The project investigates the phenomenon of “nebkhas” in sand deserts. Nebkhas are sandaccumulations that are formed around certain plants species. On the sand mounds a variety ofsecundary species can establish, creating a local hotspot of biodiversity. The presence of nebkhas atthe same time counteracts sand movement and stabilizes the landscape.The goal of the project is twofold: (1) to investigate how nebkha landscapes are formed andmaintained, and (2) to test whether the presence of nebkhas in the landscape increases the resistanceagainst climate change (aridification). To this end, the interactions between nebkha plants, wind,water and sediment are analysed experimentally and subsequently modelled.This interdisciplinary project combines plant ecology and geomorphology. Experimental fieldcampaigns will be conducted in sand deserts (Egypt or Saudi Arabia). Training is provided inspatial modelling of ecosystems.Principal investigator and spokesman of the project is plant ecologist prof. dr. Ivan Nijs. Principalinvestigator prof. dr. Stijn Temmerman will supervise the geomorphological aspects. Dr. Magdy El-Bana from the University of Riyadh is foreign partner.
|Research Group of Plant and Vegetation Ecology||member||2009-01-01||2012-12-01|
created:2011-12-14 14:18:59 UTC, source:web