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Assessing multiple goods and services derived from livestock farming on a nation-wide gradient

  • J. Ryschawy (a1), C. Disenhaus (a2), S. Bertrand (a3), G. Allaire (a4), O. Aznar (a5), S. Plantureux (a6) (a7), E. Josien (a5), C. Guinot (a8), J. Lasseur (a9), C. Perrot (a10), E. Tchakerian (a11), C. Aubert (a12) and M. Tichit (a13)...
Abstract

Livestock farming is an essential activity in many rural areas, where it contributes to the maintenance of soil fertility and farmland biodiversity, as well as to a set of social public goods including food security, rural vitality and culture. However, livestock sustainability assessments tend to focus primarily on environmental and economic dimensions; therefore, these valuations might be limited because they do not consider the complete set of associated goods and services (GS). Hence, a need exists to recognise the multiple contributions provided by livestock to human well-being and society. The objective of this study was to analyse the provision of multiple GS derived from livestock across regions in France and empirically demonstrate sets of GS that repeatedly appeared together. We designated these multiple GS provided by livestock as contributions to productive, environmental, rural vitality and cultural benefits that human populations derive directly or indirectly from livestock agroecosystems. First, we combined expert knowledge with results of a literature review to define a bundle of GS provided by livestock. We then described indicators that quantified each good or service and screened national databases to determine the availability of supporting data. Finally, we assessed the GS and their relationships (synergies or trade-offs) on a nation-wide gradient in France at the department level (Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics 3). Four main categories of GS were considered: provisioning (e.g. food quantity and quality), environmental quality (e.g. biodiversity, landscape heterogeneity, water quality), rural vitality (e.g. employment, rural dynamism) and culture (e.g. gastronomy and landscape heritage). Four major types of GS bundles were identified, which suggested strong contrasts among French rural areas in terms of the nature of the GS that occurred together and their levels of provision. GS bundles in France had a non-random spatial distribution. This study represents an initial step towards developing a methodology to consider GS bundles provided by livestock. Nonetheless, further research is needed to understand socio-economic, environmental, political and geographic determinants of the composition of GS bundles.

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Corresponding author
E-mail: muriel.tichit@agroparistech.fr
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