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Laboratory for the study of Soil-Agrosystem-Hydrosystem interactions

The main aim of the laboratory is to integrate 3 the main functions expected from cultivated landscapes (production and distribution of blue and green water (for plant production), conservation of soil resources, regulation of contaminant ecodynamics).

To this end, the LISAH lab studies i) biophysical mechanisms and their formalisation, at elementary (e.g. soil column) and aggregated (landscape, watershed) scales, ii) the effect of of anthropogenic and climatic forcing structure on flows within landscape and on the spatial dynamics of the landscape for which, iii) the lab also develops spatial characterisation and monitoring methods.

This scientific positioning enables LISAH to address the frequently conflicting issues concerning soil, water and agricultural production (SDG 2, 6, 14, 15) and for multi-actor spatial extent while maintaining an explicit representation of the individual management scale.

The LISAH lab is a laboratory working on landscape agro-ecology, using the landscape as a potential lever for agro-ecological transition, through the modulation of spatial and temporal organizations of cropping systems and infrastructures, and through the implementation and maintenance of landscape infrastructures (ditches, embankments, etc.), seen as nature-based solutions.

The objectives of LISAH are to :

  • Develop knowledge on the mechanisms that govern the functioning of cultivated landscapes (production and distribution of blue and green water, conservation of soil resources, regulation of contaminant ecodynamics), in relation to their spatio-temporal organization of natural elements (soils, relief) nor anthropogenic elements (land use, infrastructures, and maintenance practices), under Mediterranean to tropical climates;
  • To develop and transfer numerical approaches to diagnose and prevent the risks of climate change and human activities in cultivated environments on the evolution of natural resources and hydrological regimes.
  • Co-constructing new modes of sustainable landscape management in the framework of agro-ecological transition and adaptation to climate change
  • To train students in the concepts and tools for analysis and modelling of the spatial functioning of the cultivated landscape and the hydro-pedology of cultivated environments.

The LISAH researches mainly focus on the Mediterranean environment, and secondarily on the tropical environment.

  • The laboratory operates mainly in the French Mediterranean territories and in the Southern Mediterranean countries through a network of partners (e.g. LMI Naila).
  • The laboratory also works in tropical environments i) to study the environmental impacts on water and soil of intensive tropical crops (Guadeloupe) and to compare its methodological developments in spatial characterization of soil cover with variate contexts (India).

 A laboratory of about 60 scientists and technicians

  • LISAH staff consists in 25 full position researchers and professors and 17 technicians and engineers from INRAE, IRD, the institut Agro (Supagro) and AgroParisTech.
  • It brings together :
    • Scientific skills in soil sciences, ecohydrology, hydrology, geochemistry, agronomy, remote sensing and spatial modelling.
    • technical skills in hydrometry, environmental chemistry metrology, physical measurements of the soil, design of information systems and web sites/services, numerical computing, geomatics and software engineering.

LISAH is a lab regularly  forming students from South and the North countries at Ph.D and MSc levels, linked to the GAIA doctoral school. About ten PhD students work continuously in the laboratory, as well as students in graduate and postgraduate internships.