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Working Groups

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Contribution to ZALF research

The central research questions of Research Area 2 "Land Use and Governance" are:

  • What are the effects of land use and individual management measures on the provisioning of ecosystem services and how can these services be improved?
  • How can the provisioning, change and site-dependency of ecosystem services and biodiversity as well as the trade-offs between agricultural management measures and ecosystem services and biodiversity be modelled and valuated?
  • What are the demands and expectations of different stakeholders and stakeholder groups regarding the provisioning of ecosystem services and biodiversity? What are the resulting land use conflicts and how are these spatially distributed?
  • What are suitable governance approaches for ensuring the societally desired provisioning of ecosystem services and biodiversity and for reducing land use-related conflicts? What is the role of research in the development and dissemination of such innovations?

 

Contribution to ZALF research 

 

Working Groups

 

Resource-Efficient Cropping Systems

Image of the WG Resource-Efficient Cropping Systems 

The working group develops and models resource-efficient cropping systems for current and future conditions. Central features of these systems are a low vulnerability and high resilience with respect to external impacts, an efficient use of production factors as well as the reduction of biotic and abiotic repercussions. The development of such cropping systems takes place within our research-practice networks for specific regional, site and farm contexts. Particular attention is paid to soil cultivation regimes as well as to the integration of legumes and new crops like soy into regional cropping systems of conventional and organic agriculture.

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Contact: Dr. Johann Bachinger

 

Sustainable Grassland Systems

Image of the WG Sustainable Grassland Systems

Research activities of this working group focus on the adaptation of grassland management to changing economic and climatic conditions. Research mainly relies on the “Cattle grazing” project with three intensity levels of suckler cow husbandry, which investigates the effects of different grassland management strategies on biodiversity, animal performance and well-being as well as profitability. Attention is paid to selected site and production conditions, in close cooperation with the Experimental Infrastructure Platform in Paulinenaue.

Contact: Dr. Jürgen Pickert

 

Provisioning of Ecosystem Services in Agricultural Systems

Image of the WG Provisioning of ESS

This working group investigates the interactions between agricultural systems and the ecosystem services associated with agricultural use, analyses their dependency on site conditions and management measures, and studies trade-offs between individual measures. Based on this multi-criterial analysis of the landscape and the valorisation of land use effects, new cropping systems for an improved provisioning of ecosystem services and new planning methods at the landscape scale can be developed.

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Contact: Prof. Dr. Sonoko Dorothea Bellingrath-Kimura

 

Provisioning of Biodiversity in Agricultural Systems

Image of the WG Provisioning of Biodiversity

It is the objective of this working group to increase knowledge about the spatiotemporal interactions of land use with heterogeneously distributed site factors and their impact on the observed biodiversity patterns. A profound understanding of the underlying principles that drive these patterns is needed to derive effective measures for promoting biodiversity. The high complexity necessitates the concurrent consideration of natural site potentials (biotope and species diversity) and local land use. Therefore, new data collection methods and study designs must be employed, such as the combination of large-scale landscape monitoring with structured data collection at the plot level.

Contact: Dr. Michael Glemnitz

 

Farm Economics and Ecosystem Services

Image of the WG Farm Economics & ESS

The focus of this working group lies on the analysis, modelling and valuation of agricultural decision-making behaviour at different spatial and temporal scales. It is investigated how changing conditions affect the decision making of land users, which consequences the resulting land use regime has for the respective ecosystems, and how land use can be made more competitive and efficient under given conditions. The working group employs mathematical models and empirical methods to conduct technology and policy impact assessments both at farm and regional levels and in national and international case studies.

Contact: Dr. Peter Zander

 

Biodiversity of Aquatic and Semiaquatic Landscape Features

Image of the WG (Semi)aquatic Biodiversity

The working group investigates relationships between landscape structures, habitats and species occurrence in order to understand the habitat preferences and species distribution of arthropods in aquatic systems in the landscape context. Model organisms are haematophagous nematocerans, who depend on aquatic, semiaquatic and humid biotopes for their development. Special attention is paid to ecological research questions with respect to the dipteran families Culicidae (mosquitoes), Ceratopogonidae (biting midges) and Simuliidae (blackflies).

Contact: Dr. Doreen Walther

 

Lowland Hydrology and Water Management

Image of the WG Lowland Hydrology

This working group focusses on cause-effect analyses and budgeting of above- and belowground water and element fluxes in Pleistocene landscapes and in consideration of their specific hydrological characteristics. Emphasis is placed on the development of a model-based, hydrological system understanding with a particular focus on the interaction between land use and the hydrological systems of agricultural landscapes. In this context, the diversity of the variable framework conditions is an important scientific challenge for the analysis and the representation of the changing systems in the model.

Contact: apl. Prof. Dr. Christoph Merz

 

Biotic Interactions between Forest and Agricultural Land

Image of the WG Biotic Interactions of Forest & Agroecosystems

The focus of this working group lies on the interactions between natural and anthropogenically dominated habitats and their effects on plant and animal species, including hemerophiles. To this end, changes in the distribution patterns within the landscape and the responsible causes are analysed both for forest fragments and along forest-cropland transition zones. The results can be used to derive sustainable land use options for an improved management of wild plant and animal species in agricultural landscapes.

Contact: apl. Prof. Dr. Monika Wulf

 

Ecosystem Services Governance

Image of the WG Ecosystem Service Governance

The central question of this working group is which governance approaches allow for the targeted provisioning of societally desired ecosystem services and biodiversity objectives. A special focus lies on financial incentives and their interactions with regulative law and voluntary cooperation. Instruments and governance mechanisms based on ecosystem services are being continuously developed in consideration of the role and potential of different stakeholders with respect to their development and implementation. In this context, transdisciplinary approaches are preferentially employed.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Bettina Matzdorf

 

Sustainable Land Use in Developing Countries

Image of the WG Land Use in Developing Countries

The working group focusses on the analysis of land use and landscape systems in emerging and developing countries. Based on the analyses, interdisciplinary research methods are used to develop strategies to mitigate complex problems of farming systems in developing countries at local, regional and global scales. Emphasis is placed on questions regarding the avoidance of land use conflicts, the improved adaptation to climate change, food and nutrition security, and the stabilisation of the livelihood of family farms. The working group operates in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and South Asia and focusses in particular on resource economics in combination with natural sciences thus ensuring an interdisciplinary integrated research approach.

Contact: Dr. Stefan Sieber

 

Co-Design of Change and Innovation

Image of the WG Co-Design of Change and Innovation

The working group focuses on actors in agricultural landscapes. Actor’s values, norms, interests and knowledge influence change and innovation processes as well as societal action. We consider individual, organisational and interorganisational forms of spatial interaction in institutional frameworks. We will achieve a better understanding of land use conflicts in agricultural landscapes and generate proposals for their solution (acceptance). Processes and results of co-design and co-creation of knowledge (transdisciplinarity) are analysed, evaluated and tested, too.

Contact: apl. Prof. Dr. Thomas Weith

 

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