TP2-2: Management effects

Management effects on above-ground matter fluxes in silvopastoral systems


As part of SIGNAL, the responsibility of the Grassland Science and Renewable Plant Resources group at the University of Kassel/Witzenhausen is the evaluation of the effects of different management strategies on the above ground matter fluxes in agroforestry. The study site is located in Reiffenhausen, district of Göttingen in the south of Lower Saxony, Germany and occupies an area of approximately 1.3 hectares. A silvo-pastoral agroforestry system has already been established in 2011. It consists of alternating, 80 meters long rows of willows and grassland strips each in a threefold repetition. The grassland strips are 9 meter wide and cultivated with two seed mixtures, namely clover-grass and a biodiversity mixture containing 32 mostly herbaceous species. Different management strategies of the grassland include 2 and 4 cuts per year. The grassland strips alternate with 7 meter wide strips of willows, which are characterized by their bushy growth making this willow variety particularly suitable for short rotation coppice. The trees have a rotation period of 3 years and the first willow harvest was in winter 2014/2015. TP 2-2 will analyse the biomass (dry matter yield and -content) and quality (Weende analysis, detergent fibre, enzymatic digestibility) of grassland and the annual dry matter growth of willows and their fuel characteristics. Furthermore several ways of energetic conversion of grassland biomass will be investigated. Thus, in the following years research is mainly interested in the middle- and long-term increase of biomass and its associated profitability. Besides the economic potential of the agroforestry system the project aims to investigate the long-term effects on ecological parameters like the dynamics of nitrogen and phosphate, the availability of nutrients and the water use efficiency of the soils. These objectives are accomplished in close cooperation with the TP1-1.Long-term findings are crucial for optimizing the design and management of such systems and to provide incentives for farmers to change conventional land use to ensure a sustainable and efficient use of the limited resources soil and land.

Additional Information


Prof. Dr. Michael Wachendorf

University of Kassel, Department of Grassland Science and Renewable Plant Resources
Steinstraße 19, 37213 Witzenhausen, Germany

Phone: +49 (0)561 804-1334
Fax: +49 (0)561 804-1342

Dr. Rüdiger Graß

Phone: +49 (0)561 804-1312

Sarah Malec

Phone: +49 (0)561 804-1338