Maria Langhammer, Universität Potsdam

Analysis and evaluation of land use change effects through rising biomass cultivation on European hares (Lepus europaeus) in Central Germany using the spatial simulation model ALMaSS

Biomass is nowadays the most important and varied renewable source of energy in Germany. The rising biomass cultivation increases an agricultural land use competition to the disadvantage of conventional and ecological food production, set-aside fields and habitat connectivity. As a result, the typical agricultural biodiversity is endangered and more and more fallows and field margins get lost due to the intensification of agriculture.

Aim of this work is to analyse the consequences of land use change on European hare (Lepus europaeus) populations through increasing biomass cultivation in Central Germany. The spatially explicit simulation model ALMaSS will be applied to this issue and the short and longer term effects of following impact factors on hare population development will be examined: landscape structure, cultivation systems (especially energy crops) and field margins. Therefore all modules of ALMaSS will be adapted with empirical data of Central Germany. Beforehand the existing Danish model will be used for testing scenario development systematically. To examine the importance of field margins more specifically, a landscape analysis of the research areas will be done.

The result will be a comparative evaluation of a range of exemplary scenarios, varying different crop distributions, cultivation systems and landscape structures, from the ecological point of view. It is the basis for developing strategies for a sustainable energy cultivation associated with biodiversity protection.