Global agricultural systems modelling community convenes in Berlin

Simulation models for the growth and development of crops have become very popular, especially in the context of climate change impact assessments. But they are also widely used in other fields of agronomy.

Agronomists apply models to investigate how present and future climate, different existing and new cultivars, and alternative soil and crop management practices will affect the yields, water use and other outputs of crops, and how that could affect food security and the environment at various levels – from farm to global.

The agricultural systems modelling network spans the whole globe and the symposium, organized by the Leibniz Centre of Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) in Müncheberg, Germany, is one of the world’s largest scientific conferences with this specific focus.

Crop models have developed into indispensable tools in the ongoing discussion on global food security, but only their consistent application through global co-operation assures their usefulness and credibility at the interfaces of agronomy with economics and in informing policy-makers.

The symposium chairs and the local host are: Frank Ewert (DE), Ken Boote (USA), Reimund Rötter (FI), Peter Thorburn (AU) and Claas Nendel (DE).

The Leibniz-Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research is working on socially relevant questions related to the use of agricultural landscapes. Issues such as food security, soil as a natural resource or biodiversity are interdisciplinarily investigated.

The research questions comprise three core topic areas starting from the processes in agricultural landscapes through the effect of different land uses to the resulting use conflicts and their governance. Based on the results ZALF develops solutions for the sustainable intensification of land use under changing conditions such as climate change.

The research centre combines six institutes at its campus in Müncheberg. The Institute for Landscape Systems Analysis addresses the need for analysis and modelling of processes in agricultural landscapes and the impact of land use and climate change on ecosystem functions and services.

One key research area is the development of methods and models to better understand and assess landscape changes and the consequences they exert on the potential for the use and function of landscapes.

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