Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Breadcrumb Navigation

Working Groups

Hauptinhalt der Seite

​​​​​​​​ Arrow left Back to the homepage of the research area

Contribution to ZALF research

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

  • What effects do land use or individual management procedures have on the provision of ecosystem services and biodiversity?
  • How can we model and evaluate the provision, change and location dependence of ecosystem services and biodiversity as well as their trade-offs with economic and social objectives?
  • How can site-appropiate agricultural land use be adapted to the demand for ecosystem services and biodiversity?
  • What expectations do societies have regarding the provision of ecosystem services and biodiversity, which land use conflicts arise from this and how are these spatially distributed?
  • What are suitable governance approaches that ensure the socially desirable provision of ecosystem services and biodiversity while reducing land use conflicts?
  • How do change and innovation processes in land use as well as the diffusion of innovations work?


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 pa​id to soil cultivation regimes as well as to the integration of legumes and new crops like soy into regional cropping systems of c​onventional and organic agriculture.

More ...

Contact: Dr. Moritz Reckling​


Sustainable Grassland Systems

Image of the WG Sustainable Grassland Systems

The working group aims to develop strategies for a sustainable and balanced use of grassland systems by studying their functioning from mechanistic pot experiments, to plot, field and landscape scale. A focus is set on heterogeneous lowlands – supported by spatial proximity with EIP Paulinenaue – but studies expand over environmental gradients throughout Germany. The functional characterization of plant species and communities as elements linking above- a​nd belowground biodiversity and ecosystem services under different management regimes is complemented with remote sensing, aiming to study grassland functioning from the finest root up to the landscape level.

More ...

Contact: Dr. Joana Bergmann​


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.

More ...

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


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 Werner


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.

More ...

Contact: apl. Prof. Dr. Monika Wulf


Governance of Ecosystem Services

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.

More ... new tab icon

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.

More ...

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.

More ...

Contact: Dr. Rosemarie Siebert​​


Environmental Justice in Agricultural Landscapes

Image of the WG Environmental Justice in Agricultural Landscapes 

As a working group, we focus on aspects of environmental justice that arise in the context of the transformation of agricultural landscapes. We investigate questions of equitable distribution, procedure and recognition as well as the different conceptualization of the multiple values of nature, in the context of the development and implementation of policy instruments and management interventions for land use governance, biodiversity conservation, land-use based climate change mitigation and food production. We pursue an inter- and transdisciplinary research approach that combines qualitative and quantitative social sciences methods. Our work spans across different levels of governance from local to supranational, with geographical foci in Southeast Asia, Latin America and the EU.​

Contact: Dr. Lasse Loft​​


Arrow left Back to the homepage of the research area


Fusszeile der Seite
© Leibniz-Zentrum für Agrarlandschaftsforschung (ZALF) e. V. Müncheberg

Funded by:

BMEL logo
MWFK logo