Cross compliance and the protection of grassland - illustrative analyses of land use transitions between permanent grassland and arable land in German regions

Nitsch, Heike GND; Osterburg, Bernhard GND; Roggendorf, Wolfgang GND; Laggner, Birgit GND

Permanent grassland combines various ecological functions in terms of nature, soil, water and climate protection. Conversion of grassland to arable land is accompanied by a diminution of these functions. Various developments have led to increased pressure on the EU grassland area. With cross compliance, the EU sets minimum standards for the protection of the ratio of permanent grassland. However, this requirement alone does not ensure the preservation of grassland on sensitive sites, such as water or nature conservation areas or land on organic soils or on steep hills. This paper deals with land use changes between grassland and arable land. For this purpose we analyse data of the EU’s Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS) from four German federal states. The described methodology allows to identify gross changes of land use and to distinguish between conversion of permanent grassland and “loss” due to “deactivation” at a highly disaggregated level. Merging IACS-data with further spatially explicit data provides a picture of land use transitions in ecologically sensitive areas and enables conclusions to be drawn about the effectiveness of protection measures

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Nitsch, Heike / Osterburg, Bernhard / Roggendorf, Wolfgang / et al: Cross compliance and the protection of grassland - illustrative analyses of land use transitions between permanent grassland and arable land in German regions. 2012.

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