Plants for food, energy and renewable resources

The Group of Grassland Science and Renewable Plant Resources researches on and teaches the complex relations between type and diversity of grassland vegetation and its yield formation and forage quality in dependency of site conditions. Legumes play a prominent role, as they are important for soil fertility in Organic Farming due to their ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen and to provide it to the agricultural system.

Members of the group develop new cultivation and utilization methods for plants as field forage or renewable resources for material (e.g. biochar, activated carbon) energy purposes (e.g. solid fuel, biogas). Beside the investigation of effects on the whole system we do focus to minimize the competition with the traditional use for food or feed, which is why residual biomasses from the rural (e.g. nature conservation areas) and urban (e.g. leave litter and green cut) area are at the centre of our research work. This includes also aspects of climate change, which requires measures of climate protection and adaptation.

To assess and evaluate vegetation of grasslands, arable land and agroforestry, novel remote sensing methods are developed and tested, which allow the analysis of large-scale land use patterns and their change in space and time. Further, they may serve as a decision support for a site-specific management of crops.

Im Ulmer Verlag erschienen: Ökologische Landwirtschaft

Buchcover "Ökologische Landwirtschaft" UTB

Die Ökologische Landwirtschaft hat sich zu einer stark wissensbasierten Wirtschaftsweise entwickelt. Für ein umfassendes Verständnis sind neben dem Spezialwissen der Boden-, Pflanzenbau-, Nutztier-, Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften auch Kenntnisse über die Querbeziehungen zwischen diesen Gebieten sowie zur Organisation ganzer (Betriebs)Systeme notwendig. 

Angesichts der zunehmenden Bedeutung von Produkten aus tropischen und subtropischen Regionen für den weltweiten Konsum von Erzeugnissen der Ökologischen Landwirtschaft, beleuchtet dieses Buch auch die aktuellen Themen und Bedingungen der dortigen Produktion.

Bachelorstudierende der Agrarwissenschaften und angrenzender Studienrichtungen erhalten eine kompakte und verständliche Einführung in all diese Wissensgebiete, aber auch für Praktiker und Interessierte ein toller Einblick in den Ökologischen Landbau.

Link zum Buch: "Ökologische Landwirtschaft"

"Improving grassland and pasture management in temperate agriculture"


The shift to more intensive livestock system has put more pressure on grasslands used for pasture. At the same time, there is a greater understanding of the role of grasslands in delivering a range of ecosystems services. This volume reviews the range of research on more sustainable use of grasslands to optimise livestock nutrition whilst protecting biodiversity and delivering a range of broader environmental benefits.

Part 1 assesses grassland functions and dynamics, including plant-soil and plant-animal interactions. Part 2 reviews key aspects of grassland management, including sowing, soil health, irrigation and weed control as well as monitoring. The final part of the book considers wider aspects of sustainability such as protecting biodiversity as well as silage processing.

With its distinguished editors and international team of subject experts, this will be a standard reference for grassland and rangeland scientists, livestock producers, government and non-governmental organisations responsible for grassland management.

Key features

  • Assesses latest research on how grasslands function 
  • Surveys best practice in sustainable grassland management 
  • Considers wider aspects of sustainability such as ecosystem services and biodiversity