ZALF's mission is to scientifically explain causal relationships in agricultural landscapes, and to provide society with a knowledge-base for the sustainable use of agricultural landscapes through excellent research.
Unlike natural landscapes, agricultural landscapes are shaped by their use and their users. The research at ZALF therefore comprises the social demands placed on agricultural landscapes and the effects of their use. ZALF has been increasingly concentrating its research on the Grand Societal Challenges relevant in the context of agricultural landscapes such as climate change, food security or the protection of biodiversity.
ZALF research stands explicitly for scientific excellence and social relevance, with research questions being derived from societal challenges related to the use of agricultural landscapes. Issues such as food security, soil as a natural resource or biodiversity are investigated in interdisciplinary teams. Major research questions range from the functioning of agricultural landscapes through the effects of different land use regimes to the resulting conflicts and their governance. Based on the results, ZALF develops solutions for the sustainable intensification of land use under changing environmental and socio-cultural conditions.