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Balancing trade-offs between agriculture and biodiversity in the steppes of Kazakhstan

Thematic complex:
Natural resource use
Project duration:
01.01.2015 - 31.12.2017
Investigated countries:

The Volkswagen Foundation funds this 3-year-project that will analyze agricultural and restoration potentials on abandoned arable land, the distribution of key steppe grassland biodiversity (small mammals, birds and plants), and biodiversity responses to changing agricultural use and wildfires in Kazakhstan. The Kazakh steppes have huge, currently unused agricultural potentials that could make an important contribution to world nutrition. Simultaneously, the expansion of agriculture competes with Kazakhstan’s renaturation of unique steppe ecosystems. Developing strategies to bring agriculture and biodiversity protection in line is the declared goal of the BALTRAK project (Balancing trade-offs between agriculture and biodiversity in the steppes of Kazakhstan).

The interdisciplinary research project aims to evaluate the agricultural potential and renaturation of abandoned farmland. For this purpose, the connection between land use, steppe fire and biodiversity shall be analyzed. Ultimately, the researchers aim to develop strategies to reconcile agriculture and biodiversity, and contribute to the development of protected areas in Central Asia.

Project partners



		Prof. Dr. Daniel Müller

Prof. Dr. Daniel Müller

Deputy Head of Department Structural Change
Room: 239

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Project Staff

Dr. Florian Schierhorn
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Brett Hankerson

Prof. Dr. Daniel Müller (Project leader)
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Further Information