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Nitrogen Workshop 2024

Aarhus, Dänemark[more]

BonaRes at the DLG Field Days 2024

Despite the variable weather, numerous visitors with a connection to agriculture met at the DLG Field Days in Erwitte at Gut Brockhof from 11 to 13 June to find out about the latest technology and science at the various stands....[more]

(Success) story of BonaRes - final conference in Leipzig

After 9 years of research, during which the BonaRes project brought together scientists from various disciplines and promoted a lively exchange between research, politics and practice, the final conference took place at KUBUS in...[more]

GAP researches for the space of the future

On 29 April 2024, an event with around 150 participants took place as part of the ‘Klimafrühling Oberland’ in Garmisch's Moun10, where experts from the KIT Campus Alpin, TUM and Schneefernerhaus discussed innovations for our...[more]


Hands-on research - visit by students from Heidelberg University to the TERENO station in Fendt

On 20.03.2024, seven students from Heidelberg University's Master's degree course in Geosciences had the opportunity to get to know the long-term grassland observation experiment at the TERENO site in Fendt in bright sunshine as...[more]

Project meeting in Ammertal

On October 23, 2023, fifteen SUSALPS members and numerous student helpers from the SUSALPS subprojects met in Ammertal. The day already started with a highlight. Roman and Gabi Bertl from Jaggala Hof, who herd cattle every summer...[more]


Brunnenkopf-Beweidungsexperiment: Drohnenbefliegung 2023

Im Brunnenkopf-Projekt wird seit 2018 der Einfluss von Wiederbeweidung auf eine aufgelassene Alm untersucht. Jedes Jahr wird der Zustand der Weide während des Almsommers dokumentiert. Auch dieses Jahr ließ Alexander Krämer vom...[more]

Online report with Ralf Kiese on the SUSALPS project

On the online information platform "", Dr. Ralf Kiese was able to report on the research work and results from the SUSALPS project. He addressed the particular challenges and opportunities for sustainable...[more]

Grassland in focus: discussion evening with trainee climate educators

Within the KlimaAlps project ( in the module Agriculture on 03 June 2023 at Ammertaler Hof, 17 participants from Bavaria and Austria were able to present their results of research on climate change in...[more]

Remote sensing field campaigns completed

In cooperation of KIT, DLR, WWL and the University of Bayreuth, a remote sensing campaign was conducted for the last time in selected grassland areas in the region south of Bayreuth from April 17 to 20, 2023. Due to the earlier...[more]

BonaRes Thematic Workshop “Nitrogen Cycling in Agricultural Ecosystems”

On 19th and 20th April 2023 the BonaRes workshop “Nitrogen Cycling in Agricultural Ecosystems” took place at KIT in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. A summary of the workshop is available on the BonaRes homepage...[more]

Martin Wiesmeier awarded Dr.-Heinrich-Baur Prize

Martin Wiesmeier was honored with the Dr.-Heinrich-Baur-Prize of the TU Munich for his outstanding achievements in soil science research. The award ceremony took place at the Weihenstephan Science Center on Feb. 17, 2023. We...[more]

Congratulations for the completion of the PhD

Max Schuchardt (Chair of Disturbance Ecology, University of Bayreuth) successfully defended his dissertation at the University of Bayreuth on 15 December 2022. In his dissertation within the SUSALPS project, Max Schuchardt was...[more]

SUSALPS project meeting in Bayreuth

On 8 December 2022, the SUSALPS project meeting took place in Bayreuth - after a long period of videoconferences again in presence. The most important results and activities so far were presented and lively discussed by the...[more]


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]

Lively discussions at the workshop "Digital Support in Grassland Farming"

On 5 May 2022, the workshop "Digital Support in Grassland Farming" took place at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology - Campus Alpin in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Around 25 participants from agricultural practice and the...[more]

SUSALPS-presentation at the 12th Isny Energy Summit

SUSALPS project manager Ralf Kiese was invited to speak at the 12th Isny Energy Summit on 26.03.2022. In the lecture "Climate change in the pre-alpine region - effects on grassland management", he presented scientific...[more]

Workshop "Digital support in grassland management"

On 5 May 2022, an exchange of experience on the topic of "Digital support in grassland management" will take place at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology - Campus Alpin in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Results of the...[more]

Behind the scenes - our invaluable team members in the background

The SUSALPS project, like many other research projects, is a great team effort. Even if laboratory staff, technicians and interns often only appear in the background, their work is irreplaceable for the success of a project. The...[more]

Grassland farming on site: KIT team visits a farm

After all the cattle returned safely from the Brunnenkopfalm, our partner farmer invited us to visit his farm in the nature park "Ammergauer Alpen". On 14 October, Roman and Gabi Bertl welcomed us at the Jaggala farm in...[more]

Exploration tour in Franconian Switzerland

In the third phase of SUSALPS we will to address the regionalisation of our work. In addition to the Ammer region, we will look at two other study areas - the Roter Main/ Weißer Main region and the Rott region. This means that...[more]

Brunnenkopfalm - time for the cattle to return to the valley

Summer is coming to an end and for the cattle of the regrazing project on the Brunnenkopfalm, this means it is time to return to the valley. Since 2018, cattle from local farmers have been coming to the alpine pasture every...[more]

Feature on SUSALPS experiments in the regional magazine tassilo

The July/August 2021 issue of tassilo, a regional magazine based in the Weilheim and Murnau area, reported on SUSALPS and the long-term grassland experiments at the Fendt, Rottenbuch and Graswang TERENO experimental sites. The...[more]

Effects of drought threaten reproduction of subalpine species in a warmer climate

The change in phenological processes are one of the most obvious features of the changing climate. An example of this is the earlier greening up or onset of flowering. These earlier-in-the-year processes, caused by the...[more]

New publication on citizens' and farmers' perceptions of ecosystem services

In addition to forage production, grasslands provide other valuable ecosystem services such as climate regulation, erosion mitigation, and recreation. A new SUSALPS study, published in the journal Ecosystem Services, shows that...[more]

Dynamic simulation of cutting fertilizing events in climate change conditions - new SUSALPS publication

Studies using process-based computer models to investigate grassland yields in the advancing climate change are subject to a variety of uncertainties. One of these is the timing of cutting and fertilization events, particularly...[more]

SUSALPS at the Symposium of the European Grassland Federation

Part of the SUSALPS team joined the 21st European Grassland Federation (EGF) symposium, which was organized as an online event by the University of Kassel from May 17-19, 2021. The theme of this year's conference was...[more]

New publication about the soil translocation experiment at the Esterbergalm

Soil microbiome response to climate change effects and land management indicate significant interactions between these two factors that caused shifts in microbial N turnover in pre-alpine grasslands. We found that at the...[more]

New publication about the regrazing experiment at the Brunnenkopfalm

In 2018, the regrazing experiment at the abandoned Brunnenkopfalm started to investigate the effects of extensive regrazing on soil functions, water quality, tourist attractiveness and biodiversity. Results from the first two...[more]

Webinar "Our meadows - Climate-adapted grassland management"

On 14.04.2021, the webinar  "Our meadows - Climate-adapted grassland management" took place as part of the webinar series KLIMAFITTES PIELACHTAL (A), organized by the Regional Planning Community Pielachtal. ...[more]

Preserving high mountain pastures - re-grazing the Brunnenkopfalm

The Brunnenkopfalm in the nature reserve Ammergebirge was one of the many abandonned high mountain pastures in the Alps. Within the framework of SUSALPS, we started to re-use the Brunnenkopfalm again in 2018. In our research...[more]

Shortly explained - grassland research

In this video, Ralf Kiese briefly presents grassland research within the TERENO Pre-Alpine Observatory. The Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research - Atmospheric Environmental Research of the Karlsruhe Institute of...[more]

Children's books on soil biodiversity - a special competition for World Soil Day

On the occasion of the World Soil Day on December 5, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) called for a very special competition. Participants were asked to create a children's book about soil...[more]

Bernd Berauer successfully completes his doctorate

Bernd Berauer (Chair of Disturbance Ecology, University of Bayreuth) successfully defended his dissertation at the University of Bayreuth on 16.10.2020. In his dissertation within the SUSALPS project, Bernd Berauer was able to...[more]

SUSALPS presented in the BonaRes newsletter

In this year's autumn issue of the BonaRes newsletter, it' s all about SUSALPS. In an introductory article the project background is explained. Afterwards, Ralf Kiese and Michael Dannenmann give information about the special...[more]

Carbon storage in soil aggregates - a new SUSALPS publication

Alpine and pre-alpine grassland soils provide a variety of ecosystem services and are are hotspots for the storage of soil organic carbon (SOC) in Central Europe. Yet, information about aggregate-related SOC storage and its...[more]

SUSALPS presents research results in the working group on grassland - POSTPONED

SUSALPS project coordinator Ralf Kiese was invited to the meeting of the Working Group Grassland of the Bavarian Farmers' Association to discuss the expected challenges for grassland farming in the pre-Alpine region due to...[more]

Successful in a team: Field and remote sensing data

Remote sensing data - e.g. images from drones and satellites - offer the possibility to observe the landscapes on a larger scale. Instead of only having information for single locations, remote sensing data can be used to...[more]

SUSALPS and the association for bird protection (LBV) issue a brochure on biodiversity and soil functions on mountain pastures

Based on findings of the SUSALPS re-grazing experiment on Brunnenkopfalm, LBV and the SUSALPS project partners issued a brochure on biodiversity and soil functions of mountain pastures. The brochure (first issue printed 6000...[more]

Successful completion of the PhD thesis

Marcus Schlingmann (KIT IMK-IFU) successfully defended his dissertation at the Albert-Ludwigs-University in Freiburg on July 3, 2020 (Figure 1). In his dissertation within the SUSAPLS project, Marcus Schlingmann was able to show...[more]

Looking from the sky - drone flight over the Brunnenkopfalm

At the end of July we were ready again - we changed our perspective for our regrazing experiment on the Brunnenkopfalm. After we had to postpone our annual drone flight several times due to unsettled weather, the prospects for...[more]

Big interdisciplinary field campaign

At the beginning of the SUSALPS project, more than 800 undisturbed soil columns with vegetation (so-called plant-soil mesocosms) were translocated along an elevation gradient to simulate climate change and to investigate the...[more]

Grasland production and management observed from space

Satellite data can be used to study the characteristics of grassland, such as plant growth or use, on a large scale. Since the availability of the first satellite data in the 1970s and 1980s, research in this area has been...[more]

The alp summer has begun

On 10 June, the time had come: the "project cattle" moved to their summer pasture on the Brunnenkopfalm. In rather inhospitable weather, 7 Murnau-Werdenfelser were driven up. We hope for an accident-free summer.[more]

New article on the Brunnenkopfalm regrazing experiment published

Before the start of the grazing experiment and a few months after the cattle were driven to the pasture, soil samples were taken from the grazing areas. The results of Alix Vidal and her colleagues on carbon and nitrogen...[more]

SUSALPS at the virtual EGU

The corona pandemic, like so many other areas of our lives, affects also the scientific community. Therefore, this year one of the largest European conferences, the General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) took...[more]

Determination of forage quality with near-infrared spectroscopy - new SUSALPS publication

The provision of forage is an important ecosystem service of grasslands for the dairy production. However, forage quality is rarely determined in species-rich grasslands. This is mainly due to the complex chemical determination...[more]

First drone flight campaign in the new year

The monitoring of various grassland areas with the help of drones, which began in 2019, will be continued in 2020. We want to develop a methodology to estimate grassland parameters such as biomass and nitrogen content based on...[more]

Where is the real winter?

This winter does not meet our expectations of a "real" winter. Instead of long periods of cold and a closed snow cover, the weather is very variable. At our test site in Fendt there was hardly any snow this winter. But...[more]


Das Magazin lookKIT berichtet über das SUSALPS Beweidungsexperiment Brunnenkopfalm

In der aktuellen Ausgabe (4/2019) "Klima & Nachhaltigkeit" berichtet das KIT-Wissenschaftmagazin lookKIT über das Beweidungsexperiment auf der Brunnenkopfalm. Der Artikel "Was braucht der Berg - Wald oder...[more]

SUSALPS scientists organise a grassland session at the Eurosoil 2020 conference

The international conference Eurosoil 2020 will take place from 24 - 28 August 2020 in Geneva, Switzerland. Soil-related topics will be the focus of this conference. One of the aims of the conference is to bring together leading...[more]

Reportage about climate change and the TERENO research in the pre-Alpine region in the magazine Un|Ruhe

Climate change in the pre-Alps and the related research in the TERENO project is the topic of a reportage of Ullrich Klinkicht in the online magazine Un|Ruhe. You can find the reportage with the title "Calm before the...[more]

The vegetation at Brunnenkopfalm

In the course of the vegetation period 2019, staff members of the Chair of Disturbance Ecology (University of Bayreuth) carried out vegetation studies on the selected permanent observation plots of the Brunnenkopfalm. Within the...[more]

SUSALPS presented at the Jugend forscht perspective forum

From 10-12 October 2019, 35 Jugend forscht Alumni met at the environmental research station Schneefernerhaus for the perspective forum "Climate Change in the Alpine Space". The participants were introduced to the topic...[more]

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]

Diversity of grasslands in the pre-Alps

On 31 June 2019 we saw again the diversity of grasslands in the foothills of the Alps as part of our field work. Our sampled areas ranged from straight cut meadows to hip-high grasslands, from species-rich extensive flowering...[more]

SUSALPS at the International Bioeconomy Conference

The International Bioeconomy Conference is regarded as one of the most important bioeconomy events in Germany. Every year, internationally renowned representatives from science and industry meet to discuss the latest research...[more]

Training on grassland at the Agricultural Training Centre Baden-Württemberg

Four members of the SUSALPS team took part in the course " Grassland farming and forage production" at the Agricultural Training Centre Baden-Württemberg (LAZBW) in Aulendorf from 23 to 27 April 2019. The course taught...[more]

Second drone flight

On April 24 the second drone flight for our remote sensing experiment took place. After the flight we determined the height of the vegetation and then cut off the vegetation. In the laboratory we determined the dry matter and the...[more]

Start of new fertilisation experiments

In the second phase of SUSALPS we investigate the effects of alternative slurry management on the nitrogen use efficiency and nitrogen losses. We want to answer the following questions: Can the plants absorb more nitrogen from...[more]

Start of the remote sensing experiment

Area-based information on the vegetation of grassland (e.g. biomass, nitrogen content) and on management are important for various applications, e.g: Determination of the grassland yieldCalculation of nitrogen removal by...[more]

Delegation from Azerbaijan and Georgia visits SUSALPS/TERENO test sites

On February 14, 2019 a delegation from Azerbaijan and Georgia visited the KIT Campus Alpin and our experimental site in Fendt. The delegation, which mainly consisted of representatives of the Ministries of Agriculture and...[more]

New PhD position in biogeochemistry to fill

At the KIT in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, we search for a new PhD student in the SUSALPS project starting from 1 April 2019. The topic is "Effects of climate change and extensive versus intensive management on nitrogen flows in...[more]

Results of the vegetation mapping at Brunnenkopfalm have been published

In June 2018, a survey of ferns and flowering plants took place at the re-grazing areas at Brunnenkopfalm. The results have been published in the journal "Berichte der Bayerischen Botanischen Gesellschaft" (Heft 88,...[more]

SUSALPS publications in the BonaRes Series

Two SUSALPS publications have been released in the BonaRes Series: 1. Summary of the Round Table "Klimawandel & Grünlandwirtschaft". The publication is in German and can be downloaded via the following...[more]

SUSALPS Conference 2018 was received well

From 18 to 20 September 2018, the SUSALPS Conference "Montane and alpine grasslands under climate change – ways in a sustainable future" was held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. More than 60 participants from nine nations...[more]

Media report on regrazing experiment at Brunnenkopfalm

The start of the regrazing experiment at Brunnenkopalm has evoked some echo in the lokal and regional newspapers. The Garmisch-Partenkirchner Tagblatt / Münchner Merkur from 18.07.2018 and the Weekend Journal of Münchner Merkur...[more]

Bavarian Botanical Society maps plant biodiversity on Brunnenkopfalm

A group of botany experts of the Bavarian Botanical Society, lead by Prof. Dr. Jörg Ewald, were on Brunnenkopfalm June 15-17 to determine status quo of plant biodiversity at the onset of the re-grazing experiment. The thorough...[more]

The cattle are on the alp

Five cattle of the rare Murnau-Werdenfelser breed were brought to the Brunnenkopfalm. Now the grazing experiment can start. [more]

Preparations and initial sampling on the Brunnenkopfalm

Preparational works and an initial sampling for the grazing experiment were conducted from 14 - 18 May 2018 on the Brunnenkopfalm - with a great commitment of all participants and under challenging weather conditions. Fences...[more]

Excursion Brunnenkopfalm

On 9 May 2018, the partners of the grazing experiment met for a joint excursion on the Brunnenkopfalm. Representatives of agricultural authorities, nature conservation, research and practitioner exchanged about the aims,...[more]

SUSALPS Conference 2018

“Montane and alpine grasslands under climate change – ways in a sustainable future”[more]

Announcement: Excursion to the Brunnenkopfalm

A grazing experiment is planned within SUSALPS on the Brunnenkopfalm that analyses the effects of grazing on an abandoned mountain pasture on soil functions, biodiversity, and feed value. The experiment aims to derive...[more]

SUSALPS @ BonaRes Conference 2018

SUSALPS is represented with eigth oral and nine poster presentations at the BonaRes Conference 2018 in Berlin. The conference programme can be accessed via [more]

Trial version of SUSALPS decision support system online

Today we launched the trial version of the SUSALPS decision support system. The system is free of charge and available online at The system can be used on desctop computers and mobile devices. The...[more]

Winter at the experimental sites

February 2018: Winter at the experimental sites Graswang at 850 m a.s.l. (top) and Fendt at 600 m a.s.l. (bottom).[more]

Evidence of the rare earthworm species Proctodrilus opisthoductus in Fendt

In autumn 2017, scientist from the Bavarian State Research Center for Agriculture (LfL) discovered the earthworm species Proctodrilus opisthoductus in Fendt in the framework of the SUSALPS project. Proctodrilus opisthoductus is a...[more]

Survey about grassland management

As a practice-oriented project mutual exchange with farmers is of outmost importance for SUSALPS. Therefore, interested farmers with experience in grassland management are as of now invited to share their practical experience...[more]

Visit of the grassland experiments at the LfL Research Station Spitalhof Kempten

By invitation of Dr. Michael Diepolder from the Bavarian State Research Centre for Agriculture (LfL), members of the SUSALPS team visited the grassland research sites at Spitalhof in Kempten on 20. Oct 2017. Spitalhof is one of...[more]

BonaRes Conference 2018

The international BonaRes Conference will take place from 26-28 Feb 2018 in Berlin. Abstract submission deadline is 1 Nov 2017. Follow for further information. [more]

Earthworm sampling at elevation/climate change gradient

On 26th and 27th September 2017 soil earthworms were sampled at different elevation sites: Fendt, Graswang and Esterberg. The measurement campaign aims at studying the distribution and the species of earthworms and their...[more]

SUSALPS-grazing experiment Brunnenkopfalm: Droneflight provides impressive insights in the initial Alm status as a basis for experimental re-grazing with Murnau-Werdenfelser cattle.

[Translate to English:] 3D-Modell Brunnenkopfalm

Abandoned mountain pastures are valuable but threatened old agricultural landscapes characterized by high biodiversity. In close cooperation with farmers, Nature Conservation Authorities, the Ornithological Station in...[more]

Project meeting in Munich

On 18. September 2017 our project meeting with 24 participants took place in Munich. We were able to exchange information on the progress of work and results in each workpackage, and to concretize the planning and our ideas for...[more]

Round Table on “Grassland management & Climate Change” received broad interest

The first Round Table on „Grassland management & Climate Change“ took place at IMK-IFU on 18th July 2017. More than 30 participants from agricultural practice and consultancies, authorities and science discussed the effects...[more]

Evaluation of gross nitrogen turnover rates

On Monday, 26/06/2017, three teams left in the early morning for new experiments on the SUSALPS sites in Esterberg, Graswang (see pictures) and Fendt. The aim was to determine gross nitrogen mineralization and nitrification...[more]

Cutting of extensively managed mesocosms

On June 8, the extensively managed mesocosms at the sites Esterbergalm, Graswang and Fendt were cut. [more]

Round Table on "Grassland Management and Climate Change" on 18th July 2017 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

We aim to foster knowlede exchange between practitioners, associations, organisations and scientists working in the field of grassland management.  A Round Table on "Grassland Management and Climate Change" takes...[more]


Successful drone surveys at the SUSALPS sites

After the successful tests in Fendt last year, now the drone surveys at the other SUSALPS-sites in Graswang, Esterbergalm and Bayreuth were realized. As result, high resulution and georeferenced orthomosaics are now available for...[more]


Fertilization of Mesocosms

Accordingly to the farmer’s management, the SUSALPS mesocosms in Esterberg, Graswang and Fendt were fertilized during the last two weeks. Furthermore, the first 15N-manure tracing experiment was conducted.[more]


Project meeting in Munich

The project meeting on March 17 2017 was our opportunity to give mutual updates on the latest results of the sub projects and to schedule a working plan for the field season 2017. Thanks to all participants! [more]


Workshop Datenmanagement SUSALPS

A SUSALPS datamanagement workshop was held on March 13th in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. In addition to the responsible SUSALPS project partners WWL Umweltplanung und Geoinformatik GbR and KIT, also two Austrian researchers from...[more]


Winterimpressions Esterbergalm

Current winter impressions from our highest SUSALPS site, the Esterbergalm near Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The snow height of half a meter covers the soil temperature and moisture loggers but also provides ideal winter sports...[more]


Winter on the Experimental sites in Bayreuth

On the control walk last week to the experimental sites the mesocosms and the plants growing in them could hardly be seen. Everything is covered with a (at least by Bayreuth standards) thick layer of snow. [more]


Merry Christmas!

We wish everbody who is interested in SUSALPS, all partners and colleagues a Merry Christmas![more]

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