Schaepman Michael

Huftiere im Lebensraum Val Trupchun / Ecolgical applications of imaging spectroscopy in alpine grassland
Trophic interactions between wild ungulates and the vegetation in an unmanaged habitat

Project Number: CH-4251
Project Type: Dissertation
Project Duration: 02/01/2012 - 05/31/2015 project completed
Funding Source: other ,
Leading Institution: Geographisches Institut, Universität Zürich
Project Leader: Prof. Michael Schaepman
Head Remote Sensing Laboratories (RSL)
Geographisches Institut - Remote Sensing Lab.
Universität Zürich
Winterthurerstr. 190
8057 Zürich
Phone: +41 (0) 44 635 51 60 ; +41 (0) 44 635 51 61
FAX: +41 (0) 44 635 68 48
e-Mail: michael.schaepman(at)

related to this project.
for which the project has a relevance.

Research Areas:

environmental sciences
computation sciences

Founded in 1914, the Swiss National Park (SNP) is the oldest national park in the Alps and Central Europe. As an IUCN category 1 nature reserve (strict nature reserve/wilderness area), the park represents a unique area where nature has been left to itself for almost a century. Due to its strong protection status, the SNP and, in particular, the valley of Trupchun is known for its remarkably high densities of ibex, chamois, and red deer. As part of the park’s management, their population sizes and distributions have been intensively monitored over decades. Since the year 2000 the SNP’s GPS (Global Positioning System) radio collaring project provides spatially accurate ungulate position data, building up an outstanding database. Since 1997 the park rangers provide quarterly observation and census data, counting all animals, mapping their position and distinguishing them according to age classes and sex, always using the same observation points to overview the entire area. This unique data set reveals that the habitats of ibex and chamois are largely overlapping, while red deer seem to choose different areas for foraging. However, the reasons for the contrasting spatial distribution of the three species are unknown, since data on habitat characteristics are virtually missing. Our aim is to relate the spatial distribution of the animals to forage quality and quantity patterns, and to analyse if and in how far vegetation characteristics influence the animals’ habitat choices. To achieve this will develop mechanistic models based on data from field surveys and remote sensing data of abiotic (terrain structure, slope, exposition, rock cover, etc.) and biotic (vegetation quantity and quality) habitat features to predict the animals spatial distribution on a monthly basis. Furthermore, we will analyse in a stepwise procedure in how far interspecific competition or coexistence plays a role shaping the species community structure.

Leading questions:

gesamte Publikationsliste

Schweiger, A.-K., Risch, A. C., Damm, A., Kneubühler, M., Haller, R., Schaepman, M., Schütz, M. 2014. Using imaging spectoscopy to predict above-ground plant biomass in alpine grasslands grazed by large ungulates. Journal of Vegetation Science. 26, 175-190.
Doi: 10.1111/jvs.12214

Anna K Schweiger, Martin Schütz, Pia Anderwald, Michael E Schaepman, Mathias Kneubühler, Rudolf Haller, Anita C Risch. 2015. Foraging ecology of three sympatric ungulate species: Behavioural and resource maps indicate differences between chamois, ibex and red deer. Movement Ecology (2015) 3:6
pdf Article

Schweiger, Anna K.; Risch, Anita C.; Schütz, Martin; Kneubühler, Mathias; Haller, Rudolf M.; Schaepman, Michael E. 2014. Quantitative and qualitative vegetation mapping in alpine grasslands using the imaging spectrometer APEX: A tool to explain animals foraging sites? Swiss Geoscience Meeting 2014.
pdf Article

Schweiger, Anna K. 2014. Moderne Fernerkundung von Huftierarten in der Val Trupchun. Academia Raetica. Bündner Woche.
pdf Artikel

Last update: 11/28/17
Source of data: ProClim- Research InfoSystem (1993-2020)
Update the data of project: CH-4251

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