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photo 1

Picture: Experimental design of our research plot in the Wüstebach catchment. Three spruce trees are equipped with dendrometers and sapflow sensors; soil moisture and micro-climate is observed on site.
Photo: Inken Rabbel 2016

On our research plots in and around the Wüstebach catchment, we combine dendro-ecological, climatological, and soil hydrological investigations to deepen our understanding of feedbacks within the forest soil-vegetation-atmosphere system. In this context, the simulation of eco-hydrological processes is of major interest. The research group around Dr. Gaby Deckmyn from Antwerp University has developed a model (ANAFORE) which operates from the leaf to the stand scale and calculates water fluxes and biomass accumulation in different time resolutions (Deckmyn et al. 2008). The main goal of my stay in Antwerp was to learn more about the ANAFORE model and to ask for scientific collaboration and technical assistance with the model.

During my first stay from June 13th-16th, I got an introduction into model structure, functioning and data requirements. It turned out that ANAFORE meets the requirements for the study I was interested in. Also, the data of the TR32 would be useful for further validation of the ANAFORE model so that collaborating would not only be fruitful for me, but also for the research group in Belgium. Between my first and second stay (June 28th to December 1st), I prepared the data and some simulation setups. In Antwerp, we discussed the different simulation approaches and adjusted the model according to our requirements. I also had the opportunity to give a seminar on the TR32 and my research within my sub-project (C1). The title of my talk was “Analyzing feedbacks in a forest soil-vegetation-atmosphere system”. For the next year, we planned to continue our collaboration and conduct a number of interesting simulation experiments.

Overall, I had two great and successful visits in Belgium. I enjoyed discussing with the biologists and ecologists from the working group in Antwerp who gave new insights into my research topic, and I learned a lot on the biological perspective of the processes I am studying.

Co-operation partner:
Gaby Deckmyn (Post-Doc, Department of Biology/Centre of Excellence PLECO, University of Antwerp Belgium)

Deckmyn, G.; Verbeeck, H.; Op de Beeck, M.; Vansteenkiste, D.; Steppe, K.; Ceulemans, R. ANAFORE: A stand-scale process-based forest model that includes wood tissue development and labile carbon storage in trees. Ecol. Modell. 2008, 215, 345–368.


PhD student: Inken Rabbel
Project C1: Analyzing feedbacks in a forest soil-vegetation-atmosphere system
Department of Geography, University of Bonn


For further information, please contact:


tn328 54d609d0981ab

Nadine Horst
(geb. Heinrichs)

IRTG Coordinator

University of Cologne
Institute for
Geophysics and Meteorology

D-50923 Cologne
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  +49 (0)221 470 1629
+49 (0)221 470 5161
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