Einflüsse einer bodenaufbauenden Landwirtschaft auf Dynamiken im Wasser- und Nährstoffkreislauf

Project Acronym
Project Title
Influences of Soil-Building Agriculture on dynamics in the water and nutrient cycle
Principal Investigator
Project Abstract
Germany was repeatedly sued for exceeding nitrate limits in groundwater. The main cause of these and other nutrient inputs into the water bodies is industrial agriculture. In addition to an unequal distribution of livestock farms and the resulting regional surplus of manure and digestates, soil degradation is one of the main problems as a direct result of conventional farming measures on agricultural land. Further consequences are loss of biodiversity in the soil, on the fields and in the adjacent biotopes as well as a lower resilience of entire regions to strong weather events. For food security and a sustainable use of the natural resources of our environment, a rethinking in agriculture is urgently needed.
The paradigm shift from a consideration of soil as a substrate to a holistic understanding of soil as an ecosystem has already taken place in many scientific disciplines. The methods for assessing soil quality and soil health are manifold and range from low-tech methods for direct evaluation in the field to comprehensive parameter sets using various field and laboratory methods. At the same time, many basic processes of nutrient transport and the role of soil organic matter have not yet been sufficiently investigated.
The measures and possibilities for more sustainable agriculture are being researched and evaluated in a large number of projects. The implementation of such concepts and the transfer of the paradigm shift from science to practice in Germany has failed so far. However, this transfer is of great importance in order to limit nutrient inputs from agriculture and soil degradation. Within the framework of this project, various methods for assessing soil health will be identified and evaluated, on the basis of which possibilities for the development of sustainable agriculture will be demonstrated. The focus is on the possibilities of soil-building and water-conserving agriculture with the aim of establishing natural water and nutrient cycles.