experimental device

Malick Ouattara thesis

Mixing species to produce ecosystem services

Malick Ouattara, preparation of a PhD in agroecology

PhD supervisor : Muriel Morison
Co-supervisor: Safia Médiène
PhD thesis in preparation at Doctoral School ABIES since Dec 2020


Current agriculture is based mainly on the use of fertilizers, pesticids and single crops in order to maintain high productivity. However, the use of synthetic fertilizers and phytosanitary products has a negative impact on the environment and has shown its limits in terms of sustainability of agroecosystems. A lever that can be mobilized is to promote ecosystem services by mixing crop species to encourage biological regulation.

Scientific challenge

However, little is known about how to mix species to promote these ecosystem services. In addition, many combinations of species are possible in designing crop mixtures.


Our goal is to propose a generic method for designing species mixtures based on a functional approach, which allows us to take into account the functioning of the mixtures in order to free ourselves from the specificity of each species.


In order to understand these functions, we will mobilize (i) scientific knowledge through literature and experimentation and (ii) empirical knowledge collected during design workshops with different actors having an expertise on the functioning of species mixtures. This approach will allow us to define the assembly modes of the mixtures as well as the ecosystem services they can provide.

Expected results

The identification of important functions and traits will allow us to evaluate the level of service provided by a species mixture and to identify the species mixtures most likely to provide one or more services in a given agro-environmental context. This knowledge could be used to develop tools for farmers and advisors to help them choose species for mixtures in agricultural plots.

Malick Ouattara CV

Modification date : 05 July 2023 | Publication date : 23 June 2021 | Redactor : OR