Steffanie Schirren
Institute of Climate-Smart Agriculture

Bundesallee 65
38116 Braunschweig
Phone: +49 531 596 2602
Fax: +49 531 596 2699



Hedgerow landscape at the Eifel (c) BLE/Peter Meyer
Hedgerow landscape at the Eifel (© BLE/Peter Meyer)

CarboHedge: Hedgerows and field copses in the emission inventories – Potential for carbon sequestration

Hedgerows for climate mitigation? - In the CarboHedge project we investigate how much organic carbon is stored in the soil and biomass of hedgerows and how hedgerows can contribute to climate mitigation by sequestering carbon in soil organic matter.

Background and Objective

Hedgerows and field copses are among the most important structures in agricultural landscapes and fulfil many functions. They have an important role for soil protection (e.g. erosion control) as well as for biodiversity and habitat connectivity. In addition, large amounts of organic carbon are stored in the above-ground biomass, the roots and the soils of hedgerows compared to adjacent agricultural areas. If new hedgerows are established, additional CO2 can be sequestered in the biomass and in the soil on the long term. Hedgerows therefore have great potential to contribute to climate mitigation. In the national greenhouse gas inventory, CO2 emissions and C-Sequestration resulting from the establishment or loss of hedgerows and field copses must be reported. However, the data currently reported is based on very few measurements and rough estimates.

Therefore in this project

  • the carbon storage of hedgerows and field copses in Germany with a focus on soil organic carbon is quantified,
  • the carbon sequestration potential for the establishment of new hedgerows in regions, where maximum synergies with the reduction of soil erosion, soil protection, biodiversity and climate protection can be achieved, is assessed and
  • a concept for the reassessment of hedgerows and field copses in Germany’s greenhouse gas inventory will be developed.


Within the project, soils of hedgerows and adjacent agricultural areas are sampled representatively throughout Germany. Based on the collected data, the current carbon storage of hedgerows is determined and the potential for carbon sequestration is estimated depending on site conditions and hedgerow type. With the addition of further data sources, e.g. on soil erosion risk, target regions in Germany will be identified for the establishment of new hedgerows where maximum synergies can be achieved.


Involved Thünen-Partners


6.2019 - 5.2023

More Information

Projekt type:
Project status: ongoing

Project logo

Projekt in den Medien

Klimaschutz: Welchen Beitrag leisten Hecken?
NDR Fernsehen, Schleswig-Holstein Magazin vom 15.09.2020 [Link]

Klimawandel - Wir brauchen mehr Hecken
Deutschlandfunk Nova Podcast vom 17.09.2020 (ab Minute 21:53)  [Link]

Hecken auf Ackerflächen sind Klimaschützer [Link]
top agrar online ab 20.07.2021

Experten werben für mehr Hecken für Klimaschutz  [Link]
Stern online 12.07.2021