Image: WG Jeltsch

Project structure

The OPTIMASS project is funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research BMBF (FKZ 01LL1302A) for the duration of 3 years and started in August 2014.

The work programme of OPTIMASS is structured into two blocks with two subprojects each and one overarching umbrella project (see figure on the right). While the first block is oriented towards closing key gaps in our current understanding of geo-biosphere feedbacks in savannas, the second block aims at analysing, testing and implementing sustainable rangeland and water management options related to those feedbacks.

Image: WG Jeltsch
Photo: WG Jeltsch

Study sites

OPTIMASS research will focus on three savanna study areas along a steep annual rainfall gradient in Namibia (see map): Lake Otjikoto (550 mm mean annual precipitation (MAP), loamy to clayey vertisol soils; livestock production, game farming and crop agriculture), Waterberg National Park (MAP 450 mm, deed sandy dystrophic Kalahari soils), and Kuzikus Wildlife Reserve and neighbouring cattle farm Ebenhaezer (MAP 250 mm, sandy soils, game farming and livestock production).

Photo: WG Jeltsch


Overarching coordination and model based integration

Subproject 1:

Eco-hydrological feedback analysis

Subproject 2

Plant biochemical constraints of vegetation-environmental feedback

Subproject 3

Sustainable rangeland management related to geo-biofeedback knowledge

Subproject 4

Sustainable water management related to geo-biofeedback knowledge