Integrated analysis of Multifunctional Fruit production landscapes to promote ecosystem services and sustainable land-use under climate change (MultiFruit)

The overall research idea of MULTIFRUIT is to study selected aspects of multifunctional landscapes as a concept to combine food production with ecosystem service provision and biodiversity conservation under climate change using fruit orchards in the Western Cape Province in South Africa as a model system. We will adopt an interdisciplinary perspective with PhD-students working in the fields of ecology, economics, microbiology, environmental data science, soil science and ecotoxicology; all on the topic of fruit orchards and related ecosystem services and biodiversity. We selected fruit orchards because of their potential for ecological intensification in multifunctional landscapes, their economic relevance to South Africa, and the considerable issues with increasing drought conditions in the study region. Supervisions of PhD-students will be done in cooperation with colleagues from Stellenbosch University in South Africa.