D7 Forest dynamics, landslide dynamics, and their interactions – a process-based landscape modelling approach for a mountain rain forest in South Ecuador


PI(s) for this project:
Dr. habil. Andreas Huth
Prof. Dr. Boris Schröder

Project abstract: Forest dynamics, landslide dynamics, and their interactions – a process-based landscape modelling approach for a mountain rain forest in South Ecuador

Project description: It has been hypothesized that natural disturbances such as landslides have an important effect on biodiversity in the tropical mountain forests of Southern Ecuador. Thus, understanding landslides in the context of forest dynamics is a precondition for understanding this megadiverse ecosystem. Our project aims at analysing and predicting the spatiotemporal dynamics of forest landscapes including landslides and their abiotic and biotic controls. Therefore, we develop process-based forest models and couple them with landslide models of different complexity based on regionalized terrain attributes, soil properties and hydrological factors. The resulting spatially explicit, dynamic integrated landscape model allows us to understand the interplay of the main drivers of landslides and landscape dynamics, and to predict the spatiotemporal development of forests along with their implications on habitat dynamics, biodiversity, risk assessment and forest management. We will be able to estimate carbon balances for the different forest types and the whole research area. The carbon fluxes will strongly depend on the successional state of forests and their disturbance history.

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