DE-5.1 :: Agricultural ecological systems

Ecological systems are challenged by a raising demand for agricultural products, the limited availability of resources, the loss the biodiversity and climate change. Therefore, it is necessary to expand the field of agricultural research, in which spaces are seen as economic, evaluation, planning and research units and where ecosystem services are introduced as a measure for evaluation. Production strategies must be produced in connection with these, which are directly related to landscapes in the region and that recognize the relevant socio-economic and agricultural political framework.
The duty of research is to compare the usefulness of older methods (“Methusalem”) versus innovative methods to find solutions to current issues and to change the rules of “good agricultural practice” towards that of sustainable agricultural production. This requires an improved basis of information, in which research is required for:
• The evaluation of current soil conditions (potentials, degradation, eutrophication): new evaluation of area based soil information (maps, potential types). Soil information services as a duty of the national, European and international levels.
• Integrated analysis of production, functional structures, material and energy flows as an initial priority focus for sustainable agricultural production. Introduction of ecosystem services as a key indicator.
• Interregional evaluation of processes (material, energy, economy). Scientific and able to be communicated (footprints)