SP 6 - Development of agricultural techniques for steppe restoration
Intact steppe occupies only small part of the research area in southwest Siberia and Kazakhstan. However, soil degradation led to large areas, which were set aside in the past and are now in succession to grassland development. With the aim of accelerating the process of steppe restoration on degraded sites after former agricultural land-use, SP 6 is seeking on implementation of specific seeding methodologies, including application of optimized plants mixtures by innovative machinery to increase steppe ecosystems biodiversity, improve soil fertility, and increase soil organic carbon stocks. In cooperation with SP 1, 4 and 5, the team of SP 6 carries out environmental monitoring on plant biomass and biodiversity, and investigates the recovery of sensitive soil parameters (in particular, soil organic carbon and organically bound nutrients) to verify the success of climate-adapted agricultural technologies for steppe restoration.