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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.


Relevancy to practice and transparency are stated goals of SUSALPS. If we sparked your interest in the topics of the project and you have personal experience in managing grassland, then we are very much interested in your opinion!

You can actively participate in SUSALPS reseach by filling out our questionnaire (German only):

Link to the questionnaire


Our re-grazing experiment in a video of the Bavarian Broadcasting

The series "Bergauf-Bergab Bergmenschen" by the Bavarian Broadcasting (Bayerischer Rundfunk, BR) accompanies the hut landlord Luis Baudrexl from Garmisch-Partenkirchener through the entire season 2019: from the opening...[more]

Grassland science exchange

Grasslands play an important role in the entire Alpine and pre-Alpine region. This is why scientists from the various Alpine countries are working on grasslands. The professional exchange across national borders is particularly...[more]

The impacts of the 2018 drought

The year 2018 was the warmest and sunniest year in Germany since weather records started. The extreme drought, which lasted several months, was the main problem for farmers. Also scientists at the four TERENO observatories have...[more]

Joint sampling campaign to study plant-soil interactions

On July 23rd and 24th SUSALPS partners met at Esterberg, Graswang, and Fendt for a joint sampling campaign. The research goal is to gain a holistic view of plant-soil interactions after 3 years of warming. The joint initiative...[more]