Secretariat

Elke Graffam
Institute of Biodiversity

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


Upland grassland project Thurengian Forest

Project

Species-rich grassland in the Thuringian Forest (c) Landschaftspflegeverband Thüringer Wald e.V.
Species-rich grassland in the Thuringian Forest (© Landschaftspflegeverband Thüringer Wald e.V.)

Conserving grasslands in the Thuringian Forest Nature Park by optimized, whole-farm management concepts

For the conservation and sustainable use of temperate grasslands the project aims at developing and implementing a method for the large-scale assessment and evaluation of grasslands. Furthermore, the project intends to develop optimized, whole-farm management concepts. Based on that, recommendations on how to optimize agri-environment schemes will be provided.

Background and Objective

Permanent grasslands are key elements of agricultural landscapes in Europe. However, traditional permanent grassland systems are threatened by either intensification or abandonment. Particularly grasslands in upland regions like the Thurengian Forest are in decline due to cessation of management and subsequent woody plant encroachment. The conservation of these grasslands by means of regionally adapted management practices is labor intensive and the use of the forage is not economically viable anymore. The ongoing decline of these grasslands has severe consequences, since upland grasslands have shaped the cultural landscape for centuries and contribute to the attractiveness of the countryside. Furthermore, upland grasslands play an important role for the conservation of biodiversity, the protection of water sources and soils and mitigating climate change.

The project “Conserving grasslands in the Thuringian Forest Nature Park by optimized, whole-farm management concepts” aims at developing whole-farm management and cultivation concepts to conserve upland grasslands. These concepts build on a thorough assessment and evaluation of the different types of permanent grasslands in the Thuringian Forest Nature Park. To enable the determination of grassland vegetation types and corresponding grassland plants, a field guide will be developed and verified. Further, the project aims to qualify young farmers and to organize information workshops for regional groups of stakeholders to ensure effective transfer of knowledge. In addition, recommendations on how to optimize agri-environmental and climate protection measures will be provided.

Target Group

Farmers and foresters, politicians, environmentalists, consultants, scientists, municipalities, consumers, tourism associations

Approach

  • Development and implementation of a method for the large-scale assessment and evaluation of grasslands within the Thuringian Forest Nature Park.
  • Assessment and evaluation of grasslands that are not included in the integrated administration and control system (IACS) database.
  • Development and verification of a field guide to grassland vegetation types.
  • Assessment and evaluation of the management of upland grasslands in typical farms and representative sites of the Thuringian Forest Nature Park (reference farms and reference municipalities).
  • Development of optimized whole-farm management concepts including conventional, ecological and alternative uses of forages and marketing possibilities.
  • Development of a decision support tool for future management of grassland vegetation types.
  • Derivation of recommendations on how to optimize agri-environmental and climate protection measures.
  • Exploration of possibilities for further development of alternative ways of funding the conservation of species-rich upland grasslands.
  • Examination of the current public perception of grassland management and increasing its acceptance by regional and national public relations work.
  • External qualification of young farmers to propagate environmental friendly grassland management.

Thünen-Contact


Involved Thünen-Partners


Involved external Thünen-Partners


Funding Body

  • Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE)
    (national, öffentlich)

Duration

12.2015 - 11.2018

More Information

Projekt type:
Project status: ongoing

Publications

hits: 1

  1. Pérez Sánchez AJ, Zopf D, Klimek S, Dauber J (2018) Differential responses of ant assemblages (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) to long-term grassland management in Central Germany. Myrmecol News 27:13-23
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 1797 kb