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Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
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    Modeling of two different water uptake approaches for mono-and mixed-species forest stands
    (Basel : MDPI, 2015) Gutsch, Martin; Lasch-Born, Petra; Suckow, Felicitas; Reyer, Christopher P.O.
    To assess how the effects of drought could be better captured in process-based models, this study simulated and contrasted two water uptake approaches in Scots pine and Scots pine-Sessile oak stands. The first approach consisted of an empirical function for root water uptake (WU1). The second approach was based on differences of soil water potential along a soil-plant-atmosphere continuum (WU2) with total root resistance varying at low, medium and high total root resistance levels. Three data sets on different time scales relevant for tree growth were used for model evaluation: Two short-term datasets on daily transpiration and soil water content as well as a long-term dataset on annual tree ring increments. Except WU2 with high total root resistance, all transpiration outputs exceeded observed values. The strongest correlation between simulated and observed annual tree ring width occurred with WU2 and high total root resistance. The findings highlighted the importance of severe drought as a main reason for small diameter increment. However, if all three data sets were taken into account, no approach was superior to the other. We conclude that accurate projections of future forest productivity depend largely on the realistic representation of root water uptake in forest model simulations.
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    Management scenarios of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and their impacts under recent and future climates
    (Basel : MDPI, 2017) Liersch, Stefan; Koch, Hagen; Hattermann, Fred Fokko
    Close to the border with Sudan, Ethiopia is currently building the largest hydroelectric power plant in Africa with a storage volume corresponding to approximately 1.5 years of the mean discharges of the Blue Nile. This endeavor is controversially debated in the public and the scientific literature. Contributing to this discussion, by shading some light on climate change issues, an eco-hydrological model, equipped with a reservoir module, was applied to investigate downstream hydrological impacts during filling and regular operation, the latter considering climate change projected by an ensemble of 10 global and regional climate models. Our results show that at the earliest after 20 months, the dam could produce hydroelectric power. Full supply level may be reached after four years or not at all, depending on filling policies and assumptions of seepage rates. Under recent hydro-climatic conditions, the dam may produce 13 TWh −a , which is below the envisaged target of 15.7 TWh −a . The ensemble mean suggests slightly increasing hydropower production in the future. Almost independently of the operation rules, the highly variable discharge regime will be significantly altered to a regime with almost equal flows each month. Achieving a win-win situation for all riparian countries requires a high level of cooperation in managing the Eastern Nile water resources.
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    CUDe — Carbon utilization degree as an indicator for sustainable biomass use
    (Basel : MDPI, 2016) Anja Hansen, Anja Hansen; Budde, Jörn; Karatay, Yusuf Nadi; Prochnow, Annette
    Carbon (C) is a central element in organic compounds and is an indispensable resource for life. It is also an essential production factor in bio-based economies, where biomass serves many purposes, including energy generation and material production. Biomass conversion is a common case of transformation between different carbon-containing compounds. At each transformation step, C might be lost. To optimize the C use, the C flows from raw materials to end products must be understood. The estimation of how much of the initial C in the feedstock remains in consumable products and delivers services provides an indication of the C use efficiency. We define this concept as Carbon Utilization Degree (CUDe) and apply it to two biomass uses: biogas production and hemp insulation. CUDe increases when conversion processes are optimized, i.e., residues are harnessed and/or losses are minimized. We propose CUDe as a complementary approach for policy design to assess C as an asset for bio-based production. This may lead to a paradigm shift to see C as a resource that requires sustainable exploitation. It could complement the existing methods that focus solely on the climate impact of carbon.
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    Profitability of management systems on German fenlands
    (Basel : MDPI, 2016) Rebhann, Marco; Karatay, Yusuf Nadi; Filler, Günther; Prochnow, Annette
    Fens are organic sites that require drainage for agricultural use. Lowering the groundwater level leads to trade-offs between economic benefits and environmental impacts (i.e., CO2 and nutrient emissions). To identify management options that are both environmentally and economically sustainable, a propaedeutic systematic analysis of the costs, income and profit of different land use and management systems on fenlands is necessary. This study provides an overview of the profitability, labor demand and comparative advantages of feasible management systems on German fenlands. Twenty management practices in four land use systems are analyzed. The results indicate that most management systems are profitable only with subsidies and payments for ecosystem services. In addition to sales revenue, these payments are indispensable to promote peat-saving agricultural practices on fenlands. Regarding the labor aspect, intensive management systems caused an increase in working hours per hectare, which may positively affect employment in rural areas. The calculations obtained in this study can be used as a basis for estimations of greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation costs when management systems are associated with GHG emission values.