PRODIGY - Soil Biodiversity Governing Tipping Points in the Amazon


biodiversity, tipping points, social-ecological systems


Peru, Brazil, Bolivia


The main interest of this project is to generate knowledge base for a more sustainable land-use management based on the functional biodiversity of the soil ecosystem and its relationship with social-ecological systems resilience.

In order to generate and provide such knowledge, PRODIGY aims at: (1) generating a better understanding of the mechanisms leading to tipping points in social-ecological systems, (2) raising the awareness of severe impacts of rapid system shifts, and (3) developing viable management options to avoid the crossing of tipping points. PRODIGY´s research approach is framed within a cascade in which interrelated tipping points in four elements: (1) the soil ecosystem, (2) the economic livelihood, (3) social cohesion, and (4) the regional climate, are assessed.

The project research area is located where the Amazon regions of Peru, Brazil and Bolivia meet, in the so called MAP region (Madre de Dios in Peru, Acre in Brazil and Pando in Bolivia).


(1)  Assessing the diversity of functional genes in the soil biota
(2)  Valuing the contribution of soil biodiversity on economic livelihoods
(3)  Assessing the effect of biophysical, social and economic shocks on social cohesion and land-use decisions
(4)  Modeling the potential effects of social-ecological system changes on the regional climate

Main Cooperation Partners

  • Universität Koblenz-Landau, Institute for Environmental Sciences
  • Universität Hannover, Institute of Soil Science
  • Freie Universität Berlin, Institute for Latin American Studies
  • Universität Kassel, Center for Environmental Systems Research
  • Universität Bonn, Center for Development Research
  • Universität Hamburg, Institute of Geografy
  • Herencia (Bolivia)
  • Universidadde Federal do Acre (Brazil)
  • Universidad Nacional de San Antonio Abad del Cusco (Peru)
  • Centro de Innovación Científica Amazónica (Peru)
  • Asociación Boliviana para la investigación y conservación de ecosistemas Andino-Amazónicos (Bolivia)
  • Empresa Brasilera de Pesquisa Agropecuária (Embrapa)
  • Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental Amazonica (Brazil)
  • Instituto de Mudancas Climaticas (Brazil)
  • Universidad Amazonica de Pando (Bolivia)
Main Funding Partners


Duration of the Project

2019 - 08 / 2025

Project Homepage
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