Jungle Rhythms has been central to acquiring funding for both the COBECORE and COBADIM projects. Short summaries of, and links to, both projects are given below.
The Belgian Science Policy Office funded “Congo basin eco-climatological data recovery and valorisation (COBECORE, contract BR/175/A3/COBECORE)” project brings together an interdisciplinary network of partners with the objective to establish baseline measurements necessary in long-term (retrospective) ecological and climatological research by valorising unexplored historical data.
In this four year project COBECORE will develop a multi-faceted database, by making the static analog archives of the Institut National pour l’Etude Agronomique du Congo belge (INEAC) digitally accessible in addition to extracting eco-physiological relevant plant traits from historical herbarium specimens. As such, the project will complement previously transcribed insular climate records (e.g. at Yangambi and Luki) with data gathered throughout the basin and provide additional ecologically relevant (inventory) data. In order to speed up data processing, and provide public outreach, we will crowd-source transcription of the eco-climatological data and some of the recovered plant traits.
The Congo Basin drought resilience (an integrative modelling approach) or COBADIM project will combine eco-physiological and dendrochronological research with a model based approach to increase our understanding of the response of African tropical tree species under changing climatological conditions across the central Congo Basin. The project will integrate several data streams including past inventory data (provided through separate projects by dr. Hufkens, i.e. COBECORE and Jungle Rhythms ) and associated leaf traits, measured wood traits, retrospective dendrochronological measurements and wood core stable isotope and calcium tracer time series, in order to constrain data-informed mechanistic ecosystem models. A novel [Ca] tracer experiment will corroborate the use of a [Ca] tracer in tropical tree species for rapid dating and eco-physiological research into drought resistance. Accurate model predictions, based upon [Ca] measurements made during this project, will provide estimates of the vulnerability of tree species to future drought conditions. The latter results have important policy implications as the demise of important tree species could have significant effects on ecosystem services, affecting the carbon balance, as well as a direct economic impact on sustainable local and EU timber trade.