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Subproject 1 - Eco-hydrological feedback analysis

Summary & Objectives

This subproject is quantifying ecohydrological feedbacks in savanna systems, which include the assessment of water fluxes in the soil and in plants, and species-specific vegetation responses to water stress as well as soil erosion caused by surface water fluxes. In particular, the following aims are addressed:

  1. We aim at categorizing plants according to their response traits towards water availability and CO2 at different stages of the life cycle by field studies and experiments. 
  2. Plants exhibit different impacts on water fluxes in the ecosystem. We aim at quantifying water fluxes through different plants by measurements along a precipitation and degradation gradient and to quantify feedbacks of vegetation on soil water, atmospheric water flow, groundwater recharge, and soil erosion amounts. 
  3. Findings from 1. and 2. as well as from S2 (responses to atmospheric CO2 [link]) and S3 (macropore flow [link]) will be integrated into the ecohydrological model EcoHyD to quantify (i) causes of degradation and soil erosion (including climate, CO2 and land use change) and (ii) consequences of degradation on productivity and water availability and fluxes. 
  4. The subproject provides a solid scientific basis to integrate ecohydrological feedbacks into the integrated study of the umbrella project [link]. 

Involved Researchers:

  • Prof. Dr. Britta Tietjen (PI)
  • Dr. Heike Wanke (PI)
  • Dr. Katja Geißler (Post-Doc)
  • Shoopala Uugulu (Associated UNAM PhD student)
  • Rosemary Ihula (Associated DAAD PhD student)
  • Robert Hering (MSc student)
  • Maria Schoenen (MSc student)