Objectives, Study Region(s)/Spatial Concept

The interface between the steppe and the northern forest zone in Western Siberia is of global significance in terms of carbon sequestration, food production, and biodiversity. All these subject matters have been and will continue to be affected by climate change and rapid socio-economic development triggering fundamental changes in land use.

SASCHA aims to provide basic knowledge and practical management tools to cope with these far-reaching changes. We will evaluate the impact of different agricultural land-use types and intensities on various ecosystem goods and services such as carbon sequestration, soil fertility, water resources, and biodiversity in the Pre-Taiga and Forest-Steppe zone of the southern Tyumen province in Russia. For field surveys, three test areas of 400 km2 are arranged along the steep climatic gradient between the Pre-Taiga and the Forest-Steppe where particularly strong interactions between climate warming and land-use change can be anticipated. The gained information will be used for (i) developing optimized, long-term, sustainable agricultural land-use practices at farm level, and (ii) for the definition of priority areas for different land-use types and intensities under various scenarios of climate change at the landscape level. To translate the project results in an operational planning framework, implementation and monitoring tools will be developed under strict consideration of institutional structures of governance.