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The effects of climate change in the Alps

Climate change will influence the indigenous vegetation in unforeseeable ways. How strong the influence will be is difficult to predict. Unarguably mountain environments will experience greater changes than areas at lower altitudes.

Weather station on the Schachen Climate change affects the biological rhythm of plants, such as first emerging leaves, first flowering, fruiting and leaf fall. Phenological observations, such as these, have been recorded for many years in Botanical Gardens – but never at high altitudes.

A Research project in the Alpine Garden on the Schachen

The Alpine Garden on the Schachen belongs to a network of Alpine and Arctic Gardens, five of which are starting a phenological observation project. Ten indicator plants have been chosen, vegetatively propagated and will be distributed to participating Gardens, together with an observation key. The use of cloned material for the observations will allow a direct comparability of the results.
This undertaking is part of the KLIMAGRAD project, which is coordinated by the Faculty for Ecological Climatology of the TU München (Technical University of Munich) and sponsored by the Bavarian Ministry for Environment and Health. As an important part of the phenology project, a weather station has been erected in the Alpine Garden on the Schachen which will record and send weather data throughout the year.

Text: Andreas Gröger

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