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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - IRI THESys

Objectives and Methodology

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Approach

The RuralFutures Project sets the native grasslands of southern America as the object of research. On those intensively used landscapes, we aim to examine the ecological effects of dynamic land use changes. The project intends to apply the conceptual framework of "Multifunctional and Sustainable Productive Landscapes" (see Wiggering et al. 2003, Holmes 2006, Taylor & Johnston 2009) - extended to strategies for the promotion of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Based on this, we establish a long-term monitoring- and evaluation system along with an existing climatic gradient to estimate future effects of afforestation and alternative usage scenarios.

Fig.: EdiCitNet

Our research interest is focused on:

  • understand the changes in ecosystems - its resilience, adaptability and critical tipping points;
  • establish a system based on cost-effective and sustainable Citizen Science monitoring, research and decision support tool;
  • develop integrated scenarios for forestry, agriculture and nature conservation.
Objectives

With 30 long-term monitoring stations along the climate gradient from the Northwest to the Southeast of Uruguay, we establish a complex evaluation system based on the conceptual framework of the 'Multifunctional and Sustainable Productive Landscapes'. With this evaluation system, we can collect reliable data on the ecological mechanisms and consequences of landscape change and provide it on a public access database with GIS visualization to inform local stakeholders for decision-making process.

The aim of the Rural Futures project is to demonstrate the complex environmental impacts on different land use types. With help of different control instruments, we define together with local stakeholders strategies for a multifunctional, sustainable and productive biodiversity-friendly land use.