DE-4.2 :: System Understanding

Various research questions which could have an influence upon pragmatic and realizable concepts and new solutions in the context of land use strategies as well as soil and land management may be derived from this basis understanding. Important topics in relation to this are, among others, securing of soil and soil protection, sequestration of carbon dioxide in the soil, the evaluation of material and energy flows and the consideration of the relation of users and migration patterns. The following research question are of importance:
• What effects do climate change and climate extremes (erosion events and the loss of humus, intrusion of materials beyond system boundaries) have upon the quality of soil and how can we quantify and foresee these effects? How can we connect soil quality goals such as erosion protection and carbon dioxide sequestration to each other and integrate them into land use concepts? What potentials exist to reach out to various societal groups for the securing of the soil quality and to integrate them into the evaluation process of soil quality?
• What quantitative threshold values exist for the securing of soil quality and how can we quantify and integrate these into a sustainable soil and land management? In this context, how can we better understand the ecological structures of soil organisms and the role they play in the maintenance of soil quality and in turn use this understanding?
• Which processes play a role for the soil and water quality in the soil-sediment-water system boundaries and can they be quantified? How far can soil sediments be used for the securing and improvement of the soil and water quality within the framework of land improvement measures?
• What potentials do cyclic-soil approaches have to offer for the maintenance of soil quality and can these approaches be implemented in new land use strategies, even beyond system boundaries in relation to the city-rural sphere? Can the deregulation of methods and the changing of assistance mechanisms offer new potentials for the securing of soil quality and for the sustainable intensification of land use?
• How can soil quality goals take into consideration the anthropological input of harmful soil material and create a transparent basis for the evaluation of soil pollution as well as create the respective pollution-related measures for the various sources of these elements? How can soil quality be renovated and degraded land areas be brought back to value again?
• What contributions to an improved system understanding can offer experimental approaches (Ecotron, FACE/FATE units, long-term study, experimental agricultural operations, Reallabore)?