Marula tree

Subproject 2

Biodiversity and supply of material and non-material NCP

Material and non-material nature’s contributions to people (NCP) are critical components of human well-being, yet are rarely studied together. More importantly, we currently lack a good understanding of the relationships and mechanisms linking biodiversity and material and non-material NCP, especially in tropical mountain ecosystems.


The overarching objective of Kili-SES SP2 is to identify and quantify biodiversity components underpinning the supply of both material and non-material NCP, and explore the impact of climatic and land-use gradients in biodiversity-NCP relationships. In particular, for material NCP, we will focus on fuel wood and charcoal production (energy), crops, wild food, cattle fodder and detrimental species (food and feed), ethnopharmacy (medicinal resources), timber production and clothing (materials). For non-material NCP, we will investigate recreational activities, soundscapes, landscape aesthetics and psychologically beneficial and detrimental species (physical and psychological experiences), satisfaction of knowing certain species and sacred places (supporting identities).
We will rely on datasets collected in KiLi 1 at the level of 65 plots ranging along the elevational gradient on Kilimanjaro, and conduct further data collection to derive measures of biodiversity components, from the level of species and their traits to functional composition of plants and animal communities, and from taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional diversity to the extent and diversity of ecosystems. In particular, additional data is required to quantify specific biodiversity components underpinning material NCP (e.g. cultivars, crop yield) and non-material NCP (e.g. landscape aesthetics, soundscapes).
Our specific objectives are to (1) evaluate the supply of material and non-material NCP that occur at Kilimanjaro, (2) investigate which biodiversity components underpin material and non-material NCP and their relationship with climatic and land-use gradients, and (3) study the synergies and trade-offs within and across the supply of multiple material and non-material NCP, in relation to the multiple stakeholders present at Kilimanjaro.


Kili-SES SP2 will provide key information on the supply of material and non-material NCP and its drivers that, in addition to the data on regulating NCP in Kili-SES SP1, will contribute to a fundamental understanding of how nature contributes to human well-being in tropical mountains.

Team members

Prof. Dr. Thomas Müller (Principal Investigator)
Prof. Dr. Katrin Böhning-Gaese (Principal Investigator)
Dr. Peter Manning (Principal Investigator)
Dr. Ugo Arbieu (Co-Principal Investigator)
Dr. Lisa Lehnen (Co-Principal Investigator)
Dr. Andrea Larissa Boesing (Co-Principal Investigator)
Prof. Dr. Markus Fischer (Co-Principal Investigator)
PD Dr. Andreas Hemp (Co-Principal Investigator)
Prof. Dr. Berta Martín-López (Co-Principal Investigator)
Dr. Hamadi Dulle (Counterpart)
Dr. Neduvoto Mollel (Counterpart)
Maria Eugenia Degano (PhD student)
Koggani Dickson Koggani (PhD student)

(for more information see People page)