Monitoring the Congo forests

Monitoring the Congo forests

The Congo basin holds the second largest tropical forest on Earth, just second to the Amazon.

Monitoring Africa’s rainforest is paramount to understand its role in global change. Nevertheless, the forests of the Congo basin remain largely understudied due to the political instability and reduced access to the region.

How do we overcome the challenges

We are coupling forest inventories with permanent monitoring of biogeochemical processes in the rainforest of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Only by doing this, we can understand the functioning of the central African forest and hence improve the future climate change scenarios.

Monitoring towers in the jungle

In the CONGOFLUX project, funded via the 10th EU Development Fund, we are building two eddy covariance flux towers in Yangambi, DRC.  

These towers resemble giant radio antennas in the middle of the jungle and are equipped to continuously monitor greenhouse gas, water and energy exchange between the forest and the atmosphere, along with the local meteorological conditions.

Altogether, these measurements enable us to analyze how the forest ‘breathes’ and how it reacts to and mitigates global change.