LTER-Austria - Austrian Society for Long-term Ecological Research
Irdning-Donnersbachtal | Website
The Agricultural Research and Education Centre Raumberg-Gumpenstein is the largest Austrian multidisciplinary research and education centre, which holds the legal status of an institution under public law. As part of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism it is driving-force for sustainable economizing in the region. The head office is situated in the municipality Irdning-Donnersbachtal, in the Styrian Enns Valley, at an altitude of 700 m a.s.l.. The rural area is dominated by grassland and forests, embedded in a mountainous landscape. More than 330 employees work in four research institutes (Livestock Research, Plant Production and Cultural Landscape, Animal Welfare and Health, Organic Farming and Farm Animal Biodiversity) and as teachers at the technical agrarian college (branches Agrarian Marketing, Agrarian Management, Environment and Resource Management, with about 440 students). AREC has external research areas and test sites with different climate conditions all over Austria (Wels, Lambach, Winklhof, Admont). The centre is specialized in research for multifunctional farm and environmental systems and in developing complex landscape analysis in view of agriculture, sustainable and efficient usage of natural resources, climate change, preservation of biodiversity and rural development. AREC offers a high expertise in dissemination of know-how for scientists, farmers, practitioners, decision makers, stakeholders and the local population. Workshops, trainings and national as well as international conferences are organized regularly with several hundred participants each year. AREC participates in national and international projects as well as relevant research networks.
AREC provides a large variety of agricultural and environmental impact assessments. The long-term monitoring site is equipped with high tech infrastructure (e.g. ZAMG weather station, lysimeters, different research plots), research stables, chemistry and water labs.
Methods & Expertise for Research Infrastructure
The main topics of research are grassland ecology, plant sociology, site specific greening, floristic biodiversity, preservation of nature, soil health, lysimetry, climate and its consequences, cultural landscape, animal husbandry, animal health and welfare, organic agriculture, biodiversity of farm animals, alternative cattle-keeping and herd-management, emissions and nuisance of animal husbandry, animal housing systems, energy- and nutrient-flows in agriculture as well as quality of food.