BioKum — Cumulative effects of bio-economic strategies for a more sustainable agriculture
Institution: Leibniz Zentrum für Agrarlandschaftsforschung (ZALF), Müncheberg, Germany
Project Leaders: Dr Sandra Uthes and Dr Jana Zscheischler
The BMBF junior research group “BioKum – Cumulative effects of bio-economic strategies for a more sustainable agriculture” uses the example of high nutrient surpluses in agricultural landscapes to investigate the complex interactions, opportunities and risks as well as the resulting conflicts in bio-economic transformation processes.
Despite the fertilizer regulation, agriculture in Germany is characterized by high nutrient surpluses and a lack of resource efficiency which is combined with diverse negative effects on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, especially in regions with high livestock numbers. There are various bio-economic solutions in the context of the circular economy which are potentially suitable for contributing to a more sustainable agriculture in regions with high nutrient surpluses and at least partially closing open nutrient cycles.
The aim of the junior research group is to understand to what extent these and other potential approaches can make a sustainable contribution to the reduction of nutrient surpluses in agricultural landscapes and to estimate their cumulative effects. In addition, it is also important to develop socially robust orientations for further solutions and innovations while taking into account the complex interactions, opportunities and conflicts of bio-economic transformation processes on the way to an increasingly sustainable agriculture.
BioKum pursues an integrated interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approach. The junior research group combines the approach of bio-economic modeling at farm level (agricultural economics) with methods of transformative sustainability research (environmental sociology) as well as regional economic, innovation and political science approaches.