State of Baden-Württemberg funds interdisciplinary research project on ecological farming
How does ecological farming influence plant biodiversity in the agricultural landscape?
Are there positive effects on the landscape level if, for instance, ecological varieties are raised and fields cultivated sustainably?
What is the impact of a fluid transition from conventional to ecological farming?
These questions are the focus of the AgroBioDiv research project, which combines the respective expertise of Heidelberg University researchers in biology and political science.
In addition to exploring biodiversity, the Heidelberg scientists also strive to investigate how policy and public management can support preserving biological diversity in agriculture. The four-year research project headed by Prof. Dr Marcus Koch and Prof. Dr Jale Tosun has approximately 400,000 euros in funding from the State of Baden-Württemberg.
“With the progressive loss of biological diversity in traditional agricultural landscapes, so-called agrobiodiversity is a cornerstone in the ecological fabric of a landscape that has a wide variety of plants, animals, and especially insects,” states Prof. Koch.
“Ecological farming generally has a positive effect on biodiversity. By expanding such farmland, the potential for preserving biological diversity is considerable, especially when managed cohesively.”
Against this backdrop, the Heidelberg researchers will study the interrelationship of cultivated seed and plant material, crop type and varietal diversity, along with the diversity of wild vegetation. They hope their findings will point to how agriculture could be oriented in the transformation from conventional to ecological farming.
The studies are being conducted in selected regions – the city of Heidelberg, the Lake Constance bio-region, and other locations in Baden-Württemberg. The research is participatory in nature and includes interest groups from agriculture, nature conservation, and the economy, among them growers and farmers, marketers and consumers as well as so-called citizen scientists.
“With a view towards the political-administrative process, we also wish to explore what instruments are best suited to achieve a sustainable transformation of conventional agriculture into ecological farming,” explains Prof. Tosun. Using an interdisciplinary approach, the researchers will also study how to raise greater awareness for promoting agrobiodiversity.
Marcus Koch heads the Biodiversity and Plant Systematics division at the Centre for Organismal Studies. The biologist is also director of Heidelberg University’s Botanical Garden. He is especially interested in the research of evolution and biodiversity.
Jale Tosun teaches and researches at the Institute for Political Science. Her work concentrates on comparative public policy, particularly in the fields of environment, energy, climate change, and sustainability.
The “Ecological Varieties for Biodiversity and Climate Protection” project, known as AgroBioDiv for short, is part of the “Ecological Farming” research programme launched by the State of Baden-Württemberg.
Work at Heidelberg University began in July of this year. The state programme aims to bundle thematic research and further develop research activities with non-academic actors. Over the next few years, Baden-Württemberg is funding four collaborations at three universities with a total of 1.2 million euros.
Communications and Marketing
Press Office, phone +49 6221 54-2311
Prof. Dr Marcus Koch
Centre for Organismal Studies
Phone +49 6221 54-4655
Prof. Dr Jale Tosun
Institute for Political Science
Phone +49 6221 54-3726
Marietta Fuhrmann-Koch | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Carl Zeiss Foundation supports interdisciplinary atmospheric physics and computer science project at Mainz University
27.07.2020 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
On the way to the optical cochlear implant
23.07.2020 | Universitätsmedizin Göttingen - Georg-August-Universität
Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have come up with a striking new addition to contact stamping technologies in the ERDF research project ScanCut. In collaboration with industry partners from North Rhine-Westphalia, the Aachen-based team of researchers developed a hybrid manufacturing process for the laser cutting of thin-walled metal strips. This new process makes it possible to fabricate even the tiniest details of contact parts in an eco-friendly, high-precision and efficient manner.
Plug connectors are tiny and, at first glance, unremarkable – yet modern vehicles would be unable to function without them. Several thousand plug connectors...
An international research team has found a new approach that may be able to reduce bone loss in osteoporosis and maintain bone health.
Osteoporosis is the most common age-related bone disease which affects hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide. It is estimated that one in three women...
Traditional single-cell sequencing methods help to reveal insights about cellular differences and functions - but they do this with static snapshots only...
“Core-shell” clusters pave the way for new efficient nanomaterials that make catalysts, magnetic and laser sensors or measuring devices for detecting electromagnetic radiation more efficient.
Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest...
An international research team with Prof. Cornelia Denz from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Münster develop for the first time light fields using caustics that do not change during propagation. With the new method, the physicists cleverly exploit light structures that can be seen in rainbows or when light is transmitted through drinking glasses.
Modern applications as high resolution microsopy or micro- or nanoscale material processing require customized laser beams that do not change during...
23.07.2020 | Event News
21.07.2020 | Event News
07.07.2020 | Event News
06.08.2020 | Earth Sciences
06.08.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering
06.08.2020 | Life Sciences