Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

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Changes in agricultural land use have important but often slowly occurring impacts on ecosystems and biodiversity. These impacts frequently lead to tipping points, at which an agro-ecosystem changes to a new state in which a loss in biodiversity or the functionality of ecosystem services occurs. From that state it is very costly and/or takes a long time to return to the prior state.

To understand the long-term development of agro-ecological systems, their interaction with the socio-economic system has to be considered. Social systems can also reach tipping points – passing a threshold that leads to a new governance system to manage the natural resource. Ecological tipping points often evolve through interaction with social systems. To analyze these tipping points we aim to develop integrated models that consider the knowledge of different disciplines. AgriTip is currently in the preliminary phase funded by the BMBF. The interdisciplinary team combines expertise from natural, economic and social sciences.

Institutional and Policy Analysis to Model Co-evolution: Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Food Policy (MLU- Prof. Theesfeld)

Within the AgriTip Project, we are particularly interested in an early warning system of possible negative feedback loops between socio-economic and natural systems.

The team at Martin Luther University particularly deals with institutional and policy analysis, focusing on co-evolution between socio-economic and natural systems. To date, there is hardly any appropriate analytical tool that allows an integrated analysis of social, economic and ecological system elements in a clearly defined and quantitative way.