Action 1: Characterization and selection of species
This action aims to evaluate the interest of taxa identified as potentially interesting. We will proceed in three steps: the development of grids for the selection and evaluation of taxa, the actual selection of taxa and their supply and finally the evaluation of their interest. Seven partners are involved in this action.
1.1 Construction of evaluation grids adapted to each use situation
This task will consist of listing and prioritizing the criteria to be taken into account for the selection of ground cover species according to their use: within the row, between the tree rows, between greenhouses, edge of plot ... Some of these criteria are common to all uses. For example, all plants should cover the soil quickly and require little maintenance. Others are specific to the usage situation. Here are two examples of criteria sought according to the use situation:
- soil management within the row of grapevine in Pays de la Loire: creeping plant, resistant to drought, allelopathic, not too competitive with the vine.
- edge of above ground irrigated plots in Pays de la Loire: creeping plant, resistant to trampling, supporting regular watering, highly competitive.
The criteria will be defined by experts and by bibliography.
1.2 Selection of taxa to be tested
The grids built in task 1.1. will be used here to identify and select candidate ground cover species. The list of species will be done by mobilizing the knowledge held by seed partners and distributors. This knowledge can be derived from bibliographical summaries, experiments or expert statements.
1.3 Test of selected species
The species can be tested alone or in a mixture. They will be implemented in mini-plots to i / verify their behavior in relation to the selection criteria, that is to say to validate the theoretical choice made in task 1.2. and ii / collect missing or complementary data, particularly on the procession. The level of identification will be limited at the taxonomic level providing essential information for the interpretation of the data ie diet, host plants for phytophages or prey for predators.