WP 2.2 Grazing Land Management

Rangeland monitoring for land use management and adaptation

Grazing systems are among the most important components of regional land use systems in West Africa. The understanding of their resilience and their adaptation to changing climate conditions is of crucial importance for the livelihood of rural people in the region. However, current grazing systems feature different degrees of adaptation to climate. In our approach, forage quality and quantity are used as indicators in the assessment of adaptation to current climate. Furthermore, the sampling scheme will allow for an evaluation of the adaptation of systems to future climate conditions. This will be accomplished by extending the investigation to regions with climates that are analogous to future climate conditions.


The Work Package aims at providing methods for an indicator-based assessment of adaptation to climate, methods for the derivation of adaptation strategies to future climate, methods for the spatially contiguous assessment of rangeland/grazing land quality in the WASCAL core research sites, using cutting edge satellite technology, and knowledge about the local valuation of forage resources. In order to accomplish these tasks, we will further the application of novel assessment tools such as the German satellite missions RapidEye and (upcoming) EnMAP. Satellite imagery offers promising tools to assess rangeland resources, i.e. the quality and quantity of forage of grazing land.

A camera-based monitoring approach on the ground will add temporally continuous information on plant phenology and seasonal aspects of forage quality. A rangeland model will be used for an assessment of potential growth at a given time and place. The results from both methods will help in judging the differences in rangeland states observed by satellite. For an assessment of grazing management, data on mobility decisions and alternative herd management strategies as well as their micro-economic embedding will be recorded on household level. By linking spatio-temporal patterns in forage supply to local grazing management, a functional understanding of interactions between the social and ecological subsystem will be achieved. The approach builds upon existing local knowledge on sustainable land use – hence, it is also a learning approach.

Related Publications

How much climate change can pastoral livelihoods tolerate? Modelling rangeland use and evaluating risk

2014 - Martin, Romina | Birgit Müller, Anja Linstädter, and Karin Frank

Are There Consistent Grazing Indicators in Drylands? Testing Plant Functional Types of Various Complexity in South Africa’s Grassland and Savanna Biomes

2014 - Linstädter, Anja | Jürgen Schellberg, Katharina Brüser, Cristian A. Moreno García, Roelof J. Oomen, Chris C. du Preez, Jan C. Ruppert, Frank Ewert

Livelihood security in face of drought

Assessing the vulnerability of pastoral households

2014 - Martin, Romina | Anja Linstädter, Karin Frank, and Birgit Müller

Quantifying drylands' drought resistance and recovery: the importance of drought intensity, dominant life history and grazing regime

2015 - Ruppert, Jan C. | Keith Harmoney, Zalmen Henkin, Hennie A. Snyman, Marcelo Sternberg, Walter Willms, and Anja Linstädter

Caught in a human disturbance trap

Responses of tropical savanna trees to increasing land-use pressure

2015 - Ouédraogo, Oumarou | Loyapin Bondéa, Joseph I. Boussima, and Anja Linstädter

Spectral indicators of forage quality in West Africa's tropical savannas

2015 - Ferner, Jessica | Anja Linstädter, Karl-Heinz Südekum, and Sebastian Schmidtlein

How to avoid unsustainable side effects of managing climate risk in drylands

The supplementary feeding controversy

2015 - Müller, Birgit | J. Schulze, David Kreuer, Anja Linstädter, and Karin Frank

Contact

Prof. Dr. Sebastian Schmidtlein

Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)
Institut für Geographie und Geoökologie
Kaiserstr. 12
76131 Karlsruhe
Germany

Tel.: +49 721 608-47846
schmidtlein(at)kit edu

Team members

Kristijan Canak

Research interests:

Functional links between major drivers of vegetation dynamics and forage provision in West and South West African rangelands; Response-effect relationships, between environmental conditions, plant traits and ecosystem properties/services.

Programs and Research Projects:

  • 2.2 Grazing Land Management

Jessica Ferner

Research interests:

Application of advanced (hyperspectral) remote sensing techniques to analyse the ecosystem service of forage provision in savanna landscapes facing climate change

Programs and Research Projects:

  • 2.2 Grazing Land Management

Reginald Tang Guuroh

Research interests:

Understanding climate and land use effects on forests and rangelands in semiarid areas

Programs and Research Projects:

  • 2.2 Grazing Land Management

PD Dr. Anja Linstädter

Position:

  • Senior Researcher

Research interests:

Functioning & ecosystem services of grazed ecosystems in face of climate change; Harnessing pastoralists' local ecological knowledge for management recommendations; Resilience of pastoral social-ecological systems

Programs and Research Projects:

  • 2.2 Grazing Land Management

Dr. John-Baptist S. N. Naah

Position:

  • Alumni

Research interests:

Ethnoecology (ethnobotany); Rangeland ecology & wildlife management; Decentralized renewable energy technologies; Rural livelihood impacts assessment; Local ecological knowledge (LEK) on forage resources for livestock production.

Programs and Research Projects:

  • 2.2 Grazing Land Management

Prof. Dr. Sebastian Schmidtlein

Position:

  • Senior Researcher

Programs and Research Projects:

  • 2.2 Grazing Land Management