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Ökologischer Betrieb
© BLE, Bonn/Thomas Stephan
Ökologischer Betrieb
Institute of

BW Farm Economics


Ecological and Socioeconomic Functions of Tropical Lowland Rainforest Transformation Systems (EFForTS)

Landscape subsets at different spatial scales
© Sentinel-Daten: ESA; Laserscanner-Daten: Universität Göttingen
Landscape subsets at different spatial scales

Collaborative Research Centre 990: Ecological and Socioeconomic Functions of Tropical Lowland Rainforest Transformation Systems (Sumatra, Indonesia)

The transformation of tropical rainforest to rubber and oil palm plantations has extensive impact on nature and living conditions. Remote sensing helps us to understand the spatial-temporal patterns and drivers of those processes.

Background and Objective

Over the last decades, the lowlands of Jambi province in Sumatra (Indonesia) have undergone a major transformation from forests towards a cash crop-dominated landscape of rubber and oil palm plantations. EFForTS is a Collaborative Research Centre 990 funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) that investigates the ecological and socio-economic effects of such transformation based on research carried out in the Bukit Duabelas and Hutan Harapan area in Jambi province focusing on smallholder systems.


In the EFForTS project, more than 160 researchers from the University of Göttingen, University of Hohenheim, Thünen-Institute and Leibniz Association in Germany and the Indonesian universities IPB University (Bogor), UNTAD (Tadulako University, Palu) and UNJA (University of Jambi) work in close cooperation, representing a wide range of disciplines including ecology, forestry, agriculture, remote sensing, economics, human geography, and cultural anthropology.

Within this context, remote sensing supports the following tasks:

  • documentation of land use and land cover change in the province of Jambi, Sumatra
  • assessment of structural parameters in forests and plantations using metrics that are derived based on high resolution point clouds from an airborne laser scanning campaign
  • scaling-up of state and pressure indicators in forest and plantation ecosystems from the plot to the landscape level based on all available remote sensing data

Links and Downloads

official webpage at University of Göttingen:

Involved external Thünen-Partners

Funding Body

  • Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
    (national, öffentlich)


1.2020 - 12.2023

More Information

Project status: ongoing

Publications to the project

  1. 0

    Schlund M, Wenzel A, Camarretta N, Stiegler C, Erasmi S (2022) Vegetation canopy height estimation in dynamic tropical landscapes with TanDEM-X supported by GEDI data. Methods Ecol Evol:in Press, DOI:10.1111/2041-210X.13933

  2. 1

    Schlund M, Kotowska MM, Brambach F, Hein J, Wessel B, Camarretta N, Silalahi M, Surati Jaya IN, Erasmi S, Leuschner C, Kreft H (2021) Spaceborne height models reveal above ground biomass changes in tropical landscapes. Forest Ecol Manag 497:119497, DOI:10.1016/j.foreco.2021.119497

  3. 2

    Camarretta N, Ehbrecht M, Seidel D, Wenzel A, Zuhdi M, Merk MS, Schlund M, Erasmi S, Knohl A (2021) Using airborne laser scanning to characterize land-use systems in a tropical landscape based on vegetation structural metrics. Remote Sensing 13:4794, DOI:10.3390/rs13234794

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