Spatial and temporal dynamics of agricultural activities in the Seine basin: a macro -agronomical approach

Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsMignolet, C, Schott, C, Beno\^ıt, M
JournalThe Science of the Total Environment
Start Page13
Date Published04/2007
A research procedure is proposed which aims to analyse the agricultural spatial dynamics during the last thirty years using two levels of organisation of farming activity: the agricultural production system and the cropping system. Based on methods of statistical mapping and data mining, this procedure involves modelling the diversity of production systems and cropping systems (crop successions and sequences of cultural practices for each crop) in the form of classes independently of their localisation within the basin. It identifies homogeneous regions made up of groups of contiguous agricultural districts which exhibit similar combinations of production systems, crop successions or cultural practices during a given period of time. The results show a major increase in arable farms since 1970 at the expense of dairy farms and mixed cropping/livestock. This trend however appeared to be greatly spatially differentiated according to the agricultural districts, since livestock remained important on the edges of the basin, whereas it practically disappeared in its centre. The crop successions practiced in the basin and the cultural practices used on them also appear to be spatially differentiated, although the link to the production systems is not always clear. Thus it appears pertinent to combine the analysis of the two levels of organisation of the agriculture (methods of land use described by the concept of cropping system, and also the production systems into which the cropping systems fit) in the context of an environmental problem.