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Sustainable use of alpine and pre-alpine grassland soils in a changing climate

Grassland ecosystems are widely spread in the alps and the foothills of the alps of southern Germany and cover an area of more than one million hectares. From an economical point of view, grasslands are precious as they provide fodder for dairy and cattle farming. In addition to their economic value, they fulfill important ecosystem functions such as the storage of carbon and nitrogen, water retention, protection against erosion and biodiviersity. However, changes in climate, land use and grassland managenent jeopardize the multiple functions provided by grasslands.

The aim of the SUSALPS project is to improve our knowledge on the effects of current and future climate and management on ecosystem functions performed by grasslands. In the process, the general framework of the socio-economy of the specific geographic region will be considered. Based on this improved knowledge, sustainable management options for grasslands in the alps and the foothills of the alps will be developed. These management options will be especially designed to support the climate protection function of grassland soils.

Outcomes of the survey on climate change, agriculture and nature conservation

From January to September 2020, 617 citizens and 350 farmers participated in the SUSALPS survey on climate change, agriculture and nature conservation. The surveys took place in the pre-alpine Ammer catchment (districts of Weilheim-Schongau and Garmisch-Partenkirchen) and in the Upper Franconian catchment of the Red and White Main (districts of Bayreuth and Kulmbach).

The findings of the survey are summarised in the report "Grünland im Spannungsfeld von Klimawandel, Landwirtschaft und Naturschutz" or are available via the following link (in German only):



Offener Diskurs beim Naturschutztag im Landratsamt Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Am Tag der offenen Tür und Naturschutztag im Landratsamt Garmisch-Partenkirchen am 07.10.2022 stellten Carolin Boos und David Piatka das SUSALPS-Projekt vor. Besonders das Wiederbeweidungsexperiment auf der Brunnenkopfalm ist bei...[more]

Knowledge makes moo - Large SUSALPS field study of the regrazing experiment on the Brunnenkopfalm

In a large interdisciplinary field study by the SUSALP team and partners, the Brunnenkopfalm, which has been grazed again since 2018, was investigated for soil functions and ecosystem services from late July to early August 2022....[more]

Two SUSALPS presentations at the EGF 2022 General Meeting in Caen

The 29th General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation (EGF) took place in Caen, France, from June 26th to June 30th, 2022. Katrin Schneider and David Piatka (both KIT) participated and represented the SUSALPS project with...[more]

Successful remote sensing field campaign in Franconian Switzerland

As part of the SUSALPS project, a field campaign to validate remote sensing analyses took place in Franconian Switzerland from May 16-19, 2022. In cooperation of KIT, DLR, WWL and the University of Bayreuth, a total of 30...[more]