SALBES - Scenarios for Agricultural Landscapes' Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

Agricultural landscapes cover huge areas in Europe and are supposed to be the backbone of regional biodiversity.  While agricultural land use is changing constantly, the green infrastructure should keep its functionality or even be improved to deliver much needed ecosystem services. In the SALBES project, we take a close look at four agricultural landscapes in Austria, Estonia, Germany and Switzerland, where we combine the driving forces of the agricultural dynamics, ask regional stakeholders about their future visions and describe some development paths for the biological diversity. As main outcomes we aim at a novel understanding of the relations between agriculture and biodiversity protection, especially in respect to climatic changes and in economic terms. Accepting the dynamics of agricultural landscapes as inevitable, how can a “Safe operating space“ for the development be defined? We integrate three central components into the scientific process: The green landscape infrastructure, adaptive management schemes, and multi-actor approaches.

Changing conditions

Climate Change and increasing pressure on arable land has the potential to endanger the agricultural productivity.

Effects of farming production on the environment

SALBES project analyzes the environmental effects of agriculture actions under changing conditions, e.g. habitat diversity and connectivity, abundance of indicator species etc.

Development of significant scenarios

Based on empirical work in the last step scenarios are going to be developed to estimate the future situation in agriculture if specified actions will be followed.