Rixen Christian

Changes in plant traits on alpine summits
Veränderung von Pflanzeneigenschaften auf Berggipfeln

Project Number: CH-6409
Project Type: Master
Project Duration: 08/01/2018 - 01/31/2019
Funding Source: other ,
Leading Institution: WSL-SLF & Universität Bayreuth
Project Leader: Dr. Christian Rixen
Team leader "Alpine Ecosystems"
Research Unit "Ecosystem Boundaries", Team "Alpine Ecosystems"
Institut für Schnee- und Lawinenforschung, SLF
Flüelastrasse 11
7260 Davos Dorf
Phone: +41 (0) 81 417 02 14 ; +41 (0) 81 417 01 11
FAX: +41 (0) 81 417 01 10
e-Mail: rixen(at)slf.ch
Metadata: http://www.parcs.ch/snp/mmd_fullentry.php?docu_id=36214

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Changes in plant traits on alpine summits Arctic and alpine biodiversity and ecosystems have been changing rapidly due to ongoing climate change. Careful monitoring is hence important to understand ongoing and future changes in fragile, cold ecosystems. Some monitoring networks and large-scale coordinated experiments have already effectively demonstrated changes in vegetation over the past decades, e.g. the GLORIA network (Global Observation Research Initiative in Alpine Environments). There are however still large knowledge gaps with respect to plant traits (such as plant height) along spatial or temporal gradients. It is for instance not well understood how plant traits vary along elevational/latitudinal gradients and especially which traits characterize plants species at their trailing edge where they may be threatened by extinction. To understand biodiversity change and biodiversity loss we must know where and when and how smaller plants are outcompeted by taller competitors. Therefore, we propose to measure and monitor plant traits along elevational gradients. Specifically, we want to measure key traits (plant height, leaf area) along gradients from leading edge to trailing edge on the Swiss GLORIA summits to know the intraspecific variability and distribution of species traits. This information can help us to understand under which environmental conditions species are at threat of extinction.

6th Symposium for Research in Protected Areas, 2 to 3 November 2017, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Salzburg, Austria: WIPF, S. & RIXEN, C.: Long-term changes in summit plant diversity in the Swiss National Park

Last update: 5/29/20
Source of data: ProClim- Research InfoSystem (1993-2020)
Update the data of project: CH-6409

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