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Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Geomatics

SattGrün - Satellite-based information for grassland management

Grasslands need to be adequately managed to sustain crucial ecosystem functions and services. SattGrün aims to develop novel methods based on freely available data from the Copernicus program, i.e. Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 time series in combination with environmental models.

meadow with hay bales

Permanent grassland accounts for 28% of Germany's agricultural area and thus has a landscape-shaping character. Its main supply service is the production of milk and meat, through the use of grassland as a high-quality basic feed. Also, grassland contributes to the regulation of the natural environment as a habitat of numerous plant and animal species, due to carbon sequestration in the soil, flood and erosion protection and the filtration function for rainwater. The preservation of traditional forms of use of the meadows and pastures and the resulting landscapes also ensure the scenic cultural heritage. The long term preservation of grassland-based ecosystem services can only be ensured by means of continuous, site-specific, market-oriented and environmentally sound management and care, which at the same time must be innovative and future-oriented. Grassland management - in accordance with these objectives - is subject to a complex decision-making process, which involves a large number of information. In today's high-technology work environment, farmers increasingly rely on digital information systems. The aim of SattGrün is the development of innovative products from the combination of earth observation data and simulation models. A special focus of our research group is on the use of satellite data from the European Copernicus program. Time series of Sentinel-1 (SAR) and Sentinel-2 (Optical) will be used individually, and in combination, to derive grassland specific information for enhanced grassland mapping and management characterization, and to refine outcomes of plant growth models. SattGrün will increase our general understanding of grasslands and related management practices but also reveal the benefits and limitations of state of the art remote sensing products for grassland monitoring. Based on the gained knowledge our project partners will develop web-based decision-making aids that provide farmers with up-to-date information to optimize mowing dates, fertilizer applications and other measures. Especially, incorporating aspects of selected ecosystem services into the decision-making criteria, will help to guide management practices towards a sustainable use of grasslands.

 


 

Funding

Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung; FKZ 2818300816

Project members

portrait Patrick HostertPatrick Hostert (principle investigator)

portrait Marcel SchwiederMarcel Schwieder (correspondence)

 

 

Partner institution(s)