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Project "Future Carbon Storage"

Synergies and Trade-offs of Carbon Storage along Pathways of Land Transformation

Project Aim

The sub-project A01 views the future-making in rural Africa through a carbon lens. Soil and vegetation science closely collaborate with environmental economics to study the potential range and likelihood of outcomes of future-making by focusing on land-use decisions that affect above and below-ground carbon storage. Along three major pathways of land-use change in rural Africa (conservation, restoration, and agricultural intensification), we will evaluate carbon storage dynamics in soil and vegetation, and assess relationships with other soil- and vegetation-mediated ecosystem services (ESs) and local rural well-being.

While carbon stocks in vegetation have long been a major topic of interest for the climate-policy community, soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks are just coming into focus, for example, in the context of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+).

Our project will answer the following research questions:

1)  At which temporal scales is carbon sequestered in soils and vegetation, and how are these processes related to land-use?

2)  Do conservation and restoration schemes offset the carbon losses per unit of area under agricultural intensification?

3)  What are the key determinants of systemic coupling mechanisms between land-use decisions, carbon storage, and other ESs, and

4)  how do bio-physical and socioeconomic factors interact in determining the cost-effectiveness of existing or planned conservation, restoration, and intensification strategies in terms of ES and welfare outcomes?

Our methodological approach to answer these questions relies on primary data from soil and vegetation samples as well as on household survey data and remote sensing analyses. For information on the vegetation ecology done by the Linstädter team, see: our role in Future Rural Africa.


Prof. Dr. Wulf Amelung

PD Dr Anja Linstädter

Prof. Dr. Jan Börner

Persons involved

Liana Kindermann (PhD student)

Magnus Dobler (Master student)

Jasmin Frietsch (Master student)

Daniela Niedeggen (Master student)

Runtime 2018-2021
Funding Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

Dr. S. Angombe, University of Namibia (UNAM), Faculty of Agriculture & Natural Resources

Dr. E. Klingelhöffer, Dr. E. C. Fabiano, UNAM, Katima Mulilo Campus, Namibia

Prof. Dr. C.C. Du Preez, Dr. E. Kotzé, University of the Free State, South Africa


Project Poster A01: Future Carbon Storage

Projects related to A01 "Future Carbon Storage"

  • A03 "Agro-Futures"
  • A04 "Future Conservation"
  • B01 "Invasive Futures"
  • B02 "Future Infections"
  • C01 "Future in Chains"
  • C03 "Green Futures"
  • C04 "Smart Futures"
  • C05 "Framing Futures"
  • Z02 "Data Services and Management"
  • Z03 "Combined Farm/Household Survey"

Find an overview of all projects within "Future Rural Africa" [here]