The team “Agroecosystems and Phenology” develops advanced methods and approaches for analyzing the rich treasure of available earth observation time series. With its expertise in multi-sensor and multi-temporal earth observation, the team creates novel information products and services to support decision makers and scientists in the broad field of agroecosystems, phenology and food security.
Our planet has been considerably shaped by the need to produce food for a growing human population. More than one third of the global land surface is currently used for crop and livestock production, and agriculture accounts for more than two thirds of the freshwater withdrawn from rivers, lakes and aquifers. With accelerating population growth and lifestyle changes, our need for food will drastically increase, so that agricultural production will have to double by 2050 to ensure food security. This situation is further aggravated by climate change which causes phenological shifts and impedes productivity in many regions of the world. Hence, there is a need to sustainably enhance global food production and make agroecosystems more resilient. Strategies to increase food production can take many forms. In some regions of the world, we observe a further substantial expansion of cultivation which can create serious threats to ecosystems and natural resources. But also intensification measures can have negative side effects such as soil erosion, chemical pollution of water and ecosystems, or impacts on hydrological cycles. Sustainable intensification approaches consider – next to increasing yields – a wide range of aspects such as minimizing losses of water, nutrients and soil, increasing resilience to climate threats, and sustaining ecosystem services and functions.
Behind this background, the team “Agroecosystems and Phenology” explores the rich treasure of historic and newest earth observation data to monitor and better understand long-term an recent processes in agroecosystems. We develop novel methods, processing chains and information products based on earth observation data from different sensors (multispectral and SAR) at varying spatial and temporal resolutions and scales. In particular, time series of satellite data are used to quantify processes, changes and trends related to land use activities, environmental dynamics and global change. In this context, we focus on the most urgent challenges of our global society to achieve a sustainable development towards food security and resilient ecosystems.
Within the team “Agroecosystems and Phenology” we develop earth observation based methods and information products to support decision makers from politics, economy and science. We process and analyze a wide range of satellite earth observation data using advanced image processing techniques with a focus on the following themes:
Method development of the team “Agroecosystems and Phenology” focuses on: