Agroecology and ecosystem services

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University of  TOURS

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Agroecology and ecosystem services

Institut de Recherche sur la Biologie de l'Insecte

UMR 7261 Faculté des Sciences et Techniques

Avenue Monge, Parc Grandmont  

37200 TOURS (France)




This is the latest topical entry in our group. We focus on biological control through conservation in temperate agroforestry systems. We combine here our understanding of nutritional ecology of parasitic wasps, our technological knowhow of microscale biochemical analyses and our mastering of modeling to applied issues of great importance and renewed interest. Agroforestry systems are indeed coming back: the best mixed tree-crops interactions can produce up to 140% more than monocultures on equivalent land surfaces! This is one of the few hopes we have to feed a hungry world if we do not want crops to extend over even more land areas. Trees need to come back in fields, where they were happily coexisting with crops in ancient times, as agroforestry has many other ecological benefits.


Our recently funded project intends to track carabid beetles in agroforestry crops and to understand their whereabouts according to their nutritional status. This implies non-destructive haemolymph sampling, radar tracking, as well as modeling of the diffusion-reaction and of the physiologically structured types. For the later, we decided to apply Bas Koijman’s dynamic energy budget to holometabolous insects, requiring some substantial changes in the basic design of a DEB model. E also dedicate quite some our thinking time to model such systems using control theory applied to pest management. Stay tune for more soon.


Some insects can provide valuable ecosystem services through pest management. Another ecosystem service provided by insects is decomposition of organic matter. We are currently working on research agreements with two start-up companies specialized in insect production for animal and human consumption – partially on the basis of waste products.



People involved in this research topic:

Jérôme Casas
Ana Llandres
David Giron
Géraldine Dubreuil
Christelle Suppo
Sylvain Pincebourde Ana L. Llandres. J. Casas. David Giron. Géraldine Dubreuil. Christelle Suppo Magal. Sylvain Pincebourde.

What is the question and the organisms studied?