Harald Kehl
Adj. Prof. Dr. habil.

Tel.:   +49 +30 - 3217891

TU-Berlin / Institute of Ökologie

Dr. Harald Kehl

 Curriculum Vitae 

Education Key Qualifications Relevant Experiences Scientifical Focal Points
Center of Activities Fields of Work & Professional Activities Geographical Focal Areas Training & Lectures
Overseas Assignments Publications Oral Contributions Abstracts
Other Skills Membership of Professional Organizations Stay & Trips Abroad Journal Referee Activities
Organization and Guidance of Ecological Oriented Field-Trips


Key Qualifications:

Ecosystem research and analysis regarding interrelationships of climate, soil and vegetation with/without anthropogenous impact under different climatological conditions. 18 years of experiences with subtropical to tropical deserts (with summer to winter rain), subtropical arido-humid mediterranean areas (with summer drought) and typical temperate areas.

Center of activities:

  • North Tajik Water Rehabilitation II Project – Feasibility Study (Central Asia, Tajikistan). Assigned as the Environmental and Climate Change Impact (CCI) Expert of the project, responsible for the entire environmental and Climate Change specific part of the Feasibility Study (FS). The project is carried out by Hydroplan, Worms, Germany, on behalf of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
  • Ecosystems Classification and Mapping, N-African Ecosystems, esp. Egypt and Sudan, for the United States Geological Survey (USGS), RCMRD, USAID, Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Science adviser for the Adaptation to Climate Change through Sustainable Resource Management and Cross-Border Cooperation for Disaster Prevention in Central Asia (SRM4DP) on behalf of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH (German Society for International Cooperation), and planquadrat, Geoinformation, Germany.
  • EU-Assessor for the evaluation of proposals submitted under the Thematic Programmes on Tropical Forests and Environment in Developing Countries, Environment and Sustainable Management of Natural Resources, including Energy, NSAs and LAs in development, and Technical Reviewer of the EC funded FP7 Collaborative Project (India, China, Vietnam) for EC DG Research & Innovation.
  • Ecosystem Rehabilitation & Resources Management in SE-Turkey (Amanos Mtn.).
  • Adoption of the EU-Acquis and development of modern, efficient and effective administrative management systems in the framework of Twinning Projects, especially Capacity Building in the Field of Environment for Turkey (Nature), in co-operation with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (Ankara, Turkey). Especially, 'Implementation of the CORINE Land Cover classification in Turkey', 'Qualifying staff for GIS application in nature', Training in data interpretation', Field verification and ground survey'. Cf. Completed Activities of Sub-Project I (Implementation of the Birds Directive and Habitats Directive (Natura 2000) and further Twinning activities.
  • Training for Capacity Building in the Fields of Transboundary Water Management and Environmental Economy (SE-Asia, tropical E- to W-Africa).
  • Lecturer in "Ecosystem Analysis and Vegetation Science", "Vegetation Ecology of Subtropical and Tropical Climates" (Berlin Technical University, Institute for Ecology), [Continuous Internet Publication as an Virtual Manuscript, ca. 350 pp., incl. Discussion on Climate Change Impact] and lectures on "Integrated Ground Water Management, National and International" (InWEnt).
  • Five years field studies on ecology of N-African deserts and coastal areas.
  • Twelve years studies on forests of mediterranean coastal and submediterranean to montane temperate areas of Turkey with special focus on vegetation dynamics and biomass productivity in forests and their derivates as a result of human impact, especially local climate and soil conditions, soil erosion, overgrazing and coppicing (cf. LöKAT).
  • Studies on biodiversity with special focus on soil genesis, soil water dynamics and modelling of chronosequences under different hemerochorus impact.
  • Studies and organisation of workshops on 'Integrated Groundwater and Transboundary Water Management" (tropical SE-Asia and W- to E-Africa).
  • Professional experience in studies on meso-climate, in-situ conservation of plant genetic diversity and life-form studies, and simulation of potential vegetation resp. forest formations under oligo- or -hemerobic conditions.
  • Modelling of population diversity and related environmental parameters with numerical ordinations, e.g. Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CANOCO).

Experienced in interdisciplinary research (especially in Turkey, Egypt, Sudan, and Central Asia, esp. Tajikistan) concerning Ecosystem Management and 'Environmental Impact Assessment', digital classification of satellite images [ARC-INFO] for vegetation mapping (vegetation formations, wood resources and land degradation), soil mapping according to FAO. Advanced training in phytogeography, environmental protection and sustainable natural resources management, especially Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) of tropical areas, and evaluation of climate change impact on natural resources, esp. on natural ecosystems and water supply (Central Asia, W-Africa), incl. risk management.



 Relevant Experiences:

  • 2018 (02-07):
    • Technical Assistance and Quality Control of the LUCAS 2018 survey (European Land Use / Cover Area frame sampling Survey) as External FollowUp Expert for LuxSpace Sàrl (on behalf of Eurostat).
  • 2016 to date:
    • Evaluation of proposals submitted in response to the EC H2020 call for proposals, on behalf of EC REA (Research Executive Agency), issued on the basis of the work programme(s) Horizon 2020- Societal Challenge 2 - 2016 calls, esp. ethics screening and review of the proposals that assesses whether the proposals complies with ethical principles and relevant national, EU and international, legislation incl. the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the European Convention on Human Rights and its Supplementary Protocols will be considered.
  • 2015 (02-07):
    • Technical Assistance and Quality Control of the LUCAS 2015 survey (Land Use / Cover Area frame sampling Survey) as External FollowUp Expert for LuxSpace Sàrl (on behalf of Eurostat).
  • 2012 - 2013:
    • Assessment of Climate Change Impact (CCI) on ecosystems, especially on water resources of North Tajikistan, in the framework of the North Tajik Water Rehabilitation II Project – Feasibility Study (FS), on behalf of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and Hydroplan, Worms, Germany.
  • 2011 - 2013:
    • Adaptation to Climate Change through Sustainable Resource Management and Cross-Border Cooperation for Disaster Prevention in Central Asia (SRM4DP), on behalf of GIZ GmbH (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit / German Society for International Cooperation), and planquadrat, Geoinformation, Miesbach, Germany.
  • 2011:
    • Ecosystems Classification and Mapping, N-African Ecosystems, esp. Egypt and Sudan, for the United States Geological Survey (USGS), RCMRD, USAID, Nairobi, Kenya.
  • 2009:
    • Consultancy for Pasture Survey and Provision of Analysis of Key Findings, on behalf of the Mountain Societies Development Support Programme (MSDSP), Tajikistan.
  • 2006 to date:
    • EU-Assessor (esp. EuropeAid) and Technical Reviewer for different Programmes and Projects focused on e.g. "Tropical Forests and Environment in Developing Countries", "Environment and Sustainable Management of Natural Resources, including Energy", "SWITCH-Asia - Promoting Sustainable Consumption and Production - SCP"..
  • 2004 to 2006:
    • EU-Twinning-Project - Capacity Building in the Field of Environment for Turkey, Component: Nature (cf. Twinning Activities).
  • 2003 to 2004:
    • Capacity Building on Transboundary Water Management (SE-Asia with Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos / Tropical W- and E-Africa).
  • 1999:
    • Preparation of an "Amanos Ecosystem Rehabilitation and Sustainable Resource Management Plan" in co-operation with the Istanbul TU, Eurasian Institute of Earth Sciences and Dept. of Geodesy and Photogrammetry, the Turkish Ministries of Environment & Forestry, and Agriculture, the WWF-Turkey, und GEF (World Bank, UNDP, UNEP).
  • 1988 - 1998:
    • Design, implementation and manager of the inter-disciplinary and multi-dimensional research project 'Landscape Ecological Complex Analysis in the Amanos Mtns. of SE-Turkey' (LöKAT), funded by German Research Foundation (DFG), German Society of Technical Co-operation (GTZ), Berlin Technical University (TUB), Institute of Ecology and Donors' Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities (Germany), on the basis of intensive contacts to local authorities in the research area, in Adana and Ankara, especially to the local, supraregional and national forestry administration, and partly in cooperation with the Adana Cukurova University.

      • all investigations, mapping and simulations have been carried out from the colline to the subalpine belt on the forested western slope of the mountain
      • identification of species and inventory of taxonomical vegetation units
      • description of species diversity, life form distribution, forest vegetation structure and human impact
      • identification of site conditions of endemics and rare species according to the Red Data Book criteria
      • establishment of a climatological measurement system network (soil and air temperature, rainfall and -intensity, global radiation, wind-intensity and -direction, soil water dynamic)
      • identification of soil physical and chemical site conditions according to FAO
      • erosion studies
      • ecosystematical evaluation of the interrelationship of soil, climate, vegetation with numerical ordinations (multivariate methods, CANOCA) and synoptical classification (MULVA)
      • simulation of forest distribution and vegetation structure after long-term oligo- hemerobic conditions (Potential Natural Vegetation resp. Potentially-Possible Vegetation)
      • development of Thematical Ecological Maps (Geology-Lithology, Soil Units, Vegetation Units, Geobotanical Classification, Digital Classification of Satellite Images for Vegetation Mapping, Simulation of Shadow Effects)
      • presentation of concepts to regional planning and forestry authorities for natural resources management and protection of endangered vegetation
  • 1988:
    • Expertise for the Forestry Department of the Federal State of Brandenburg and the City of Berlin on the forest welfare effect on urban climate, especially on city-near forest landscapes to cold-air flow (in cooperation with the 'Deutscher Wetterdienst, DWD, Offenbach' and 'Berliner Forschungszentrum fr Innovative Rechnersysteme und Technologie, FIRST)

      • identification and inventory of forest units according to morphological criteria
      • establishment of a climatological measurement system network with remote test-data transmission
      • evaluation of long-term data series of temperature
      • simulation of cold-air dynamics during different meteorological conditions and different development plans
      • simulation of air exchange, air replacement and air pollutant emission

  • 1982-1987:
    • Manager of the Subproject 'Soil and vegetation development under arid conditions", with special focus on vegetation dynamics and pattern of coastal areas, vegetation in inhabited and uninhabited oases of the Eastern Sahara' (Special Research Project 69 'Geoscientific Problems of Arid Areas'), Berlin Technical and Free University and Berlin Technical Highschool, funded by German Research Foundation (DFG), in co-operation with Egyptian Universities and the General Petroleum Comp. of Egypt (GPC)

      implementation of the subproject in Egypt, negotiations with local authorities and project handling in co-operation with scientists from different faculties: pedology, geology and remote sensing

      • identification and inventory of plant taxonomical units
      • determination of the natural establishment and distribution of phytogeographical elements between the Mediterranean coast and the Sahel belt with special focus on agriculturally used areas in the Mersah Matruh region and Egyptian to Sudanese oases
      • derivation of soil water balance and soil conditions from plant distribution and development and determination of indicator plants for site conditions
      • implementation of experimental set-ups for artificial precipitation with focus on agriculturally used desert soils in the 'New Valley Area', elucidation of necessary and favourable water consumption of agricultural plant and typical wild plant stands under hyperarid conditions
      • evaluation of seed banks in desert soils
      • development of different Thematical Ecological Maps of the Eastern Sahara between the Libyan border and the Nile valley derived from satellite images and own evaluations.
  • 1980:
    • Preparation, management and organization of the "Second European Ecological Symposium - Berlin"

 Fields of Work & Professional Activities:

Scientifical Focal Points:
  • Population- and Vegetation Ecology,
  • Vegetation Geography,
  • Vegetation Dynamics as a Result of Human Impact,
  • Correspondence Analytical Evaluation of Ecosystematical Interrelationships,
  • Vegetation and Landscape History,
  • Ecosystem Research in Subtropical and Tropical Zones,
  • Integrated Ground Water Management in arid Areas with Focus on Irrigation-Agriculture
  • Land Management Strategies Integrating Soil, Water and Vegetation,
  • Theory and Methods of Environmental Protection,
  • Intergrated Ground Water and Transboundary Water Management of Tropical Areas (East- to West-Africa - SE-Asia)

Geographical Focal Areas
  • Eastern Mediterranean (mainly Greece, Turkey and Syria),
  • Africa (Semi-Arid Mediterranean Coastal Area, Libyan Desert - Eastern Sahara, Sahel Belt),
  • Tropical Summer-Rain Regions and Rain Forests (mainly W- to E-Africa, with Madagascar and SE-Asia)
  • Central Asia (Tajikistan)

Journal Referee
  • Turkish Journal of Botany
  • Acta Botanica Croatica
  • Plant Ecology (formerly Vegetatio)
  • CATENA, An Interdisciplinary Journal of Soil Science - Hydrology - Geomorphology focusing on Geoecology and Landscape Evolution

Training and Lectures
  • 2004 - 2007: Twinning Project "Capacity Building Environment Turkey" on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Environment, Energy and Nuclear Safety, Germany.
  • 2003, 08 - 13 Dec., Workshop "Face to Face" on "Integrated Water Management" in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) - "Carrying Capacities of Ecosystems: Ecology, Economics and Environmental Economy" on behalf of INWENT, Capacity Building International, Germany, in the framework of Global Campus 21: "Integrated Ground Water Management, regional and international".
  • 2003, 27 Nov. - 01. Dec., Feldafing (Germany), Workshop on "Transboundary Water Management" on behalf of INWENT, Capacity Building International, Germany, in the framework of Global Campus 21: "Integrated Ground Water Management, regional and international"
  • 2003 - to date: Cooperation with the reform project of the Berlin Technical University, Faculty I, 'Acquiring Intercultural Competence as a Precondition for International Co-operation'.
  • 2003, 14 - 24 July, Berlin - Workshop on "Transboundary Water Management" on behalf of INWENT, Capacity Building International, Germany
  • 1986 - 2016: Berlin Technical University, Institute of Ecology, Ecosystem Analysis and Vegetation Science, with focus on: Vegetation Ecology of Tropical and Subtropical Climates (Subtropical Winter-Rain Regions, Tropical Summer-Rain Regions and Tropcal Rain Forests), and Introduction to "Climate History".
  • 1986-1988: Environmental and Landscape Development Planning, Resource Protection and Management, Recreation Planning in SW-Turkey,
  • 1975-1978: Comprehensive Secondary School (lectures in Genetics, Evolution Theories, Environment Protection and Ecology)
Overseas Assignments:

Egypt, Sudan, Turkey, Tajikistan
Furthermore: studies in tropical areas of Australia, Madagascar, New Guinea, Jamaica, Ecuador, Columbia (Amazon region)

Memberships of Professional Organisations: (former memberships incl.)

  • Member of the Organisation of Phytotaxonomic Investigations of the Mediterranean Area (OPTIMA)
  • Member of the German Ecological Society (GF)
  • Member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Botanical Society
  • Member of the International Association for Vegetation Science (IAVS)
  • Ass. Member of Biological Collection Information Service in Europe (Med Section)
  • Member of the NGO World Economy, Ecology & Development (WEED)
  • Member of the Council for Tropical and Subtropical Agricultural Research (ATSAF) e.V.
  • Member of the Arab Healthy Water Association (AHWA), Abroad Advisor.

Other skills:

  • Computer systems: IBM PC compatibles and Apple MacIntosh
  • Operating systems: IBM/PC-DOS, MS Windows and Mac
  • Professional programs: MULVA, CANOCO, CANODRAW
  • Computer graphics: Stanford Graphics, MS Power Point, Corel Draw / Photo Paint, Adobe Photoshop
  • Commercial packages: MS Office-Professional (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Adobe Acrobat
  • Webdesign: Professional experience and knowledge of scientific and commercial Internet-Projects

 Publications  (Selection) click the titles to read the abstracts!



 Oral Contributions (Selection) 

  • Kehl, H. (2009) The popular climate change and the illusion of ecosystem stability - How to react on the dynamics of nature.- The Fourth International Conference of the Egyptian Society for Environmental Sciences, "Impacts of Climate Change on Natural Resources", 10-11 Nov. 2009, Ismailia, Egypt (keynote speech).
  • Kehl, H. (2007) Integrative and Ecosystem Oriented Resources Management in the Amanos Mtns.- Antakya (Turkey), 2007.12.10/11.
  • Kehl, H. (2007) Integrative and Ecosystem Oriented Mountain Watershed Management - Ecosystem Rehabilitation & Resources Management in SE-Turkey (Amanos Mtn.).- Ankara University, 2007.08.13.-08.17.
  • Kehl, H. (2003) Ecology, Economics and Environmental Economy in the Framework of Integrated Water Management, National and International.- Workshop 'Face-to-Face', 8 - 13 Dec. 2003, Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso).
  • Kehl, H. (2003) Ecologically founded balancing of transboundary waters for human needs and warranty of transnational stable and sustainable ecosystems.- Workshop on Integrated Groundwater Management - West Africa, East Africa and South East Asia, 26 Nov. - 2 Dec. 2003, Feldafing (Germany).
  • Kehl, H. (2003) More essential and ecologically balancing of water consumption for human needs and warranty of stable and sustainable ecosystems, especially in semi-arid and arid landscapes with limited water resources.- Workshop on Transboundary Water Management, 14 - 24 July 2003, Berlin (Germany).
  • Kehl, H. (2002) Interdisciplinary Mountain Ecosystem Research in SE-Turkey (Amanos Mtn.), a Precondition for Effective Environmental Management Systems.- The Third International Remote Sensing of Urban Areas, 11-13 June 2002 in Istanbul (Turkey).
  • Kehl, H. (2000) Conventional Concepts of Nature vs. Pragmatic Conservation: An irreconcilable Conflict? Evangelische Akademie, 18. Febr. 2000, Iserlohn.
  • Kehl, H. (2000) Rehabilitation and Preservation of an Unique Mountainous Vegetation Type of SE-Turkey.- Rotary Club, 12 Jan. 2000, Ankara (Turkey).
  • Kehl, H. (1999) Biological Databases of Turkey.- Biocise Meeting, 18.-20. Juni, Verona (Italy).
  • Kehl, H. (1998) Ist die Beständigkeit des Standortes eine notwendige Illusion?- Habil.-Vortrag am 29. April 1998 am FB07 der TU-Berlin.
  • Kehl, H. (1997) Madagaskar - Lemur flamb?.- Ökologisches Kolloquium am 21. Mai im Institut für Ökologie (AB1) der TU-Berlin.
  • Kehl, H. (1995) Extrazonal vegetation types of SE-Turkey: Landscape ecological research and mapping in the Amanus Mt.- Proc. of the 5th Plant Life of South West Asia Symposium, Izmir, 21-29 May (Turkey).
  • Kehl, H. (1990) Preliminary results of a landscape ecological analysis as a basis for nature reserve in the Amanos Mtn. (SE-Turkey).- 3rd Plant Life of South West Asia Symposium, Berlin, 3-8 September, 1990.
  • Kehl, H. & R. Bornkamm (1988) The change of soil-vegetation interrelation with increasing aridity in the northern part of Egypt.- International Conference on 'Plant Growth, Drought and Salinity in the Arab Region', Giza, 3-7 December (Egypt)
  • Bornkamm, R. & H. Kehl (1987) Landscape Ecology of the Western Desert of Egypt.- International workshop on desert ecology 'What's Special About Desert Ecology?' at the Mitrani Centre for Desert Ecology, in Sede Boqer, 14-22 March (Israel).
  • Kehl, H. (1987) Zur Landschaftsökologie der Ostsahara (Western Desert of Egypt).- Zur Flora und Vegetation der Arabischen Halbinsel und angrenzender Räume.- Workshop des Lehrstuhls für Biogeographie der Universität Bayreuth in der Ökologischen Außenstation Wallenstein/ Frankenwald, 11-12 Juli.
  • Kehl, H. (1986) Syndynamic and floristical composition of macchia and their derivates along a disturbance gradient caused by a rural Turkish settlement.- 5th OPTIMA Meeting, Istanbul, 8-15 September (Turkey).


 Abstracts (Selection) 

  • Sayre, R. et al. (2013) A New Map of Standardized Terrestrial Ecosystems of Africa. Washington, DC.- Published by the Association of American Geographers (AAG) in collaboration with the United States Geological Survey (USGS), and the African Specialty Group of the AAG, A Special Supplement to the African Geographical Review. (Map Booklet, 24 pp., ISBN 978-0-89291-275-9)

    (Authors: Sayre, R., P. Comer, J. Hak, C. Josse, J. Bow, H. Warner, M. Larwanou, E. Kelbessa, T. Bekele, H. Kehl, R. Amena, R. Andriamasimanana, T. Ba, L. Benson, T. Boucher, M. Brown, J. Cress, O. Dassering, B. Friesen, F. Gachathi, S. Houcine, M. Keita, E. Khamala, D. Marangu, F. Mokua, B. Morou, L. Mucina, S. Mugisha, E. Mwavu, M. Rutherford, P. Sanou, S. Syampungani, B. Tomor, A. Vall, J. Vande Weghe, E. Wangui, and L. Waruingi)

    Terrestrial ecosystems and vegetation of Africa were classified and mapped as part of a larger effort and global protocol (GEOSS – the Global Earth Observation System of Systems), which includes an activity to map terrestrial ecosystems of the earth in a standardized, robust, and practical manner, and at
    the finest possible spatial resolution. To model the potential distribution of ecosystems, new continental datasets for several key physical environment datalayers (including coastline, landforms, surficial lithology, and bioclimates) were developed at spatial and classification resolutions finer than existing similar datalayers. A hierarchical vegetation classification was developed by African ecosystem scientists and vegetation geographers, who also provided sample locations of the newly classified vegetation units. The vegetation types and ecosystems were then mapped across the continent using a classification and regression tree (CART) inductive model, which predicted the potential distribution of vegetation types from a suite of biophysical environmental attributes including bioclimate region, biogeographic region, surficial lithology, landform, elevation and land cover. Multi-scale ecosystems were classified and mapped in an increasingly detailed hierarchical framework using vegetation-based concepts of class, subclass, formation, division, and macrogroup levels. The finest vegetation units (macrogroups) classified and mapped in this effort are defined using diagnostic plant species and diagnostic growth forms that reflect biogeographic differences in composition and sub-continental to regional differences in mesoclimate, geology, substrates, hydrology, and disturbance regimes (FGDC, 2008). The macrogroups are regarded as mesoscale (100s to 10,000s of hectares) ecosystems. A total of 126 macrogroup types were mapped, each with multiple, repeating occurrences on the landscape. The modeling effort was implemented at a base spatial resolution of 90 m. In addition to creating several rich, new continent-wide biophysical datalayers describing African vegetation and ecosystems, our intention was to explore feasible approaches to rapidly moving this type of standardized, continent-wide, ecosystem classification and mapping effort forward.

    >>>> Visit the Article (engl.)

  • Kehl, H. (2009) The popular climate change and the illusion of ecosystem stability - How to react on the dynamics of nature.- The Fourth International Conference of the Egyptian Society for Environmental Sciences, "Impacts of Climate Change on Natural Resources", 10-11 Nov. 2009, Ismailia, Egypt (keynote speech).
  • Climate change will be the greatest environmental challenge facing future generations unless we stop overstressing the carrying capacities of the world's terrestrial and marine ecosystems. The over-exploitation and over-consumption of fundamental natural resources will increase day by day and human environments with their vital infrastructure for sources supply, traffic and living conditions in complex settlements are getting more and more sensitive against the normal dynamics of nature, especially abrupt changes of weather.

    In addition to the normal and natural dynamics of weather and climate, anthropogenic impacts on the climate system may exacerbate the effects and intensities of weather events. To encounter these challenges the development of adaptation and risk prevention strategies have to be one of the most urgent aims of decision makers all over the world. This contribution is a critical reflection on current debates on climate change impacts, which often disregard important questions and necessary solutions related to climate change adaptation and the exponential world population growth.

    >>>> Visit the Lecture (engl.)

  • Kehl, H. (2000) Conventional Concepts of Nature and Pragmatic Conservation: Irreconcilable Differences? Originally given in longer form as a lecture to the Evangelical Academy of Iserlohn (Germany), on the occasion of the conference: "Nature under Pressure - Cooperative Paths for Conservation, From Landscape Consumption to Landscape Use," Feb. 29, 2000.

    For some time the debate over the "right" sort of environmental protection has been steered by ideologically burdened debates over nature conservation, species diversity and maintenance, as well as the often postulated incompatibility of ecology and economy. Nature and "naturalness" have been enjoying great popularity and are gaining in political importance. A polarization of the environmental movement is occurring with, at one end, conservation focusing on preservation and at the other, economically driven sustainable environmental protection.

    An understanding of the history of landscapes and species is necessary for both orientations. However, preservationist conservation tends to underestimate the importance of the human influence on terrestrial ecosystems and the fact that even current environments are dynamic quite independently of human beings, that species themselves undergo continual transformation, and that stability exists nonetheless.

    Since "nature" is an emotionally laden term that can best be understood in a philosophical-religious context but is not scientifically useful, the term "environment," a word that is unburdened with philosophical implications, has been used here to indicate the particular reference quantity of individual creatures, since from this perspective it is easier to define what can and should be sustainably protected, how this should be done and with what aim (economic or intrinsic).

    By analyzing basic assumptions concerning "nature," "culture" and "artificiality" as well as stability and biodiversity the following article will attempt to overcome contradictions in the discussion concerning practicable environmental protection. This investigation also advocates at least a partial review of a posteriori reality, i.e., a paradigm change - in fact a change in our awareness of nature - as necessary condition for the solution of environmental problems. Since traditional assumptions and ahistorical methods which also lack proper quantification have proven to be unviable, the ever more popular advocacy for "pristine nature" should be called into question.

  • >>> Visit the article for more information!


  • Kehl, H. (1998) A Landscape Ecological Complex Analysis in the Amanos Mtn. of SE-Turkey - Causes of Extrazonal Vegetation Types).
  • >>> Visit the project website for more information!

  • Kehl, H. (1995) Vegetation dynamics of macchie and their derivatives under the influence of a small settlement area near Antalya (SW-Turkey).

    The investigations were carried out in a rural area, located in the Eu-Mediterranean coastal belt near Antalya und include the ruderal flora of a small village and its bordering mosaic structure of Macchie formation with remnants of a disturbed Pinus brutia forest. The variation, serial structure and interactions of characteristic species groups of Macchie derivates with forb fringes, heliophilous plants of extensive pastures and Macchie clearings, ruderal and segetal sites of the settlement are presented. Population diversity and ecological groups were determined by the direct gradient analysis and a modified method of community classification.

    The seed bank has been studied during germination experiments at the Berlin Technical University, Institute of Ecology. These measures were taken to obtain more precise information about the potential species composition and the seasonal vegetation dynamics.

    The evaluation of the vegetation relevees, taken at equal intervals, phenological observations and seed bank analysis substantiate the existence of a gradient of human impact from the centre of the settlement, decreasing to the range land, representing a coenocline. The characteristic mosaic pattern modification of degraded Macchie is the result of various extensive agricultural influences.

    With decreasing distance to the edge of the village the Macchie remnants occur scattered and cushion-shaped. The disturbance gradient can be proven by the intermediate population pattern of species in a retrogressive sequence with taxa of different resistance against grazing, decreasing net production, although the number per sample is increasing with the nearness to the edges of the settlement.

    >>> Visit the article for more information!


  • Kehl, H. (1987) Zonation and establishment of vegetation in selected uninhabited Egyptian and Sudanese oases.

    Flora and vegetation of uninhabited Egyptian and Sudanese oases have been surveyed to obtain more knowledge about their groundwater-dependence, distribution and establishment. Similarities in the floristic composition and the distribution pattern are assumed to be dependent on the gradients of salt-contents in soil, depth of groundwater table, and additionally, on salt-tolerance, reproduction behaviour and development of different root systems of the taxa concerned. The vegetative reproduction has an essential function for the preservation of the oases vegetation. Under extreme arid conditions the generative reproduction takes place after sufficient rainfall. Germination and stable establishment of species on the outer margin of the oases need a larger amount of rainfall than the vegetation in the centre.

    Full article [2MB - 15 S.]

  • Kehl, H. & R. Bornkamm (1993) Landscape Ecology and Vegetation Units of the Western Desert of Egypt.

    Flora and vegetation have been studied in the semidesert and arid Western Dersert of Egypt to obtain more knowledge about the ecological background of their distribution and establishment. The ecosystematical evaluation of different units of landscapes and distributional pattern of floristical groups and different ecosystems is represented in Ecological Maps with vegetation units. Species diversity, the abundance of species and the occurence of autochthonous and allochthonous ecosystems indicate a precipitation gradient leading from SE to NW, which shows a different effectiveness regarding the conditions of topography, soils and geomorphology. The floristical research was supported by seed bank investigations, which confirm the highest species diversity in landscape units with distinct relief energy.


  • Kehl, H., K. Stahr & J. Gauer (1984) Soil-Vegetation relationship of a small catchment area on the Libyan plateau in NW-Egypt.

    A typical soil association and vegetation pattern on the Libyan Plateau was investigated 70km south of the mediterranean coast near Marsa Matruh. The landscape of strata-plains and outcrop scarps developed from miocene limestone of the marmarican formation. Under the recent conditions of 200C mean annual temperature and mean annual precipitation of 30 to 50mm a Lithosol - Yermosol - Solonchak - Soil landscape was formed.
    Phytogeographically, the contracted vegetation belongs to the Saharo-Arabian Region with a high proportion of Irano-Turanian biregionals. Two community types were recognized. Communities characterized by Carduncellus mareoticus and Atriplex halimus are sharply restricted to the playa depression. Vegetation and soils form a ring-shaped pattern around the playa depression, and the distribution of the vegetation is correlated to certain soil characteristics. The fact that the center of the playa is completly free of vegetation was explained by the extremely unfavourable conditions for plant establishment on the silty-clayey Takyric Solonchak.

  • Alaily, F., R. Bornkamm, H.-P. Blume, H. Kehl and H. Zielinski (1987) Ecological investigations in the Gilf Kebir (SW-Egypt).
    In order to investigate the ecological conditions in the extreme arid region of the E-Sahara, studies of soil and vegetation were carried out in the area of the Gilf Kebir plateau (SW-Egypt). Lithosols, Ortic Solonchaks andd Hablic Yermosols, mainly from sandstones, build up the soil association on the plateau. Cambic Arenosols, Eutric Regosols (or Eutric Fluvisols) from fluvial sediments abd Hablic Yermosols from debris as well as Takyric Yermosols and Solonchaks from playa sediments occur in the wadis. All soils are rich in plant nutrients, except nitrogen which occurs in high concentrations only in the Orthic Solonchaks.
    In the investigated area (appr. 3.000 km²) 15 plant species were recorded, only two of them in living state, the others as remains. The vegetation was restricted to mainly habitats: 1) Shallow depressions on the plateau (2 species on Haplic Yermosols), 2) different habitats in the wadis (9 species in different combinations depending on the size of the wadi), 3) sand fillings between the debris of vulcanite (5-7 species), 4) plains of the pediment (Cambic Arenosols bearing just one species, Stipagrostis acutiflora, that forms the borderline to the vegetation-free area E of the Gilf Kebir). In spite of its episodic character the vegetation may last more than one year (accidental vegetation in the sence of KASSAS).
    Vegetation growth is apparently induced by rainfalls at great intervals. All plant-bearing habitats have large catchment areas and are deep enough to store sufficient amounts of water and to protect it from evaporation. The majority of habitats is saline, only a minority bears non-halophytes.

    >> More>>

  • Alaily, F., R. Bornkamm, H.-P. Blume, H. Kehl and M. Renger (1987) Evaluation of Land in SW-Egypt.

    Soils and vegetation have been studied in the semi and extreme parts of West Egypt. According to the FAO soil classification 21 soil units of different phases were indentified in the field. The most frequent soils are orthic Solonchaks, Lithosols, cambic Arenosols, hablic Yermosols, eutric Regosols, calcic Yermosols and chromic Vertisols. By means of geological maps and LANDSAT images a soil association map at a scale 1 : 1.000.000 for south-west Egypt was established.
    Due to the insignificant rainfall in SW-Egypt land evaluation is carried out for irrigated agriculture, and for the common cultivated crops in Egypt. This work is done according to the framework for land evaluation of the FAO (1976). The determination of suitability orders, classes, subclasses and units was done mainly after estimating soil ecological parameters.
    The investigations concerning the distribution of flora and vegetation have been carried out for the ecosystematical evaluation of different units and landscapes. The distributional pattern of floristical groups and ecosystema is represented in Ecological Maps of the Western Desert of Egypt (Vegetation Units), based on the above mentioned Soil Association Map. Species distribution and the occurrence of autochthounous ecosystems indicate a precipitation gradient leading from SE to NW, which shows a different effectiveness regarding the conditions of topoggraphy, soils and morphology.
    The floristical research was supported by seed bank investigations, which confirm the highest concentration of vegetation distribution in landscape units with sufficient relief energy.

  • Bornkamm, R. & H. Kehl (1990) The plant communities of the Western Desert of Egypt.

    The Western Desert (formerly called the eastern part of the Libyan Desert) extends from the Mediterranean to the Sudanian border, and from the Libyan border to the Nile, thus comprising two thirds of the Egytian territory. Much vegetation research has already been done in this region, but has mainly been restricted to the coastal area and the oases. The present investigation was carried out in the frame work of the Special Research Project "Geoscientific problems in arid areas" and will contribute to close the gaps knowledge. We describe 89 vegetation units, belonging to 47 associations or monotypic stands. The specific (dwarf-)shrubby desert communities belong to two alliances, the 'Thymelaeion hirsutae' Eig 1946 and the 'Zgophyllion coccinei' El-Sharkawi et al. 1984, here combined into the new order 'Pituranthetalia tortuosi'.
    In summary, 5 desert zones can be discerned: I) Semidesert (settled, grazed, dry farming, vegetation diffuse), close to the coast, II) full desert (grazed, vegetation permanent but becoming contracted), III) extreme desert 1 (vegetation at least partially permanent), IV) extreme desert 2 (vegetation completely accidental), V) extreme desert 3 (allochthonous ecosystems). Deviations from the zonal arrangement are caused by the geomorphological conditions in the Farafra depression and the geomorphological - climatological conditions in the Qattara depression.

    pp. 149-168
    [20 pp., 5,46MB]
    pp. 169-188 [20 pp., 2,87MB]
    pp. 189-208 [20 pp., 3,44MB]
    pp 209-231 [23 pp., 2,99MB]
    List of all plant species found in the Western Desert of Egypt
    (Eastern Sahara / Libyan Desert, from the Mediterranean coast to the Sahel belt)


  • Bornkamm, R. & H. Kehl (1989) Landscape ecology of the western desert of Egypt.

    ".... In the following paper we characterize five desert zones, referring only to precipitation - dependent vegetation, which means that oases are excluded (...). If we disregard the littoral habitats, the northernmost zone of the Western Desert shows dwarf shrub vegetation with Thymelaea hirsuta as the most important plant. Other species dominating different communities are Asphodelus microcarpus, Plantago albicans, Hamada scoparia (in degraded land) and Lycium europaeum as a higher shrub (in wadis) (...). The phytogeographic analysis shows predominantly Sahara-Arabian species with a rather large proportion of Mediterranean species ...."

    Full article
    [1MB - 7 S.]

  • Bornkamm, R. & H. Kehl (1985) Pflanzengeographische Zonen in der Marmarika (NW-Ägypten). 'Phytogeographical Zones in the Marmarica (NW-Egypt)

    In the course of vegetation surveys in the Marmarica (NW-Egypt), between the Mediterranean coast near Mersa Matruh and the Qattara-Depression, numerous lists of plant species were compiled. The phytogeographical evaluation of these species lists made it evident that the Saharo-Arabian element is dominant in the whole area under investigation, and that the domination nearly equally extends over several different life-forms. In the coastal area both the Mediterranean and the steppic element of Irano-Turanian origin contribute in rather high proportion to the total number of species, the former decreasing rapidly with increasing distance from the sea. Both elements consist mainly of Therophytes, but they never dominate the physiognomy of the landscape. The Sudanian element, only scarcely represented on the Libyan Plateau, shows a remarkable occurence at the margins of the Qattara-Depression, esp. near the Qara oasis. The various existing maps of phytogeographical regions within NW-Egypt are discussed; a new regional classification is proposed for the area investigated.

  • Schneider, U. & H. Kehl (1987) Samenbank und Vegetationsaufnahmen ostmediterraner Therophytenfluren im Vergleich. - 'Seedbank and vegetation relevees of E-Mediterranean therophyte stands in comparison'.

    In a rural Turkish settlement within the Eu-Mediterranean coastal belt near Antalya, soil samples were taken for determination of the seed bank and in addition to phytosociological investigations. This measure was taken to obtain more precise information about the potential species composition and the seasonal dynamics. During a period of 16 months, germination experiments have been carried out at the Institute of Ecology, Berlin Technical University. 1714 seedlings were counted, of which 245 died unidentified. A number of 1469 (85,7%) seedlings had been recognized and classified into 83 species. The identified plants were classified and grouped as character-species of the Macchie and their derivates, esp. the community of overgrazed pseudo-steppic vegetation (Trift), trampling, ruderal and weed vegetation of arable fields and compared with vegetation relevees of the soil sample areas. 35 species were found only in the soil samples. This resulted in a mean correspondence of 58% between seed bank and determined species of the actual vegetation.
    It is being discussed why seed bank species could not be found in the vegetation, whereas others with a high cover value had no seed depositions in the soil.

    >>>More ...

  • Stahr, K., R. Bornkamm, J. Gauer, & H. Kehl (1989) Veränderung von Böden und Vegetation am Übergang von Halbwüste zur Vollwüste zwischen Mittelmeer und Quattara Depression in Ägypten.

    "Along a transect through the Marmarica Plateau og NW Egypt pedological, vegetational and climatological studies have been made reaching from mediterranen influenced semi-desert over (full) desert to extreme desert conditions. In the course of of the transect precipitation decreases from ca. 150 mm to less than 20 mm. In the same direction the mean annual temperature increases from ca. 10° to 21° C, accompanied by higher continentality of the climate. The vegetation changes from the diffuse to the contracted, purely episodical vegetation. In the course of this change shrubs and geophytes decrease. wheras chamaephytes show relative increase. In the least aridic zone luvic Xerosols are widespread, with enormous calcretes in the subsoil. Depth and thickness of cacretes decreases along the transect. In the typical haplic Yermosols any transport of lime is missing. In the driest part of the transect gypsum cristals do occur just below the vesicular desert pan.
    For the area under study the definitions of the three types of desert (semi desert, full desert, extreme desert) are discussed.


 Stay and Trips Abroad (Selection) 

  • Australia (Atherton-Tableland with Rain-Forests and tropical NE-Coast, Mediterranean Southern Territory and arid Center);
  • Burkina Faso (Savanna belt);
  • China (tropical southern areas and warm temperate NE-Territory);
  • Columbia (Amazon Region);
  • Ecuador (several Excursions to the Andes High Mountains, Coastal Areas and Galapagos Islands);
  • Egypt (Marmarica with Siwa Oasis, central-eastern Sahara - Gilf Kebir);
  • Hungary (Alluvial Plain Land between Thisa und Duna and north-eastern upland);
  • Indonesia (Irian Jaya / West New Guinea or West Papua, E-Coast and Highland);
  • Iran (Arid Center, Elburs Mtn. and Caspian Sea Coastal Areas;
  • Jamaica (Central Highland, Coastal Areas);
  • Libya (Coastal areas and Cyrenaica);
  • Madagascar (tropical Rain Forests, central and southern Highlands, arid South, western Coastal-Areas);
  • Papua New Guinea (eastern Alluvial Plains and central Highlands);
  • Philippine Islands (Mindanao, Swamp-Lands near Zamboangar);
  • Sudan (uninhabited Oasis and landscapes of the north-eastern Sahel);
  • Turkey (several Excursions along the Blacksea Coastal-Region, Central Anatolian Highland and SW- to SE-Region);
  • Tajikistan (GBAO, Central Pamir Highland).


Organization and Guidance of Ecologically oriented Field-Trips to the following Countries:

  • Australia (Southern Islands, Northeastern Coastal-Areas, Rain-Forests, Central-Desert);
  • Burkina Faso (savanna landscapes around Ouagadougou);
  • China (Tropical Southern and Warm Temperate NE-Territory);
  • Colombia (Amazon Region);
  • Ecuador (Andes, Coastal Areas and Galapagos Islands);
  • Egypt (Marmarica with Siwa Oasis);
  • Hungary (Plain-Land and Hilly Landscapes);
  • Indonesian Islands (Bali, Celebes, Irian Jaya, Coastal Areas and High-Lands);
  • Jamaica (Central High-Lands, Coastal Areas);
  • Libya (Coastal areas, Cyrenaica and Central Landscapes);
  • Madagascar (Plain-Land and Rain-Forest);
  • Papua New Guinea (Coastal Areas, Stream-Lands, High-Lands);
  • Philippines (swamp-lands near Zamboanga);
  • Turkey (several times to Central Anatolia and the SW-Toros Region).
  • Tajikistan (GBAO, Central Pamir Highland).



© Harald Kehl

Last updated on 2021-10-29