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Review: Towards the agroecological management of ruminants, pigs and poultry through the development of sustainable breeding programmes: I-selection goals and criteria

Phocas, F.; Belloc, Catherine; Bidanel, J.; Delaby, Luc; Dourmad, J. Y.; Dumont, B.; Ezanno, Pauline; Fortun-Lamothe, L.; Foucras, G.; Frappat, Brigitte; Gonzalez-Garcia, E.; Hazard, D.; Larzul, C.; Lubac, S.; Mignon-Grasteau, S.; Moreno, C. R.; Tixier-Boichard, M. and Brochard, M. (2016) Review: Towards the agroecological management of ruminants, pigs and poultry through the development of sustainable breeding programmes: I-selection goals and criteria. Animal, 10 (11), pp. 1749-1759.

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Summary

Agroecology uses natural processes and local resources rather than chemical inputs to ensure production while limiting the environmental footprint of livestock and crop production systems. Selecting to achieve a maximization of target production criteria has long proved detrimental to fitness traits. However, since the 1990s, developments in animal breeding have also focussed on animal robustness by balancing production and functional traits within overall breeding goals. We discuss here how an agroecological perspective should further shift breeding goals towards functional traits rather than production traits. Breeding for robustness aims to promote individual adaptive capacities by considering diverse selection criteria which include reproduction, animal health and welfare, and adaptation to rough feed resources, a warm climate or fluctuating environmental conditions. It requires the consideration of genotype×environment interactions in the prediction of breeding values. Animal performance must be evaluated in low-input systems in order to select those animals that are adapted to limiting conditions, including feed and water availability, climate variations and diseases. Finally, we argue that there is no single agroecological animal type, but animals with a variety of profiles that can meet the expectations of agroecology. The standardization of both animals and breeding conditions indeed appears contradictory to the agroecological paradigm that calls for an adaptation of animals to local opportunities and constraints in weakly artificialized systems tied to their physical environment.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:livestock - genotype by environment interaction - agroecology - organic farming - low-input system
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Production systems > Dairy cattle
Farming Systems
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Beef cattle
Animal husbandry > Breeding and genetics
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Sheep and goats
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Pigs
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Poultry
Research affiliation: France > INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique
DOI:10.1017/S1751731116000926
Deposited By: LEROUX, Mr Michel
ID Code:33566
Deposited On:24 Jan 2019 15:36
Last Modified:24 Jan 2019 15:36
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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