Selected Trade-Offs and Risks Associated with Land Use Transitions in Central Germany

  • Joerg A. PriessEmail author
  • Christian Hoyer
  • Greta Jäckel
  • Eva Lang
  • Sebastian Pomm
  • Christian Schweitzer


Future uncertainties and risks for socio-environmental systems are often addressed in the form of scenarios. This study aims to identify the biggest future risks and uncertainties for the study region Central Germany and the question which land use changes and impacts on selected ecosystem services related to agricultural production can be expected in the coming decades.

For this purpose, we co-developed scenario storylines along the largest uncertainties, how the region may change with different stakeholders and used environmental models to simulate land-use changes and impacts on selected ecosystem services related to agricultural production.

The study revealed that Climate change may have beneficial (e.g. maize, sugar beet) or adverse effects (e.g. barley, wheat) on crop yield levels, depending on crop type and level of climate change. In the scenarios crop production is additionally influenced by different levels of regional preferences influencing crop land extent (e.g., afforestation), crop management (e.g., organic production), and crop types used for food or bioenergy production. As driving factors such as climate change, land availability, and land management all influence agriculture, integrated studies like this are needed to assess future crop production. However, sustainability objectives may prefer other than the most productive agricultural pathways providing additional benefits such as regulating or cultural services.


Agriculture Integrated modelling Land-use change Participatory scenarios Provisioning services 



This paper was funded by the Helmholtz research program POF2/3 (CH, EL, GJ, JAP, SP) and by the EU FP7 project OpenNESS (project EC-308428) (CS).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joerg A. Priess
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christian Hoyer
    • 2
  • Greta Jäckel
    • 3
    • 4
  • Eva Lang
    • 1
  • Sebastian Pomm
    • 5
  • Christian Schweitzer
    • 6
  1. 1.Department Computational Landscape EcologyHelmholtz Centre for Environmental Research–UFZLeipzigGermany
  2. 2.German Environment AgencySection National and International Environmental ReportingDessau-RosslauGermany
  3. 3.Department of Aquatic Ecosystem AnalysisHelmholtz Centre for Environmental Research–UFZLeipzigGermany
  4. 4.Department of Ecological ModellingHelmholtz Centre for Environmental Research–UFZLeipzigGermany
  5. 5.Annalinde gGmbHLeipzigGermany
  6. 6.Fachgebiet Umweltinformationssysteme und -dienste, Satellitenfernerkundung, DateninfrastrukturGerman Environment AgencyDessau-RosslauGermany

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