The three main sessions cover research results on:
I. Landscape Functioning
Element Cycles and Microbiomes
Climate and land use change as well as management practices determine carbon and nitrogen dynamics in agricultural landscapes, which affect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and C and N sequestration. The relevance of soil microbiome properties as relevant regulative forces at the landscape scale is largely unresolved. Modelling approaches at regional to global scales will also greatly benefit from better knowledge about soil microbiology.
The session’s focus is on element cycles and microbiomes in agricultural systems from a landscape perspective. The session aims to present state-of-the-art knowledge of the link between C and N dynamics and microbiomes of agricultural landscapes (including land-atmosphere interactions) and identifies research needs in the fields of soil microbiology, soil science, and related disciplines to improve our understanding and modelling of the role of the microbiome on landscape processes.
II. Land Use and Governance
Managing Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity at the Landscape Scale
Sustainable use of agricultural landscapes requires research on land use strategies at the landscape scale that focusses not only on the provision of agricultural commodities, but also on the provision of ecosystem services and biodiversity by means of adapted management and governance approaches. The integration of diverse societal preferences at the landscape scale can reveal and thus help to avoid or minimize land use conflicts.
This session addresses the fundamental questions: a) if and how can agricultural landscapes be managed and governed under economic pressure, and b) which innovations in land management and social systems support the development of multifunctional landscapes?
A special issue based on this session is planned by the session chairs and scientific committee.
III. Landscape Synthesis
Towards a Landscape Theory
Landscapes are characterized by tight coupling and feedback loops between numerous abiotic features, biota and man, forming highly complex systems from which unexpected behaviour can emerge. System behaviour rarely becomes evident if single processes in landscapes are studied in isolation. A systems approach is therefore required to effectively study landscape processes from a landscape system perspective.
Such systems perspective requires both practical methods and a theoretical basis for landscape research. This session addresses the following issues related to the development of landscape systems research and theory: Is there evidence for emerging behaviour or fundamental constraints that determine landscape dynamics? How can landscape dynamics be systematically studied? Which pathways for developing a general theory of landscape processes are suggested?