Interdependencies between Land use and Climate Change - Strategies for a sustainable land use management in Germany (CC-LandStraD)


Land uses in the lanscape (c) aid Infodienst, Bonn
Land uses in the lanscape (© aid Infodienst, Bonn)

Land resources are limited in Germany and many other regions of the world, land use claims compete. Climate change and the globalisation of economies aggravate the competition. To what extent environmental protection, climate mitigation, and sustainable resource management can be satisfied is the concern of the research in the collaborative project CC-LandStraD.

Background and Objective

Germany is located in the temperate zone. It covers an area of about 357.000 km2, has approximately 82 million inhabitants, and thus ranks among the most densely populated countries worldwide. Since only little area is available the land is intensively used and the social demands are manifold. In 2009 agriculture used about 52 % and forestry about 30 % of the area in Germany. However, the land use for settlements and transport infrastructure as well as for recreation has a high priority. Currently, its share accounts for approximately 14 % of total area. The development of the area for settlements and transport infrastructure essentially determines how much area remains for the production of food feed and wood. The cultivations should as much as possible comply with environmental and nature protection such that several ecosystem services preserve their stability.

In the past expectation arose that land use and land use change should contribute to climate mitigation. For example, an adapted land use management may preserve or even increase the carbon pool in soils and the vegetation. A further option is to substitute energy produced from fossil resources for bioenergy. The potential contribution of land management to climate mitigation hinges upon complex interrelations between land use changes and the bio-geosphere, which however, are partly not yet resolved.

The objective of the collaborative projected CC-LandStraD is to model the interrelations between land use, climate change and natural processes to assess the contribution of different strategies and systems of land use to climate mitigation and energy supply across sectors and area wide for Germany. Furthermore, the impacts of the resulting land use changes will be assessed taking the feasibility and social acceptance of the strategies into account.

Target Group

policy, administration, special interest groups


The collaborative project comprises four modules including the coordination. All modules are interlinked to analyse the outlined research questions and objectives. The modules are as follows:

  • Development of scenarios and strategies of land management together with stake holders,
  • Integrated climate, biophysical, and socioeconomic modelling – across land use sectors, area wide and regional differentiated,
  • Assessment of climate, ecological and socioeconomic impacts of different land use options,
  • Exemplary testing of the feasibility and social acceptance of land use options in study regions.

Data and Methods

We apply interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary methods and develop natural science and economic models further.

Our Research Questions

"What is the contribution of land use to climate mitigation in Germany under changing framework conditions?
Which regional land use strategies can be derived across land use sectors to achieve climate mitigation targets?
How can different requirements towards land use be settled?"


According to the interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research approach of CC-LandStraD a diversity of results are expected:

  • cross sector land use scenarios for Germany agreed upon with stake holders within an iterative process
  • further developed modelling of relationships between land use, climate change, and natural process
  • model based impact analyses of land use strategies under changing global framework conditions (e.g. climate change, market developments)
  • description of existing conflicts of objectives between climate optimised land use strategies and other social demands
  • quantification of social preferences of land use strategies
  • proposition of climate mitigation aspects in decision and change processes.

Links and Downloads


Involved Thünen-Partners

Involved external Thünen-Partners

Publications to the project

Results 1 - 5 of 22

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  1. Henseler M, Delzeit R, Adenäuer M, Baum S, Kreins P (2020) Nitrogen tax and set-aside as greenhouse gas abatement policies under global change scenarios: A case study for Germany. Environ Resource Econ 76:299-329, DOI:10.1007/s10640-020-00425-0
  2. Weller P, Elsasser P (2018) Preferences for forest structural attributes in Germany - Evidence from a choice experiment. Forest Pol Econ 93:1-9, DOI:10.1016/j.forpol.2018.04.013
  3. Baum S, Röder N, Henseler M, Kreins P (2017) Adapted management of organic soils. In: Liniger H, Mekdaschi Studer R, Moll P, Zander U (eds) Making sense of research for sustainable land management. Bern: Univ Bern, pp 203-206
  4. Fick J, Baum S, Dechow R, Goetzke R, Grabski-Kieron U, Hellmich M, Henseler M, Hoymann J, Kreins P, Raabe M, Röder N, Siebert R, Steinführer A (2017) Climate change mitigation in Germany: Optimizing conflicting demands. In: Liniger H, Mekdaschi Studer R, Moll P, Zander U (eds) Making sense of research for sustainable land management. Bern: Univ Bern, pp 79-81
  5. Bösch M, Elsasser P, Rock J, Rüter S, Weimar H, Dieter M (2017) Costs and carbon sequestration potential of alternative forest management measures in Germany. Forest Pol Econ 78:88-97, DOI:10.1016/j.forpol.2017.01.005

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Funding Body

  • Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
    (national, öffentlich)


11.2010 - 4.2016

More Information

Projekt type:
Project status: finished