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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

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SAS is an interdisciplinary research group in environmental sciences and agroecology with 110 people, including 70 permanent staff, from INRAE and Institut Agro. We are located in Rennes and Quimper (Brittany, France).

Our main objective is to produce knowledge and methods related to agricultural and environmental changes in areas with livestock. Our research axes address three specific research objectives:

  • understanding water, soil and biogeochemical cycles in space and time, in relation to global changes
  • evaluating ecosystem services from and impacts of agricultural systems on water and soils (quantity and quality), as well as on biogeochemical cycles of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus
  • designing agro-ecological systems that combine crops and livestock and that are integrated into their territories.

Objects of study

Our objects are water, soil and air resources; biogeochemical cycles of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus; and agricultural systems, mainly in contexts that combine crops and livestock and in areas with high production density, such as western France, for which transition is a challenging issue.

Research at several scales

We work from the scale of a field or livestock building to that of a watershed or agricultural landscape. Our approaches include reproduction of biological systems under controlled conditions (laboratory, bioclimatological hall), experimental or field observation systems (fields, livestock buildings, non-cultivated areas), long-term observation of agricultural landscapes, and measurements or surveys in networks of commercial farms (reference networks of research-development partners or specific networks for a given project). We also model agricultural and environmental functioning at multiple scales: field, farm, watershed, territory or region.

SAS is involved in the following activities

  • Production of academic knowledge for the scientific community and production of knowledge and operational methods in partnership with agricultural and environmental professionals
  • Initial and continuing education
  • Expertise and support for public policies (e.g. fertilization management, water management, coastal eutrophication, atmospheric emissions, inventories of wetlands and polluted soils, delimitation of terroirs)