Michael Succow Foundation

Greifswald, Germany

Michael Succow Foundation

Greifswald, Germany
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Thevs N.,World Agroforestry Center | Thevs N.,University of Greifswald | Schmidt S.,Michael Succow Foundation | Nurtazin S.,Al-Farabi Kazakh National University | Salmurzauli R.,Al-Farabi Kazakh National University
Journal of Great Lakes Research | Year: 2015

Following the desiccation of the Aral Sea, Lake Balkhash has become the largest lake of Central Asia with an area of 17,000km2. 70%-80% of the annual inflow into Lake Balkhash is delivered by the Ile River. The Ile Delta, 8000km2 large, is the largest natural delta and wetland complex of Central Asia and therefore is of crucial significance for the biodiversity of that region. In this paper, we reviewed the literature available with regard to vegetation, fauna, and biodiversity of the Ile River Delta and South Lake Balkhash Ramsar Site, in order to identify threats and research gaps. Threats are reduced runoff of the Ile River due to increasing water consumption upstream, overfishing, fires ignited by local people, logging for fuel wood collection, over-grazing, and water pollution from upstream. Major research gaps to be addressed are: 1) impact of reduced discharges of the Ile River on the wetland ecosystems and associated changes in livestock grazing, 2) impact of reduced discharges on spawning grounds for fish, 3) upper harvest limits for the fishery, and 4) regrowth of riparian woodlands. © 2015 International Association for Great Lakes Research.

Minke M.,Thunen Institute of Climate Smart Agriculture | Minke M.,University of Greifswald | Augustin J.,ZALF e.V. | Burlo A.,National Academy of Sciences of Belarus | And 7 more authors.
Biogeosciences | Year: 2016

Peat extraction leaves a land surface with a strong relief of deep cutover areas and higher ridges. Rewetting inundates the deep parts, while less deeply extracted zones remain at or above the water level. In temperate fens the flooded areas are colonized by helophytes such as Eriophorum angustifolium, Carex spp., Typha latifolia or Phragmites australis dependent on water depth. Reeds of Typha and Phragmites are reported as large sources of methane, but data on net CO2 uptake are contradictory for Typha and rare for Phragmites. Here, we analyze the effect of vegetation, water level and nutrient conditions on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for representative vegetation types along water level gradients at two rewetted cutover fens (mesotrophic and eutrophic) in Belarus. Greenhouse gas emissions were measured campaign-wise with manual chambers every 2 to 4 weeks for 2 years and interpolated by modelling. All sites had negligible nitrous oxide exchange rates. Most sites were carbon sinks and small GHG sources. Methane emissions generally increased with net ecosystem CO2 uptake. Mesotrophic small sedge reeds with water table around the land surface were small GHG sources in the range of 2.3 to 4.2 t CO2 eq. ha-1 yr-1. Eutrophic tall sedge - Typha latifolia reeds on newly formed floating mats were substantial net GHG emitters in the range of 25.1 to 39.1 t CO2 eq. ha-1 yr. They represent transient vegetation stages. Phragmites reeds ranged between -1.7 to 4.2 t CO2 eq. ha-1 yr-1 with an overall mean GHG emission of 1.3 t CO2 eq. ha-1 yr-1. The annual CO2 balance was best explained by vegetation biomass, which includes the role of vegetation composition and species. Methane emissions were obviously driven by biological activity of vegetation and soil organisms. Shallow flooding of cutover temperate fens is a suitable measure to arrive at low GHG emissions. Phragmites australis establishment should be promoted in deeper flooded areas and will lead to moderate, but variable GHG emissions or even occasional sinks. The risk of large GHG emissions is higher for eutrophic than mesotrophic peatlands. Nevertheless, flooding of eutrophic temperate fens still represents a safe GHG mitigation option because even the hotspot of our study, the floating tall sedge - Typha latifolia reeds, did not exceed the typical range of GHG emissions from drained fen grasslands and the spatially dominant Phragmites australis reed emitted by far less GHG than drained fens.

Buras A.,University of Greifswald | Wucherer W.,Michael Succow Foundation | Zerbe S.,Free University of Bozen Bolzano | Noviskiy Z.,21 Katartal | And 6 more authors.
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2012

The Haloxylon vegetation in Central Asia has undergone vast changes throughout the last century, which has lead to a strong degradation and desertification of the desert ecosystems in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. In terms of combating desertification and restoration of ecosystems, two pilot-projects recently are aiming at the reforestation of Haloxylon ecosystems. Hereby, two of the internationally discussed climate change mitigation activities may be of higher relevance: (I) to sequester CO 2 through afforestation and reforestation and (II) to substitute fossil fuels by sustainable utilization of regenerative bio-fuels. With particular focus on Central Asian desert ecosystems, the questions arose: (I) to which extent Haloxylon species - the dominant shrub species - sequester CO 2, (II) what the recent carbon pool related to Haloxylon ecosystems is, and (III) in which magnitude the existing and/or reforested ecosystems could be utilized for bio-fuels sustainably. Therefore, this study aims at the derivation of allometric models including carbon contents for the two Haloxylon species in Central Asian desert ecosystems. A first application to measured transect data across Central Asia is carried out to reflect the recent biomass variability of the two study species. We found, that above- and below-ground biomass for both species is best modeled when taking growth height, basal area, and canopy area of shrubs into account (0.87

Thiele A.,University of Greifswald | Liascynskaya N.,Laboratory of Bioressources | Broska T.,National Academy of Sciences of Belarus | Barisch S.,Michael Succow Foundation | And 6 more authors.
Phytocoenologia | Year: 2015

Belarus with its cold temperate climate and humid conditions is a country with substantial territories covered by peatlands (14.2% or 29,390 km2 before complex melioration), of which 30% are still in near natural conditions. Climate, geological and abiotic conditions favor the development of mainly bogs in the north, transitional and fen peatlands in central regions and vast base rich fen peatlands in the southern region. This data base covers 750 nested plots (0.64 m2 and 25 m2) with Braun-Blanquet cover scale, water level measurement (12-36 months on 255 plots), soil pH (on all plots), C/N ratio (on 300 plots) on a range from natural, near natural, degraded and rewetted fen, transitional and bog peatlands from 28 investigation sites spread all over the country. © 2015 Gebrüder Borntraeger, 70176 Stuttgart, Germany.

Schroder C.,University of Greifswald | Schroder C.,Greifswald Mire Center | Dahms T.,University of Greifswald | Dahms T.,Greifswald Mire Center | And 6 more authors.
Mires and Peat | Year: 2015

Peatland drainage causes peat degradation, which results in high greenhouse gas emissions and ongoing subsidence of the ground surface. To avoid further land degradation, the rewetting of peatlands is essential. The new land use concept of paludiculture - the use of wet and rewetted peatlands for agriculture and forestry - now offers possibilities for landowners and land managers to continue using these sites under wet conditions. But new challenges arise due to the limited bearing capacity of wet soils, which restricts accessibility for machinery. Whilst many site-specific technical solutions for harvesting on wet peatland are available, it remains unclear whether current machinery is suitable for use in the large-scale implementation of paludiculture. Repeated crossings of the same ground can easily disturb the upper peat layer and cause serious problems for the removal of biomass. In this article we present available machinery and approaches to biomass harvesting; and explore how the number of transport runs required for biomass removal varies with productivity of the site, cargo capacity and working width of the harvesting machinery. The results are used in a discussion of logistics and infrastructure requirements to facilitate the implementation of paludiculture. Whilst there is still considerable scope for improvement of harvesting technologies, our results show that a peat-conserving harvest from wet and rewetted peatlands is possible with adjustments to harvesting technique, logistics and site infrastructure. © 2015 International Mire Conservation Group and International Peat Society.

Thevs N.,University of Greifswald | Wucherer W.,Michael Succow Foundation | Buras A.,University of Greifswald
Journal of Arid Environments | Year: 2013

Carbon stocks and carbon accumulation in the earth's drylands have gained increasing attention. The winter-cold deserts of Middle Asia, i.e. in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, cover an area of 2.5 million km2. Within these deserts, the two Saxaul species White Saxaul (Haloxylon persicum Bunge ex Boiss. & Buhse) and Black Saxaul (Haloxylon aphyllum (Minkw.) Iljin) are dominant woody species with a potential distribution area of about 500,000 km2. From the 1950s until today, the Saxaul vegetation has been degraded through logging and over-grazing. In this paper, we estimate the current and potential living above ground and below ground biomass of the Saxaul vegetation and its carbon stock. The living above ground biomass ranges between 1.5 t/ha and 3 t/ha. The potential carbon stocks above ground and below ground amount to 29.4-52.1 million t and 22-81.4 million t, respectively. Today, only 11%-28% of the potential biomass and carbon stock have remained. The carbon stock of the Saxaul vegetation is low compared to other ecosystems of the earth, but restoration and conservation of Saxaul vegetation is one way to sequester carbon through vegetation for Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, which do not have much other woody vegetation. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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