Secretariat

Elke Graffam
Institute of Biodiversity

Bundesallee 65
38116 Braunschweig
Phone: +49 531 596 2502
Fax: +49 531 596 2599
bd@thuenen.de


Modelling the spatial distribution of species-rich farmland

Project

Species rich grassland
Species rich grassland (© Thünen-Institut/BD)

Analysing the relationship between landscape and land-use parameters and High Nature Value (HNV) farmland

Information on the spatial distribution of species-rich farmland and landscape elements (i.e. HNV farmland) is required to identify and evaluate potential trade-offs between climate optimised land-use strategies and biodiversity.

Background and Objective

Land-use strategies aimed at climate change mitigation or adaptation lead to changes in land use. Land-use change is currently one of most important drivers of biodiversity change. In order to investigate the impact of various land-use strategies on biodiversity, we analyse the relationship between landscape and land-use parameters and the percentage cover of High Nature Value (HNV) farmland (i.e. species-rich farmland and landscape elements).  This work is carried out as part of the collaborative project CC-LandStraD.

The project aims to (i) explain the spatial distribution of species-rich farmland and landscape elements using up-to-date agricultural and environmental parameters, (ii) provide maps of the predicted distributions at the national level, and (iii) evaluate potential trade-offs between climate optimised land-use strategies and the conservation of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes.

Target Group

Policy, science, special interest groups

Approach

Information on species-rich farmland and landscape elements were obtained from a recently established national biological monitoring programme that is coordinated by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (Bundesamt für Naturschutz, BfN). In 2009/2010, species-rich farmland and landscape elements were assessed in 915 sampling areas of 1 km x 1 km size each. To determine the area covered by species-rich farmland and landscape elements, trained field biologists surveyed all agricultural land-use types (e.g. permanent grassland, arable land) and perennial landscape elements (e.g. hedgerows, ditches) within the sampling area according to field protocols.

In order to explain and predict the spatial distribution of species-rich farmland and landscape elements at national level, an innovative modelling approach was used.

Our Research Questions

Which factors determine the spatial distribution of species-rich farmland and landscape elements at national level?

Is it possible to identify regions in Germany that are characterised by a high percentage cover of species-rich farmland and landscape elements?

Does the modelling approach contribute to evaluating potential trade-offs between climate optimised land-use strategies and the conservation of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes?

Results

The results demonstrate that the spatial distribution of species-rich farmland and landscape elements can be explained by up-to-date agricultural and environmental parameters. The predictive modelling approach helps to identify regions of high conservation value and the generated maps could be used to identifying priority regions for conservation actions. The modelling approach could be adapted for application in other European countries to facilitate spatial targeting of conservation actions. To evaluate potential trade-offs that might arise between land-use strategies aimed at climate protection and the conservation of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes, the modelling results were aggregated at the district level and a model interface for data exchange (RAUMIS) was established. The results of the project were published within the journal „Biological Conservation“.

Links and Downloads

www.cc-landstrad.de

Thünen-Contact


Involved Thünen-Partners


Involved external Thünen-Partners


Funding Body

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

Duration

11.2010 - 10.2015

More Information

Projekt type:
Project status: finished

Publications

hits: 1

  1. Klimek S, Lohß G, Gabriel D (2014) Modelling the spatial distribution of species-rich farmland to identify priority areas for conservation actions. Biol Conserv 174:65-74, DOI:10.1016/j.biocon.2014.03.019