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vor 1 Jahr

FELD 01/2022

  • Text
  • Articifial intelligence
  • Precision farming
  • Intensification
  • Patchcrop
  • Biodiversity
  • Climate
  • Agriculture
  • Farmers
  • Ecosystem
  • Zalf
  • Researchers
  • Sustainable
  • Landscape
  • Soil
  • Agricultural
Small squares instead of large fields: Together with a real farm, a research team is testing an unusual cropping system in the patchCROP landscape laboratory. // ZALF researchers are developing agricultural strategies to explicitly promote valuable ecosystem services like fertile soils and clean drinking water. // Striving for a resource-efficient agriculture without yield losses, more and more farmers are implementing measures of sustainable intensification on their farms. // Using precision farming to detect pest outbreaks and predict climate change effects: artificial intelligence holds great potential for agriculture.

Ecosystem Services

Ecosystem Services Ecosystem Services AN INVENTORY OF NATURE’S ASSETS We must develop tailored measures for each region and search for their optimal combination to protect and enhance ecosystem services. CLAUDIA BETHWELL The concept of ecosystem services is intended to help find new approaches to nature conservation. The economic importance of ecosystems has been systematically underestimated. An »accounting view« of nature may be helpful in better illustrating its benefits and supporting them with figures, says Bettina Matzdorf. Already in 2018, the large-scale project »Natural Capital Germany — TEEB DE«, in which Bettina Matzdorf and numerous ZALF colleagues were involved, presented this view in its final report. It states: In Germany, the economic costs of species extinction, loss of soil fertility, and the pollution of water bodies with pesticides or excess nutrients from fertilization amount to billions every year. In Europe, the cost of excessive nitrogen inputs originating from fertilizers amount to 20–150 billion euros per year. The damage caused by greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural peatland soils alone far exceeds agricultural yields. At the same time, the study estimates the value of products depending on insect pollination at more than one billion euros for Germany alone. A successful harvest is the reward for a year of hard field work. What the farmers have invested in labour, machinery, seed and fertilizer must now pay off. However, this calculation is incomplete, because it does not take into account all the services that nature provides free of charge in order for wheat, beets, rapeseed or grass to grow. Soil organisms ensure that nutrients are recycled and can be taken up by plants. Insects pollinate rapeseed and fruit trees, thus safeguarding the harvest. Hedges shield the fields from strong winds, preventing fertile soil from wind erosion and desiccation. Researchers are using the term »ecosystem services« to describe everything that nature provides as a basis for human well-being and survival. This includes clean drinking water and clean air as well as space for recreation. »Ecosystem services — that’s actually a word monster«, says agricultural scientist Prof. Dr. Bettina Matzdorf, co-head of a research area at the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) and professor at the Institute of Environmental Planning at the University of Hannover. She has been working on this topic for more than 20 years and knows that very few people can really grasp its meaning. Not only that nature has an intrinsic value, but that humans benefit from and depend on intact ecosystems — to most people this is a completely new perspective. Insect pollination is an ecosystem service that plays a crucial role in agriculture. According to a study, the value of products that depend on pollination services is estimated to exceed one billion euros for Germany alone. 14 15

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