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Agronomy Webinar | The Resilience of Grasslands in a Changing World and Their Role in Supporting the Agro-Ecological Transition

25 Jan 2023, 10:00 (CET)

Biodiversity, Ecosystems, Grassland Management, Plant Trait, Agroecology
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Welcome from the Chair

5th Agronomy Webinar

The Resilience of Grasslands in a Changing World and Their Role in Supporting the Agro-Ecological Transition

Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the webinar on the role of grasslands in supporting the agro-ecological transition in a changing world, which will take place on 25 January 2023. The webinar format is designed to facilitate the dissemination and discussion of advances in grassland research and innovation.

Thanks to their rich biodiversity, grasslands can become a lever to address current environmental and agricultural crises. The importance of grasslands for livestock production systems is evidenced by the large agricultural area they cover worldwide, the large number of people who depend on them for income and food security, the high levels of biomass production and biodiversity, and their high potential for carbon sequestration and limited nitrogen losses. These systems are threatened globally by the progressive loss or degradation of grassland areas, with considerable consequences for their sustainability and continued provision of services to society. Moreover, socio-economic constraints often hinder the introduction of sustainable pasture development, especially in developing countries. Ongoing grassland research and innovation help to understand the challenges of sustainable grassland management and to propose tangible solutions. The research also provides the background and context for exploring alternative management practices, including rehabilitation in the face of grassland degradation and rebuilding new cropping systems in conjunction with livestock.

The programme of this webinar will include three special presentations, which focus on important areas where research and innovation are essential to address the challenges described above (see list of presentations below). In addition to the presentations, we will organise a question and answer session to discuss the results presented, as well as future challenges and research needs:

  1. Biogeochemical cycles: learning from natural and semi-natural ecosystems to design sustainable agro-systems (Dr. Sébastien Fontaine)
  2. Sustainable intensification of Mediterranean permanent grasslands, a way of building resilience? (Dr. Victor Rolo)
  3. The resilience of extensive grazing systems under climate change (Prof. Camilla Dibari)

We invite our colleagues from around the world to participate in this stimulating event.

Chair Gianni Bellocchi, Research Director, Grassland Ecosystem Research Unit at the French National Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment

Date: 25 January 2023

Time: 10:00 am CET | 4:00 am EST | 5:00 pm CST Asia

Webinar ID: 868 9974 9059

Webinar Secretariat:


Grassland Ecosystem Research Unit (UREP), French National Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE), France

With expertise in agro-meteorological and hydro-climatic modelling, he studies the responses of agro-ecosystems to environmental variables and management with the support of simulation models. Focused mainly on modelling carbon and nitrogen cycles in grasslands, his research interests range from sequestration/emission dynamics to the links between plant diversity and biogeochemical processes. He has led several international modelling activities, including the development of ensemble modelling approaches for the simulation of production and biogeochemical variables in grasslands and field crops, while modelling the relationships between species diversity, the functioning of grassland systems and their capacity to provide ecosystem services. He is currently leading modelling tasks in the European Joint Programming on agricultural soil management and sits in the Editorial Boards of Agronomy, Agronomy for Sustainable Development and Atmosphere.

Invited Speakers

Grassland Ecosystem Research Unit (UREP), French National Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE), France

Sébastien is research director at INRAE aiming at understanding the biogeochemical cycles (C, N and P) of terrestrial ecosystems in a context of global changes and the development of a multifunctional and agro-ecological agriculture. The ecosystems studied mainly concern permanent grasslands but also include comparisons with crops and forests in order to understand the differences in functioning and to tend towards a global vision of the cycles. Numerous studies have been carried out in temperate climate but also in tropical (Amazonia) and arctic (Permafrost) environments. His most important contributions concern the origin of deep soil C stability, the priming effect and the inclusion of microbial ecology in models of biogeochemical cycles. More lately, he is studying the systemic organization of biodiversity (plants, microbes) and CNP cycling and how this organization controls the performances of ecosystems in terms of production and preservation of resources. His approach combines mesocosm experiments, theoretical modelling and model simulations and observations along gradients.

Forest Research Group, INDEHESA, University of Extremadura, Spain

Víctor is a senior researcher at the Forest Research Group of the University of Extremadura. He holds a Ph. D in Plant Biology and Production from the University of Extremadura (Spain). His past working experience includes postdoctoral positions at the University of Mendel (Czech Republic) and the University of Pretoria (South Africa) where he specialized in adaptive management and forest restoration. His research interests focus on assessing soil-plant components of forest and agroforestry systems to enhance their persistence and productivity in a changing environment. He uses experimental, observational and modelling methods in his research and has published several articles and book chapters.

Department of Agriculture, Food, Environment, and Forestry (DAGRI), University of Florence, Italy

Camilla’s main research interests concern the application of precision agriculture tools (modelling, GIS and remote sensing) for i) the study of agricultural and pastoral crops responses to different management and climate aiming at identifying strategies for adaptation and mitigation ii) crop and grassland monitoring. Further interests concern: climate monitoring and urban air quality analysis through the use of low-cost meteorological stations placed on mobile vehicles; development and application of participatory processes for the involvement of local actors in research activities (e.g. definition of drivers, barriers, validation of results, etc.); use of participatory approaches to implement planning actions in agriculture and to the management of information and spatial communications by using GIS tools as interactive means for spatial learning, discussion, information exchange, analysis, decision-making and conservation of the landscape.

Webinar Content

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Time in CET

Chair Dr. Gianni Bellocchi

Chair Introduction

10:00 - 10:10 am

Dr. Sébastien Fontaine

Biogeochemical Cycles: Learning From Natural and Semi-natural Ecosystems to Design Sustainable Agro-Systems

10:10 - 10:35 am

Dr. Victor Rolo Romero

Sustainable Intensification of Mediterranean Permanent Grasslands, a Way of Building Resilience?

10:35 - 11:00 am

Prof. Camilla Dibari

The Resilience of Extensive Grazing Systems Under Climate Change

11:00 - 11:25 am


11:25 - 11:55 am

Closing of Webinar

Chair Dr. Gianni Bellocchi

11:55 am - 12:00 pm

Relevant SIs

Grassland and Pasture Ecological Management and Utilization
Guest Editors: Dr. Kesi Liu and Prof. Dr. Xinqing Shao
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2023

Silvopastoralism and Agroforestry for Forage Production
Guest Editors: Dr. Massimiliano Probo and Dr. Pierre Mariotte
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 January 2023

Topical Collection

Agro-Ecology for Grassland-Based Farming Systems
Guest Editor: Dr. Gianni Bellocchi

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