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KULUNDA: Climate Smart Agriculture

South Siberian Agro-steppe as Pioneering Region for Sustainable Land Use

  • Book
  • © 2020


  • Focuses on climate adaptation and land-use methods
  • Offers tested key solutions for sustainable agriculture in dryland areas of Russia and Kazakhstan
  • Provides a transdisciplinary approach to the under-researched area of steppe conversions
  • A valuable asset for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers alike

Part of the book series: Innovations in Landscape Research (ILR)

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Table of contents (39 chapters)

  1. Background to the Natural Landscape and Consequences of the Ecosystem Conversation

  2. Socio-economic, Institutional and Demographic Dynamics Impacting Land Use in Post-socialist South Siberia


About this book

This book focuses on a representative example and one of the world’s largest steppe conversions, and provides a detailed overview of the results of the BMBF-funded research project KULUNDA. As part of the Siberian virgin land policy, the Kulunda steppe was transformed into agricultural land from 1954 to 1965.   

In the course of the project, a multidisciplinary research team conducted a natural, social-economic and agro-scientific cause-and-effect analysis of (agro-)ecosystem destabilisation, as well as various field trials covering tillage and crop rotation options in their socio-economic context. 

The ecologically and economically sound findings offer strategies for combining climate smart land utilization, ecosystem restoration and sustainable regional development, and can readily be applied to other virgin land conversion efforts. In addition, the findings on the Eurasian steppes will expand the current conversion literature, which mainly consists of the ‘Dust Bowl’ literature of the North American plains. Given its scope, the book will appeal to scientists, professionals, and students in the environmental, geo- and climate sciences. 

Editors and Affiliations

  • Institute of Geoscience and Geography, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Saale), Germany

    Manfred Frühauf

  • Institut für Bodenkunde, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Hannover, Germany

    Georg Guggenberger

  • AMAZONEN-Werke H. Dreyer GmbH & Co. KG, Astana, Kazakhstan

    Tobias Meinel

  • Agricultural, Environmental and Food Policy, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Saale), Germany

    Insa Theesfeld

  • Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde (IfL), Universität Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany

    Sebastian Lentz

About the editors

Prof. Dr.h.c.mult. Manfred Frühauf began his academic career by studying geography. In 1993 he was offered the Professorship (chair) of Geoecology at the Martin Luther University in Halle-Wittenberg, Germany. In the following years his research focused on Environmental Geography; Urban Ecology, Geomorphology and Climate Change. But his main research interest was in investigating the impacts of land-use change as well as climate change on soil degradation, especially in the steppe regions of Russia and Kazakhstan. Until his retirement in autumn 2017 he served several terms as director of the Institute of Geosciences and Geography and as dean of the faculty. In recognition of his achievements in the development of cooperation in research and teaching, he has been awarded honorary doctorates by three Russian universities. Professor Frühauf passed away shortly after completing this book.   

Prof. Dr. Georg Guggenbergeris Acting Director of the Institute of Soil Science at the Leibniz University of Hannover, Germany. His focus is on biogeochemical processes of carbon and nutrient cycling within the soil and its response and feedback to external drivers such as climate change and land-use change. He has published nearly 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals.   

Prof. Dr. Sebastian Lentz is Director of the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography in Leipzig, Germany, and holds the Chair for Regional Geography at the University of Leipzig. His research interests focus on Cultural and Social Geography, Regional Geography of Europe, mainly Eastern Europe, and the successor states of the Soviet Union. Another field of expertise is Cartography, particularly thematic mapping. He is speaker of the Leibniz ScienceCampus “Eastern Europe – Global Area”, serves on the Academic Advisory Board of the Centre for East European and International Studies (Berlin) and is Vice President of the Leibniz Association. 

Prof. Dr. Insa Theesfeld (Ph.D.) is a Professor of Agricultural, Environmental and Food Policy and Governance at the Martin Luther University in Halle-Wittenberg, Germany. An agricultural and institutional economist, her research particularly addresses the compatibility between formal institutions and society’s norms and values, an aspect that influences effective policy implementation. In 2019 she was selected as the next president of the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC).   

Prof. Dr. Tobias Meinel studied geography and geoecology at the University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany. He obtained his doctorate from the University of Halle, with a thesis on soil degradation in Siberian semiarid steppe regions. Meinel then worked at the Chair of Geoecology in Halle, focusing on the connection between crop farming and soil degradation. In 2007, Meinel took a position at the Amazonen-Werke in Kazakhstan, where he helped develop sustainable crop farming in the steppe regions. In 2012, the Altai State Agricultural University in Barnaul awarded him an honorary professorship in recognition of his achievements. 

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