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F.R.A.N.Z. - Future Resources, Agriculture & Nature Conservation

Ackerhummel an einer Borretsch-Blüte
© Thünen-Institut/Jens Dauber
Ackerhummel an einer Borretsch-Blüte

F.R.A.N.Z. has set itself the target to develop and test measures to preserve and increase biodiversity in agricultural landscape. 


Background and Objective

Biological diversity is a critical factor for intact ecosystems and thus for agriculture. However, attempts to meet the growing global demand for agricultural products often conflict with biodiversity conservation objectives. This is where the dialogue and demonstration project F.R.A.N.Z. (Future Resources, Agriculture & Nature Conservation) comes in, by developing effective nature protection measures  that can be integrated into normal farming practice.
Within F.R.A.N.Z., environmentalists and farmers are working together to trial conservation measures on ten representative (demonstration) farms in Germany. These measures should promote biodiversity, but at the same time be practicable and economically viable for the farm. Successful measures will be communicated and promoted in the farming community, with the intention to increase implementation on a national scale.
Another focus of F.R.A.N.Z. is providing policy recommendations to improve regulatory and publicly funded instruments to the benefit of biodiversity and farmers.

The F.R.A.N.Z. project is jointly coordinated by the Michael Otto Foundation for Environmental Protection and the German Farmers' Association. The analysis of the economic and environmental impacts of the implemented conservation measures will be carried out by the Thünen Institutes of Rural Studies, Farm Economics and Biodiversity, as well as the Georg-August University of Göttingen and the Michael-Otto-Institute of the NABU. The regional farmers' associations and their cultural landscape foundations will be responsible for assisting and advising the participating farms.

Target Group

  • Farmers
  • Farm advisors
  • Agri-environmental policy
  • Agronomy
  • Environmental sciences


The Thünen Institute of Biodiversity (TI-BD) and the Department of Plant Ecology and Ecosystems Research at the University of Göttingen (UniGö) share responsibility for this workpackage. Objectives of the workpackage are the ecological monitoring of bumblebees and solitary wildbees (TI-BD), monitoring of butterflies (UniGö), assessment of pollination services (Ti-BD) and biological activity of soils (UniGö). A further focus is on scenario-based landscape modelling to assess potential biodiversity effects of alternative measures.

Data and Methods

F.R.A.N.Z. established a network of ten farms scattered across Germany, including both cropping and grassland farming. The selected farms represent different farming systems and regional characteristics covering different challenges between agriculture and nature conservation.

The focus of the measures developed and tested by F.R.A.N.Z. is on enhancing structural diversity in intensively managed agricultural areas which can easily be integrated into farming practices.

Our Research Questions

The Thünen Institute of Biodiversity conducts the following tasks:

  • Mapping of land use and landscape structure and analyses of the spatial and temporal distribution of agri-environmental measures on the contributing farms.
  • Monitoring of bumblebees and solitary wildbees.
  • Analyses of diversity and identity of pollen sampled by bumblebees.
  • Quantification of pollination success of crops and wild plants.
  • Scenario-based modelling of biodiversity effects of alternative agri-environment measures.

Preliminary Results

Links and Downloads

Involved Thünen-Partners

Involved external Thünen-Partners

Funding Body

  • Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE)
    (national, öffentlich)
  • Federal Ministry of Food und Agriculture (BMEL)
    (national, öffentlich)
  • Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)
    (national, öffentlich)
  • Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)
    (national, öffentlich)
  • Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank
    (national, privat)


11.2016 - 12.2025

More Information

Project funding number: 817 759
Funding program: Innovationsförderung
Project status: ongoing

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