Our research projects

Photo: Manuel Gutjahr


Was macht eine Bodenlandschaft robust? Landschaftssensitivität gegenüber Landnutzungsänderungen am Beispiel eines südalpinen Tales (Tessin, Schweiz) - SoilScape
Coordinating Institute
Leibniz-Institut für Agrartechnik und Bioökonomie e.V. (ATB)
Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft
Università di Pavia

Allocated to research program
Land use changes induced by agriculture constitute the ecologically most intense and, in terms of surface area affected, largest anthropogenic impact into natural soil landscapes. Alpine soil landscapes can be considered as particularly sensitive to land use changes because their effects tend to be enhanced by often extreme climatic and topographic conditions as well as intense geomorphological activity. Within the scope of the project SoilScape the sensitivity of a southern Alpine soil landscape in Ticino (Switzerland) to a set of different land use changes will be assessed. These land use changes are represented in six different land use-topography units that can be differentiated regarding: (i) the type of land use (pasture; meadow; agriculture; forest), (ii) the status of land use (active; abandoned/extensified), and (iii) the topography (artificial terraces; natural slope). Firstly, we will analyze the effects of the different land use changes on particular soil physical and chemical properties that serve as indicators for the sensitivity of the soil landscape. Secondly, we determine if the observed changes in the indicator properties resulted in a significant increase of soil erosion. As soil erosion is the main contributor to soil degradation in mountainous regions, finally, the sensitivity of the southern Alpine soil landscape to these land use changes can be deduced.

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Funding framework