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Quantification expérimentale et modélisation de la production, des flux d'eau et d'azote en systèmes de culture biologiques

Abstract : Nowadays, in a context of global changes, addressing the interlinked challenges of food security and environmental impacts is fundamental for the sustainability of agricultural systems. Therefore, the thesis aimed to assess agronomic and environmental performances of organic systems, by coupling the experimental monitoring of a 35 organic fields network in the Northern region of France with modeling the soil-crop continuum, to better understand the underlying processes in water and nitrogen dynamics within those systems, and to promote a more sustainable management.Water drainage and nitrate leaching were assessed by coupling soil, crop and climate data within LIXIM model. Then we analyzed N leaching pattern under diverse organic arable fields to explain its main driving factors. Leaving aside the strong soil type effect and the importance of climatic conditions on drainage, the combination of previous crops and autumn field management appeared to be a key determinant of nitrate leaching in the studied organic systems, as they both drive the amount of soil mineral nitrogen before draining period and explain the position of nitrate in the soil profile. We also showed the dichotomous role of legumes as preceding crop in organic cropping systems and the poor performance of the standard catch crops, sown in late summer in this context.Yield gap of cereals was investigated using a deterministic modeling approach as a diagnosis tool, to contribute in improving the productivity of organic agriculture. The soil-crop model STICS was used to estimate the potential yields of each studied winter wheat and winter triticale crop fields in their given soil and climate conditions. Our results reasserted how nitrogen stress could explain a major part of the yield gap occurring in organic crops and outweigh biotic limiting factors impacts, for cropping systems relying on few or no manures for nitrogen supply.Lastly, we aimed to address the challenge of nitrogen supply in organic arable systems for a better nitrogen use efficiency and improved crop yields. We used the model STICS to simulate the impact of alternative nitrogen management practices by carrying out a numerical experiment in a participatory approach involving farmers, technical advisors and researchers. The findings emphasized the importance of crop succession design and management practices, particularly the implementation of catch crops and the timing of the destruction of perennial legume crops. Optimizing the farmer’s actual practices could then be possible, reducing the potential emissions of nitrogen via leaching or gaseous losses, without decreasing the nitrogen supply for the following crop.Organic arable cropping systems, within the studied soil, technics and climate contexts, can achieve agronomic performances combined with low environmental impacts, with well-managed nitrogen practices.
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Lucia Rakotovololona. Quantification expérimentale et modélisation de la production, des flux d'eau et d'azote en systèmes de culture biologiques. Agronomie. Institut agronomique, vétérinaire et forestier de France, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018IAVF0024⟩. ⟨tel-02941743⟩



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