Assessing the sustainability of cropping systems in single- and multi-site studies. A review of methods

Abstract : The multiple new challenges facing agriculture require the development of innovative cropping systems with high environmental, economic and social performances. Many research programmes are currently focusing on the design of such cropping systems. Some include the multicriteria assessment of cropping systems by diverse methods and approaches. Some of these research programmes are supported by experimental or farmers’ networks, generating new opportunities for data analysis and raising new research and methodological questions. In this article, we provide an overview based on a review of 56 articles, comparing the various methods for sustainability assessment in single- and multi-site studies. Articles were classified according to three characteristics: (i) their objectives, (ii) the study design (single- vs. multi-site), (iii) the type of system assessed (fictitious vs. real). Our analysis was structured around four items: (i) the variables used to describe cropping systems and production situations and the use of these variables in the assessment process, (ii) the criteria and associated indicators assessed, (iii) the methods used to explore multiple aspects of the performance of cropping systems, (iv) the use of reference values. We identified key points to be taken into account in multi-site studies. The application of the proposed guidelines to experimental networks should facilitate the identification of high-performance cropping systems and the identification of the drivers of cropping system performance.
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Journal articles
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Submitted on : Thursday, March 29, 2018 - 4:50:33 PM
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Violaine Deytieux, Nicolas Munier-Jolain, Jacques Caneill. Assessing the sustainability of cropping systems in single- and multi-site studies. A review of methods. European Journal of Agronomy, Elsevier, 2016, 72, pp.107 - 126. ⟨10.1016/j.eja.2015.10.005⟩. ⟨hal-01753783⟩

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