Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Department of Crop Production Ecology

Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Welcome to the Department of
Crop Production Ecology

Photo: F. Stendahl

The main interests of the Department of Crop Production Ecology include research, consultancy and teaching within two major areas: cropping systems ecology, and functional ecology of crops, weeds and pests.

The mission is to investigate, identify and develop sustainable agro-ecosystems, with the aim of improving productivity and sustainability of food, feed and fuel crops, as well as cropping systems. Expertise in various disciplines (soil science, ecology, plant physiology, statistics, meteorology, computer simulation) is integrated to address the research tasks. As important complements to, and opportunities for, research activities, the department is involved in many teaching and outreach activities and is also commissioned to conduct the official variety testing of forage, potato and cereal crops in Sweden. The department is in charge of the Ekhaga research station, which offers excellent facilities for field experimentation in organic farming. Much of the research and teaching is carried out in cooperation with colleagues throughout Europe.

Our research subjects are:

  • Agricultural Cropping Systems deals with agricultural crop production as an ecological system for food and feed production.
  • Short Rotation Forestry carries out research and development on sustainable production of wood biomass, mainly for energy purposes, and on the possibilities of using quick-growing deciduous trees as filter vegetation for dealing with waste products from society.
  • Weed biology and weed control focus on the ecological interactions and adaptive traits, which determine the success of a potentially weedy plant species in the agro-ecosystem.
  • Plant ecology deals with the functional interactions between plants and between plants and the environment.

The department also hosts the Centre for Organic Food and Farming (EPOK), which is a cooperative body for researchers, departments and faculties at SLU, as well as other universities and external stakeholders, with the mission to integrate and initiate research and education and to communicate research on organic production and consumption.


2014-04-23 -  Easier to find results from organic variety testing
We have gathered results from organic variety testing in order to make it easier for advisers and organic farmers to find them.
2014-04-23 -  Microbes in dry soils lack food, not water
Soil microbes can be classified based on how they respond to dry conditions. Some are drought-tolerant, others avoid dry conditions by becoming dormant, but all face limited food availability as soils...
2014-03-06 -  A new method for testing genotype-by-environment interaction
Statistical models can be used for analysis of genotype-by-environment interaction, for example when a number of different varieties of wheat have been compared at various locations. In an article published...
2014-02-13 -  Water evaporation follows the sun with a delay
Only modeling of all the different ecosystem components (soil, plants, and atmosphere) can fully explain the looping patterns between evapotranspiration and air dryness, according to a paper in JGR-Bi...
2013-12-06 -  New model for estimating biochemical fluxes
A mathematical model showed that soil respiration and nitrogen mineralization are highest when the soil is moist, but not saturated. The results is important when it comes to predicting emissions of greenhouse...
2013-11-18 -  Plants use water in an effective way
According to a mathematical model plants use water in an “optimal” way, that is, they maximize the amount of carbon dioxide they take up and fix through photosynthesis. The results have been published...

Research groups

Agricultural Cropping Systems
Short Rotation Forestry
 Weed biology and weed control
 Plant ecology

Other Activities

Field experiments
Ultuna climate station
Official variety testing (VCU)


FältForsk (Field Research Unit)
SLU EkoForsk
EPOK (Centre for Organic Food and Farming)


Seminars VPE


Head of the department

Martin Weih, phone: +46 (0)18 67 25 43

Deputy Head of Department:
Paula Persson, phone: 
+46 (0)18 67 23 58 / +46 (0)70-53 24 817

Director of administration:
Per-Erik Holmlund, telefon 018-67 23 61

Director of master studies: 
Birgitta Båth, phone: +46 (0)18 67 23 10

Director of postgraduate studies:
Lars Andersson, phone: +46 (0)18 67 33 66

Page updated: 2014-02-22.

SLU, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, has its main locations in Alnarp, Skara, Umeå and Uppsala.
Tel: +46 18-67 10 00 • Fax: +46 18-67 20 00  • VAT nr: SE202100281701 •