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Restoration Potential of Desa’a Forest, a Large Threatened Dryland Forest in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia

Desa’a, one of the last dry Afromontane forest ecosystems of Ethiopia, is under tremendous anthropogenic pressure and natural diebacks resulting in a contraction of the forest. These days, there is a need growing to restore this forest and some efforts are already in place. However, to bring efficient restoration options, information on the resources available, water availability and plant response to different exposures for example, remained scant. Therefore, this PhD project tries to fill these gaps via the following objectives: (1) to determine the nature and status of Desa’a forest with regard to water use; (2) to quantify the contribution of fogs and clouds to the moisture budget of Desa’a forest; (3) to measure the stability and resilience of differently composed forest stands in Desa’a; (4) To identify how plantation patterns and different treatments such as sheltering affect the performance of seedling establishment and growth in Desa’a forest; (5) to characterize the growth trend of Juniperus procera, the dominant tree in such ecosystem, in the past centuries via tree ring analysis. To reach at these objectives, both physical (forest inventory, tree ring, fog and cloud harvest) and remote sensing (long term change detection and MODIS time series) data will be combined.

Date:22 Sep 2017 →  6 Oct 2021
Keywords:Cloud forest, fog, tree ring, stability
Disciplines:Physical geography and environmental geoscience, Communications technology, Geomatic engineering, Ecology, Environmental science and management, Other environmental sciences, Landscape architecture, Art studies and sciences, Forestry sciences
Project type:PhD project