GLOBAL OBSERVATION RESEARCH INITIATIVE IN ALPINE ENVIRONMENTS

The GLORIA Master Site Schrankogel, Stubaier Alpen, Tyrol, Austria


+5K warming scenario for the two key species Androsace alpina (nival zone) and Carex curvula (alpine zone).
Low (cyan), moderate (yellow), high (magenta) species cover.

Androsace alpina (Primulaceae): nowadays it is widely distributed over the whole upper alpine and nival zone of Schrankogel, but - as character species of the nival scree plant communities - with a tendency to higher cover values (magenta pixels) in the upper areas. During the warming process, the model suggests a loss of abundance in the lower areas and decreasing cover values in the upper areas. This is most pronounced at moderate slope situations (e.g., the wide southwestern slope) where sward-species have good opportunities to migrate upwards. Only in specific topographic situations, A. alpina will persist with higher cover.

Carex curvula (Cyperaceae): this species shows a complemenatry distribution pattern, compared to Androsace alpina. The key-stone species of the alpine swards keeps away from habitats with too much environmental pressure, either from snow, scree, or rockfall, and, therefore, prefers the safest sites in the area, which are the southeast exposed, midslope situations below the major ridges. It will expand its area by moving upwards along these stable ridges. With 5K warming, most of the today's nival zone will be covered by alpine grassland.

 

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