LTER-Austria - Austrian Society for Long-term Ecological Research
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GLORIA Target region The site lies in the alpine zone of Hochschwab in the NE-Alps. It is defined as a standard Target region of the GLORIA network (http://www.gloria.ac.at). Hochschwab_GLORIA was the networks first test site for standardised monitoring of alpine summit vegetation established in 1998. Regular monitoring started in 2001 as part of the EU-FP-5 project GLORIA-Europe. All permanenent plots were resurveyed in 2008 and in 2015. The site consists of 4 separate summit sites arranged along the elevation gradient between 1910 and 2255m. The main scientific purpose is to detect impacts of climate change on alpine vegetation and its biodiversity. In addition, downslope transects to the treeline ecotone were established in 2008, diversity of soil nematodes were studied at the GLORIA summit areas and the region was part of an assessment of useful plants of the alpine life zone.
The purpose of the site is to detect impacts of climate change on alpine vegetation and its biodiversity. It is part of the international GLORIA network with sites distributed over six continents.
Methods & Expertise for Research Infrastructure
The monitoring settings on Hochschwab, established in 2001, include 64 1x1m permanent plots, 16 soil temperature loggers measuring at hourly intervals and 32 larger summit area sections, mainly placed in alpine grassland, screes and snowbeds, installed on four summits; these were arranged from the Krummholz belt up to the highest peaks, between 1900 and 2255m. The first resurvey in 2008, as a parallel measure at 17 GLORIA sites in Europe, brought signals of climate warming-related changes in plant species composition and structure (Gottfried et al. 2012; Pauli et al. 2012). Diversity of soil nematodes were studied at the GLORIA summit areas (Hoschitz & Kaufmann 2004) and the region was part of an assessment of useful plants of the alpine life zone (Lamprecht 2012).