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Home Forschung auf Rooiklip

Forschung auf Rooiklip

Schwerpunkt der Forschungsarbeiten auf Rooiklip sind die Auswirkungen des Klimawandels auf Vegetation und Fauna im der Savannen-Halbwüsten-Übergangszone Namibias.


Encroachment, the sudden and pronounced increase of a native species in its natural habitat or community is a serious threat to grassland habitats worldwide. In the affected areas, plant diversity decreases, available pasture for livestock and cattle is reduced and soil conditions and water household are permanently altered. Severe losses in pastoral production and massive expenses for counter measures are often the consequence. Although the results of different encroachment events are usually similar, the processes and drivers involved can vary considerably depending on the species, environmental conditions and land use involved.

While encroachment processes can be observed in most regions of the world, the arid savannas and grasslands of Africa are particularly affected with significant economic consequences and a threat to peoples livelihood. Despite the growing attention and an increased effort in research connected to this topic, many aspects of encroachment in Southern Africa are not yet fully understood.

Our research aims to better understand the principles of encroachment processes and grass-legume-competition in African arid grasslands and savannas and to develop means and measures to avoid, fight and effectively manage them.

Focal points of our research are:

  • Identification and Description of Processes and Drivers
  • Individual and Processes Based Modelling
  • Development of Tools for Decision Support and Management

A comprehensive and detailed understanding of the underlying processes of encroachment, considering competitive balance, environmental conditions, dispersion and other biological factors together with suitable model plants will provide models to local situations and allow to predict encroachment and its response to a changing climate and environment-

These results will lead to powerful and easy to use analyzing procedures, databases and decision support systems for the use in the field, that will allow to avoid encroachment where possible, efficiently monitor encroachment when it occurs and plan effective and timely counter measures where necessary.