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Sustainable provisioning of multiple ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes (ECO-SERVE)

English title Sustainable provisioning of multiple ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes (ECO-SERVE)
Applicant Mäder Paul
Number 158392
Funding scheme FACCE Joint Programming Initiative
Research institution Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau (FiBL)
Institution of higher education Research Institute of Organic Agriculture - FiBL
Main discipline Agricultural and Forestry Sciences
Start/End 01.01.2015 - 30.06.2018
Approved amount 264'473.00
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All Disciplines (3)

Discipline
Agricultural and Forestry Sciences
Environmental Research
Molecular Biology

Keywords (5)

Soil organic matter; Soil biota; Nutrient use efficiency; Ecosystem services; Water use efficiency

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Der Klimawandel stellt weltweit grosse Herausforderungen an die landwirtschaftliche Produktion. Gleichzeitig fordert die Gesellschaft zunehmend eine Landwirtschaft, die neben Sozial- und Tierschutzstandards auch den Umweltverpflichtungen nachkommt. Paul Mäder und sein Team untersuchen zusammen mit Forschungspartnern aus fünf europäischen Ländern, wie durch die Gestaltung pflanzenbaulicher Praktiken auch bei stark variierenden Niederschlägen eine ressourceneffiziente Produktion möglich ist.
Lay summary

Starkregenereignisse und Trockenperioden sind Wetterphänomene, wie sie als Folge des Klimawandels zunehmend für Mitteleuropa erwartet werden. Dies stellt die Landwirtschaft vor grosse Herausforderungen. Schwindende Düngerreserven und Ölvorräte fordern zudem ein Umdenken in der Landwirtschaft: weg von energieintensiven Dünge- und Treibstoffen, hin zu einer effizienten Nutzung natürlicher und hofeigener Ressourcen. Die entsprechenden Grundlagen dafür zu schaffen, ist das übergeordnete Ziel dieses europäischen Forschungsverbundprojekts. Dabei werden für Ackerbau-, Grünland-, Energiepflanzen- und Agroforstsysteme Anbauverfahren getestet, die auch bei variierenden Niederschlägen eine hohe Wasser- und Nährstoffnutzungseffizienz aufweisen.

Mithilfe von Freiland- und Gewächshausexperimenten sowie Praxisversuchen sollen dabei Schlüsselmerkmale von Nutzpflanzen identifiziert werden, die sich günstig auf die organische Bodensubstanz und den Lebensraum Boden auswirken, sodass auch bei variierenden Niederschlägen eine ressourceneffiziente Pflanzenproduktion möglich ist. Die Forschungsgruppe von Paul Mäder untersucht primär die Wasser- und Stickstoffdynamik in verschiedenen Pflanzen-Boden-Systemen und spürt dabei Wechselwirkungen und Synergien einzelner Ökosystemleistungen auf.

Das Projekt spricht eine grosse Bandbreite von Adressaten an. Die Ergebnisse des Projekts sind für die Disziplinen Agronomie, Bodenökologie, mikrobielle Ökologie und Umweltwissenschaften ebenso von Interesse wie für Unternehmen der Pflanzenzucht, Saatgutfirmen sowie die landwirtschaftliche Praxis, Beratung und Verbände. Ferner sollen die Ergebnisse politische Entscheidungsträger erreichen, um die Weichen für eine ressourceneffiziente und umweltfreundliche Landwirtschaft zu stellen.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 07.07.2015

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Le changement climatique pose de grands défis à la production agricole mondiale. Parallèlement, la société réclame de plus en plus une agriculture satisfaisant à des standards de protections sociale et animale et répondant à des engagements environnementaux. L'équipe de Paul Mäder, en collaboration avec des équipes de cinq pays européens, explore les possibilités d’une production basée sur une exploitation efficace des ressources, sous des conditions de forte variabilité des précipitations.
Lay summary
Les épisodes de fortes précipitations et les périodes de sécheresse constituent des phénomènes météorologiques attendus en Europe centrale en raison du changement climatique et auxquels l'agriculture doit faire face. Les réserves d'engrais et les stocks de pétrole en déclin rendent nécessaire l’élaboration de nouveaux modes de production agricole pour diminuer le recours aux engrais et carburants à forte consommation énergétique et s'orienter vers une utilisation plus efficace des ressources naturelles, en particulier celles propres à l'exploitation. Tel est l'objectif général de ce projet européen. Des pratiques culturales, soumises à différentes conditions de précipitation et d'efficacité d'utilisation des nutriments, sont testées pour les grandes cultures, les prairies, la production de biocarburant et l'agroforesterie.

Au moyen d'expérimentations et d'essais pratiques de plein air et sous serre, les plantes et leurs traits, influençant positivement la matière organique et la vie du sol, sont évalués de sorte que même sous des conditions variables de précipitations, la production exploitant efficacement les ressources est possible. L'équipe de Paul Mäder s'intéresse en premier lieu à la dynamique de l'eau et de l'azote. Les interactions et les synergies entre les différents services écosystémiques sont aussi étudiées.

Les résultats s'adressent aux disciplines de l'agronomie, de l'écologie du sol, de l'écologie microbienne et des sciences de l'environnement. Ils présentent un intérêt pour les entreprises de sélection végétale et semencières tout comme pour les acteurs de la pratique, du conseil et des associations agricoles. Ils doivent aussi permettre aux décideurs politiques de poser les jalons d'une agriculture économe en ressources et respectueuse de l'environnement.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 07.07.2015

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Climate change is presenting great challenges to agricultural production. At the same time, society increasingly demands agricultural practices that comply with environmental protection requirements in addition to social and animal protection standards. Paul Mäder and his team are working with research partners from five European countries to examine how resource-efficient production is possible through a modification of agricultural practices even when faced with high variability of drought and rainfall.
Lay summary
High rainfall periods and droughts are increasingly expected for Central Europe as a result of climate change. This presents agricultural production with great challenges. Dwindling fertilizer and oil reserves also demand a paradigm-shift in agriculture: away from energy-intensive production, and toward efficient use of natural and on-farm resources. The overarching aim of this European cooperative research project is to lay the foundation for this shift. It will test systems for cropping, grassland, energy crops and forestry crops for increasing water and nutrient use efficiency even with variable rainfall.

By means of field and greenhouse experiments as well as practical trials Paul Mäder's team will identify key traits of plants that have a positive effect on organic soil substance and the ecosystem soil. The aim is to facilitate resource efficient plant production under variable rainfall conditions. The team examines primarily the water and nitrogen dynamics in different plant-soil systems and investigates the synergies and trade-offs between individual ecosystem services.

The project addresses a broad target group. The results of the project will be of equal interest to the disciplines of agronomy, soil ecology, microbial ecology and the environmental sciences. Also corporations engaging in plant breeding and seed production, agricultural practitioners, consultants and associations could use the findings. In addition, the results are intended to reach political decision makers to help point the way toward resource efficient and environmentally sustainable agriculture.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 07.07.2015

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Distinct Nitrogen Provisioning From Organic Amendments in Soil as Influenced by Farming System and Water Regime
Lori Martina, , Symanczik Sarah, Mäder Paul, Efosa Norah, Jaenicke Sebastian, Buegger Franz, Tresch Simon, Goesmann Alexander, Gattinger Andreas (2018), Distinct Nitrogen Provisioning From Organic Amendments in Soil as Influenced by Farming System and Water Regime, in Frontiers in Environmental Science, 6(40), 1.
Organic farming enhances soil microbial abundance and activity - A meta-analysis and meta-regression
Lori Martina, Symanczik Sarah, Mäder Paul, De Deyn Gerlinde, Gattinger Andreas (2017), Organic farming enhances soil microbial abundance and activity - A meta-analysis and meta-regression, in PLOS One, 1-25.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Prof. Dr. Sandra Lavorel France (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof. Dr. José Paulo Filipe Alfonso De Sousa Portugal (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Prof. Dr. Katarina Hedlund Sweden (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof. Dr. Lijbert Brussaard Netherlands (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Dr. Ruben Milla Spain (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Ecology Across Borders: Joint Annual Meeting 2017 Talk given at a conference Proteolytic Potential of Differently Managed Soil under Future Drought Scenarios 11.12.2017 Ghent, Belgium Gattinger Andreas; Symanczik Sarah; Lori Martina; Mäder Paul;
14th Symposium on Bacterial Genetics and Ecology - BAGECO 14 Talk given at a conference Enhanced Proteolytic Potential of Organically Managed soil under Future Drought Scenarios 04.06.2017 Aberdeen, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Symanczik Sarah; Gattinger Andreas; Mäder Paul; Lori Martina;
Soil Metagenomics 2016 Poster Nitrogen mineralization in organically and conventionally managed soils under contrasting rainfall variability with focus on functional genes and proteolytic activity 14.12.2016 Braunschweig, Germany Mäder Paul; Gattinger Andreas; Lori Martina; Symanczik Sarah;
FACEing the future | food production and ecosystems Talk given at a conference Enhanced microbial abundances and activities in soils under organic farming – a global meta-analysis 26.09.2016 Giessen, Germany Gattinger Andreas;
NRP 68 Program Conference Poster Nitrogen transformations in differently managed soils under projected future rainfall scenarios 12.11.2015 Montreux, Switzerland Gattinger Andreas; Lori Martina;


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
DOK Winterkolloquium 2018 Talk 22.02.2018 Therwil, Switzerland Lori Martina; Mäder Paul;
ECO-SERVE final meeting Workshop 15.12.2017 Ghent, Belgium Symanczik Sarah; Lori Martina;
DOK Flurbegehung 2017 Talk 21.06.2017 Therwil, Switzerland Mäder Paul; Lori Martina; Gattinger Andreas;
DOK Winterkolloquium 2017 Talk 16.03.2017 Agroscope Reckenholz, Switzerland Gattinger Andreas; Lori Martina; Symanczik Sarah; Mäder Paul;
ECO-SERVE 2nd annual meeting Workshop 17.01.2017 Frick, Switzerland Gattinger Andreas; Mäder Paul; Symanczik Sarah; Lori Martina;
DOK Flurbegehung 2016 Talk 07.06.2016 DOK Field Trial, Therwil, Switzerland Symanczik Sarah; Lori Martina; Mäder Paul;
DOK Winterkolloquium 2016 Talk 25.02.2016 Agroscope Reckenholz, Switzerland Mäder Paul; Lori Martina; Gattinger Andreas;
ECO-SERVE 1st annual meeting Workshop 10.02.2016 Coimbra, Portugal Lori Martina; Gattinger Andreas;
Tag der Offenen Tür 25 Jahre Organischer Landbau , Lehr- und Versuchsbetrieb Gladbacherhof, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen Performances, exhibitions (e.g. for education institutions) 21.06.2015 Villmar-Aumenau, Germany, Germany Lori Martina; Gattinger Andreas;
DOK Flurbegehung 2015 Talk 09.06.2015 DOK Field Trial, Therwil, Switzerland Mäder Paul; Symanczik Sarah; Lori Martina;
DOK Winterkolloquium 2015 Talk 11.03.2015 Agroscope Reckenholz, Switzerland Mäder Paul; Lori Martina; Gattinger Andreas;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Es steppen die Mikroben im Bioboden Bioaktuell German-speaking Switzerland Italian-speaking Switzerland Western Switzerland 2017
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) More microbes in organic soil FiBL.org International 2017
Media relations: print media, online media Zunehmende Wetterextreme sind zu erwarten. Das Projekt ECO-SERVE sucht Lösungen für die Landwirtscha Bioaktuell German-speaking Switzerland 2016
Video/Film Der DOK-Versuch - Eine Internationale Forschungsplattform German-speaking Switzerland 2015
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Eco-Serve Project web page International 2015

Awards

Title Year
Best Student Talks and Posters: Martina Lori (Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL)) Title: Enhanced functional potential of protease encoding microbial communities in soils of organic compared to conventional farming systems under simulated future drought scenarios https://www.britishecologicalsociety.org/eab2017awardsandprizes/?platform=hootsuite 2017

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
193869 BIOdiversity of soils and FArming Innovations for improved Resilience in European wheat agrosystems (BIOFAIR) 01.04.2021 BiodivERsA
182390 Microbial nitrogen cycling and functional diversity of soil microbes in organic and conventional farming systems under temperate and tropical climates 01.01.2019 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

We will evaluate alternatives to current agricultural systems that confer resilience on agricultural landscapes under increased rainfall variability due to climate change. The options of farmers to respond to rainfall variability differ between agro-ecological zones of Europe in terms of changing crop or cultivar choices, agricultural systems and soil management. A common, central element, however, is that the way farmers can influence water and nutrient use efficiencies is closely related to how crop and residue management influence soil organic matter and, hence, carbon loss or storage in soil. In that sense, organic matter management is central in coping with increased variability of droughts and rainfall.We hypothesize that trait-based understanding of the influence of the vegetation and the soil biota on soil organic matter quantity and quality will allow farmers to manage ecosystem services for resilience to climate-induced changes in drought and rainfall frequencies and intensities. We will choose (proxies of) traits of crops, plant litter (biota), rhizosphere biota and soil ecosystem engineers that enable us to evaluate the performance of different agricultural systems in space and time in terms of carbon allocation and water and nutrient use efficiencies. By focussing on the (diversity of) relevant traits, trait combinations and trait attributes rather than (the diversity of) species of plants and soil organisms, the acquired knowledge will be generic, and ultimately applicable to different agro-ecological conditions in Europe.Soils likewise differ in current organic matter status between agro-ecological zones of Europe. Within the selected landscapes in different parts of Europe, we will discriminate between soils that are similar in terms of texture and mineralogy and hydrological position in the landscape, but different in soil carbon status due to historic land management. Depending on whether water deficit or surplus situations will become more prevalent under climate change, management of soil organic matter for higher water-holding capacity versus water infiltration will be more important. Within the selected landscapes we will identify farmers who already practice (kernels of) adaptation strategies versus those that do not. A combination of on-farm field observations and field trials at experimental stations under the different realities in the selected agricultural landscapes are foreseen, with the aim to develop and test our understanding of (combinations of) traits and trait attributes of plants and soil, as they are affected by, and affect soil organic matter properties and topsoil hydrology. Initial results will be interfaced with social actors to identify possible synergies and trade-offs with other ecosystem services considered important and, hence, which and to what extent adaptation strategies under climate change are feasible.The results will be used to model water infiltration and water-holding capacity at different spatial scales up to the landscape scale, taking the assessed different feasibility options into account. Results will also be interpreted in terms of general applicability and local limitations in similar and different agro-ecological areas in Europe than the ones studied, using data of the Pan-European SOC stock of agricultural soils.
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