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Enrolling high-tech farmers in functional biodiversity assessment: A practical experience of technology development and transfer between researchers and agricultural sector players in France.

References : BioSyst.EU 2013 Global systematics! Vienne, Février 2013

Authors :  Ingrid Arnault, Damien Munier, Gilles Venturini, Fabienne Dalino, Marie Zimmermann, Sébastien Moreau, Carlos Lopez-Vaamonde, Marlène Goubault, Sylvain Pincebourde, Christèle Assegond and Jacques Auger

We have developed a reliable, convenient and fast method accessible to non-specialists to monitor predominant functional guilds of arthropods (pollinators, predators, parasitoids and herbivores) in French horticultural agrosystems. The methodological framework is partly based on species classification by morpho-species according to the Rapid Biodiversity Assessment (RBA) method which allows monitoring average local species richness and related ecosystem services. Our final aim is to provide professional end-users from the agricultural sector (experimenters, chambers of agriculture advisors, observers and producers) with an innovative android tablet application that facilitates data collection and calculation of indicators for biodiversity monitoring. Whatever the spatial scale considered, arthropods largely contribute to species richness and are thus more representative for organismal biodiversity than any other group of organisms. Their abundance and diversity can also inform on the sustainability of some key ecosystem services such as pollination, pest control and prevention of invasive species. However, their identification at the species level, usually required to estimate relevant biodiversity trends, is often unreachable to non-specialists whose professional activities depend on the quality of local ecosystem services. The objective of our project is to meet this demand by developing and transferring a scientifically robust biodiversity evaluation method that is easily manageable by non-specialists in field conditions. At first we have built a methodological framework based on the RBA method (Obrist and Duelli, 2010) that differentiates arthropods in parataxonomic groups (morpho-species). These groups were then gathered according to their ecological roles (herbivores, predators, parasites, pollinators). Our classification scheme for morpho-species determination was integrated into an android tablet application for a rapid using in field conditions. The generated tool is currently being tested for its performance in realistic conditions of use in French horticulture centers of Region Centre. The preliminary feed-back is very positive and supportive and opens the possibility of an adaption of the tool to a wider typology of agrosystems. This innovative project brings together biologists, computer scientists, sociologists and horticultural professionals.

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Created on February 2, 2013
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