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Braunschweig, Germany

Efken J.,Thunen Institute of Market Analysis | Dirksmeyer W.,Thunen Institute of Farm Economics | Kreins P.,Thunen Institute of Rural Studies | Knecht M.,Justus Liebig University
NJAS - Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences | Year: 2016

This paper aims at measuring the importance of the bioeconomy within the economy as a whole in Germany. It is based upon the definition of the bioeconomy by the German Bioeconomy Council according to which the bioeconomy "encompasses all those sectors and their related services which produce, process or use biological resources in whatever form." Various official statistics were exploited for the determination of the different industries and their share of the bioeconomy. Our analysis covers the developments from 2002 to 2010. The indicators used were employment and gross value added. Altogether, about five million employees, representing 10% of all employees and 140 billion Euros, representing 6% of gross national product have been identified as the share of bioeconomy in Germany in 2010. This indicates a strong increase compared to the year 2002. Challenges that still need to be overcome are that neither the available data nor the economic activities themselves can be unambiguously assigned to the bioeconomy or the non-bioeconomy. © 2016 Royal Netherlands Society for Agricultural Sciences.

Henseler M.,Thunen Institute of Rural Studies | Dechow R.,Thunen Institute of Agricultural Climate Research
Agricultural Systems | Year: 2014

Nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from agricultural land use account for 56% of German agricultural green house gas (GHG) emissions. It is assumed that this share will increase up to 60% by 2020. The realistic estimation of N2O emissions for GHG inventory and policy scenarios requires a model approach which considers the regional drivers for both the N2O originating processes and agricultural production.The nitrous oxide emissions from agricultural mineral soils have been simulated for Germany at regional scale for the base year 2007, the baseline year 2020 and a scenario assuming a nitrogen tax as a mitigation instrument. For the simulation the agro-economic model RAUMIS was applied with the standard IPCC emission factor approach together with the emission model MODE, which provides emission factors considering the regional impacts of climate, soil and crop system.The emission levels computed with the RAUMIS-MODE approach are in general smaller, and indicate a different regional distribution of the highly emitting regions (e.g., in southern Germany). For all of Germany the simulations result in an increase of 16% in the year 2020 computed with the IPCC approach and of 9% computed with the RAUMIS-MODE approach.The simulation of a nitrogen tax of 150% on the price of purchased mineral nitrogen fertilizer results in an emission decrease of 12-13% compared to the baseline. While the impact of the nitrogen tax on agriculture production is highest in regions with low livestock density or low productivity, the mitigation effect in less productive regions is low, and vice versa. The results indicate that a nitrogen tax on mineral fertilizer does not seem to be a suitable instrument to address regional N2O mitigation targets. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Baum S.,Thunen Institute of Rural Studies | Weih M.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Bolte A.,Thunen Institute of Forest Ecosystems
Landbauforschung Volkenrode | Year: 2013

In the near future an increase in Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) plantations is to be expected. The objective was to compare the recent vegetation and the soil seed bank in SRC plantations to reveal the functioning of the soil seed bank for phytodiversity and vegetation structure after reconversion of SRC plantations into arable land. For the analyses, above-ground vegetation surveys and soil seed bank samples of six German and four Swedish SRC plantations were used. Similarity in composition of soil seed banks and recent vegetation was low in terms of species, plant strategy types, species habitat preferences and seed longevity. On average, the proportion of common species of recent vegetation and soil seed bank was 8.4 % (± 6.7 % SD).The recent vegetation was dominated by competitive (c) plant species while in the soil seed banks highest proportions were detected for ruderals (r) and competitors (c). Species with long-term persistent seeds had the highest contribution to both the recent vegetation and the soil seed banks. Grassland species had highest species habitat preference proportion in the recent vegetation. The soil seed banks contained predominantly ruderal species and woodland species were almost absent. Due to the poor coherence of seed bank vs. recent vegetation, we conclude that the site history has only a minor influence on phytodiversity in SRC plantations, suggesting that recent vegetation composition is mainly due to the species pool of the adjacent vegetation and site conditions like below-canopy irradiance and site nutrition.

Henseler M.,Thunen Institute of Rural Studies | Henseler M.,European Commission | Piot-Lepetit I.,European Commission | Piot-Lepetit I.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | And 7 more authors.
Food Policy | Year: 2013

Due to their high protein content, soybeans are important feedstuffs in the European Union (EU). However, the cultivation of soybeans using genetically modified (GM) varieties in non-EU countries is increasing and the EU authorization of GM products takes longer than in other countries, leading to an asynchronous approval between the EU and non-EU countries that might induce soybean trade disruptions. This paper uses an integrated modelling system to simulate Argentina, Brazil and the United States ending soybean exports to the EU. The impact on world trade and on the EU import prices of soy products is analysed with a computable general equilibrium model. EU soy imports are shown to decline, and the import price of soybeans in the EU increases. The effects on EU agricultural markets are analysed based on a partial equilibrium model. Feed costs in the EU are found to increase with poultry and pork the most affected: production and exports decline and imports increase. However, the effects of a trade ban are found to be less profound than in many other studies due to compensating substitution effects at various market levels: increasing imports from third countries, increasing domestic oilseed production and the use of other protein feeds. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Kreins P.,Thunen Institute of Rural Studies | Henseler M.,Thunen Institute of Rural Studies | Henseler M.,University of Le Havre | Anter J.,Thunen Institute of Agricultural Technology | And 2 more authors.
Water Resources Management | Year: 2015

Climate change is expected to impact agricultural production conditions and groundwater resources. The climate change impacts are expected to be of particular importance for the German region North Rhine-Westphalia. Due to a high population density and intensive partial irrigation of agricultural production, future resource conflicts for groundwater are expected. An integrated model framework consisting of climate, crop-soils and ground-water models represents the regional heterogeneous climatic, geographic and agronomic conditions. The integrated model framework simulates the irrigation demand and groundwater recharge. An ex-post comparison between the simulated reference period (1961 to 1990) and statistical data prove a good model validity. The climate change scenario for the future period 2051 to 2080 assumes decreasing precipitation and increasing transpiration. The simulated total irrigation demand increases by nearly 20 times compared to the reference period (1961 to 1990) and increases regionally to more than 40 mm/ha. Decreasing groundwater recharge results in a tenfold increased share of irrigation water from groundwater. This share accounts regionally for more than 30%. The results indicate important impacts for both agricultural production and other groundwater users. © Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015.

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