TP2-2: Management effects

Management effects on above-ground matter fluxes in silvopastoral systems


During the second phase of SIGNAL, the Group of Grassland Science and Renewable Plant Resources (GNR) of University of Kassel/Witzenhausen evaluates methods to depict the spatial variability of biomass and grain yield in agroforestry systems.

Agroforestry systems can deliver a higher land equivalent ratio compared to the separated cultivation of crops and trees as monocultures. At the same time, yield variations occur within the arable crop/grassland strips due to interactions between arable crops/grassland and trees. Those variations differ significantly depending on site and design of the agroforestry system. The specific manifestation of the spatial variability is of major importance for the ecological and economical assessment of agroforestry systems. Yet, yield estimations often rely on point measurements in transects or data acquisition with (plot) combines. These methods cannot capture the spatial variability of plant parameters in relation to the distance to the trees very precisely. High spatial resolution and coverage can only be achieved at high cost considerable workforce.

The research of the Group GNR during the second phase of SIGNAL thus aims at developing methods of Remote Sensing being able to capture small scale variability of yield-related plant parameters with high spatial resolution and coverage. Therefore, drone-based high resolution multispectral and hyperspectral data are acquired at the conventionally managed silvopastoral (Mariensee, Reiffenhausen) and silvoarable agroforestry sites (Wendhausen, Dornburg, Forst) of SIGNAL. Additionally, point clouds are generated from imagery captured by a commercially available photo-drone with the aim of biomass estimation through its correlation with plant height. Optimal sensors for large scale yield assessment shall be evaluated thereby as well as spatial patterns within the investigated agroforestry systems.


The aim of the study is finding simple methods for capturing yield-related plant parameter at high resolution and coverage, while at the same time gaining an improved understanding of ecological interactions between tree strips and agricultural crops.

Another field of research within the project is long-term development of biomass yield and quality in grassland. Therefore, data acquisition at the silvopastoral agroforestry system of the Universities of Kassel and Göttingen in Reiffenhausen is continued.

Additional Information


University of Kassel, Grassland Science and Renewable Plant Ressources 



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

Dr. Thomas Astor


Matthias Wengert