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A multinational multidisciplinary cooperative project on the potential impacts of climate change on Alpine ecosystems


The project will focus on the sensitivity of Alpine ecosystems to the expected climatic changes, in order to elaborate more accurate climatic scenarios for these ecosystems and to elaborate integrated predictive models of changes in climate, geo-ecological zonation and distribution of some sensitive species.

The main analyses will concentrate on the critical threshold parameters of index species and modifications of geo-ecological zonation in the sensitive higher regions of the Alps, taken benefit of the wide range of existing data. Cartographic simulations, evaluation of monitoring success of future trends, as well as recommendations for land use management policies in Alpine areas will be produced.
Research will be carried out according the following main areas:
- Elaboration of more accurate climatic scenarios for the Alps.
- Impacts of predicted changes on ecological landscapes.
- Past-climate studies.
- Evaluation of indicative value of some sensitive species.
Results available from GCM will be calibrated with local records in view of scenarios more adapted to the diversity of alpine systems. Specialists in historical botany, phytogeography and zoogeography will identify the keyparameters to be introduced in these scenarios. Key-processes in dynamics of landscapes and spatial mobility of some sensitive ecosystems components under a climate change pressure will be also identified. Analogue methods will be used to test basic hypotheses at a bio-geographical scale, comparing the distribution of relevant indicators among various conditions. In addition, more detailed assessments will be made in specific study-sites, where a lot of interdisciplinary field data are already available. Then, on the basis of these preliminary investigations, models of changes in climate, geo-ecological zonation and distribution of some sensitive birds species will be elaborated. These models will be developed at first separately in various disciplinar fields and they will be assembled through a multidisciplinary approach for well integrated scenarios and cartographic simulations, with the use of GIS.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


International Centre for Alpine Environments
Campus Scientifique Du Bourget-du-lac
73011 Chambéry

Participants (4)

Nationalparkverwaltung Berchtesgaden
Doktorberg 6
83471 Berchtesgaden
Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso
Via Della Rocca 47
10123 Torino
Università degli Studi di Camerino
Via Pontoni 5
62032 Macerata - Camerino
Université de Savoie

73011 Chambéry