The ARS AfricaE project investigates the coupled carbon and water cycles of natural and disturbed savanna ecosystems by setting up a network of research clusters.

Background and Objective

Main objectives of the project are (1) setting up a network of research clusters to investigate the effects of disturbance and land use change on water and carbon cycles as well as their interaction along an aridity gradient, (2) linking ecosystem functioning and structure using field measurements and models, (3) characterizing ecosystem disturbances by functional parameters such as gross primary productivity, water use and other efficiency parameters, (4) setting up an individual-based model system to predict ecosystem dynamics under different disturbances and land uses, (5) linking this model with long-term data from remote sensing products, and (6) development of sustainable strategies for ecosystem management.


ARS AfricaE is a joint research project with 3 German and 6 South African partner institutions. The Thünen Institute of Climate-Smart  Agriculture takes the overall coordination of the project. Results of the project will form better management strategies of savanna ecosystems.

Scientist participating from Goethe University: Prof. Dr. Thomas Hickler



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