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Agroecology and Organic Farming Group

 

Regenwurm mir Markierung

Earthworm with implanted mark

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Cornflower in Rye

ZWF

Intermediate Crops

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Organic Soybean

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Root in Biopores

Wurzel_Bioporen

Chicory Roots in Biopores

Kartoffelbluete

Flowering Potato Field

Esparsette

Sainfoin (Onobrychis viciaefolia)

Ackersaum

Flowering Field Margin

AckerfrauenspiegelLegousia speculum-veneris

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Field Bean and Oleaginous Fruit

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Pollination

Wintergäste

Wintering Birds

Gänseexkursion

Bird Excursion

 

The Agroecology and Organic Farming Group investigates how aims of agricultural production, nature conservation and resource protection can be reconciled through the targeted design of agroecosystems. A main question is how health, stability and resilience of such systems can be supported in the long term.

One of the focus areas is the design of diversified cropping systems, i.e. by using higher levels of plant diversity. This is done e.g. by expanding the spectrum of crop species, using mixed cropping, optimizing cover cropping, designing crop rotations or supporting pollinating insects through flower strips.

 

When looking at production systems we primarily concentrate on organic farming, but conventional farms are also in integrated in our research and teaching. Arable, grassland and horticultural systems are investigated at various spatial and temporal scales, from single plants to landscapes and from roots in the subsoil to the crowns of trees.

 

In our research between agricultural production and nature and resource conservation, insects play a large role. Investigated groups include honey bees, wild bees and hover flies as well as other pollinators, carabids and other predators, but also aquatic insects. A further key area is the analysis of grassland and arable vegetation.

 

In teaching we cover topics from organic farming, nature conservation and landscape ecology. The broad spectrum of modules we offer comprises organic agriculture in temperature, tropical and subtropical climates, soil and water protection, aspects of general crop science, general ecology, crop ecology, landscape management, animal species identification, as well as various field trips.

 

The Agroecology and Organic Farming Group was formed in October 2017 by merging the Chair of Agricultural and Production Ecology and the former Institute of Organic Farming.

 

The breadth of contents and methods we cover is supported by our intensive collaboration with the organic research and teaching farm Wiesengut, by integrating a regional network of organic farms and by various regional, national and international collaborations with other research groups.

 

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