Biodiversity in action: across farmland and the value chain

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Domaine de recherche :
Environnement et ressources
Type de financement :
Type d'instrument :
Recherche & Innovation Action
Deadline :
Mardi 11 Septembre 2018
1ère partie : 13 février 2018
Budget indicatif :
7 millions max. par projet
Budget total :
14 millions d'euros
Code de l'appel : SFS-01-2018-2019-2020
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À noter :

Specific Challenge:

Agricultural biodiversity is understood to comprise all components of biological diversity that (i) are of relevance for food and agriculture and all components of biological diversity that (ii) constitute agro-ecosystems. It is the result of highly dynamic interactions between the environment, genetic resources, agricultural practices and historical land management. The various dimensions of agricultural biodiversity play a significant role in conferring stability, resilience and adaptability to farming systems. Below ground biodiversity for example plays a major role in soil nutrient and water cycling, nutrient uptake by plants and in the control of plant diseases. Genetic diversity within species is at the origin of plant development, adaptation to different environments (including climate) and a wide range of properties which cater for diverse needs. The native biodiversity on and around farms is associated with the provision of important ecosystem services beyond farm level.

The way farmers manage their land has immediate effects on domesticated and native biodiversity. Specialised, intensive agriculture has generally resulted in higher productivity at the expense of decreasing levels of biodiversity, partly due to a lack of incentives for farmers to safeguard biodiversity. Ambitions to make diversity a more integral part of farming are reflected in a number of European policies and global commitments. Translating these ambitions into practice will require the necessary know-how and a range of options for optimising the joint delivery of economic, environmental and social services by farming.


Activities will tackle biodiversity from various angles ranging from its supporting functions in agro-ecosystems (e.g. through activities of plant and soil biota), the integration of diversity into farming practices and incentives for wider biodiversity management including native biodiversity. Proposals will consider various temporal and spatial scales when assessing the dynamics of biodiversity and its relationship with farming systems, the surrounding landscapes and throughout value chains.

[2018]Small organisms, big effects for plants- Belowground biodiversity interaction with plants (RIA)

Proposals will lay the ground for better understanding and applying the benefits of soil organisms for resource uptake, plant growth, development and health. Activities will explore the processes and interactions between plants and the different plant and soil micro and macro biota. Work will expand knowledge of the impacts of land management on soil biological dynamics and its ecological importance, e.g. for nutrient cycling processes, plant defence mechanisms (i.e. disease prevention/pest control), plant development and growth. Findings on the beneficial effects of functional soil biodiversity for crop production will feed into the development of strategies and tools for sustainable plant/soil management. Proposals should fall under the concept of the ‘multi-actor approach’[3] to ensure that knowledge and needs from various sectors including farming are brought together.


Expected Impact:

Funded activities will showcase the benefits of agro-biodiversity at various levels and develop solutions and approaches to embed these benefits more effectively into farming practices and policy measures.

In the short to medium term work will

  • expand the agro-ecological knowledge base on the links and dynamics between biodiversity and agricultural production;
  • deliver best practices based on production systems (both conventional and organic) that combine support for biodiversity with value creation;
  • result in improved methods and tools to assess, evaluate and monitor different levels of diversity (genetic, species and ecosystem) as well as the linkages between agro-biodiversity and ecosystem services;
  • define operational biodiversity targets from the field to regional level;
  • deliver strategies and tools for biodiversity focused soil management ;
  • reduce the dependence on external inputs in plant management through effective plant-soil interactions and the use of soil organisms ;