Quarterly Status Report
Period of the report: 1.1.1999 - 30.6.1999

Subproject: Group Landscape Ecology

Project: Bases for a landscape ecological development concept for the Northeastern of Brazil

Institute: Chair of Landscape Ecology
Technical University Munich Weihenstephan

German Counterparts:
Prof. em. Dr. Dr. h.c. W. HABER
Prof. Dr. L. TREPL
Dipl. Ing. S. MÖRTL
Dipl. Ing. A. PRINTZ

1. Project objectives
During the reported period key issues for the Landscape Ecology working group were the continued development of MOSDEL (Model for sustainable development of land use), the coupling of the 'surface runoff ' and the 'soil water' modules of WARIG (Water availability Model for the Rio Guaribas Basin) and the improvement of land cover-/land use- data.
The working group did not modify their work objectives during the reported period.
    2. Progress and results
Land cover-/Land use data through Satellite image interpretation and ground check

With support of the GAF a Landsat TM5 image (9.7.1996) was classified and interpreted. The land cover information was transferred to the GIS and provided for the MOSDEL simulation. Vegetation classes were formulated following the RADAMBRASIL Vegetation map.

In April an extensive ground check was undertaken in the Picos area by two members of the working group and two graduation students. As a result of this ground check several land cover classes had to be altered. The RADAMBRASIL vegetation classes (scale 1:1 Mio.) of the previous interpretation proved to be too rough to be applied on the investigated scale (1:100,000). Testing the first interpretation in the field also showed that due to the predominating soil information in the satellite image, quite big areas with badly degraded vegetation were interpreted as crop fields.

The ground check is currently being incorporated into the land use interpretation and will be finished by the end of July. The working group will take the results as final version of land use data for this project phase. Further improvements should be done by a professional remote sensing partner.


An improved version of the MOSDEL was completed by the end of March. The first version of land use data was implemented. It provides the function to select percentages of farmland for cultivation with selected crop plants. The model queries yield potential data of several crop plants (maize, cassava, cashew, cowpea, rice, millet, chickpea) for the reference season 1995/96, provided by the working group Agronomy in Hohenheim.

Yield potentials of irrigated crop plants (mango, tomato, green pepper, banana) have already been compiled by the working group agronomy. Available water for irrigation will be taken from the WARIG-modules.

Another step in the development of MOSDEL will be to integrate farm types, which can be regionally located, with their specific production methods. Methods to do this were already discussed with Bettina Bach and Thomas Gaiser in Hohenheim. In a first approach four regionally distributed farm types will be implemented into MOSDEL. The main distinction is made between farms on Chapadas and farms in Valleys.

The model will use climate types for its simulation of different scenarios. The working group Climate Analysis and Modelling clustered the climatic data of the official Picos station into seven types, using the criteria of 'absolute precipitation' and 'number of days with precipitation'. The working group Landscape Ecology further investigated these types and together with members of the discipline Agroecosystems selected four years to represent four climatic types:


Within the WARIG working group, the working group Landscape Ecology contributes the spatial based modelling of the soil water balance and the modelling of the surface runoff within the focus region of Picos/Bocaina. The used model for soilwater balance is based on the model SIMPEL (Hörmann, G. 1998). The calculation of the potential evapotranspiration (ETP) was adapted for the tropics using the Penman-Montheith equation instead of Haude. The differentiation of the vegetation characteristics concerning the ETP is represented by specific values of stomatal resistance.

So far the surface runoff model proceeds with the calculation taking in account the soil moisture from the precipitation values of the preceeding 5 days.

First simulations with these coupled models will be carried out with climatic data of the passed rain season (‘98/’99, WAVES meteorological stations). This will be the basis for a first validation with field runoff measurements of our partners (German working group water resources, DHME-Teresina partner from Brazil) during the visit of Margarita López in July.

Further on the new land cover/land use geometries (see above) including improved surface runoff coefficients will be implemented. Comparing the results with available runoff measurements the models will be more and more calibrated. Another calibration of the model will be done in co-operation with the working group of Water Management Resources (D. Halm) comparing the results of the Hillflow model.

For the use in MOSDEL runoff and soil moisture data will be provided for the above mentioned climatic types.

2.1 Partnership and co-operation
At the workshop on modelling in Potsdam (January 1999), the group of Landscape Ecology was represented. Basis for this workshop had been papers with descriptions for used models of each group.

The working group Landscape Ecology participated at the national ‘Agroeconomy’ workshop in Cologne (30-6-99,1-7-99). The possible interrelation of MOSDEL and ‘Agroeconomy’ was discussed.

The main event of bilateral WAVES-cooperation of the first half year of ’99 was the ‘scientific meeting’ in Fortaleza (CE- Brazil, 6.4. – 8.4.99). It was originally planned and prepared as first workshop, on which common results should be presented, until any official character was cancelled by the Brazilian side due to financial difficulties. Therefore unfortunately the partners from Piauí and of the INPE were excluded from the meeting.

However the participants made ‘the best out of it’ and the Landscape Ecology working groups had a very constructive interchange of results and ideas during the days. The German working group presented two contributions on spatial integration and scaling in general as well as a presentation of the MOSDEL (Model for sustainable development of land use).

After the workshop a common field trip (by members of all landscape ecology working groups) to the both reference areas (Tauá-CE and Picos-PI) was undertaken. Improvements of the satellite image interpretations have been the most discussed item during the tour.

The German Socioeconomy partners, Andreas Döring and Martin Grebe also participated several days at the field trip. Survey methods of spatial socioeconomic indicators were discussed and tested within the reference area Picos.

Two Landscape Ecology graduation students of the University of Munich (Andrea Zellhuber and Martina Hörauf) participated at the workshop and at the field trip. Afterwards they stayed at the reference area Picos for their studies (‘Spatial distribution patterns of farm types’ and ‘Land use planing at the Bocaina reservoir’). They were advised gratefully mainly by our partners in Fortaleza during their stay.

The partner in Piauí (Prof. Dr. Antônio Alberto Jorge Farias Castro) has concentrated his work on basic investigations like literature and herbarium studies. Even without financing there was additionally installed a phytosociological transect in the neighborhood of the Bocaina reservoir (Picos reference region). First plant samples have already been collected in the area. There was a common field trip with the students of our partner in the reference area of Picos. At the TROPEN-Institute, it was given an introduction lesson in the GIS software by the two representatives of the German Landscape Ecology group for interested students mainly within WAVES context. Additionally a lecture about spatial integration and the MOSDEL was given.

The partner in Ceará (Prof. Dr. Vládia Pinto Vidal de Oliveira) has already performed a general description of the reference municipality of Tauá and a complete interpretation of a satellite image (manually made on the basis of a colored hardcopy of a Landsat TM). A preliminary delimitation of landscape ecological units was carried out.

Another concern in cooperation is the installation of a special partnership in remote sensing. A proposal of INPE (already discussed in earlier meetings at INPE as well as at a stay this time) was agreed upon with the German working group Landscape Ecology by email and finished before the travel. Due to the cancellation of the workshop it could unfortunately not be approved by the Brazilian Management board in Fortaleza. During the first half year ’99 there was no more meeting of the Brazilian Management board, so it was not possible to proceed with the proposal. It is hoped, that the next Brazilian MB meeting, which is scheduled for the middle of August ’99, will approve finally the INPE proposal. The passing of the Brazilian MB is essential for the final approval and installation of the proposal.

There has also been another meeting concerning the cooperation in remote sensing at the FUNCEME. After various meetings concerning the cooperation the Technical director of FUNCEME expressed the fully readiness of FUNCEME regarding the cooperation. He advised the director of the ‘department of environmental analysis’ to prepare a final proposal. However there is no information of progress available within the first half year ‘99.

Together with the working group Water Management Resources, the DHME partner Margarita López was invited to a study stay in Germany in July ’99.

For the further cooperation it is planned to improve the knowledge about the correlation of the vegetation and the soils to improve estimations of potential vegetation, land use; degradation and hydrology.

2.2 Exploitation
No publications were made during the time of the status report.
3. Project management structure
No modifications.
  The next national workshop will be at Hohenheim (11./12.10): "The preparation of the final report about interdisciplinary activities in the first project phase".

On the 14th to 15th of October 1999 there will be a joint presentation of WAVES at the conference "Deutscher Tropentag" in Berlin. Besides two posters, the group of Landscape Ecology will contribute a report of the work on regional scale.

Regarding the outlook for the thematic work see above the concerning themes.

5. Administrative aspects

5.1 Financial situation

No modifications.
    5.2 Staff situation
No modifications.


    6. Appendix

Hörmann, G., 1998: The SIMPEL soil water spreadheets: defining the low end of hydrologic computing. Submitted to Journal of hydrology

List of acronymes
CNPq  Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico
DHME  Departamento de Hidrometeorologia (Teresina - PI)
DTI  Desenvolvimento Tecnológico e Industrial (Fellowship class of CNPq)
GAF  Gesellschaft für Angewandte Fernerkundung - Munich - Germany
GIS  Geographic Information System
INPE  Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (São José dos Campos - SP)
ITI  Iniciação Tecnológico e Industrial (Fellowship class of CNPq below DTI)
MB  Management board
MOSDEL Model for sustainable development of land use
RADAM BRASIL  Interdisciplinary Brazilian research project for evaluation of natural resources by interpretation of satellite data
TM5  Thematic Mapper (5 spectral channels)
TROPEN Núcleo de Referência em Ciências Ambientais do Trópico Ecotonal do Nordeste (Teresina - PI)
WARIG  Water availability model for the Rio Guaribas basin