PAK 823-825 Structure

Overview of subprograms: Structure and aims

The structure and grouping of the subprojects within the research unit research program.


Subprogram A

Subprogram A aims on unveiling effects of atmospheric nutrient deposition on biological diversity and ecosystem processes (as e.g. C sequestration, storage etc.). This is achieved by a nutrient manipulation experiment (NUMEX) which was first established in 2007 as a replicated design of experimental plots in the natural mountain forest along an altitudinal gradient with sites at 1000, 2000 and 3000 m asl.

The extension of the experiment (NUMEX-X, Fig. 1) now focuses on below-ground processes. Also a extension to the Cajas site supported by ETAPA is envisaged. 

Fig. 1. Shaded projects are still pending


Subprogram B

Subprogram B aims at a proof of concept and the implementation of sustainable land use strategies. The focus is on afforestation and optimization of comprehensive land use portfolios warranting livelihood, social integrity, and biodiversity and ecosystem services protection.

Fig. 2: Approach of subprogram B


Subprogram C

The biggest subprogram C of the platform aims at the development and implementation of a cross-scale indicator system applicable to early warning systems of adverse global change effects on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

While most monitoring systems currently rely on basic indicators just representing the state of an ecosystem element, university partners of subprogram C especially strive for the development of functional (integrative) indicators representing the state of an ecosystem function/ process. Combining both indicator types in the implementation phase has the greatest strength and explanatory power to link driver-changes to biodiversity/ecosystem response.

The figure shows that functional indicators are organism-based (e.g. seed dispersal), but also include abiotic processes (e.g. hydrology). Furthermore, remote sensing and modelling is used to develop area-wide indicators.


Fig. 3. Basic and functional cross-scale indicator system contributed by the DFG funded projects


Non-university partners contribute to the development of the indicator system by providing complementary basic indicators (Fig 4)

Fig. 4: Basic indicators provided by nun-university partners

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