GAFAGrowing AgroForestry Systems with Apple







Intensive apple orchards are complex perennial agrosystems that are most often formed of grass and apple tree layers aiming at the production of fresh fruit that require specific design and management over space and time. Considering the high reliance of apple orchards on external inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides, various on-station and on-farm system experiments are developed aiming at implementing an agroecological approach of crop production. The general objective of the GAFA project developed at the Restinclières Agroforestry Platform (RAP, is to explore the possibility to grow apple trees in a three-layer agroforestry system composed of walnut, apple and Lucerne, at the upper, intermediate and lower layers, respectively, playing with a range of distances between walnut and apple trees.


  • Medium term (ca. 2020): focus on tree and system architecture and ecophysiology.
  • With ongoing PhD: “Architecture of the apple in agroforestry – Analysis of the coupling between vegetative growth, flowering and fruiting, and xylem fluxes”
  • Longer term: to enrich the system progressively with other herbaceous and woody plants to explore biotic interactions responsible for pest control.


2016 - 2020


  • Inra UMR System
  • IRD UMR Eco&Sols
  • Inra UMR Piaf


  • Inra, départment EA, « Pari Scientifique» PE Lauri & F Do- 2017-2018
  • GIS Fruits, 2017, M2 trainee (Benjamin Pitchers) - 2017
  • Fondation de France, PhD (Benjamin Pitchers, co dir. PE Lauri & F Do) – 2017-2020


Frédéric C. Do UMR Eco&Sols, IRD Montpellier

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