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Importance de la re-domestication pour la conservation de l'agrobiodiversité : le cas du châtaignier

Abstract : In the past 50 years, the erosion of agrobiodiversity has been observed on a global scale. Various conservation strategies were implemented, but failed to halt its decline. As an agro-ecological transition is urgently needed, agrobiodiversity conservation choices are being questioned with a new urgency: « What should be conserved? » and « How to conserve? ». Perennial species of minor economic value are receiving renewed interest due to their adaptation to certain marginal and changing environments, or their nutritional qualities. Poorly conserved ex situ, dynamic management is often considered as the best option for conserving the genetic diversity of perennial species, but is challenging in practice. The objective of this thesis is to understand the importance of chestnut re-domestication – the reappropriation of local or regional populations of an abandoned species in a marginal production context – for agrobiodiversity conservation.I have developed a multidisciplinary approach based on tools specific to population genetics and social sciences. Firstly, I (i) identified the stakeholders who are interested (or disinterested) in this agrobiodiversity, and (ii) characterized this agrobiodiversity in terms of neutral genetic diversity, at the scale of France. Then, I (iii) compared the characterization of agrobiodiversity by genetic tools with those of local stakeholders and conducted interviews and participant observations that (iv) showed the main valuations of chestnut tree. The conservation of chestnut agrobiodiversity by traditional means is weakened by the gradual disengagement of the State, and local associations are being organized with the intention of contributing to conservation. Genotyping of cultivated and forest chestnut trees with microsatellite markers reveals a medium genetic diversity of chestnut trees in France, and a lack of structuring in genetic diversity between forest and cultivated chestnut trees. Irrespective of the forest or cultivated character of chestnut trees, a clear structure was detected in two genetic clusters, which was then subdivided into six sub-clusters. The main clusters can be interpreted partly in terms of geographical distance, but one cluster contained samples from many different regions. Phylogenetic and clonal analysis showed a good correspondence between variety names and genetics. Most of the genotyped varieties appeared polyclonal and some were transported over long distances. J. Dewey's valuation theory was used as a framework for interpreting the comprehensive interviews and participating observations carried out in two associations in Ariège and Hautes-Pyrénées.This framework allows to understand what do local stakeholders involved in these associations care about when they engage in chestnut re-domestication. Five main valuing processes were identified: cultivated diversity, nature inheriting, decision-making and technical empowerment, development of relationships with the living and collective action. The results suggest that chestnut re-domestication is based on a diversity of ways of valuing. In cases where local stakeholders come to value some chestnut trees and varieties rather than others, they are likely to participate in their conservation. The re-domestication of local or regional populations of a cultivated species is not systematically the result of a dynamic management. However, stakeholders aiming at conserving agrobiodiversity can use local re-domestication initiatives to implement such dynamic management.
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Cathy Bouffartigue. Importance de la re-domestication pour la conservation de l'agrobiodiversité : le cas du châtaignier. Sciences agricoles. Institut agronomique, vétérinaire et forestier de France, 2020. Français. ⟨NNT : 2020IAVF0016⟩. ⟨tel-03439538⟩

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