A selection of resources availible to learn more about agroforestry, science and the study of natural and managed land-use systems
AF over 30 years
Agroforestry in southern Africa over 3 decades
Prof. Paxie Wanangwa Chirwa from the the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Pretoria. As a forest scientist also specialising in socio-ecological systems in forests; agroforestry; and social or community forestry. Prof. Chirwa provides an overview of agroforestry research and development in southern Africa over the last three decades.
Scientific Writing 101
Scientific Writing 101
A quick soft skills session based around scientific writing in English. Pick up some tips on scientific writing whatever your level, native language or audience, or whether you are writing for a report, a thesis or peer reviewed manuscript, including tips on style, format, structure and citations.
Introduction to soil hydrology
Soils are complex ecological systems with great heterogeneity across all scales (e.g. at pore space or at landscape level) leading to intertwined dynamics among physical, biological and chemical processes. Soil water is only a small fraction of Earth’s fresh water but plays a critical role in controlling hydrological, biogeochemical and energy exchange processes that take place at the land surface. Therefore, understanding the interplay of soil particles, water and air in a given soil volume and the factors influencing movement of water through soil is of great importance. This session is giving an introduction into the field of soil hydrology. It addresses main concepts, such as matric potential and soil hydraulic properties, and process descriptions like the Richards equation for describing water flow in soils.
Hydrological measurements in environmental systems
Field measurements are essential to gain understanding of our environment. The choice of measurement devices and locations depends on the processes we want to measure, the temporal and spatial support of the measurements and the specific site conditions. Main difficulties include the limited vision into the opaque soil, measurements without disturbing the environment and the heterogeneity of the system and processes. This creates, together with the more practical problems of available resources, accessibility or power requirements, the need for careful planning of field campaigns and monitoring stations. We will introduce you to the hydrological measurements we conduct at our agroforestry field sites (related to soil moisture, matric potential, soil hydraulic properties). We will give background on different measurement principles and available types of sensors and we want to address the setup planning process by using our setup as an example and by sharing our experiences.
Ecophysiology of agroforesty systems
To develop more sustainable and resilient agricultural systems there is a need to re-design agricultural landscapes and to integrate hedges and trees into cropping systems. Exploring investigations carried out within the ASAP and FarmImpact projects, key questions address the interactions between trees and crops. Windbreak hedges are long-rated systems in agriculture that significantly reduce wind speed. The introduced tree shelterbelts are a suitable eco-engineering approach to reduce water consumption and to enhance water saving in vineyards and agricultural fields in southern Africa and temperate agroforestry systems.
Production ecology of agroforestry systems - principles and concepts
Production ecology studies the integration of basic information on physical, chemical, biological and ecological processes to elucidate the functioning of biomass-based production systems. In this session, we will focus in particular on agroforestry systems. A natural question in production ecology is to what extent different production components and management technologies can contribute to the realization of various objectives. It is necessary therefore, to understand the mechanisms and quantify these contributions, e.g., one agroforestry system may generate more yield than another as a result of higher resource supply, by capturing a greater proportion of available resources, by using resources more efficiently, or by allocating a greater proportion of biomass to the targeted products.
Wind erosion and dust emissions - Basic processes... and connections to agroforestry
Dr. Roger Funk from the Institute of Soil Landscape Research, Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) e.V. introduces the problem of wind erosion in agricultural landscapes exploring the advantages that trees as structures in working landscapes bring for the alleviation of wind erosion effects. Methods of wind erosion (and deposition) assessment will be presented using examples from southern Africa, Germany and further afield.
Land susceptibility to wind erosion in southern Africa
In the 21st century, soil erosion is globally one of the most serious natural hazards, which challenges the environment, agricultural productivity and thus food security. In arid and semi-arid regions wind erosion accounts for 46% of total land degradation and is especially a threat to Southern Africa with its seasonal droughts and dry climates. ILSWE is an approved factor-based modeling approach that integrates high-resolution remote sensing data and spatial analysis tools in a Geoinformation System (GIS). It is designed to identify and highlight risk areas, analyze the annual spatial patterns to estimate a prospective trend and is used to relate results to major land cover types and predominant terrestrial ecosystems in the global warming context.
Terrestrial LiDAR in a nutshell
LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is a remote sensing method used for measuring ranges and for the 3D digitalization of landscapes and structures: from the invention of the laser technology until nowadays. We overview LiDAR in different platforms emphasising the terrestrial one, while acquiring fundamental concepts in the field. Besides, we outline few laser devices available in the market, discuss laser-working principles, and point clouds as output. Knowing the fundamentals of terrestrial LiDAR, we will explore data acquisition considerations and sampling strategies in forestry, understand the workflow of point cloud processing, get insights on the quality of outputs, and overview possibilities for point cloud analysis.
Valuable wood production in agroforestry systems
Agroforestry systems (AFS) have a long history going back thousands of years, but in huge parts of Europe the area used as AFS was drastically reduced during the last decades. A recent change lead to a rediscovery of AFS. Dr. Morhart explains the recent developments in Germany and the revival of AFS with a focus on valuable wood production in AFS, introducing the main principles and goals of valuable wood production as well as its management.