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Theses

Mesurer et compenser l’impact de l’éolien sur la biodiversité en milieu agricole

Abstract : Land-use planning and agricultural intensification are two major causes of biodiversity loss. Most of development projects have to apply the mitigation hierarchy, i.e. avoid, reduce then offset impacts on biodiversity, in order to achieve the no net loss. Wind farm installation makes the mitigation hierarchy application difficult due to the lack of knowledges regarding the quantification and the prediction of impacts, characterized by collisions of birds and bats with turbines. In a preliminary study we showed that the current fail of impact assessment studies in i) the avoidance and the reduction as well as ii) the offsetting of impact, are mainly linked to a lack of theoretical knowledges and a low quality of studies. Installation constraints often imply to implement wind turbines in farmland areas. Such areas have the triple function of food production, renewable energy and biodiversity carrier, but they also have to offset impacts on biodiversity, which are generated by wind turbines. Thus, there is an urgent need to improve the consideration of impacts on biodiversity in projects, which would have underestimated effects on populations. In a first time, we quantified a new type of impact: the wind turbine revulsion on bats. This impact is so far little known and not taken into account in assessment studies for wind farm installations. We highlighted a negative long distance impact (over 1000 m) of wind turbine proximity on bat activity at hedgerows, which is a highly attractive habitat for this taxa. These strong negative impacts currently lead to high losses of habitat use. Moreover, at the region scale study (north-west France), 89% of turbines are implemented at less than the European recommendations (200 m to wooded edges -hedgerows or forests). Thus, this study improved knowledges in order to optimize avoidance of this impact and made them measurable allowing their offsetting. We then compared different commonly used offsetting measures (i.e. fallows and agroecological elements), by developing a method for calculating ecological equivalences between offset measure. This allowed in complete transparency to find alternative measures as efficiently as an initial low acceptable measure (i.e. fallows in open field area). Such a method allowed an effective implementation of measures. Finally, we assessed the ecological gain provided by new types of measures such as changes in farming practices. Unlike classic measures which are usually an implementation of new elements in the landscape, changes in farming practices consist in quality improving of arable land features. Because we studied changes which do not implies losses of yield, or low in first years after changes, such measures are potentially more acceptable for farmers. We showed that tillage and herbicide reduction could positively impact birds and bats. However, to reduce tillage (i.e. no ploughing) implies to adapt the method to control weeds, previously performed by ploughing. Several possibilities can be used such as cover cropping or herbicide use intensification. In this context, our results also highlighted that positive impacts could vary significantly among underlying weed control possibilities. For instance, tillage reduction, when one herbicide pass is removed, generates as much ecological gain than organic farming system. This PhD thesis highlights the urgent need to adapt wind energy planning and these exploitation in farming areas, due to high habitat loss and systematic mortality. This thesis also shows that despite the current lack of knowledges, preventing to design offsetting measures facing to quantified impacts, implementation of acceptable measures for stakeholders may provide effective gains for bats and birds.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, February 21, 2018 - 4:09:22 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-01714548, version 3

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Kévin Barré. Mesurer et compenser l’impact de l’éolien sur la biodiversité en milieu agricole. Sciences agricoles. Museum national d'histoire naturelle - MNHN PARIS, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017MNHN0002⟩. ⟨tel-01714548v3⟩

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