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Sustainable Weed Management Department (GESTAD)


Director Sandrine PETIT MICHAUT

Director of Research INRA

Tel :

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The GESTAD Department brings together 42 permanent academic and technical staff members and hosts ca. 10-15 PhD students and postdocs. Scientific expertise in weed science includes genetics, community-functional & landscape ecology, ecophysiology, agronomy and technical innovation, with a strong emphasis on a shared trait-based approach of weeds. This interdisciplinary set-up results in research spanning through a wide range of organizational levels (gene to community) and spatial scales (plot, field to landscape).


Research within the GESTAD Department seeks to (i) understand the effects of cropping systems and their spatial organization in landscapes on weeds and (ii) gain knowledge on the various biotic components interacting with weeds in order to better characterize the role of weeds in the functioning of the agroecosystem. The finalized aim of this research is to identify management options that minimize/optimize agrochemical inputs while maintaining/enhancing crop production and the provision of services associated to weed biodiversity. More specifically, research in GESTAD aims at

(i) gaining understanding of the intra-specific variability and evolution of traits supporting weed adaptation to agro-ecosystem habitats and underpinning the assembly of weed communities under different sets of stress and disturbances related to agronomic practices,

(ii) deciphering the responses of weed communities and of biotic interactions that involve weeds (biological regulation of weeds by companion plants and herbivores, trophic network approaches) to local and landscape scale agricultural management,

(iii) assessing the role of weed biodiversity in the agroecosystem functioning (weed services)  and

(iv) developing models, tools and methods for multi-objective design of cropping systems for integrated weed management, including the use of sophisticated machinery with innovative technologies enabling the reduction chemical inputs.


Knowledge on these complementary topics is gained through a combination of experimental work, monitoring of commercial fields and mechanistic, statistical & spatial predictive modelling relating management options (cropping systems, agroecological features around fields, landscape organization) to weeds.  Facilities include the INRA experimental farm (UE EPoisses) and the landscape scale long-term monitoring site FENAY

The GESTAD Department is organized into four teams:

-          COMPARE Weeds communities, landscape and trophic networks

-          SYSTEME Integrated weed management with a systemic approach

-          E2A2 Ecology and Evolution of weeds

-          Precision Agriculture