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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2018-05-01 - 2023-04-30

ECOBREED will improve the availability of seed and varieties suitable for organic and low- input production. Activities will focus on four crop species, selected for their potential contribution to increase competitiveness of the organic sector, i.e. common wheat, potato, soybean and common buckwheat. The project will develop (a) methods, strategies and infrastructures for organic breeding, (b) varieties with improved stress resistance, resource use efficiency and quality and (c) improved methods for the production of high quality organic seed. The objectives are: • To increase the availability of seeds and varieties for the organic and low-input sector • To identify traits and combinations of traits suited to organic and low-input production environment including high nutrient use efficiency and weed competitiveness/allelopathy • To increase breeding activities for organic and low-input crop production. ECOBREED will increase the competitiveness of the organic and low-input breeding and farming sectors by: • Identifying genetic and phenotypic variation in morphological, abiotic/biotic tolerance/resistance and nutritional quality traits that can be used in organic breeding • Evaluation of the potential of genetic variation for enhanced nutrient acquisition • Evaluation of the potential for increased weed competitiveness and control • Optimisation of seed production/multiplication via improved agronomic and seed treatment protocols • Developing efficient, ready-to-use farmer participatory breeding systems • Pre-breeding of elite varieties for improved agronomic performance, biotic/abiotic stress resistance/tolerance and nutritional quality • Development of training programmes in (a) genomic tools/techniques, (b) PPB and (c) use and application of improved phenotyping capabilities. • Ensuring optimum and rapid utilisation and exploitation of project deliverables and innovations by relevant industry and other user/stakeholder groups.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2016-05-01 - 2017-04-30

The aim of the proposed study is the scientific study of innovative subdivisions in plant pots. It should be investigated whether an effective interruption of the root zone is possible by lamellas and thereby the long roots formation can be suppressed as well as the hair roots formation optimized. In an experimental study with several ceramic pot prototypes, in which the lamellas for dividing the root zone in different combinations are used (short to long, low to high, narrow to broad), can these influences be for the first time scientifically investigated. This would make it possible to demonstrate the efficacy of internals in plant pots scientifically. It would be also conceivable to demonstrate, that through the stimulation of the hair roots formation the positive effects on plant health can be achieved. Thus, the consequences of stress (partially drought, lack of irrigation and unfavorable locations) may be at least reduced and contribute to the better resistance of the plant. This could be both for indoor as well as balcony, and patio plants beneficial.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2019-01-01 - 2022-01-06

In agroecosystems, multiple ecosystem services such as soil fertility, pest regulation, crop production and biodiversity conservation need to be balanced to achieve both sustainable development goals and Aichi biodiversity targets. The main global change drivers of biodiversity and ecosystem services in viticultural landscapes are climate change, the invasion of alien (pest) species, land management changes, wine markets and policies. These drivers influence land use decisions at the local and regional level which affect multiple dimensions of biodiversity and the delivery of ecosystem services (ES). We will develop and test model frameworks which integrate different scenarios of land use across spatial scales for future management in viticultural regions from Spain, to France, Germany, Austria and Romania. First, we will organise workshops in each project region to develop stakeholder-driven scenarios which will be used as input for the agent-based models. Second, we will utilize existing knowledge from different European countries to build a predictive model for ES in viticulture. Third, the model will be validated using field measurements of above- and below-ground biodiversity plus the multiple ecosystem services that it provides. This will be done along gradients of landscape complexity and management options in the five European case-study regions. The outcomes of the project will be (i) a conceptual model of the tradeoffs and synergies between multiple biodiversity-related ES in viticulture in relation to local and regional management and landscape structure which informs (ii) a spatially-explicit model integrating winegrowers as agents which influence land use decisions and consequently ES provision in response to different land-use scenarios and (iii) a software decision-support tool for stakeholders in viticulture that provides information on how to manage their crop to enhance biodiversity and multiple ES.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations