The GLORIA Multi-Summit Approach

At the GLORIA Conference 2010 Sept. 23-26, Perth, Scotland, around 100 members of GLORIA agreed on a refined and streamlined catalogue of methods resulting from the field experience of the first decade of GLORIA.

In summary, the components of GLORIA's Multi-Summit approach were divided into the two groups 'obligatory' and 'optional':

Obligatory activities:

  • Species (vascular plants) recording in 16 1m x 1m quadrats:
    • visual cover estimation
    • point framing (100 points per quadrat as a new application)
  • Species recording in 8 Summit-Area-Sections + abundance estimation defined on an ordinal scale (r!, very rare; r, rare; s, scattered; c, common; d, dominant)
  • A careful photo documentation of plots and summit set-up
  • Continuous soil temperature measurements (4 points per summit site)

Optional activities (in addition to the obligatory activities):

  • Bryophytes and lichens recording
  • Subplot-frequency of species in 1m x 1m quadrats (previously this was a standard method)
  • Increase of 1m x 1m quadrats up to 32 per summit site
  • Estimation of species cover in Summit-Area-Sections
  • Line-pointing in 10-m squares (4 per summit)

The draft of a new Field Manual will be circulated early 2011, until then please be aware of these changes when downloading and using the out-of-date manual!

The new Field Manual v5 will also list a variety of additional activities (Invertebrates monitoring, plant functional types, transects, traditional knowledge, socio-economic aspects) as defined at the conference in workgroups or already applied at some sites.

If you intend to start any fieldwork, please contact the GLORIA administration first! (

For a detailed description of the GLORIA Multi-summit approach download the Field Manual v4 (English version, Versión española, Chinese version) here!

  • The target region

    This is GLORIA's basic approach. The main considerations in designing this approach were comparability, simplicity and economy for a effective network with a large number of sites. Four summit sites arranged along the elevation gradient are the minimum requirements for a GLORIA target region.

  • Summit area sections

    Summit divided into 8 sections: samples of the summit flora to detect species migration

  • Quadrat cluster

    with 4 permanent 1 m2 plots:
    4 clusters per summit
    (one in each main compass direction)

  • 1 m2 quadrats

    detailed species cover sampling to detect changes in the species composition

  • Frequency counts

    in the 1 m2 quadrats to detect changes of vegetation patterns

  • Temperature measurements

    in each 3m x 3m quadrat cluster in one-hour intervalls to compare changes of the temperature

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