Manfred Finckh

Manfred Finckh
University of Hamburg | UHH · Institute of Plant Science and Microbiology (IPM)

Dr. rer. nat.

About

132
Publications
90,327
Reads
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1,857
Citations
Additional affiliations
October 2006 - present
University of Hamburg
Position
  • Scientific Officer
Description
  • scientific project coordination, TFO & SASSCAL projects

Publications

Publications (132)
Article
The miombo region in Africa is covered by a mosaic of woodlands and geoxylic grasslands and subject to disturbances like fires, frost and drought, and low nutrient availability. The dominance of Fabaceae Detarioideae species in miombo ecosystems is remarkable but little understood. We therefore compared plant functional traits (PFTs) of common wood...
Article
Questions What are the functional trade‐offs of vascular plant species in global alpine ecosystems? How is functional variation related to vegetation zones, climatic groups and biogeographic realms? What is the relative contribution of macroclimate and evolutionary history in shaping the functional variation of alpine plant communities? Location G...
Article
Questions Forest-grassland boundaries in the tropics are primarily interpreted as driven by fire and herbivory. So far, frost has received little attention as driver of tropical vegetation boundaries. Here, we study mid-altitudes in south-central Africa and ask the following questions: a) Is there a lower treeline between grasslands and forests on...
Article
Aim Tropical old-growth grasslands are increasingly acknowledged as biodiverse ecosystems, but they are understudied in many aspects. Geoxyle species are a key component in many of these ecosystems, their belowground storage organs and bud banks are functionally diverse and contribute to the grasslands’ resilience. However, the drivers of the geoxy...
Article
Full-text available
Research in global change ecology relies heavily on global climatic grids derived from estimates of air temperature in open areas at around 2 m above the ground. These climatic grids do not reflect conditions below vegetation canopies and near the ground surface, where critical ecosystem functions occur and most terrestrial species reside. Here, we...
Article
Full-text available
Over-exploitation of wildlife especially bushmeat trade is the second most important threat to animal biodiversity. This also applies to Northern Angola but data on bushmeat and hunting techniques for this region are rare. Therefore, we study the most common hunting techniques, frequently captured species, and their economic value, and discuss the...
Article
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Assessing biodiversity status and trends in plant communities is critical for understanding, quantifying and predicting the effects of global change on ecosystems. Vegetation plots record the occurrence or abundance of all plant species co‐occurring within delimited local areas. This allows species absences to be inferred, information seldom provid...
Article
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Angola is a country in south-central Africa, particularly rich in biodiversity. Despite the efforts recently made to document its biodiversity, there is a need for standardized sampling methods to document and compare the variety of ecosystems and plants occurring in the country. With this database report we aim to document the abundance and divers...
Article
Full-text available
Aims Understanding fine-grain diversity patterns across large spatial extents is fundamental for macroecological research and biodiversity conservation. Using the GrassPlot database, we provide benchmarks of fine-grain richness values of Palaearctic open habitats for vascular plants, bryophytes, lichens and complete vegetation (i.e., the sum of the...
Article
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Despite its importance for carbon stocks accounting, belowground biomass (BGB) has seldom been measured due to the methodological complexity involved. In this study, we assess woody BGB and related carbon stocks, soil properties and human impact on two common suffrutex grasslands ( Brachystegia - and Parinari grasslands) on the Angolan Central Plat...
Article
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Positive biodiversity‐ecosystem function relationships (BEFRs) have been widely documented, but it is unclear if BEFRs should be expected in disturbance‐driven systems. Disturbance may limit competition and niche differentiation, which are frequently posited to underlie BEFRs. We provide the first exploration of the relationship between tree specie...
Article
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Aim Alpine ecosystems differ in area, macroenvironment and biogeographical history across the Earth, but the relationship between these factors and plant species richness is still unexplored. Here, we assess the global patterns of plant species richness in alpine ecosystems and their association with environmental, geographical and historical facto...
Preprint
Full-text available
Research in environmental science relies heavily on global climatic grids derived from estimates of air temperature at around 2 meter above ground1-3. These climatic grids however fail to reflect conditions near and below the soil surface, where critical ecosystem functions such as soil carbon storage are controlled and most biodiversity resides4-8...
Article
Significance We develop a biogeographic approach to analyzing the presence of alternative stable states in tropical biomes. Whilst forest–savanna bistability has been widely hypothesized and modeled, empirical evidence has remained scarce and controversial, and here, applying our method to Africa, we provide large-scale evidence that there are alte...
Article
Full-text available
The Scaled Sandveld Lizard Nucras scalaris Laurent, 1964 is a poorly known lacertid endemic to north-eastern Angola and is only known from the type series collected more than half a century ago. The original description provided a comprehensive morphological description, but there was a lack of information regarding its evolutionary relationships a...
Article
Full-text available
Geoxyles and their congeneric tree species are a very common feature in the Zambezian Floristic Region, however , little is known about differing expression of plant functional traits between the two life forms and thus their evolutionary adaptations to prevailing habitat conditions. Therefore, we measured selected plant functional traits and compa...
Article
Geoxyles and their congeneric tree species are a very common feature in the Zambezian Floristic Region, however , little is known about differing expression of plant functional traits between the two life forms and thus their evolutionary adaptations to prevailing habitat conditions. Therefore, we measured selected plant functional traits and compa...
Article
We examined local and regional contribution on the grasslands dominated by Lygeum spartum from Southern Europe and North Africa to produce a formalised classification of this vegetation and to identify main factors driving its plant species composition. Mediterranean Basin and Iberian Peninsula. We used a dataset of 728 relevés, which were resample...
Conference Paper
Within the Miombo belt the tri-national Okavango Basin is one of the last remaining intact river basins in Africa. It supports highly diverse social-ecological systems with the majority of the population strongly depending on the direct provision of multiple ecosystem services. Following independence and peace treaties the region is now rapidly bei...
Article
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Questions: Vegetation-plot records provide information on presence and cover or abundance of plants co-occurring in the same community. Vegetation-plot data are spread across research groups, environmental agencies and biodiversity research centers, and thus, are rarely accessible at continental or global scales. Here we present the sPlot database,...
Article
The Zambezian Floristic Region (ZFR) in south-central Africa experienced major environmental changes in the past and is nowadays home to numerous woody taxa of wet-tropical provenance. Within many taxa, we observe adaptations to multiple habitats, but know little about their environmental drivers. In order to gain knowledge about adaptation and spe...
Chapter
Spatial information about plant species composition and the distribution of vegetation types is an essential baseline for natural resource management planning. In Angola, the first countrywide vegetation map was elaborated by Gossweiler in 1939. Subsequently, Barbosa published a revised map with much higher detail in 1970 and his work has remained...
Chapter
A small-scale mosaic of miombo woodlands and open, seasonally inundated grasslands is a typical aspect of the Zambezian phytochorion that extends into the eastern and central parts of Angola. The grasslands are home to so-called ‘underground trees’ or geoxylic suffrutices, a life form with massive underground wooden structures. Some (but not all) o...
Article
Aim In tropical Africa, savannas cover huge areas, have high plant species richness and are considered as a major natural resource for most countries. There is, however, little information available on their floristics and biogeography at the continental scale, despite the importance of such information for our understanding of the drivers of speci...
Article
Full-text available
GrassPlot is a collaborative vegetation-plot database organised by the Eurasian Dry Grassland Group (EDGG) and listed in the Global Index of Vegetation-Plot Databases (GIVD ID EU-00-003). GrassPlot collects plot records (relevés) from grasslands and other open habitats of the Palaearctic biogeographic realm. It focuses on precisely delimited plots...
Article
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The transformation of grassland by bush encroachment causes socio-economic problems in arid and semi-arid regions. At the moment de-bushing is the only way to control bush encroachment. In this context we conducted two independent projects within SASSCAL: In a greenhouse experiment, we investigated the morphological plant response of four different...
Article
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The SASSCAL region is home to a very rich biodiversity, which provides signifi cant economic and intrinsic value to human society. Th is biodiversity, however, is subject to multiple stresses emerging from human land use and climate change, which leads to biodiversity loss at substantial scale. To assess the current state and changes in biodiversit...
Article
The SASSCAL region is home to a very rich biodiversity, which provides significant economic and intrinsic value to human society. This biodiversity, however, is subject to multiple stresses emerging from human land use and climate change, which leads to biodiversity loss at substantial scale. To assess the current state and changes in biodiversity...
Article
Eastern Angola and western Zambia are dominated by the Zambezi catchment, where high precipitation and a dense river network cause annual fl ooding of extensive areas from January to May. Cameia National Park in Angola is such a seasonally fl ooded savanna. A SASSCAL Biodiversity Observatory was established in May 2016, as little is known about the a...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we present an estimate of above-ground biomass (AGB) in the dry tropical forests and woodlands of southern Angola, western Zambia, northern Namibia and northern Botswana. Furthermore, we investigated the environmental variables influencing the spatial distribution of AGB. We compiled data from 498 vegetation plots and forest inventori...
Article
Aim: The social-ecological systems of south east Angola currently undergo rapid transformations and at the same time the region is highly understudied. We aim to provide a first comprehensive analysis of vegetation types, their environmental drivers and woody species diversity of the region. Study area: Cubango River Basin in south-east Angola and...
Article
en Bush encroachment is reported from savannah regions worldwide. Different management strategies are used to rehabilitate these areas. In this context, the mutual interaction between vegetation and large herbivore's distribution is evident. We studied effects of land management on vegetation structure in regard to encroaching species and the subse...
Article
Full-text available
The study was carried out in the Cusseque area of the Municipality of Chitembo in south-central Angola. Our objectives were to assess the floristic diversity, the species composition, and stand structure of Miombo woodlands during regeneration after shifting cultivation. A total of 40 plots of 1000 m 2 were surveyed and analyzed, corresponding to m...
Presentation
Full-text available
The western part of today’s Miombo region was strongly affected by the climatic changes at the Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary. Precipitation seasonality increased strongly, leading to the emergence of pronounced wet and dry seasons. Evergreen closed canopy forests disintegrated into a mosaic of open lands and dry forests. In this changing environmen...
Article
Full-text available
The species composition of the vegetation in most regions of Angola has been poorly studied and most studies date back to the pre-independence era. In this study, we provide a detailed account of the woody flora of the Miombo woodlands and geoxylic grasslands of the Cusseque study site of “The Future Okavango” (TFO) project, situated on the Angolan...
Poster
TFO researchers presented their respective results concerning the targets to raise the awareness of people of the values of biodiversity (A1), to reduce the rate of loss of all natural habitats (B5), to enhance the area under conservation (C11), to enhance the contribution of biodiversity to carbon storage (D15) and to enhance the level of particip...
Article
Cross-border studies offer unique situations to study the impact of different land-use regimes on ecosystems. Along the Angolan and Namibian border formed by the Okavango River, the environmental conditions and traditional land-use practises are the same on either side of the river. However, decades of civil war in Angola led to a stagnant developm...
Article
The Okavango river basin, located in southern Africa and shared by the countries Angola, Namibia and Botswana, harbours large extents of natural and semi-natural ecosystems. At the same time, it is a hot spot of accelerating land use change causing transformation of vegetation in many regions of the basin. However, knowledge on vegetation compositi...
Article
Full-text available
In many parts of Africa, spatially-explicit information on plant α-diversity, i.e., the number of species in a given area, is missing as baseline information for spatial planning. We present an approach on how to combine vegetation-plot databases and remotely-sensed land surface phenology (LSP) metrics to predict plant α-diversity on a regional sca...
Article
The repopulation of abandoned areas in Angola after 27years of civil war led to a fast and extensive expansion of agricultural fields to meet the rising food demand. Yet, the increase in crop production at the expense of natural resources carries an inherent potential for conflicts since the demand for timber and wood extraction are also supposed t...
Poster
Full-text available
An undulating mosaic of forests and grasslands characterizes the Zambezian region in southern Africa that gave space to the stunning evolution of woody species pairs from many tropical plant families. These pairs have in common being of similar morphology, except for one aspect: while one species is growing as a tree in forests, the sister taxon gr...