• KiLi Sub Project 2:
  Controls on ecosystem water use and carbon gain at Mt. Kilimanjaro -   differentiation along climate gradients and with land use from the savanna to the   alpine zone

From 03/2010 to 07/2016

Project leader:  Bernd Huwe, Dietrich Hertel, Christina Bogner
PhD student:  Anna Kühnel, Thomas Leipold, Natalia Sierra Cornejo, Jerome Kimaro
Other participating individuals:   Christoph Leuschner, Baltasar Trancón y Widemann, Holger Lange

In the framework of ecosystem analysis and biodiversity the soil and plant compartment of Kilimajaro ecosystems will be studied with special emphasis on soil water availability, soil water fluxes, plant water relations, and carbon in above- and belowground plant growth. Spatiotemporal pedohydrological data, data on spatial distribution and dynamics of fine roots, on stabile isotopes in leaf and root tissue and data on carbon in above- and belowground net primary production abundance will be measured and analyzed along elevation/climate and land use/disturbance gradients in order to relate these important processes to stand level biodiversity. Soil hydrological data will provide important information for understanding solute chemistry and nutrient turnover processes. An existing nested experiment design from the first funding period will be extended and completed to obtain spatial and seasonal information on water storage, plant availability of soil water, water use efficiency, soil temperature and fine root abundance on all 60 common study plots. On a subset of the study plots we perform intensive measurements on hydrological surface processes (soil evaporation, runoff, sediment detachment), water balance, spatial variability of soil properties, leaf and fine root longevity, fine root dynamics and morphology, leaf production, and stem diameter increments. Using process and statistical models we will identify and analyze functional relationships between ecosystem compartments regarding water, energy and matter fluxes, and above/belowground pedo- and biodiversity in close cooperation with other subprojects.