How functional are our hedgerows? Scientific assessment system for hedgerows and windbreaks

In the Central European landscape, problems such as drought, soil erosion or loss of biodiversity are becoming increasingly serious.

Hedges and windbreaks have been tried and tested elements of agro-ecological infrastructure for centuries, which can reduce these degrading influences and incidentally beautify the landscape and thus increase the quality of stay.

Nevertheless, such structural elements continue to disappear in order to be able to use larger areas for food production. In order to be able to answer the question of whether hedges and windbreaks decisively reduce productivity or whether their various other ecosystem services bring more benefits to society, research has also been carried out at the Institute for Land and Water Management Research for a long time.

Now,, a comprehensive assessment system based on scientific studies from around the world, has been published, outlining the many different aspects that can be considered in answering this question. A comprehensive manual describes the state of knowledge and the application of the assessment system.

With the enclosed forms, calculation files and the short version, this system can be immediately applied to any hedgerow in rural areas by anyone interested. As a result, the potential of the hedge to fulfil 13 different ecosystem services is shown in graphical form.

The System for Download: