Within the framework of the GLORIA project, researchers from all over Europe have gathered information about alpine plants from all European mountain ranges.
Alpine plants are disappearing
GLORIA, which started as an EU project examining biodiversity and changes in all European mountain ranges, has studied summits from the Sierra Nevada in the south to the Scandinavian mountain range in the north, and from Scotland in the west to the Urals and the Caucasus in the east. The results show that species which prefer a colder environment are disappearing from the mountain ranges in Southern Europe. Since many of these species have small distribution areas, they are now threatened with extinction.
“These species have migrated upwards, but sooner or later the mountain reaches its summit,” explains researcher and biologist Ulf Molau. “Many alpine plant species are disappearing from mountain ranges in Southern Europe, and for some of them – those that are only found in a single mountain range – the outlook is extremely bleak.”
Mapping the mountain ranges
Over a period of ten years, researchers around Europe have gathered samples from 13 different mountain regions. Using digital technology and intensive on-site field work, they have been able to study a grid pattern of square metres, carefully selected on different high mountain summits, from the tree line up to the highest peaks. The digital photographs provide a detailed picture of which species have disappeared between 2001 and the present day.
“Every research square is digitally photographed so that we can find our way back to the exact same position after ten years or more, with centimetre precision,” continues Professor Molau. “And by rolling out an analysis network, small 10 x 10 cm squares can be re-mapped.”
Today, the researchers are able to note that species are migrating upwards and that the variety of species in Southern European mountain regions has declined during the ten years in which samples have been taken.
Woodland species are climbing
In our Scandinavian mountain range, the changes are taking place at a slower rate.
“Here, alpine plant species generally have a much wider distribution, often across the entire Arctic, when compared with species in mountain ranges such the Alps, the Pyrenees and the Caucasus. What we are seeing in Sweden is increased upward migration of woodland species, which in the long term may start to outcompete the alpine ‘specialists’.”
Professor Molau has studied both plants and animals in Sweden, at Latnjajaure in Abisko close to the Norwegian border.
“By analysing small networks of squares, we can see what has appeared and what has disappeared.”
Today, GLORIA is a mega-network covering all the world’s mountain regions, but it is the original European arm of GLORIA that has reached a stage where researchers have started to observe changes.
Find out more about GLORIA at http://www.gloria.ac.at/res/gloria_europe/default.cfmFor more information, please contact:
Helena Aaberg | idw
Robotic fish to replace animal testing
17.06.2019 | Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg
Marine oil snow
12.06.2019 | University of Delaware
From June 25th to 27th 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT in Ilmenau (Germany) will be presenting a new solution for acoustic quality inspection allowing contact-free, non-destructive testing of manufactured parts and components. The method which has reached Technology Readiness Level 6 already, is currently being successfully tested in practical use together with a number of industrial partners.
Reducing machine downtime, manufacturing defects, and excessive scrap
The quality of additively manufactured components depends not only on the manufacturing process, but also on the inline process control. The process control ensures a reliable coating process because it detects deviations from the target geometry immediately. At LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be demonstrating how well bi-directional sensor technology can already be used for Laser Material Deposition (LMD) in combination with commercial optics at booth A2.431.
Fraunhofer ILT has been developing optical sensor technology specifically for production measurement technology for around 10 years. In particular, its »bd-1«...
The well-known representation of chemical elements is just one example of how objects can be arranged and classified
The periodic table of elements that most chemistry books depict is only one special case. This tabular overview of the chemical elements, which goes back to...
Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.
Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...
Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.
The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...
24.06.2019 | Event News
29.04.2019 | Event News
17.04.2019 | Event News
24.06.2019 | Event News
24.06.2019 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
24.06.2019 | Life Sciences