further information: : vegetales/LACCAVE/

Changes in agricultural and agrifood practices and innovations The joint research unit Innovation and Development in Agriculture and the Agrifoods Sector (UMR Innovation – INRA, CIRAD, Montpellier SupAgro) conducts multidisciplinary research in France and abroad on agricultural and agrifood innovation processes to address agroecological transition and climate change adaptation issues. This research concerns all processes related to adaptation initiatives, ranging from the analysis of stakeholders’ motivations and aims

regarding innovation, to concrete measures to implement the changes, and the development effects induced by these changes. The studies are focused mainly on changes in practices and innovations ‘in the making’—they are potential levers for adaptation to climate change in the future. This work specifically stresses the role of research and the importance of building the capacities of farmers to cope with these issues.

The research may focus on current practices while taking climate variability into account, or on the need to mitigate the impacts of climate change (effects on crop yields and product quality). The unit thus directly contributes to different foresight studies on the adaptation of agriculture to climate change.

The unit has expertise in agronomy and social science, with perennial crops (vines, cocoa, coffee, lavender, etc.) and annual cropping systems (rice, cereals, cotton, etc.) as topics of study.

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Co-design of climate-smart farming systems


Research on climate-smart agriculture aims to investigate institutional changes (new support services, novel arrangements between stakeholders, etc.), innovative practices (use of agroclimatic information, precision irrigation, etc.) or long-promoted agroecological practices (use of compost, crop associations, etc.), while assessing them according to food security, adaptation and GHG mitigation criteria. These studies are carried out by UMR Innovation in collaboration with CIAT (International Center for Tropical Agriculture, Colombia) in different countries (Burkina Faso, Colombia, France) and include participative approaches involving farmers. They aim is to co-design innovative strategies while simulating their short- and long-term effects according to climatesmart agriculture criteria.

These simulations are combined with on farm experiments that facilitate farmers’ appropriation of available solutions and their implementation methods. This research contributes to the development of new farmer decision support tools. They help train public and private extension services on current short- and long-term uncertainties, and assessment of possible future scenarios via simulation tools. Contact: Nadine Andrieu,

MACACC: on-farm testing of adaptive management scenarios The overall aim of the MACACC project (Modelling to Accompany Stakeholders Towards Adaptation of Forestry and Agroforestry Systems to Global Changes) is to define different adaptive management scenarios and estimate farmers’ willingness to adopt them. Three perennial crop plantations were selected for the case studies on the basis of their economic importance, origin (tropical or temperate area) and structure (single- or multi-layer, main crop in upper- or under-storey): eucalyptus in Brazil, coffee in Costa Rica and maritime pine in France.

In many cases the production of ecosystem services is beneficial for adaptation. For instance, shaded coffee plantations provide various ecological services, such as high biodiversity, soil protection, erosion control, and carbon sequestration. This production of public goods legitimates the use of external financial incentives to promote the adoption of adaptation practices.

Ecological processes in soil— the role of plants and soil organisms regarding carbon and nutrient flows The joint research unit Functional Ecology & Bio-geochemistry of Soils & Agro-ecosystems (UMR Eco&Sols – INRA, CIRAD, IRD, Montpellier SupAgro) conducts research in Europe (Montpellier, France), Africa (Senegal, Burkina Faso, Congo, Kenya, Madagascar), South America (Costa Rica, Brazil) and Southeast Asia (Thailand). Eco&Sols conducts research involving a functional ecology approach and addresses the question of the role of plants and soil organisms (roots, soil fauna and microorganisms) on coupled carbon and nutrient (mainly nitrogen and phosphorus) flows in soils and agroecosystems. Research carried out in Mediterranean and tropical areas can involve agroecosystems, perennial tree plantations, agroforestry areas or

 Coffee plants growing in the shade of Erythrina poeppigiana trees.

B. Rapidel © CIRAD

A variety of systems already encourage producers to adopt a climate change adaptation strategy, such as payment for environmental services. However, environmental service production is mainstreamed in a complex social, economic and institutional setting. Then it is necessary to analyse the factors that determine producers’ participation in these conservation/adaptation initiatives. LAMETA and MOISA economists are therefore seeking to highlight the heterogeneity of producers’ preference for different features of contracts offered within the framework of payments for environmental services. This type of research highlights ways by which conservation initiatives could be effectively implemented. Contact: Julie Subervie, For further information:

annual crops. Different agricultural practices are tested, such as crop associations (grasses/legumes, genotype mixtures, mixed plantations), low-input crops or organic farming. This approach is developed in the framework of land-use and climate changes. The aim of Eco&Sols research is to develop practices geared towards maintaining and improving the agricultural and environmental functions of agroecosystems in a changing environment (climate, land-use changes). Enhanced knowledge on the biological functioning of soil is required in order to develop agricultural practices able to promote ecological processes, this concerns:  the role of organisms (bacteria, fungi, rhizosphere microorganisms, microfauna, macrofauna), the impacts of their

trophic or non-trophic interactions on nutrient (N, P) dynamics in soil and on the bioavailability of these nutrients for plants  biogeochemical processes that determine the nutrient (N, P) acquisition, use and recycling efficiency in low-input agroecosystems  major factors and processes regarding carbon production and sequestration in agroecosystems. Several types of land-use and management methods are thus assessed and modelled in terms of their productivity, the ecosystem services they provide and their vulnerability to global change. See an example of a project conducted by UMR Eco&Sols on page 38. •••

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Many published articles have dealt with the impacts of climate change on agriculture, but there has been little coverage of other agricultural economics issues. This is the case regarding an assessment of the adaptation capacity of an agricultural system to climate change. Economists are involved in a project of UMR LAMETA (see page 25) and MOISA (Markets, Organisations, Institutions and Stakeholders Strategies – CIRAD, INRA, CIHEAM-IAMM, Montpellier SupAgro) in which these issues are studied using recent experimental economics and microeconometric advances. The evaluation of adaptation strategy sustainability should take interactions and feedbacks between crop growth, resource availability and economic factors on the farm scale into account. Models that simulate farmers’ decision rules are thus required to explore potential strategies for adaptation to environmental change.


Climate change & agricultural and livestock production systems

The joint research unit Genetic Improvement and Adaptation of Mediterranean and Tropical Plants (UMR AGAP – CIRAD, INRA, Montpellier SupAgro) brings together a broad range of expertise to form a major research cluster for biology, ecophysiology and targeted plant genetics research, including agents from its supervisory bodies, as well as from the Institut français de la vigne et du vin and the Conservatoire botanique national méditerranéen de Porquerolles. In a rapidly changing global environment, the ability to produce plant material adapted to a range of different changing agricultural conditions, and to new needs, is a key priority. Genomics, informatics and mathematical modelling open new avenues for studying relationships between genetic diversity, agronomic behaviour and selection responses. AGAP is working towards developing plant material adapted to production systems while taking climate change factors into account. The unit’s research is focused on around 20 tropical and Mediterranean plant species, with four scientific objectives:  understanding factors concerning plant development and adaptation to environmental constraints  characterization and understanding of genome organization and diversity

J.C. Glaszmann © CIRAD

Genetic improvement of Mediterranean and tropical plants

 Rice varieties studied in the laboratory at CIRAD (Montpellier, France) in crop biotechnology and genetic resources research projects.

 study and management of agrobiodiversity and related data while taking different biological, ecogeographical, spatiotemporal and societal scales into account  acquisition and mobilization of knowledge to define ideotypes and create innovative plant material. The unit is structured in three thematic areas:  Diversity and genomes, domestication, environments, societies: studying population responses to environmental constraints and understanding the evolutionary dynamics of agrobiodiversity from a spatiotemporal standpoint enhances the development of diversity management strategies; understanding genome organization and diversity in turn enables assessment of their impact on the transmission and expression of genes and traits of interest.

 Functioning of plants and stands: in a climate change and environmental constraint setting, the aim is to highlight and analyse the physiological, molecular, genetic, epigenetic and environmental control of traits of interest, especially mechanisms of adaptation to abiotic and biotic constraints.  Integrative approaches for varietal innovation: advances in integrative biology, the increased availability of ‘high-speed’ data and simulation tools offers new opportunities for defining ideotypes and optimising plant improvement schemes to obtain innovative plant material, combining stress resistance and product quality.

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Plant adaptation to climate change—study of genetic and evolutionary mechanisms involved in phenological changes


It is now clear that climate change affects many biological and ecological processes, with consequences ranging from major phenological changes to modifications in species’ ranges. Gaining insight into and predicting the impact of climate change on the genetic and phenotypic diversity of crop plants and related wild forms are major challenges, especially for developing countries where human communities rely primarily on conventional rainfed cropping systems. In order to progress on these issues, it is essential to have a clear understanding of the genetic architecture of adaptive traits as well as the adaptive trajectories of natural and artificial plant populations subjected to changing environmental conditions. To meet these objectives, UMR AGAP uses high throughput methods for the analysis of nucleotide polymorphism and study genotype/phenotype and genotype/climate interactions of the

original populations so as to detect genomic regions involved in plant responses to climatic heterogeneity. This research, developed in close collaboration with UMR DIADE, involves methodological studies in population genomics and experimental approaches focused on four species: two rice species (Oriza sativa and Oriza glaberima), millet (Pennisetum glaucum) and Medicago truncatula, a model species for legumes genetics and genomics. The flowering date is the target adaptive trait studied because it is a key plant fitness and seed yield character. The diversity studied encompasses spatial (species range) and temporal (monitoring and sampling over time at the same site) climatic gradients. This research is conducted under the ARCAD project. Contact: Joëlle Ronfort,

© Projet ARCAD

Adaptation of millet to drought Millet and sorghum are two cereal crops that are widely grown in Sahelian dryland regions. These regions have, however, experienced a series of droughts since the 1970s. How have these crop varieties adapted and what genes are associated with these adaptations? The Agropolis Resource Center for Crop Conservation and Adaptation (ARCAD) project is addressing these two questions as part of a collaboration between UMR DIADE, AGAP and the Université Abdou Moumouni in Niamey (Niger). It is supported by funding from ANR and Agropolis Fondation. These studies highlighted the evolution of millet varieties in Niger between 1976 and 2003 on the basis of field sampling experiments carried out during these two periods. At these two times, spontaneous selection of an allele of the phytochrome C gene was found to have occurred—this is one of the genes that mediates variation in the millet cycle. These results provide direct solutions that are especially relevant now since current forecasts indicate that the rainy season in the Sahel could be reduced by 10-20% in the future. Gaining insight into natural mechanisms of genetic adaptation could thus help identify strategies of adaptation to future climatic conditions. Contact:Yves Vigouroux,

 The high diversity in millet varieties is an asset for the adaptation of this crop to climate variability in Niger.  A coffee plot in La Réunion where UMR DIADE studies the impact of climate on seed development and coffee quality. © UMR DIADE

Genomics for enhanced adaptation of crops to their environment Research conducted by the joint research unit Crop Diversity, Adaptation and Development (UMR DIADE – IRD, UM) aims to gain insight into the nature and role of structural and functional diversification mechanisms: (i) of the genome of tropical plants, and (ii) of their populations, during speciation and adaptation to natural environmental variations or human-induced changes.

The unit’s studies are generally based on comparisons of model plants (rice, Arabidopsis, tomato, poplar) and species of agricultural or ecological interest (coffee, casuarina, yam, maize, palm, millet). Analyses are focused on different levels, ranging from the cell to the species complex.

UMR DIADE thus studies:  fine regulation of key genes of development  control of developmental transitions  evolutionary history of gene families  molecular determinants (genes or gene networks) of phenotypic variations in traits of agricultural or ecological interest  genome dynamics and plasticity and population dynamics and diversity in response to ecological, human (genetic

diversity structuring, adaptation to environmental change, domestication) or biological (genomic shocks) factors. This functional and evolutionary biology research integrates tools and concepts of modern genomics. These have radically altered the scientific understanding of how genomes and heredity mechanisms function, and also the way genotype and phenotype contributions are now assessed. •••

Climate change: impact and adaptation

The research relies primarily on expertise in genetics, epigenetics, development biology, physiology, systematics and evolution. Other approaches such as modelling, remote sensing and ecology are also integrated in some collaborative projects.


Climate change & agricultural and livestock production systems

Models for tailoring crop management to climate change Hard to overcome experimental problems may arise when analysing crop management methods and developing climate change adaptation strategies, especially for crops with complex and highly developed canopies. This is the case for vines, where many conventional management methods could be gradually replaced by systems that are better adapted to future climatic conditions. The concepts underlying current practices thus require reassessment by incorporating the impacts of thermal and hydric constraints when designing the systems. A LEPSE team combined several models to address this issue— one reconstructs the vine canopy structure, another distributes radiation in this architecture, while the last predicts the adaptation in the photosynthetic capacity of leaves according to the light microenvironment. This calculation chain dynamically simulates carbon assimilation and leaf transpiration according to the local microclimate perceived by the leaves.

The parameters were adjusted for different canopy architectures in large assimilation chambers in the vineyard. Simulations were carried out for various management methods and they confirmed that the overall photosynthesis performances were closely linked to the quantity of absorbed radiation. They thus highlighted, and quantified for the first time, the key role of the self-shading rate of the different canopy structures on the water-use efficiency. This approach will enable in silico assessment of vine cultivar-management strategy combinations better adapted to future climate scenarios expected in the different wine growing areas. This study is the result of a collaboration between French (INRA Domaine de Pech-Rouge research unit at Gruissan, France) and Argentinian (Estación experimental agropecuaria de l’Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria — INTA) scientists. Contact: Éric Lebon,

 Simulation of the quantity of radiation intercepted under different vineyard management methods during a sunny day. Narrow espalier (VSPh), broad espalier (VSPl), lyre-shaped, single screen (SC), free cordon (LSW). PPFD (photosynthetic photon flux density): amount of solar radiation above the crop (dashed lines) and amount intercepted by the plants (solid lines) according to the solar time (Time).

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Physiological responses of plants to drought and high temperatures—identifying varieties adapted to climate change


The Laboratoire d’Écophysiologie des Plantes sous Stress Environnementaux (UMR LEPSE – INRA, Montpellier SupAgro) primarily aims to help find the most stress-tolerant, efficient and economic varieties for tomorrow’s agriculture. It analyses and models genetic variability in plant responses to a range of environmental conditions, especially drought and high temperatures. Knowledge gained through this research is injected into models incorporating genetic and environmental variability to predict the behaviour of genotypes and species under current or future climate conditions. The LEPSE environmental ‘Stress and Processes Involved in the Control of Growth’ research team conducts studies to identify the factors determining plant capacities for adaptation to drought and heat

stress. It tests hypotheses on the model species Arabidopsis thaliana— which shows high natural or artificial genetic variability, as characterized using molecular techniques— combining ecophysiology, quantitative genetics, physiology and molecular biology approaches along with modelling. The ‘Efficiency of Transpiration and Adaptation of Plants to Dry Climates’ research team aims to identify genetic and agronomic levers for improving water-use efficiency in vineyard systems subject to abiotic constraints. Genetic variability in tolerance to drought and high temperatures is then assessed via the development and use of models simulating plant transpiration and water status, as well as photosynthetic activity from the leaf to the canopy scale. Studies on cereals carried out by the ‘Modelling and Analysing Genotype by Environment Interactions’ research team aim to identify the effects of gene alleles on important plant functions (leaf

growth, reproductive development, transpiration) according to environmental conditions. The aim is to develop tools (models) that can be used to determining combinations of favourable alleles within a given climate scenario. The researchers thus model the studied functions, analyse genetic variability in the model parameters and incorporate everything in crop models that are then tested in the field. LEPSE is a pioneer in the development of automated phenotyping platforms, which are effective in exposing large collections of genotypes (varieties, lines, accessions) to controlled environmental stress, while measuring (often through imaging) their growth or development. These platforms are also used to study gene expression and functions at different organizational levels—from the cell to the whole plant—under controlled environmental conditions.

this system in response to abiotic constraints are also studied, along with metabolic aspects associated with mineral applications, their assimilation or toxicity.

The joint research unit Biochemistry and Plant Molecular Physiology (UMR B&PMP – INRA, CNRS, Montpellier SupAgro, UM) focuses on studying mechanisms that govern the hydromineral status of plants under different abiotic conditions. This research includes disciplines such as biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, physiology, biophysics and genetics, while relying primarily on studies of the Arabidopsis plant model. The laboratory has recently participated in systems biology programmes involving mathematical modelling approaches.

Several research themes of B&PMP are focused directly on climate change impacts. Overall fresh water shortages and repeated droughts are two of the most serious threats associated with climate change, even in temperate areas. Moreover, the excessive levels of CO2 which cause these changes reduce the capacity of plants to take up nitrate or use certain micronutrients like iron or zinc. These phenomena could significantly reduce yields of crops and their nutritional qualities.

The B&PMP research unit is recognized worldwide for its studies on plant cell transport activities (membrane transport proteins and channels) and its physiological analyses on mineral nutrition. In addition, the laboratory’s research programmes are focused on perception and signalling mechanisms that enable plants to adapt to environmental constraints (water stress, salt stress, mineral deficiencies, metal toxicity). Root system development processes and morphological adaptation of

B&PMP has all of the scientific and technical expertise required to analyse physiological and genetic mechanisms involved in plant responses to these new environmental constraints. The unit’s studies will help develop unique phenotype screening procedures for crop improvement or for new cropping practices so as to offset the negative impacts of climate change on crops.

C. Maurel © B&PMP

Adaptation of plants to environmental constraints— from perception to molecular and physiological responses

 Genetic screening of plants with nutrient perception and assimilation defects.

See an example of a project conducted by UMR B&PMP on page 18. •••

Impact of agricultural practices on the local microclimate and on plant diseases

Via the MISTRAL project, the presence of high diversity in genetic strains (pathogenic and nonpathogenic) was highlighted for several phytopathogens, especially for the bacterium Pseudomonas syringae. This bacterial species, which is also known for its ice nucleation properties and ability to disseminate in the troposphere and within the cloud layer, is an interesting focus of study because of its link to the hydrological cycle—it is involved in key atmospheric rain-making processes. This team is striving to enhance insight into the bioprecipitation cycle in which ice nucleation microorganisms such as P. syringae are at the interface of plant cover/atmosphere exchanges.

 The bioprecipitation cycle—interactions between vegetation and atmospheric processes via microorganisms associated with plants. (Morris et al., 2014. Global Change Biology 20: 341-351).

This research is aimed at assessing the extent to which agricultural practices—through crop varieties, their spatial organization in the landscape and crop protection treatments—are levers for drought mitigation on a regional scale and for plant health protection. Contact: Cindy Morris, For further information:

Climate change: impact and adaptation

The MISTRAL team conducts studies on the ecology of phytopathogenic microorganisms that disseminate in air and water, while also managing an interdisciplinary international network on adaptation to climate change.

© C. Morris

‘Microbiology of Agroecosystems: Translational Research from Pathogen Life Histories’ (MISTRAL) is the name of a research project and the team that conducts it in the Plant Pathology research unit (see page 59).


Climate change & agricultural and livestock production systems

Genetic basis of adaptation of local cattle breeds in the Mediterranean region ©Corsica Vaccaghji

This project will enhance knowledge on local cattle breeds in the Mediterranean region so as to come up with conservation solutions and determine ways to cope with the impacts of global climate change. This project is based on three types of collected data regarding local Mediterranean breeds:

 genotypes obtained using a bovine 50K SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) chip

 soil-climate data  information obtained through several surveys and questionnaires on breeding systems and on breeders’ views regarding climate adaptation in livestock.

 A Corsican cattle breed—one of the Mediterranean breeds studied in the GALIMED project.

The GALIMED research project—through a multidisciplinary approach combining population genetics, soil-climate studies and production system surveys—studies the genetic basis of the local cattle breed adaptation in the Mediterranean region. The specific aims of this project are:

   

to genetically characterize 19 Mediterranean cattle breeds to study their environment and their different breeding systems to describe the covariation between these different factors and to identify footprints of selection in their genome associated with environmental adaptation.

The 19 cattle populations in the study were all sampled, genotyped and genetically characterized (e.g. through a principal component analysis and unsupervised hierarchical clustering). Previously obtained genotypes of 20 cattle breeds representative of the three main bovine groups, i.e. European taurine breeds, African taurine breeds and zebus, were used. This exploratory analysis identified the genetic proximity between breeds in the Mediterranean Basin. Moreover, climatic data for the study areas and information on the different breeding systems were also collected. Four in-depth surveys focused on Moroccan, Corsican, Italian and Egyptian breeds are currently under way. A joint analysis of genetic and environmental data will represent the main outcome of this project. The GALIMED project is supported by the joint research unit Génétique Animale et Biologie Intégrative (INRA, AgroParisTech), in collaboration with UMR InterTryp (see page 65) and SELMET and 12 other partners in the Mediterranean region. This project is funded by the INRA metaprogramme ‘Adaptation of Agriculture and Forests to Climate Change’. Contact: Laurence Flori, For further information: quelques_projets/systemes_d_elevage/galimed

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Helping farmers in East African highlands to adapt to climate change


The 4-year R&D project ‘Climate Change Impacts on Ecosystem Services and Food Security in Eastern Africa’ (CHIESA) focuses research on agriculture, hydrology, ecology and geomatics. This project aims to overcome the lack of knowledge on the impacts of climate change on food security, livelihoods and on the economic development of communities living in highland East African ecosystem hotspots.

By getting local communities to participate in their research, the project stakeholders will thus develop, test and disseminate climate change adaptation tools and propose options and production strategies that are relevant at the farm level. The project is thus improving existing monitoring and forecasting systems by installing automatic weather stations and it disseminates the scientific results to all stakeholders—from farmers to decision makers.

CHIESA’s activities are focused especially on three ecosystems: Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Taita Hills in Kenya and Jimma Highlands in Ethiopia. In these three hotspots, the teams monitor the meteorological conditions and detect changes in vegetation and those associated with land use. They also study pest pressure, ecosystem services, the food security concept, along with biophysical and socioeconomic factors that impact crop yield.

UR B-AMR (see page 58) manages the ‘coffee’ component of the CHIESA project, while the overall project is coordinated by the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) based in Nairobi (Kenya) and it is funded by the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The research and training initiatives strengthen the capacities of research organizations, extension agents and decision makers involved regarding environmental research and climate change adaptation strategies.

Contacts: Régis Babin, Fabrice Pinard, For further information:

A global agricultural research partnership for a future without hunger CGIAR, a Consortium of 15 international agricultural research centers, is dedicated to reducing rural poverty, increasing food security, improving human health and nutrition, and ensuring sustainable management of natural resources. CGIAR centers conduct research in close collaboration with hundreds of public and private

International partners based in Montpellier CGIAR Consortium EMBRAPA LABEX Europe – External Laboratory Without Walls of the Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (Brazil) (EMBRAPA) LABINTEX External Laboratory Without Walls of the Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (Argentina) (INTA)

organizations, including national and regional research institutes, organizations of civil society, academic institutions and the private sector. These centers generate and share demand-driven knowledge and approaches for agricultural development through multipartner research programmes, known as CRPs (CGIAR Research Programs). Based in Montpellier (France), the CGIAR Consortium Office maintains close relations with members of the Agropolis community and beyond with French and European partners. The multidonor CGIAR Fund supports research conducted by these centers through research programmes. As a cross-cutting issue, climate change finds relevance across all the work of CGIAR. Coordinating research efforts on climate change adaptation among CGIAR centers and partners is one of the key responsibilities of the CRP on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), while also collaborating with other CRPs. CCAFS structures its coordination effort

around four interlinked global research flagships, all of which have a climate change adaptation component:  Climate-smart practices—to test and scale up technologies and practices that are needed to build adaptive capacity and food security with mitigation co-benefits.  Climate information services and climate-informed safety nets—to deliver improved farmer advisories, better management of safety nets and enhanced design of weather-indexed insurance.  Low-emissions agricultural development—to develop and test incentive mechanisms, policies and metrics for low-emissions pathways that benefit both mitigation and adaptation.  Policies and institutions for climate-resilient food systems— to address adaptation and food security policies, largely at the national level but also up to the global level, including modelling, scenario assessment and governance work. •••

Coordinated research to foster the adaptation of global farming systems to climate change

On another continent, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) recently launched the ‘Dissemination of climate-smart agro-advisories to farmers in CCAFS benchmark sites of India’ in four villages in the north of the country. Farmers thus receive information on their mobile phones that helps them adopt climate-smart technologies that could mitigate risks associated with climate change. In another area, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), in collaboration with other global partners, leads the ‘Climate Change Affecting Land Use in the Mekong Delta: Adaptation of Rice-based Cropping Systems’ (CLUES) project. The aim of the work is to alleviate constraints on farmers’ ability to adapt to an altered Mekong hydrological regime resulting from climate change.

Improved practices are also being promoted, such as alternate wetting and drying (AWD)—a water management technique that reduces water use by 15-30%, lowers GHG emissions, whilst maintaining yields. Other initiatives include the development and dissemination of varieties adapted to local environmental conditions—rice cultivars with improved tolerance to submergence and salinity are, for instance, are developed at IRRI. At the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), a cowpea germplasm catalog has been collated to strengthen the genetic diversity and support the development of more resistant germplasm that can better cope with drought, pests and diseases stresses. Furthermore, outputs from CGIAR research centres also demonstrate the progress being made in affecting wider policy change. The work of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) on climate change impacts on small-scale coffee production has aided the Nicaraguan government in the creation of a National Adaptation Plan for Agriculture. This plan includes measures for adapting smallholder coffee farmers’ livelihoods to climate change and diversifying coffee-based incomes. The plan attracted major investment from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)—some US$24 million—to help coffee and cocoa farmers adapt to climate change. Contact: Alain Vidal,

 Field work under the Roots, Tubers & Bananas CRP in East Africa.

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Coordination work carried out under the CCAFS program has stimulated cooperation and generated positive results. For example, the program has brought together scientists to collaborate N. with the national meteorological Palm er © CIAT services of several African countries to produce and disseminate climate information at a scale that is relevant to rural communities. In Senegal, for instance, seasonal and 10-day forecasts are broadcasted on community radio stations in 14 local languages throughout the rainy season. The advisory bulletin, which initially started as a small pilot project, is now estimated to reach over two million people.


Climate change & agricultural and livestock production systems

 A cultivated landscape in Brazil. © Katia Pichelli/EMBRAPA

Promoting agriculture with a low carbon footprint in Brazil EMBRAPA LABEX – External Laboratory Without Walls of EMBRAPA (Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária), based in Montpellier on the Agropolis campus for over 10 years, is a gateway to European research for Brazilian researchers. Knowledge-based natural resource management is a prerequisite for sustainable efficient agriculture, providing a unique opportunity for development in harmony with environmental conservation.

Agriculture thus becomes a solution—not a problem—when biodiversity and environmental conservation are taken in to full account. Over the last 40 years, crop yields and agricultural areas have increased by 4% per year (200% overall!) and 30%, respectively. Agricultural technology development has increased intensive agricultural land use, thus preserving 60% of all land in Brazil, which is now classified as biology reserves, natural parks and indigenous land. The Lowcarbon Agriculture Program that has been under way for 4 years in Brazil has provided the necessary

funding and incentives for farmers to adopt sustainable agricultural practices and technologies. The Brazilian agricultural research system, coordinated by EMBRAPA and including over 70 universities and agricultural research institutions, is developing agricultural intensification practices, which are sustainable from technological and political standpoints, to boost productivity while generating environmental services. Research has thus contributed to the development of alternative forest protection policies and practices, leading to a reduction in deforestation in the Amazon region.

Strengthened collaborations with Brazil through EMBRAPA LABEX Through EMBRAPA LABEX, three Brazilian researchers have been hosted by Agropolis research units, contributing to the sustainable natural resource management theme:

Climate change: impact and adaptation

 Dr. José Madeira joined the Laboratoire d’étude des Interactions Sol,


Agrosystème et Hydrosystème (UMR LISAH) to study the hydrology of cultivated environments. His work involved modelling interactions between agricultural practices and environmental indices through model development and validation and the development of vegetation indices for crops with a discontinuous canopy (vineyards, orchards, etc.). Image analysis data, obtained in collaboration with UMR TETIS, were used in this research. The developed models describe water flows and the impact of management practices in microcatchments where intensive agricultural land use is under way.

 Dr. Geraldo Stachetti Rodrigues was hosted by the Performance of Tree Crop-Based Systems research unit (CIRAD) to carry out an impact study and develop integrated system indicators for environmental management of rural activities. The team used an

integrated approach to assess palm oil according to international environmental certification standards and senso strictu sustainability criteria. This research was aimed at developing indicators for tree crop-based systems: ecological integrity, economic vitality, social equity of rural production activities geared towards promoting local sustainable development. This work consolidated the partners’ scientific advance with respect to agricultural sustainability.

 Remote sensing and image analysis methods are now essential tools for agricultural and land-use monitoring. Dr. Margareth Simões integrated the joint research unit Spatial Information and Analysis for Territories and Ecosystems (UMR TETIS) to study land use and land cover dynamics assessment for a sustainable agriculture. The results will generate reliable tools to support public policymaking during the crucial transition from extensive agriculture to an ecologically intensive model. Contact: Claudio Carvalho,

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by livestock farming in Argentina LABINTEX is currently developing, in collaboration with UMR Herbivores (INRA, VetAgroSup) at Clermont-Ferrand (France) and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) at Edinburgh (Scotland, UK), a joint research project (JRP) on the theme ‘Environmental sustainability of intensified grazing livestock systems’. These units contribute to training INTA technicians on methods for measuring enteric methane emissions in grazing livestock. The aims of this JRP are to evaluate these enteric methane emissions, develop technology for GHG mitigation and study a systemic approach, at the rural farm level, regarding the GHG mitigation technologies applied. In accordance with the JRP recommendations, assessments of enteric methane emissions were carried out in different agroecological regions of Argentina. Hence, in 2014, SRUC provided Argentina with instruments and technical equipment for the measurement of these emissions, and advised INTA on

the installation of two gas exchange chambers at experimental stations located in temperate and subtropical regions of the country. As a member of the Global Research Alliance, Argentina also participates—via INTA within the Livestock Research Group—in the FONTAGRO project, which aims to adjust inventoried GHG estimates regarding livestock in Latin America. Contact: Daniel Rearte, © INTA

 INTA develops backpacks for cows, which capture methane to be transformed into green energy.

LABINTEX External Laboratory Without Walls of INTA (Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria/Argentinian National Institute of Agricultural Technology), based in Montpellier on the Agropolis campus for 3 years, is a gateway to European research for Argentinian researchers. One of its four priority themes concerns technologies for environmental conservation and sustainable management. More generally, INTA focuses primarily on natural resource conservation and the environmental, economic and social sustainability of agriculture. The agricultural sector is the backbone of the Argentine economy, providing 9.5% of the national GDP. Globally, Argentina is the top exporter of soybean flour, the 2nd exporter of maize, sorghum, sunflower oil and honey, the 3rd exporter of soybeans, the 4th exporter of lemons and the 5th exporter of beef. In a setting of increased global demand for food (especially animal products), population growth, urbanization and increased overall revenues, and taking the necessary adaptation of the agricultural sector to climate change into account, it is essential for the country to sustainably boost

its food production capacity. In order to take up the economic opportunity offered by the international market, Argentina especially needs to boost its beef and veal production capacity.

animals has decreased. The more digestible livestock feed has increased productivity, thus indirectly leading to a reduction in the intensity of enteric methane emissions.

In addition, growing demand for cereals and oilseed products over the last two decades has led to a marked increase in the area devoted to these crops. This phenomenon, combined with constraints imposed by national deforestation policies, caused a 15 million ha reduction in the livestock farming area over the last 15 years. Production has thus been intensified so as to maintain a consistent supply of beef, with a switch from 100% pastoral systems to systems supplemented by cereal and fodder inputs and, in some cases the animals are even enclosed in fattening pens prior to slaughter.

In collaboration with Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (EMBRAPA, Brazil) and the Instituto Nacional de Investigación Agropecuaria (INIA, Uruguay), INTA is studying issues regarding the adaptation of livestock farming to climate change and GHG mitigation in pastoral livestock systems. Beef exports represent a major component of the economies of these three countries as well as that of Paraguay—together these four countries produce a fifth of all bovine livestock in the world—a figure that clearly indicates how important it is to mitigate GHG emissions from livestock worldwide. 

As a result of these changes, the reproductive performance of cattle herds have improved, the weaning rate has increased and the proportion of non-performing

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Promoting the environmental sustainability of livestock farming systems in Argentina


List of acronyms and abbreviations ANR French National Research Agency / Agence Nationale de la Recherche BRGM French Geological Survey / Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières CEA

French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission / Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives

International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies – Montpellier CIHEAM-IAMM Mediterranean Agronomic Institute / Centre International de Hautes Études Agronomiques Méditerranéennes – Institut Agronomique Méditerranéen de Montpellier (France) CIRAD

Agricultural Research for Development / Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement (France)

CNES National Centre for Space Studies / Centre National d'Études Spatiales (France) CNRS

National Center for Scientific Research / Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France)

CSIRO Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (Australia) EQUIPEX Équipement d'Excellence (French projects) EMA École des Mines d'Alès (France) EMBRAPA Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation / Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária ENSCM École Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Montpellier (France) EPHE École Pratique des Hautes Études (France) EU European Union GHG Greenhouse gas IFREMER INRA INRAP

French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea / Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer National Institute for Agricultural Research / Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (France) National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research / Institut National de Recherches Archéologiques Préventives (France)


National Institute of Sciences of the Universe / Institut National des Sciences de l'Univers (France)


Institute of Agricultural Technology / Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (Argentina)

IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IRD Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (France) National Research Institute of Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture / IRSTEA Institut national de Recherche en Sciences et Technologies pour l'Environnement et l'Agriculture (France) LabEx Laboratory of Excellence L-R Languedoc-Roussillon Region (France) OSU Observatory for Science of the Universe / Observatoire des Sciences de l’Univers (France) R&D Research and development UAG

University of the French West Indies and Guiana / Université des Antilles et de la Guyane (France)

UAPV Université d'Avignon et des Pays de Vaucluse (France) UM Université de Montpellier (France) Climate change: impact and adaptation

UMR Joint research unit / Unité mixte de recherche


UMS Joint service unit / Unité mixte de service UNîmes Université de Nîmes (France) UPMC Université Pierre et Marie Curie (France) UPVD Université de Perpignan Via Domitia (France) UPVM Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier (France) UR

Université de la Réunion (France) or Research unit / Unité de recherche

USDA/ARS United States Department of Agriculture / Agriculture Research Service (USA) USR Service and research unit / Unité de service et de recherche UVSQ Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (France)

This document was published with the support of the French government and Languedoc-Roussillon Region. Member organizations and partners of Agropolis International involved in this Dossier AgroParisTech Agropolis Fondation BRGM CGIAR Consortium CIHEAM-IAMM CIRAD CNRS CSIRO EMA EMBRAPA IFREMER INRA INTA IRD IRSTEA Montpellier SupAgro UAPV UM UNîmes UPMC UPVD UPVM USDA/ARS ARTS, LETTRES, LANGUES, SCIENCES HUMAINES ET SOCIALES

Director in Chief: Bernard Hubert Scientific Coordination: Sandra Ardoin-Bardin (IRD), Nicolas Arnaud (CNRS), Sophie Boutin (UM), Jean-Luc Chotte (IRD), Philippe Jarne (CNRS), Pascal Kosuth (Agropolis Fondation), Philippe Lebaron (UPMC), Éric Servat (IRD)

Communication: Claudine Soudais, Nathalie Villeméjeanne Layout and Computer Graphics: Olivier Piau (Agropolis Productions) Translation: David Manley Participated in this issue: François Affholder, Véronique Alary, Nadine Andrieu, Sandra Ardoin-Bardoin, Nicolas Arnaud, Andrée Avogadri, Régis Babin, Christian Baron, Olivier Barrière, Éric Blanchart, Jean-Louis Bodinier, Jérôme Boissier, Aurélie Botta, François-Yves Bouget, Sophie Boutin, Yvan Caballero, Claudio Carvalho, Tiphaine Chevallier, Jean-Luc Chotte, Christian Cilas, Pascal Conan, Marc Corbeels, Pierre Couteron, Laurent Dagorn, Gauthier Dobigny, David Dorchies, Robin Duponnois, Laurent Durieux, Katrin Erdlenbruch, Frédérique Espinasse,Bruno Fady, Jack Falcón, Denis Fargette, Laurence Flori, Richard Franck, Grégoire Freschet, Patrice Garin, Christian Gary, Denis Gautier, Alain Givaudan, Catherine Gonzales, Jean-François Guegan, Hélène Guis, Katell Guizien, Stephan Hättenschwiler, Serge Heussner, Nathalie Hodebert, Marie Hrabanski, Alexandre Ickowicz, Frédéric Jacob, Emmanuel Jacquot, Philippe Jarne, Richard Joffre, Anne Johannet, Mireille Jourdan, Fabien Joux, Carole Kerdelhue, Pascal Kosuth, Franck Lartaud, Pierre-Éric Lauri, Philippe Lebaron, Éric Lebon, Nadine Le Bris, Grégoire Leclerc, François Lefèvre, Thierry Lefrancois, Thérèse Libourel, Bruno Locatelli, Éric Malezieux, Jean-Christophe Maréchal, Sébastien Mas, Christophe Maurel, Philippe Méral, Aurélie Metay, Agnès Mignot, Guillaume Mitta, Jérôme Molénat, Hervé Moreau, Cindy Morris, Behzad Mostajir, David Mouillot, Krishna Naudin, Claire Neema, Didier Peuze, Daniel Rearte, Pierre Renault, Sandrine Renoir, Éric Rigolot, François Roger, Ophélie Ronce, Joëlle Ronfort, Jacques Roy, Denis Ruelland, Bertrand Schatz, Jose Serin, Georges Serpantié, Éric Servat, Andy Sheppard, Frédéric Simard, Lincoln Smith, Michelle Stuckey, Julie Subervie, Marcelino Suzuki, Olivier Thaler, Didier Tharreau, Patrice This, Thierry Thomann, Jean-Philippe Tonneau, Ève Toulza, Jean-Marc Touzard, Julie Trottier, Olivier Turc, Valérie Verdier, Anne-Aliénor Very, Alain Vidal, Yves Vigouroux, Nathalie Volkoff Illustrations: we thank all contributors to this Dossier and Photothèque INDIGO, IRD. Printing: Les Petites Affiches (Montpellier, France) ISSN: 1628-4240 • Copyright: February 2015 Also available in French

July 2012 68 pages (2nd edition) English / French

August 2011 68 pages English / French

March 2012 72 pages English / French / Spanish

October 2012 48 pages English / French

February 2013 48 pages English / French / Spanish

October 2013 76 pages French

December 2013 72 pages French

February 2014 64 pages English / French / Spanish

Dossiers d’Agropolis International The Dossiers d’Agropolis International series is a deliverable of Agropolis International that is produced within the scope of its mission to promote expertise of the scientific community. Each Dossier is devoted to a broad scientific theme, and includes a clear overview that is a ready reference for all laboratories and teams associated with Agropolis International that are conducting research on the target theme. This series is meant to boost the awareness of our different partners on the expertise and potential available within our scientific community, but also to facilitate contacts for the development of scientific and technical cooperation and exchange.

Climate change: impact and adaptation

Scientific Writing and Editing: Édith Rolland, Isabelle Amsallem (Agropolis Productions)

Twenty dossiers published in the same collection, including:

Agropolis International Coordination: Mélanie Broin


For further information:

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Climate change: impact and adaptation  

Climate change: impact and adaptation, Les "Dossiers d'Agropolis International", n° 20, Février 2015

Climate change: impact and adaptation  

Climate change: impact and adaptation, Les "Dossiers d'Agropolis International", n° 20, Février 2015