Neustift im Stubaital | Website
The LTER grassland sites in the Stubai Valley are situated near the village of Neustift (47° 7′ N, 11° 18′ E). They include a valley bottom meadow at 970 m a.s.l., cut 3-4 times per year, as well as three grasslands differing in land use, which are located on the mountain slope in the vicinity of the Kaserstattalm: a mountain meadow at 1810 m a.s.l. (one cut, lightly grazed in late summer), a pasture at 1870 m a.s.l. and a grassland at 1980 m a.s.l., which was abandoned in 1984. Documentation of management history and vegetation dynamics of the whole area date back to 1865, and detailed information on the current socio-economic situation and future land-use scenarios is available.
At the LTER-grassland sites ecological effects of global change on mountain regions have been experimentally studied since 1993. A range of EU research projects (Integralp, Ecomont, Carbomont, Vital, Carbo-Extreme, GHG-Europe), five FWF-projects and numerous international and national projects have contributed studies on greenhouse gas fluxes (focus on CO2, but also methane, N2O and VOC), productivity, C sequestration, nitrogen cycling, water balance and potential risks such as erosion and snow gliding.
Methods & Expertise for Research Infrastructure
At all four sites micro-climate stations are continuously recording solar radiation, precipitation, air- and soil temperatures and moisture, as well as soil CO2 concentrations Since 2001 the net exchange of CO2 and water vapour between the valley bottom meadow and the atmosphere have been monitored at high time resolution, and contribute to the international Fluxnet database. Furthermore on all LTER-sites experiments have been and are being performed assessing the impact of global changes (climate, land use) on ecological processes in mountain grassland.