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Welcome to SAS research unit

Welcome to SAS research unit

The joint research unit “Soils, Agricultural and hydrological systems, Spatialization” (SAS) brings together scientists and technical and support staff from:

  • the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (INRAE) (in the divisions “Agroecosystems”, “Animal physiology and livestock systems”, and “Aquatic ecosystems, water resources and risks”)
  • the National Institute of Higher Education for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (Institut Agro – Agrocampus Ouest)

SAS focuses on interactions between agriculture and the environment, from the scale of a field or livestock building to that of a watershed or agricultural landscape (of a few thousand hectares). Our research focuses mainly on agricultural contexts with livestock systems.

SAS is a highly interdisciplinary scientific collective. We are one of the few French research units with expertise in both environmental sciences (hydrology, soil sciences, bioclimatology, ecology, geomatics) and production-related sciences (agronomy, animal husbandry, environmental assessment). Our main research areas concern hydrological and biogeochemical cycles (nitrogen, carbon, phosphorus) in the water, soil and air compartments of the environment; dynamics of water and soil quality; multi-criteria evaluation of agricultural systems and the design of new systems.

With this diversity of skills and study objects, we aim to help, through our research, meet the challenges of the agro-ecological transitions that are necessary today, especially in rural areas with livestock, in the face of accelerating societal and environmental changes: frugal and efficient use of non-renewable resources, adaptation to and mitigation of climate change, and provision of food and a range of ecosystem services (healthy soils, high-quality water, biodiversity, landscape).