WP4: Modelling

Work package 4 (WP4) is headed by Prof. Gabriele Broll from the Institute of Geography of the University of Osnabrück (Germany). The main objective of WP4 is to upscale the processes analysed within the other work packages in order to predict and assess decay dynamics at regional and landscape scales. Spatial modelling is intended to reveal effects of climate, topography, soil properties and vegetation on decomposition and to improve understanding of these relationships.

Modelling of the spatial distribution of humus forms is realised with the help of fuzzy logic techniques from digital soil mapping. Fuzzy membership functions depending on environmental variables such as elevation and exposition are built with the help of methods for data analysis, e.g. decision trees. Based on these, prediction maps of the investigation area are generated in a GIS-based spatial modelling approach. Correlations representing links between soil organisms, soil properties, humus forms and the related decomposition processes are also examined. The implications of utilizing different modelling approaches and the influences of scale are tested.

WP4 - Team 

WP4 - Collaborators 

WP4 - Participating students 

Prof. Jean-Michel Gobat

Soil & Vegetation Laboratory

University of Neuchâtel


Dylan Tatti

PhD student

Soil & Vegetation Laboratory

University of Neuchâtel


Prof. Markus Egli 

University of Zurich

Department of Geography



Dr. Giacomo Sartori

Museo delle Scienze (MUSE), 

Corso del Lavoro e della Scienza 3, 

38122 – Trento - ITALY


Janike Wagener

Master student

University of Osnabrück

Institute of Geography




Dr. Ulfert Graefe

Senior Researcher

IFAB Institute for Applied Soil Biology GmbH- Hamburg


Dr. Anneke Beylich

PostDoc Researcher

IFAB Institute for Applied Soil Biology GmbH - Hamburg