Development of a MIOMBO woodland dynamics model in Zambezian Africa using Malawi as a case study

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A path model was developed to characterize the effects of climate on succession of miombo dry forests of Zambezian Africa using Malawi as a case study. The model, called MIOMBO, is based on the FORSKA Version I gap model of forest succession by Prentice and Leemans (1990). The FORSKA model was modified to include the effects of moisture and fire; and how these affect processes of establishment, survival, growth and development. The impacts that four different GCM scenarios for a CO2 doubling might have on dynamics of a number of miombo species were analyzed. Preliminary results show a gradual increase in the basal area of the more mesic species. This result is consistent with what might be expected with increased precipitation. Tree growth and development data with associated detailed climatic data are lacking and severely limit the ability to define quantitatively how species are influenced by given levels of environmental factors (such as climate and nutrient factors), and how they might respond to seasonal changes in climate variability.

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Climatic Change