Training Workshop APSIM Advanced and Dynamic Vegetation Modelling

Course dates:
24th - 28th August 2020

Registration dates:
Application closed
All selected applicants will be informed in due time.

Due to Covid-19, this course will take place as an online course. To take part in the course you will need a computer (either private or at your institution), a stable internet connection and equipment to chat. Software can be downloaded from the internet, you will be informed ahead of the workshop, what exactly will be necessary.

Target group:
Advanced Master students, PhD students and early career scientists from southern Africa and Germany

Selection criteria:
Selections are based on the submission of the following documents:

  • Motivation letter, together with a letter of recommendation (document from home institute, signed by academic supervisor or similar), in one single pdf file
  • Up-to-date CV, including information on academic degrees and publications
  • Copy of passport 

Location of the course:
Due to COVID-19, this course take place as an online course.

Coordinating institution:
University of Göttingen/TROPAGS

SPACES Project: SALLnet

Course coordinator(s):
Dr. William Nelson and Dr. Gennady Bracho-Mujica

Course teachers:
Prof. Dr. Reimund Rötter, Prof. Kingsley Ayisi, Dr. William Nelson, Dr. Gennady Bracho Mujica, Dr. Simon Scheiter, Dr. Mirjam Pfeiffer, Dr. Munir Hoffmann

Course description & primary learning objectives:
Advanced modelling of (agro-) ecosystem services for sustainable rural development under global change Process-based crop simulation models (CSMs) and dynamic vegetation models (DVMs) are considered the best tools to quantify and project the interactions of plant communities, soil, climate and management on ecosystem services (such as biomass production, nutrient cycling and carbon sequestration) under current and future environmental conditions. Joint use of CSMs and DVMs allows to link interactions between different land use types like rangelands and cropland in the rural landscape. The course will introduce students to the principles and advanced application possibilities of these two tools. Both stand-alone mode as well as joint applications will be covered in this course. In case studies for southern African rural landscapes, the models will be applied to explore options for achieving a number of sustainable development goals such as no hunger (SDG2), poverty reduction (SDG1) climate protection (SDG13) or sustainable land management (SDG15).
Primary learning objectives:

  1. To get familiarized with principles of crop simulation modelling, including exercises using APSIM and other tools.
  2. To gain technical skills in the application of APSIM, a widely used CSM for tropical conditions, to different crop/resource management questions – with standard case study exercises (on H2O and N limiting environments).
  3. To gain capability in constructing crop simulation experiments (define ecosystem variables to be quantified and associated input data) and implement these/set up simulation runs using APSIM for user-defined questions.
  4. To get familiarized with principles of dynamic vegetation modelling, including exercises using aDGVM and related tools.
  5. To apply aDGVM to specific case studies and understand impacts of climate change, grazing, fire and fuelwood collection on rangeland vegetation.
  6. Apply APSIM in the landscape context for providing input in regional studies on land use management using a suite of modelling tools.
  7. To gain skills in setting up and interpreting joint simulation runs of crop and vegetation modelling, considering interactions of crop and rangelands and management in the rural landscape of southern African.

Learning methods:
Lectures on theory and concepts of mathematical crop and vegetation modelling with exercises to deepen understanding of the underlying process descriptions. Lectures to introduce and group work to deepen the formulations of model simulation experiments, their implementation in specific case studies using existing models and the interpretation of results

Expected learning outcomes:

  • Participants are familiar with basic concepts of crop simulation and dynamic vegetation modelling techniques and their implementations in two widely used operational models, APSIM and aDGVM.

  • Participants have gained insight and skills in the applicability of these modelling tools to major current and future management challenges of cropland and rangeland in southern African landscapes through hands-on training using concrete case studies.

Additional information:
Language of instruction is English. A certificate on regular participation will be provided.