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Agroecology: research for the transition of agri-food chains and territories

by Thierry Caquet (editorial coordination), Chantal Gascuel (editorial coordination), Michèle Tixier-Boichard (editorial coordination)
december 2020
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Agroecology was chosen by INRAE as one of its interdisciplinary scientific foresight studies designed to identify research fronts in response to major societal challenges. Eighty researchers drew up an assessment and proposed research avenues for agroecology. This book summarizes their main conclusions. 

Agroecology, as a scientific discipline that puts ecology back at the centre of agricultural system design, is now well established. Diversification of living organisms in agroecosystems is a broad objective that is intended to make these systems more robust and resilient. Research in genetics and landscape ecology must be mobilized so that agroecology can use mechanisms from the field to landscape scales. Progress is being made in modelling agroecological systems to better understand the many biotic and abiotic interactions, to predict them, and to begin to manage some of them. Diversification of living organisms in agricultural production (species, varieties, crop rotations, etc.) leads to more varied products. The consequences will be significant on the commodity chains, and more precisely on agri-food systems, from production methods to product consumption. These changes are long-term. The agroecological transition, which is adaptive, co-constructed with all actors, is in itself a research subject, and will rely on experimental devices, farms, and ‘Territories of innovation’.


The French version of this book,  Agroécologie : des recherches pour la transition des filières et des territoires, is available on our website.

La version française de ce titre, Agroécologie : des recherches pour la transition des filières et des territoires, est disponible sur notre site.

Table of contents



Founding principles

National and international societal expectations

Research based on new paradigms and new approaches


1 - Integrating agroecology into agri-food systems

Products resulting from agroecology and their properties

Actors’ strategies

Spatial organization of markets

Dynamics and coherence of the agri-food system

Research questions


2 - The agroecological transition of farms

Recent scientific advances

Some examples

Research questions

Developing the necessary transdisciplinarity 


3 - Leveraging ecological and hydrobiogeochemical processes in multifunctional landscapes

Recent scientific advances

Some examples

Research questions


4 - Leveraging genetic diversity in plant and animal breeding

Recent scientific advances

Some examples

Research questions


5 - Modelling interactions between living organisms in their environments and socio-economic contexts

Recent scientific advances

Some examples

Research questions


6 - Contribution of agricultural equipment and digital technology to agroecology : considering living organisms better

Recent scientific advances

Some examples

Research questions



Diversity and diversification: observe, translate, direct

From massive acquisition of biological data to new types of experiments

Understanding risk and uncertainty: modelling and sharing of experiences

Scaling up and changing agri-food organization for agroecology



More contents


1er prix - Best gourmand Awards 2022 – Best Food Systems Books
Cet ouvrage a remporté le premier prix dans la catégorie " Food Systems Books " des Gourmand Awards 2022.
>> En savoir plus


Language(s): English

Publisher: Éditions Quae

Collection: Matière à débattre et décider

Published: 18 december 2020

Reference Book: 02773

Reference eBook [PDF]: 02773NUM

Reference eBook [ePub]: 02773EPB

EAN13 Book: 9782759232932

EAN13 eBook [PDF]: 9782759232949

EAN13 eBook [ePub]: 9782759232956

Interior: Black & white

Format (in mm) Book: 145 x 210

Pages count Book: 96

Pages count eBook [PDF]: 96

Weight (in grammes): 190

Size: 2.05 MB (PDF), 1.3 MB (ePub)


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