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Title Climate change impacts on shrub encroachment: a simulation study of the coupled dynamics of water and vegetation in drylands

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Short title Climate change impacts on shrub encroachment

Author(s) Tietjen, B.(1); Zehe, E.(2); Jeltsch, F.(1)

Presenting author Jeltsch, F.

Institution(s) (1) Plant Ecology and Nature Conservation, University of Potsdam; (2) Institute for Water and Environment, Technische Universität München

Keywords eco-hydrological modelling; climate change; shrub encroachment

Abstract In this study we investigate the impact of climate change on coupled water-vegetation dynamics of a Namibian thorn bush savanna. We developed a simulation model of soil moisture dynamics in two soil layers and coupled this model with a vegetation model of grass and shrubs. This approach allows for explicitly evaluating the feedbacks between water and vegetation and to assess the effects of climate change on both components. This enables us to evaluate the impacts of changed precipitation patterns and temperature on water availability for plants and to estimate the resulting grass and shrub cover.

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