The natural resources soil, air, water and biodiversity are the basis of our agricultural sector. We conduct research for sustainable management, so that these resources will also be available to future generations.
Not only does fertilisation help maintain good yields, it also guarantees the quality of our food. In addition to its many positive effects, however, it can also exert negative influences on our environment.
The sustainability of agriculture is determined on the basis of various agri-environmental indicators. Agroscope is responsible for method development as well as for the central analysis of agri-environmental indicators.
The main objective of the Swiss Soil Monitoring Network (NABO) is the recording and assessment of chemical, physical and biological soil pollution at national level, as well as the spatial and temporal early recognition and forecasting of changes.
Soil organisms play a key role in agricultural ecosystems. We investigate interactions between plants and soil organisms in order to bridge the gaps in the knowledge on biodiversity and the role of soil organisms in ecosystem services.
The diversity of habitats, species, crop varieties and livestock breeds forms the basis of agricultural production. Agrosope is developing indicators to record this diversity and conducts the national monitoring ALL-EMA on farmland species and habitats.
Which environmental impacts are important for agricultural production? How can these be quantified? To answer such questions, we continue to develop the environmental LCA methodology and create the necessary databases and calculation tools.
Parasitoids and predators are among the organisms used for biological pest control in agriculture. We investigate the potential ecological risks posed by new plant-protection macroorganisms, as well as their benefits for a sustainable agricultural sector.
Genetically modified plants are grown on ever-increasing acreage worldwide. We investigate the potential benefits for agriculture as well as the ecological risks. Our research focuses mainly on the effects for non-target organisms.
Micro-organisms play a fundamental functional role in many ecosystems including agricultural systems. An intact microbial community and the diversity of microbial conversion processes and functions are important to the stability of such systems.
Plant populations constitute an important component of functional biodiversity in grassland ecosystems. They are formed by the complex interaction of the genetic traits of individual plants with environmental factors such as management, nutrients and harmful substances, as well as beneficial and pathogenic microorganisms.
Ammonia, diesel soot, odour and other emissions are by-products of agricultural production. Often, these emissions are closely associated with the use of energy. New solutions for reducing emissions and using energy more efficiently are needed.
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) offer new ways of improving agricultural production processes. The challenge now is to further optimise conventional processes in order to save costs, use resources sparingly, and improve quality.