EFForTS - Ecological and socioeconomic functions of tropical lowland rainforest transformation systems (Sumatra, Indonesia)

Project Goals

The SFB 990 aims at the investigation of transformation processes in tropical lowland rain forests. For the extraction of wood and other forest products as well as the cultivation of food, feed, fiber and energy plants, rainforests are cleared in many tropical areas. However, the consequences of deforestation and the role of the resulting agricultural use systems for the preservation of biodiversity and other ecological and socio-economic functions have hardly been explored so far. Synergies and conflicts between different ecological and socioeconomic functions are essential research objects. The interplay of agricultural and nature conservation is also of interest. The project therefore aims to lay the foundations for the development and implementation of sustainable agricultural systems.

Research is carried out in the province of Jambi in Sumatra, Indonesia, one of the largest lowland rainforest regions in Southeast Asia. Rubber and oil palm plantations are one of the most important agricultural land use systems in this province. Here, two landscapes and 36 core areas with different utilization systems and rainforest reference areas were selected for extensive research. Research focuses on biodiversity, soil fertility, water and nutrient flows, greenhouse gas emissions as well as economic, social, cultural and political dimensions of land use change. The SFB is conducted in close cooperation between the University of Göttingen and various partner institutions in Indonesia with a very broad interdisciplinary orientation.

The project is divided into four main research areas:

  • A - Environmental processes
  • B - Biota and ecosystem services
  • C - Socio-economic aspects (Human Dimensions)
  • INF - Information systems and research data management

Researchers from the fields of biology, economics, agricultural sciences, social sciences, geography, forest ecology, forestry and geosciences are taking part.

GWDG’s Role in the project

The GWDG is integrated into the INF project of SFB 990. The subproject INF deals with research data management and integrative statistical data analysis. The subproject management is located at the University of Göttingen at the Faculty of Economics and Statistics Center (ZfS), the SUB and the GWDG.

On the basis of established structures and reliable workflows of the first funding phase of SFB 990 (01.10.2012 - 31.12.2015) the development of a concept of a comprehensive research service with an embedded support unit is now underway. The focus is on a modular research infrastructure, including an information system, a comprehensive data management and courier service concept, as well as a broad range of statistical expertise, providing consulting, method development and analysis tools. This research platform is intended to provide integrative support throughout the lifecycle of research data and to contribute to the improvement or enrichment of the research data by enabling the exchange and reuse of the data. In addition, methods are developed to increase data quality and data life.

Project Partners

  • Georg-August-University Goettingen
    • Faculty of Agricultural Sciences: Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development and Department of Crop Science
    • Faculty of Biology and Psychology: Albrecht-von-Haller-Institute of Plant Sciences and Johann-Friedrich-Blumenbach-Institute of Zoology & Anthropology
    • Faculty of Economics: Department of Economics
    • Faculty of Forestry and Forest Ecology: Departments Büsen-Institut and Burckhardt-Institut
    • Faculty of Geosciences and Geography: Geographical Institute
  • Lower Saxony State and University Library Göttingen (SUB)
  • GIGA - German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg
  • In Indonesia:
    • University of Jambi (UNJA), Bogor University (IPB)
    • University of Tadulako (UNTAD)
    • Research Center for Biology / Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI / MZB)

The project management of SFB 990 is located at the Georg-August-University at the Johann-Friedrich-Blumenbach-Institute for Zoology and Anthropology in the Working Group Animal Ecology.

Additional Information

Film: SFB 990, EFForTS, Ecological and socioeconomic functions of tropical lowland rain forest transformation. youtube



Prof. Dr. Philipp Wieder


01.01.2020 - 31.12.2023



Funded by

DFG Logo Grant Agreement No DFG SFB 990