Balancing trade-offs between agriculutre and biodiversity in the steppes of Kazakhstan

In summary, the breakdown of the Soviet Union and the subsequent decline of agriculture has created opportunities for restoring steppes and their biodiversity in Kazakhstan. At the same time, agricultural business started to recover recently, leading to the expansion of both pasture and cropland. Conservation and land-use planners face two major challenges in this regard: (i) abandoned agricultural areas may not easily revert to natural steppes because of the complex interactions of land-use history, grazing and fire, and (ii) considerable interest in reclaiming currently unused cropland may cause substantial conflicts between conservation and agricultural production goals. Because trade-offs between agriculture and conservation likely occur spatially diverse, there is considerable potential for land-use and conservation planning to lessen these conflicts at the landscape scale. Improved planning will allow making use of opportunities to balance agricultural development and biodiversity conservation, but this requires better knowledge about the spatial patterns and future trajectories of abandoned lands, the impacts of abandonment on biodiversity, and the trade-offs between agricultural production and biodiversity.

Principal Investigators
Kümmerle, Tobias Prof. Dr. rer. nat. (Details) (Biogeography)

Volkswagen-Stiftung (VW)

Duration of Project
Start date: 01/2015
End date: 01/2019

Last updated on 2019-04-06 at 09:27