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Physical Geography

Soil water balance of forest sites with different lithologies in Northern Bavaria

In recent years there have been more dry and warm spring periods in Germany and especially in the administrative district of Lower Franconia. These spring droughts not only led to a considerable increase in the risk of forest fires, but also to drought stress events in forest communities. Regional and small-scale differences of these droughts also occur due to the small-scale variability of soil properties. The overall objective of the project is to investigate the spatiotemporal changes in soil moisture under the influence of the current climate and the site-specific soil properties, and to evaluate them with regard to the predicted warming of the atmosphere. Several selected sites with representative and different soil substrates will be investigated along a transect from the Vorspessart to the Hochspessart to the Steigerwald. A holistic research approach is used to characterise the spatially and temporally variable soil water balance, e.g. by the combination of in-situ measurements, remote sensing and geophysical monitoring. Findings of the project will be published in a generally accessible WebGIS in order to make spatiotemporal dynamics of the climate and the forest ecosystem easily recognisable and comprehensible.