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ELONTA: Landscape structure and ERA of NTAs

The ELONTA project will look at the structural and functional heterogeneity of the landscape as a whole, and the influence this has on an ERA for beetles.


Biodiversity has been decreasing in the agro-ecosystems for decades. It is landscape simplification brought on by the intensification of agriculture, which is thought to be the main reason along with a widespread pesticide use. ELONTA has a particular focus on source-sink dynamics as these interact with landscape structure to alter impacts and recovery potential of species in agro-ecosystems.

The methods are based on generating dynamic and realistic landscape representations into, which NTA agent-based models are placed. These models represent populations of NTAs as individuals breeding, moving and dying following very realistic patterns. The model NTAs react to their local context, and can be affected by environmental or management changes. This is used to create scenarios to evaluate the impact of changes, such as pesticide effects or mitigation measures. These scenarios will include spatio-temporal patterns of use of pesticide, including detailed modelling of fate and exposure.

  • WP1:  Update literature on source-sink dynamics, provide landscape and farming information for Germany and provide an update for the NTA models to be used, adapting them where necessary.
  • WP2: Implement the landscape modelling for Germany (generate dynamic ALMaSS landscape representations for selected study areas), generate the landscape-scale scenarios to be evaluated, and generate the data from the simulation runs.
  • WP3:  Provide an analysis of the link between landscape structure and pesticide effects and mitigation. Investigating feasible field management as mitigation measures and evaluate the relationships between landscape/agriculture and impact of pesticides. It will also provide a synthesis based on a multi-criteria decision-making approach and provide recommendations for the use of landscape scale environmental risk assessment in pesticide regulation in Germany.

The data and analysis from this project will be used to make recommendations for how landscape approaches could be used in regulatory risk assessment in Germany, including the mitigation potential linked to landscape structure as part of the integral assessment.


Christopher John Topping

Professor Department of Ecoscience - Biodiversity and Conservation

Project duration



The German Environmental Agency (UBA)