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Sample records for alpine site jungfraujoch

  1. Measured and predicted aerosol light scattering enhancement factors at the high alpine site Jungfraujoch

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    R. Fierz-Schmidhauser

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Ambient relative humidity (RH determines the water content of atmospheric aerosol particles and thus has an important influence on the amount of visible light scattered by particles. The RH dependence of the particle light scattering coefficient (σsp is therefore an important variable for climate forcing calculations. We used a humidification system for a nephelometer which allows for the measurement of σsp at a defined RH in the range of 20–95%. In this paper we present measurements of light scattering enhancement factors f(RH=σsp(RH/σsp(dry from a 1-month campaign (May 2008 at the high alpine site Jungfraujoch (3580 m a.s.l., Switzerland. Measurements at the Jungfraujoch are representative for the lower free troposphere above Central Europe. For this aerosol type hardly any information about the f(RH is available so far. At this site, f(RH=85% varied between 1.2 and 3.3. Measured f(RH agreed well with f(RH calculated with Mie theory using measurements of the size distribution, chemical composition and hygroscopic diameter growth factors as input. Good f(RH predictions at RH<85% were also obtained with a simplified model, which uses the Ångström exponent of σsp(dry as input. RH influences further intensive optical aerosol properties. The backscatter fraction decreased by about 30% from 0.128 to 0.089, and the single scattering albedo increased on average by 0.05 at 85% RH compared to dry conditions. These changes in σsp, backscatter fraction and single scattering albedo have a distinct impact on the radiative forcing of the Jungfraujoch aerosol.

  2. Activated Fraction Of Black Carbon By Cloud Droplets And Ice Crystals At The High Alpine Site Jungfraujoch (3580 m asl)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cozic, J.; Mertes, S. [IFT Leipzig (Georgia); Verheggen, B.; Petzold, A. [DLR, Oberpfaffenhofen (Georgia); Weingartner, E.; Baltensperger, U.

    2005-03-01

    Measurements of black carbon (BC) were made in winter and summer 2004 at the high Alpine site Jungfraujoch in order to study the activation of BC into cloud droplets and ice crystals. Main results showed that the activated fraction represents 61% in summer and that for a large temperature range between -25 C and 5 C, the activated BC fraction increases with increasing temperature and increasing liquid water content. (author)

  3. Halogenated greenhouse gases at the Swiss High Alpine Site of Jungfraujoch (3580 m asl): Continuous measurements and their use for regional European source allocation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reimann, Stefan; Schaub, Daniel; Stemmler, Konrad; Folini, Doris; Hill, Matthias; Hofer, Peter; Buchmann, Brigitte; Simmonds, Peter G.; Greally, Brian R.; O'Doherty, Simon

    2004-03-01

    At the high Alpine site of Jungfraujoch (3580 m asl), 23 halogenated greenhouse gases are measured quasi-continuously by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GCMS). Measurement data from the years 2000-2002 are analyzed for trends and pollution events. Concentrations of the halogenated trace gases, which are already controlled in industrialized countries by the Montreal Protocol (e.g., CFCs) were at least stable or declining. Positive trends in the background concentrations were observed for substances which are used as CFC-substitutes (hydrofluorocarbons, hydrochlorofluorocarbons). Background concentrations of the hydrofluorocarbons at the Jungfraujoch increased from January 2000 until December 2002 as follows: HFC 134a (CF3CH2F) from 15 to 27 ppt, HFC 125 (CF3CHF2) from 1.4 to 2.8 ppt, and HFC 152a (CHF2CH3) from 2.3 to 3.2 ppt. For HFC 152a, a distinct increase of its concentration magnitude during pollution events was observed from 2000 to 2002, indicating rising European emissions for this compound. Background concentrations of all measured compounds were in good agreement with similar measurements at Mace Head, Ireland. On the other hand, peak concentrations were significantly higher at the Jungfraujoch. This finding is due to the proximity to potent European sources, foremost in southern Europe. The average ratio of halocarbons versus carbon monoxide (CO) concentrations above their baseline values was used to estimate source strengths for the part of Europe which most influences the Jungfraujoch during pollution events. HFCs emission estimates from Jungfraujoch tend to be higher than figures at Mace Head (Ireland) from the end of the 1990s, which either reflects the increased use of these compounds or the closer location of Jungfraujoch to major southern European sources. Transport of polluted European boundary layer air masses to the high Alpine site was observed especially during frontal passages, foehn events, and thermal lifting of air masses in summer

  4. Hygroscopicity of the submicrometer aerosol at the high-alpine site Jungfraujoch, 3580 m a.s.l., Switzerland

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    S. Sjogren

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Data from measurements of hygroscopic growth of submicrometer aerosol with a hygroscopicity tandem differential mobility analyzer (HTDMA during four campaigns at the high alpine research station Jungfraujoch, Switzerland, are presented. The campaigns took place during the years 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2005, each lasting approximately one month. Hygroscopic growth factors (GF, i.e. the relative change in particle diameter from dry diameter, D0, to diameter measured at higher relative humidity, RH are presented for three distinct air mass types, namely for: 1 free tropospheric winter conditions, 2 planetary boundary layer influenced air masses (during a summer period and 3 Saharan dust events (SDE. The GF values at 85% RH (D0=100 nm were 1.40±0.11 and 1.29±0.08 for the first two situations while for SDE a bimodal GF distribution was often found. No phase changes were observed when the RH was varied between 10–90%, and the continuous water uptake could be well described with a single-parameter empirical model. The frequency distributions of the average hygroscopic growth factors and the width of the retrieved growth factor distributions (indicating whether the aerosol is internally or externally mixed are presented, which can be used for modeling purposes.

    Measurements of size resolved chemical composition were performed with an aerosol mass spectrometer in parallel to the GF measurements. This made it possible to estimate the apparent ensemble mean GF of the organics (GForg using inverse ZSR (Zdanovskii-Stokes-Robinson modeling. GForg was found to be ~1.20 at aw=0.85, which is at the upper end of previous laboratory and field data though still in agreement with the highly aged and oxidized nature of the Jungfraujoch aerosol.

  5. Chemical composition of free tropospheric aerosol for PM1 and coarse mode at the high alpine site Jungfraujoch

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    J. Cozic

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The chemical composition of submicron (fine mode and supermicron (coarse mode aerosol particles has been investigated at the Jungfraujoch high alpine research station (3580 m a.s.l., Switzerland as part of the GAW aerosol monitoring program since 1999. A clear seasonality was observed for all major components throughout the period with low concentrations in winter (predominantly free tropospheric aerosol and higher concentrations in summer (enhanced vertical transport of boundary layer pollutants. In addition, mass closure was attempted during intensive campaigns in March 2004, February–March 2005 and August 2005. Ionic, carbonaceous and non-refractory components of the aerosol were quantified as well as the PM1 and coarse mode total aerosol mass concentrations. A relatively low conversion factor of 1.8 for organic carbon (OC to particulate organic matter (OM was found in winter (February–March 2005. Organics, sulfate, ammonium, and nitrate were the major components of the fine aerosol fraction that were identified, while calcium and nitrate were the only two measured components contributing to the coarse mode. The aerosol mass concentrations for fine and coarse mode aerosol measured during the intensive campaigns were not typical of the long-term seasonality due largely to dynamical differences. Average fine and coarse mode concentrations during the intensive field campaigns were 1.7 μg m−3 and 2.4 μg m−3 in winter and 2.5 μg m−3 and 2.0 μg m−3 in summer, respectively. The mass balance of aerosols showed higher contributions of calcium and nitrate in the coarse mode during Saharan dust events (SDE than without SDE.

  6. The Jungfraujoch high-alpine research station (3454 m) as a background clean continental site for the measurement of aerosol parameters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nyeki, S.; Baltensperger, U.; Jost, D.T.; Weingartner, E.; Colbeck, I.

    1997-01-01

    Aerosol physical parameter measurements are reported here for the first full annual set of data from the Jungfraujoch site. Comparison to NOAA background and regional stations indicate that the site may be designated as 'clean continental' during the free tropospheric influenced period 03:00 -09:00. (author) figs., tab., refs

  7. The Jungfraujoch high-alpine research station (3454 m) as a background clean continental site for the measurement of aerosol parameters

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nyeki, S.; Baltensperger, U.; Jost, D.T.; Weingartner, E. [Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland); Colbeck, I. [Essex Univ., Colchester (United Kingdom)

    1997-09-01

    Aerosol physical parameter measurements are reported here for the first full annual set of data from the Jungfraujoch site. Comparison to NOAA background and regional stations indicate that the site may be designated as `clean continental` during the free tropospheric influenced period 03:00 -09:00. (author) figs., tab., refs.

  8. Investigation of the effective peak supersaturation for liquid-phase clouds at the high-alpine site Jungfraujoch, Switzerland (3580 m a.s.l.

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    E. Hammer

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Aerosols influence the Earth's radiation budget directly through absorption and scattering of solar radiation in the atmosphere but also indirectly by modifying the properties of clouds. However, climate models still suffer from large uncertainties as a result of insufficient understanding of aerosol-cloud interactions. At the high altitude research station Jungfraujoch (JFJ; 3580 m a.s.l., Switzerland cloud condensation nuclei (CCN number concentrations at eight different supersaturations (SS from 0.24% to 1.18% were measured using a CCN counter during Summer 2011. Simultaneously, in-situ aerosol activation properties of the prevailing ambient clouds were investigated by measuring the total and interstitial (non-activated dry particle number size distributions behind two different inlet systems. Combining all experimental data, a new method was developed to retrieve the so-called effective peak supersaturation SSpeak, as a measure of the SS at which ambient clouds are formed. A 17-month CCN climatology was then used to retrieve the SSpeak values also for four earlier summer campaigns (2000, 2002, 2004 and 2010 where no direct CCN data were available. The SSpeak values varied between 0.01% and 2.0% during all campaigns. An overall median SSpeak of 0.35% and dry activation diameter of 87 nm was observed. It was found that the difference in topography between northwest and southeast plays an important role for the effective peak supersaturation in clouds formed in the vicinity of the JFJ, while differences in the number concentration of potential CCN only play a minor role. Results show that air masses coming from the southeast (with the slowly rising terrain of the Aletsch Glacier generally experience lower SSpeak values than air masses coming from the northwest (steep slope. The observed overall median values were 0.41% and 0.22% for northwest and southeast wind conditions, respectively, corresponding to literature values for cumulus clouds and

  9. 13-month climatology of the aerosol hygroscopicity at the free tropospheric site Jungfraujoch (3580 m a.s.l.

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    L. Kammermann

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available A hygroscopicity tandem differential mobility analyzer (HTDMA was operated at the high-alpine site Jungfraujoch in order to characterize the hygroscopic diameter growth factors of the free tropospheric Aitken and accumulation mode aerosol. More than ~5000 h of valid data were collected for the dry diameters D0 = 35, 50, 75, 110, 165, and 265 nm during the 13-month measurement period from 1 May 2008 through 31 May 2009. No distinct seasonal variability of the hygroscopic properties was observed. Annual mean hygroscopic diameter growth factors (D/D0 at 90% relative humidity were found to be 1.34, 1.43, and 1.46 for D0 = 50, 110, and 265 nm, respectively. This size dependence can largely be attributed to the Kelvin effect because corresponding values of the hygroscopicity parameter κ are nearly independent of size. The mean hygroscopicity of the Aitken and accumulation mode aerosol at the free tropospheric site Jungfraujoch was found to be κ≈0.24 with little variability throughout the year.

    The impact of Saharan dust events, a frequent phenomenon at the Jungfraujoch, on aerosol hygroscopicity was shown to be negligible for D0<265 nm. Thermally driven injections of planetary boundary layer (PBL air, particularly observed in the early afternoon of summer days with convective anticyclonic weather conditions, lead to a decrease of aerosol hygroscopicity. However, the effect of PBL influence is not seen in the annual mean hygroscopicity data because the effect is small and those conditions (weather class, season and time of day with PBL influence are relatively rare.

    Aerosol hygroscopicity was found to be virtually independent of synoptic wind direction during advective weather situations, i.e. when horizontal motion of the atmosphere dominates over thermally driven convection. This indicates that the hygroscopic behavior of the aerosol observed at the

  10. Distribution of VOCs between air and snow at the Jungfraujoch high alpine research station, Switzerland, during CLACE 5 (winter 2006

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    E. Starokozhev

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Volatile organic compounds (VOCs were analyzed in air and snow samples at the Jungfraujoch high alpine research station in Switzerland as part of CLACE 5 (CLoud and Aerosol Characterization Experiment during February/March 2006. The fluxes of individual compounds in ambient air were calculated from gas phase concentrations and wind speed. The highest concentrations and flux values were observed for the aromatic hydrocarbons benzene (14.3 μg.m−2 s−1, 1,3,5-trimethylbenzene (5.27 μg.m−2 s−1, toluene (4.40 μg.m−2 −1, and the aliphatic hydrocarbons i-butane (7.87 μg.m−2 s−1, i-pentane (3.61 μg.m−2 s−1 and n-butane (3.23 μg.m−2 s−1. The measured concentrations and fluxes were used to calculate the efficiency of removal of VOCs by snow, which is defined as difference between the initial and final concentration/flux values of compounds before and after wet deposition. The removal efficiency was calculated at −24°C (−13.7°C and ranged from 37% (35% for o-xylene to 93% (63% for i-pentane. The distribution coefficients of VOCs between the air and snow phases were derived from published poly-parameter linear free energy relationship (pp-LFER data, and compared with distribution coefficients obtained from the simultaneous measurements of VOC concentrations in air and snow at Jungfraujoch. The coefficients calculated from pp-LFER exceeded those values measured in the present study, which indicates more efficient snow scavenging of the VOCs investigated than suggested by theoretical predictions.

  11. Transport of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and ozone to the Alpine Global Atmosphere Watch stations Jungfraujoch (Switzerland), Zugspitze and Hohenpeissenberg (Germany), Sonnblick (Austria) and Mt. Krvavec (Slovenia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaiser, August; Scheifinger, Helfried; Spangl, Wolfgang; Weiss, Andrea; Gilge, Stefan; Fricke, Wolfgang; Ries, Ludwig; Cemas, Danijel; Jesenovec, Brigita

    The Alpine stations Zugspitze, Hohenpeissenberg, Sonnblick, Jungfraujoch and Mt. Krvavec contribute to the Global Atmosphere Watch Programme (GAW) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The aim of GAW is the surveillance of the large-scale chemical composition of the atmosphere. Thus, the detection of air pollutant transport from regional sources is of particular interest. In this paper, the origin of NO x (measured with a photo-converter), CO and O 3 at the four Alpine GAW stations is studied by trajectory residence time statistics. Although these methods originated during the early 1980s, no comprehensive study of different atmospheric trace gases measured simultaneously at several background observatories in the Alps was conducted up to present. The main NO x source regions detected by the trajectory statistics are the northwest of Europe and the region covering East Germany, Czech Republic and southeast Poland, whereas the main CO source areas are the central, north eastern and eastern parts of Europe with some gradient from low to high latitudes. Subsiding air masses from west and southwest are relatively poor in NO x and CO. The statistics for ozone show strong seasonal effects. Near ground air masses are poor in ozone in winter but rich in ozone in summer. The main source for high ozone concentration in winter is air masses that subside from higher elevations, often enhanced by foehn effects at Hohenpeissenberg. During summer, the Mediterranean constitutes an important additional source for high ozone concentrations. Especially during winter, large differences between Hohenpeissenberg and the higher elevated stations are found. Hohenpeissenberg is frequently within the inversion, whereas the higher elevated stations are above the inversion. Jungfraujoch is the only station where the statistics detect an influence of air rich in CO and NO x from the Po Basin.

  12. Sensitivity estimations for cloud droplet formation in the vicinity of the high-alpine research station Jungfraujoch (3580 m a.s.l.

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    E. Hammer

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Aerosol radiative forcing estimates suffer from large uncertainties as a result of insufficient understanding of aerosol–cloud interactions. The main source of these uncertainties is dynamical processes such as turbulence and entrainment but also key aerosol parameters such as aerosol number concentration and size distribution, and to a much lesser extent, the composition. From June to August 2011 a Cloud and Aerosol Characterization Experiment (CLACE2011 was performed at the high-alpine research station Jungfraujoch (Switzerland, 3580 m a.s.l. focusing on the activation of aerosol to form liquid-phase clouds (in the cloud base temperature range of −8 to 5 °C. With a box model the sensitivity of the effective peak supersaturation (SSpeak, an important parameter for cloud activation, to key aerosol and dynamical parameters was investigated. The updraft velocity, which defines the cooling rate of an air parcel, was found to have the greatest influence on SSpeak. Small-scale variations in the cooling rate with large amplitudes can significantly alter CCN activation. Thus, an accurate knowledge of the air parcel history is required to estimate SSpeak. The results show that the cloud base updraft velocities estimated from the horizontal wind measurements made at the Jungfraujoch can be divided by a factor of approximately 4 to get the updraft velocity required for the model to reproduce the observed SSpeak. The aerosol number concentration and hygroscopic properties were found to be less important than the aerosol size in determining SSpeak. Furthermore turbulence is found to have a maximum influence when SSpeak is between approximately 0.2 and 0.4 %. Simulating the small-scale fluctuations with several amplitudes, frequencies and phases, revealed that independently of the amplitude, the effect of the frequency on SSpeak shows a maximum at 0.46 Hz (median over all phases and at higher frequencies, the maximum SSpeak decreases again.

  13. Concentrations of higher dicarboxylic acids C5–C13 in fresh snow samples collected at the High Alpine Research Station Jungfraujoch during CLACE 5 and 6

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    K. Sieg

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Samples of freshly fallen snow were collected at the high alpine research station Jungfraujoch (Switzerland in February and March 2006 and 2007, during the Cloud and Aerosol Characterization Experiments (CLACE 5 and 6. In this study a new technique has been developed and demonstrated for the measurement of organic acids in fresh snow. The melted snow samples were subjected to solid phase extraction and resulting solutions analysed for organic acids by HPLC-MS-TOF using negative electrospray ionization. A series of linear dicarboxylic acids from C5 to C13 and phthalic acid, were identified and quantified. In several samples the biogenic acid pinonic acid was also observed. In fresh snow the median concentration of the most abundant acid, adipic acid, was 0.69 μg L−1 in 2006 and 0.70 μg L−1 in 2007. Glutaric acid was the second most abundant dicarboxylic acid found with median values of 0.46 μg L−1 in 2006 and 0.61 μg L−1 in 2007, while the aromatic acid phthalic acid showed a median concentration of 0.34 μg L−1 in 2006 and 0.45 μg L−1 in 2007. The concentrations in the samples from various snowfall events varied significantly, and were found to be dependent on the back trajectory of the air mass arriving at Jungfraujoch. Air masses of marine origin showed the lowest concentrations of acids whereas the highest concentrations were measured when the air mass was strongly influenced by boundary layer air.

  14. Observations of fluorescent aerosol-cloud interactions in the free troposphere at the Sphinx high Alpine research station, Jungfraujoch

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    Crawford, I.; Lloyd, G.; Bower, K. N.; Connolly, P. J.; Flynn, M. J.; Kaye, P. H.; Choularton, T. W.; Gallagher, M. W.

    2015-09-01

    The fluorescent nature of aerosol at a high Alpine site was studied using a wide-band integrated bioaerosol (WIBS-4) single particle multi-channel ultra violet-light induced fluorescence (UV-LIF) spectrometer. This was supported by comprehensive cloud microphysics and meteorological measurements with the aims of cataloguing concentrations of bio-fluorescent aerosols at this high altitude site and also investigating possible influences of UV-fluorescent particle types on cloud-aerosol processes. Analysis of background free tropospheric air masses, using a total aerosol inlet, showed there to be a minor but statistically insignificant increase in the fluorescent aerosol fraction during in-cloud cases compared to out of cloud cases. The size dependence of the fluorescent aerosol fraction showed the larger aerosol to be more likely to be fluorescent with 80 % of 10 μm particles being fluorescent. Whilst the fluorescent particles were in the minority (NFl/NAll = 0.27±0.19), a new hierarchical agglomerative cluster analysis approach, Crawford et al. (2015) revealed the majority of the fluorescent aerosol were likely to be representative of fluorescent mineral dust. A minor episodic contribution from a cluster likely to be representative of primary biological aerosol particles (PBAP) was also observed with a wintertime baseline concentration of 0.1±0.4 L-1. Given the low concentration of this cluster and the typically low ice active fraction of studied PBAP (e.g. pseudomonas syringae) we suggest that the contribution to the observed ice crystal concentration at this location is not significant during the wintertime.

  15. Retrieval of free-tropospheric BrO from MAX-DOAS measurements at the high-altitude alpine station of Jungfraujoch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Roozendael, Michel; Hendrick, Francois; De Smedt, Isabelle; Fayt, Caroline; Gielen, Clio; Hermans, Christian; Pinardi, Gaia; Tack, Frederik; Theys, Nicolas

    2014-05-01

    There are currently many open questions about the sources, transport, and photochemical processing that control the abundance of BrO and its precursors in the global troposphere. Recent experimental studies based on various platforms and instrumentations indicate contrasting results reflecting the scarcity of the measurements and the experimental challenge of quantifying the typically low abundance levels of BrO. Modeling studies indicate however that the presence of only 1-2 pptv levels of reactive bromine has important consequences for free tropospheric ozone with indirect climate implications. The MAX-DOAS technique offers high sensitivity for near-surface trace gas measurements and it is well suited to BrO detection. From a high altitude site such as the Jungfraujoch which is located in the Swiss Alps at about 3600 m ASL, the free-troposphere can be sampled under favourable conditions. We report on attempts to quantify the free tropospheric BrO level based on MAXDOAS measurements performed by BIRA-IASB in the period from June 2010 until December 2012. Retrievals are based on the DOAS method followed by vertical profile inversion using an Optimal Estimation scheme. The possible sources of bias that can affect the spectral retrieval of BrO are carefully investigated and various sensitivity tests are performed to assess the stability of the inversion. Results are compared with independent estimates of the mid-latitude tropospheric BrO based on satellite measurements.

  16. Hygroscopic Properties and Chemical Composition of Aerosol Particles at the High Alpine Site Jungfraujoch

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weingarter, E.; Gysel, M.; Sjoegren, S.; Baltesperger, U.; Alfarra, R.; Bower, K.; Coe, H.

    2004-03-01

    The hygroscopic properties of aerosols play a significant role in atmospheric phenomena such as acid deposition, visibility degradation and climate change. Due to the hygroscopic growth of the particles, water is often the dominant component of the ambient aerosol at high relative humidity (RH) conditions. The ability to absorb water depends on the particle chemical composition, dry size, and shape. The aim of this study is to link the chemical composition of the atmospheric aerosol to its hygroscopic properties. (author)

  17. The 'Guetsch' Alpine wind power test site; Alpine Test Site Guetsch. Handbuch und Fachtagung

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cattin, R.

    2008-12-15

    This final report for the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) takes a look at the influence of icing-up on the operation of wind turbines in mountainous areas. Within the Swiss research project 'Alpine Test Site Guetsch', extensive icing studies were carried out at the Guetsch site near Andermatt, Switzerland. This document deals with the following subjects: Information about ice formation on structures, in particular with respect to wind turbines, standards and international research activities, wind measurements under icing-up conditions, estimation of the frequency of icing-up conditions, effects of icing-up on wind turbines, ice detection, measures available for de-icing and anti-icing as well as ice throw. A list of factors to be taken into account by the planners and operators of wind turbines in alpine environments is presented.

  18. Collembola at three alpine subarctic sites resistant to twenty years of experimental warming

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Alatalo, J.M.; Jägerbrand, A.K.; Čuchta, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 5, December (2015), s. 18161 ISSN 2045-2322 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Collembola * alpine subarctic sites * experimental warming Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 5.228, year: 2015

  19. Aerosol climatology and planetary boundary influence at the Jungfraujoch analyzed by synoptic weather types

    OpenAIRE

    M. Collaud Coen; E. Weingartner; M. Furger; S. Nyeki; A. S. H. Prévôt; M. Steinbacher; U. Baltensperger

    2011-01-01

    Fourteen years of meteorological parameters, aerosol variables (absorption and scattering coefficients, aerosol number concentration) and trace gases (CO, NOx, SO2) measured at the Jungfraujoch (JFJ, 3580 m a.s.l.) have been analyzed as a function of different synoptic weather types. The Schüepp synoptic weather type of the Alps (SYNALP) classification from the Alpine Weather Statistics (AWS) was used to define the synoptic meteorology over the wh...

  20. Planetary boundary influence at the Jungfraujoch analyzed by aerosol cycles and synoptic weather types

    OpenAIRE

    M. Collaud Coen; E. Weingartner; M. Furger; S. Nyeki; A. S. H. Prévôt; M. Steinbacher; U. Baltensperger

    2011-01-01

    Fourteen years of meteorological parameters, aerosol variables (absorption and scattering coefficients, aerosol number concentration) and trace gases (CO, NOx, SO2) measured at the Jungfraujoch (JFJ, 3580 m a.s.l.) have been analyzed as a function of different synoptic weather types. The Alpine Weather Statistics (AWS) classification was used to define the synoptic meteorology over the whole Swiss region. The seasonal contribution of each syn...

  1. On the aerosol-cloud relationship at a high-alpine site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baltensperger, U.; Schwikowski, M.; Jost, D.T.; Nyeki, S.; Gaeggeler, H.W. [Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland)

    1997-09-01

    Field experiments at the Jungfraujoch showed that during the presence of a cloud, most of the aerosol mass is transferred into the cloud phase. This results in smaller cloud droplets for increasing aerosol concentration, which increases the albedo of clouds (known as the indirect effect of climate forcing by aerosol particles). (author) 1 fig., 4 refs.

  2. Safe-site effects on rhizosphere bacterial communities in a high-altitude alpine environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciccazzo, Sonia; Esposito, Alfonso; Rolli, Eleonora; Zerbe, Stefan; Daffonchio, Daniele; Brusetti, Lorenzo

    2014-01-01

    The rhizosphere effect on bacterial communities associated with three floristic communities (RW, FI, and M sites) which differed for the developmental stages was studied in a high-altitude alpine ecosystem. RW site was an early developmental stage, FI was an intermediate stage, M was a later more matured stage. The N and C contents in the soils confirmed a different developmental stage with a kind of gradient from the unvegetated bare soil (BS) site through RW, FI up to M site. The floristic communities were composed of 21 pioneer plants belonging to 14 species. Automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis showed different bacterial genetic structures per each floristic consortium which differed also from the BS site. When plants of the same species occurred within the same site, almost all their bacterial communities clustered together exhibiting a plant species effect. Unifrac significance value (P floristic communities rhizospheres on their soil bacterial communities.

  3. The phase-in and phase-out of European emissions of HCFC-141b and HCFC-142b under the Montreal Protocol: Evidence from observations at Mace Head, Ireland and Jungfraujoch, Switzerland from 1994 to 2004

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derwent, R. G.; Simmonds, P. G.; Greally, B. R.; O'doherty, S.; McCulloch, A.; Manning, A.; Reimann, S.; Folini, D.; Vollmer, M. K.

    The mixing ratios of HCFC-141b (1,1-dichlorofluoroethane) and HCFC-142b (1-chloro-1,1-difluoroethane) have been rising steadily in baseline air at Mace Head, Ireland over the 10-year period from 1994 to 2004. These HCFCs are widely used replacements for the chlorofluorocarbons phased out under the Montreal Protocol and its subsequent amendments. Analysis of the HCFC content of regionally-polluted air arriving at Mace Head from the European continent shows that European emissions reached a peak during 2000-2001 and have declined subsequently, following the phase-out in their usage. European emissions of HCFC-141b have been further constrained by observations at the High-Alpine Jungfraujoch site. The reductions are consistent with the phase-out of HCFC production and use from the year 2001 onwards mandated by European regulations designed to exceed the requirements of the Montreal Protocol.

  4. Safe-Site Effects on Rhizosphere Bacterial Communities in a High-Altitude Alpine Environment

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    Sonia Ciccazzo

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The rhizosphere effect on bacterial communities associated with three floristic communities (RW, FI, and M sites which differed for the developmental stages was studied in a high-altitude alpine ecosystem. RW site was an early developmental stage, FI was an intermediate stage, M was a later more matured stage. The N and C contents in the soils confirmed a different developmental stage with a kind of gradient from the unvegetated bare soil (BS site through RW, FI up to M site. The floristic communities were composed of 21 pioneer plants belonging to 14 species. Automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis showed different bacterial genetic structures per each floristic consortium which differed also from the BS site. When plants of the same species occurred within the same site, almost all their bacterial communities clustered together exhibiting a plant species effect. Unifrac significance value (P<0.05 on 16S rRNA gene diversity revealed significant differences (P<0.05 between BS site and the vegetated sites with a weak similarity to the RW site. The intermediate plant colonization stage FI did not differ significantly from the RW and the M vegetated sites. These results pointed out the effect of different floristic communities rhizospheres on their soil bacterial communities.

  5. Contribution of physical modelling to climate-driven landslide hazard mapping: an alpine test site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandromme, R.; Desramaut, N.; Baills, A.; Hohmann, A.; Grandjean, G.; Sedan, O.; Mallet, J. P.

    2012-04-01

    The aim of this work is to develop a methodology for integrating climate change scenarios into quantitative hazard assessment and especially their precipitation component. The effects of climate change will be different depending on both the location of the site and the type of landslide considered. Indeed, mass movements can be triggered by different factors. This paper describes a methodology to address this issue and shows an application on an alpine test site. Mechanical approaches represent a solution for quantitative landslide susceptibility and hazard modeling. However, as the quantity and the quality of data are generally very heterogeneous at a regional scale, it is necessary to take into account the uncertainty in the analysis. In this perspective, a new hazard modeling method is developed and integrated in a program named ALICE. This program integrates mechanical stability analysis through a GIS software taking into account data uncertainty. This method proposes a quantitative classification of landslide hazard and offers a useful tool to gain time and efficiency in hazard mapping. However, an expertise approach is still necessary to finalize the maps. Indeed it is the only way to take into account some influent factors in slope stability such as heterogeneity of the geological formations or effects of anthropic interventions. To go further, the alpine test site (Barcelonnette area, France) is being used to integrate climate change scenarios into ALICE program, and especially their precipitation component with the help of a hydrological model (GARDENIA) and the regional climate model REMO (Jacob, 2001). From a DEM, land-cover map, geology, geotechnical data and so forth the program classifies hazard zones depending on geotechnics and different hydrological contexts varying in time. This communication, realized within the framework of Safeland project, is supported by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological

  6. A comparison of ultraviolet radiation measured at an arctic and an alpine site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ambach, W.; Blumthaler, M.; Wendler, G.

    1991-01-01

    Ultraviolet radiation contributes relatively little energy to the solar spectrum; however, it is very important because it is biologically very active. Measurements were carried out at a high altitude station in Switzerland (jungfraujoch 3576 m), and at a high altitude station in Alaska (Fairbanks 64.82°N) with identical instrumentation. For all season the UV flux for Jungfraujoch was larger than for Fairbanks. In summer the differences between the stations were less pronounced because the lower solar elevation is compensated by a longer day length. In winter the differences are more severe. For both stations the authors find an increased relative intensity of the UV (UV/Global) with increasing cloudiness, while the absolute values decreased with increasing cloudiness. This shows that the clouds absorb more in the near IR than in the UV region of the solar spectrum. For Fairbanks, the UV values in spring were substantially higher (mean value 18%) than for identical solar elevations after summer solstice. Cloudiness could not account for this, because the authors also observed differences for clear sky conditions. A simple model was developed, which took multiple reflections of the highly reflecting snow cover in spring into account, which correctly explained 83% of the observed differences. (author)

  7. Characterization of culturable heterotrophic bacteria in hydrocarbon-contaminated soil from an alpine former military site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Dechao; Margesin, Rosa

    2014-06-01

    We characterized the culturable, heterotrophic bacterial community in soil collected from a former alpine military site contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons. The physiologically active eubacterial community, as revealed by fluorescence-in situ-hybridization, accounted for 14.9 % of the total (DAPI-stained) bacterial community. 4.0 and 1.2 % of the DAPI-stained cells could be attributed to culturable, heterotrophic bacteria able to grow at 20 and 10 °C, respectively. The majority of culturable bacterial isolates (23/28 strains) belonged to the Proteobacteria with a predominance of Alphaproteobacteria. The remaining isolates were affiliated with the Firmicutes, Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes. Five strains could be identified as representatives of novel species. Characterization of the 28 strains demonstrated their adaptation to the temperature and nutrient conditions prevailing in the studied soil. One-third of the strains was able to grow at subzero temperatures (-5 °C). Studies on the effect of temperature on growth and lipase production with two selected strains demonstrated their low-temperature adaptation.

  8. Adiabatic and diabatic aerosol transport to the Jungfraujoch

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lugauer, M.; Baltensperger, U.; Furger, M.; Jost, D.T.; Schwikowski, M.; Gaeggeler, H.W. [Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland)

    1997-09-01

    Synoptic scale vertical motion, here detected by the geopotential height of the 500 hPa surface, mainly accounts for the aerosol transport to the Jungfraujoch in winter. In summer, diabatic convection provides the dominant vertical transport mechanism. Nevertheless, synoptic scale adiabatic motion still determines whether diabatic convection can develop. (author) 2 figs., 2 refs.

  9. Alpine ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    P.W. Rundel; C.I. Millar

    2016-01-01

    Alpine ecosystems are typically defined as those areas occurring above treeline, while recognizing that alpine ecosystems at a local scale may be found below this boundary for reasons including geology, geomorphology, and microclimate. The lower limit of the alpine ecosystems, the climatic treeline, varies with latitude across California, ranging from about 3500 m in...

  10. Site- and Species-Specific Influences on Sub-Alpine Conifer Growth in Mt. Rainier National Park, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Myesa Legendre-Fixx

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Identifying the factors that influence the climate sensitivity of treeline species is critical to understanding carbon sequestration, forest dynamics, and conservation in high elevation forest/meadow ecotones. Using tree cores from four sub-alpine conifer species collected from three sides of Mt. Rainier, WA, USA, we investigated the influences of species identity and sites with different local climates on radial growth–climate relationships. We created chronologies for each species at each site, determined influential plant-relevant annual and seasonal climatic variables influencing growth, and investigated how the strength of climate sensitivity varied across species and location. Overall, similar climate variables constrained growth on all three sides of the mountain for each of the four study species. Summer warmth positively influenced radial growth, whereas snow, spring warmth, previous summer warmth, and spring humidity negatively influenced growth. We discovered only a few subtle differences in the climate sensitivity of co-occurring species at the same site and between the same species at different sites in pairwise comparisons. A model including species by climate interactions provided the best balance between parsimony and fit, but did not lead to substantially greater predictive power relative to a model without site or species interactions. Our results imply that at treeline in moist temperate regions like Mt. Rainier, the same climatic variables drive annual variation in growth across species and locations, despite species differences in physiology and site differences in mean climates.

  11. Site-specific landslide assessment in Alpine area using a reliable integrated monitoring system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romeo, Saverio; Di Matteo, Lucio; Kieffer, Daniel Scott

    2016-04-01

    Rockfalls are one of major cause of landslide fatalities around the world. The present work discusses the reliability of integrated monitoring of displacements in a rockfall within the Alpine region (Salzburg Land - Austria), taking into account also the effect of the ongoing climate change. Due to the unpredictability of the frequency and magnitude, that threatens human lives and infrastructure, frequently it is necessary to implement an efficient monitoring system. For this reason, during the last decades, integrated monitoring systems of unstable slopes were widely developed and used (e.g., extensometers, cameras, remote sensing, etc.). In this framework, Remote Sensing techniques, such as GBInSAR technique (Groung-Based Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar), have emerged as efficient and powerful tools for deformation monitoring. GBInSAR measurements can be useful to achieve an early warning system using surface deformation parameters as ground displacement or inverse velocity (for semi-empirical forecasting methods). In order to check the reliability of GBInSAR and to monitor the evolution of landslide, it is very important to integrate different techniques. Indeed, a multi-instrumental approach is essential to investigate movements both in surface and in depth and the use of different monitoring techniques allows to perform a cross analysis of the data and to minimize errors, to check the data quality and to improve the monitoring system. During 2013, an intense and complete monitoring campaign has been conducted on the Ingelsberg landslide. By analyzing both historical temperature series (HISTALP) recorded during the last century and those from local weather stations, temperature values (Autumn-Winter, Winter and Spring) are clearly increased in Bad Hofgastein area as well as in Alpine region. As consequence, in the last decades the rockfall events have been shifted from spring to summer due to warmer winters. It is interesting to point out that

  12. Using radon-222 to distinguish between vertical transport processes at Jungfraujoch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffiths, Alan; Chambers, Scott; Conen, Franz; Weingartner, Ernest; Zimmermann, Lukas; Williams, Alastair; Steinbacher, Martin

    2015-04-01

    Trace gases measured at Jungfrajoch, a key baseline monitoring station in the Swiss Alps, are tranported from the surface to the alpine ridge by several different processes. On clear days with weak synoptic forcing, thermally-driven upslope mountain winds (anabatic winds) are prevalent. Using hourly radon--222 observations, which are often used to identify air of terrestrial origin, we used the shape of the diurnal cycle to sort days according to the strength of anabatic winds. Radon is ideal as an airmass tracer because it is emitted from soil at a relatively constant rate, it is chemically inert, and decays with a half-life of 3.8 days. Because of its short half-life, radon concentrations are much lower in the free troposphere than in boundary-layer air over land. For comparable radon concentrations, anabatic wind days at Jungfraujoch are different from non-anabatic days in terms of the average wind speed, humidity, air temperature anomalies, and trace species. As a consequence, future studies could be devised which focus on a subset of days, e.g. by excluding anabatic days, with the intention of choosing a set of days which can be more accurately simulated by a transport model.

  13. Occurrence of blowing snow events at an alpine site over a 10-year period: Observations and modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vionnet, V.; Guyomarc'h, G.; Naaim Bouvet, F.; Martin, E.; Durand, Y.; Bellot, H.; Bel, C.; Puglièse, P.

    2013-05-01

    Blowing snow events control the evolution of the snow pack in mountainous areas and cause inhomogeneous snow distribution. The goal of this study is to identify the main features of blowing snow events at an alpine site and assess the ability of the detailed snowpack model Crocus to reproduce the occurrence of these events in a 1D configuration. We created a database of blowing snow events observed over 10 years at our experimental site. Occurrences of blowing snow events were divided into cases with and without concurrent falling snow. Overall, snow transport is observed during 10.5% of the time in winter and occurs with concurrent falling snow 37.3% of the time. Wind speed and snow age control the frequency of occurrence. Model results illustrate the necessity of taking the wind-dependence of falling snow grain characteristics into account to simulate periods of snow transport and mass fluxes satisfactorily during those periods. The high rate of false alarms produced by the model is investigated in detail for winter 2010/2011 using measurements from snow particle counters.

  14. Insights into microbial communities mediating the bioremediation of hydrocarbon-contaminated soil from an Alpine former military site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siles, José A; Margesin, Rosa

    2018-05-01

    The study of microbial communities involved in soil bioremediation is important to identify the specific microbial characteristics that determine improved decontamination rates. Here, we characterized bacterial, archaeal, and fungal communities in terms of (i) abundance (using quantitative PCR) and (ii) taxonomic diversity and structure (using Illumina amplicon sequencing) during the bioremediation of long-term hydrocarbon-contaminated soil from an Alpine former military site during 15 weeks comparing biostimulation (inorganic NPK fertilization) vs. natural attenuation and considering the effect of temperature (10 vs. 20 °C). Although a considerable amount of total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) loss could be attributed to natural attenuation, significantly higher TPH removal rates were obtained with NPK fertilization and at increased temperature, which were related to the stimulation of the activities of indigenous soil microorganisms. Changing structures of bacterial and fungal communities significantly explained shifts in TPH contents in both natural attenuation and biostimulation treatments at 10 and 20 °C. However, archaeal communities, in general, and changing abundances and diversities in bacterial and fungal communities did not play a decisive role on the effectiveness of soil bioremediation. Gammaproteobacteria and Bacteroidia classes, within bacterial community, and undescribed/novel groups, within fungal community, proved to be actively involved in TPH removal in natural attenuation and biostimulation at both temperatures.

  15. Dating Informed Correlations and Large Earthquake Recurrence at the Hokuri Creek Paleoseismic Site, Alpine Fault, South Island, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biasi, G. P.; Clark, K.; Berryman, K. R.; Cochran, U. A.; Prior, C.

    2010-12-01

    The Hokuri Creek paleoseismic site on the Alpine fault in south Westland, New Zealand has yielded a remarkable history of fault activity spanning the past ~7000 years. Evidence for earthquake occurrence and timing has been developed primarily from natural exposures created after a geologically major incision event a few hundred years ago. Prior to this event, the elevation of the spillway of Hokuri Creek into its previous drainage was controlled by NE translation of a shutter ridge during earthquakes. Each event increased the base level for sediment accumulation upstream by decimetres to perhaps a metre. Each increase in base level is associated with a period of accumulation principally of clean fine silts and rock flour. With infilling and time, the wetlands reestablish and sedimentation transitions to a slower and more organic-rich phase (Clark et al., this meeting). At least 18 such cycles have been identified at the site. Carbonaceous material is abundant in almost all layers. Much of the dating is done on macrofossils - individual beech tree leaves, reeds, and similar fragile features. Reworking is considered unlikely due to the fragility of the samples. All dates were developed by the Rafter Radiocarbon Laboratory of the National Isotope Centre at GNS. Delta 13C was measured and used to correct for fractionation. Dating earthquakes at the Hokuri Creek site presents some special challenges. Individual stratigraphic sections around the site expose different time intervals. The Main Section series provides the most complete single section, with over 5000 years of represented. Nearby auxiliary exposures cover nearly 1500 years more. Date series from individual exposures tend to be internally very consistent with stratigraphic ordering, but by virtue of their spatial separation, correlations between sections are more difficult. We find, however, that the distinctive layering and the typical 2-4 centuries between primary silt layers provides a way to cross

  16. Seasonal variability of surface and column carbon monoxide over the megacity Paris, high-altitude Jungfraujoch and Southern Hemispheric Wollongong stations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Té, Yao; Jeseck, Pascal; Franco, Bruno; Mahieu, Emmanuel; Jones, Nicholas; Paton-Walsh, Clare; Griffith, David W. T.; Buchholz, Rebecca R.; Hadji-Lazaro, Juliette; Hurtmans, Daniel; Janssen, Christof

    2016-09-01

    This paper studies the seasonal variation of surface and column CO at three different sites (Paris, Jungfraujoch and Wollongong), with an emphasis on establishing a link between the CO vertical distribution and the nature of CO emission sources. We find the first evidence of a time lag between surface and free tropospheric CO seasonal variations in the Northern Hemisphere. The CO seasonal variability obtained from the total columns and free tropospheric partial columns shows a maximum around March-April and a minimum around September-October in the Northern Hemisphere (Paris and Jungfraujoch). In the Southern Hemisphere (Wollongong) this seasonal variability is shifted by about 6 months. Satellite observations by the IASI-MetOp (Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer) and MOPITT (Measurements Of Pollution In The Troposphere) instruments confirm this seasonality. Ground-based FTIR (Fourier transform infrared) measurements provide useful complementary information due to good sensitivity in the boundary layer. In situ surface measurements of CO volume mixing ratios at the Paris and Jungfraujoch sites reveal a time lag of the near-surface seasonal variability of about 2 months with respect to the total column variability at the same sites. The chemical transport model GEOS-Chem (Goddard Earth Observing System chemical transport model) is employed to interpret our observations. GEOS-Chem sensitivity runs identify the emission sources influencing the seasonal variation of CO. At both Paris and Jungfraujoch, the surface seasonality is mainly driven by anthropogenic emissions, while the total column seasonality is also controlled by air masses transported from distant sources. At Wollongong, where the CO seasonality is mainly affected by biomass burning, no time shift is observed between surface measurements and total column data.

  17. Aerosol climatology and planetary boundary influence at the Jungfraujoch analyzed by synoptic weather types

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Collaud Coen

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Fourteen years of meteorological parameters, aerosol variables (absorption and scattering coefficients, aerosol number concentration and trace gases (CO, NOx, SO2 measured at the Jungfraujoch (JFJ, 3580 m a.s.l. have been analyzed as a function of different synoptic weather types. The Schüepp synoptic weather type of the Alps (SYNALP classification from the Alpine Weather Statistics (AWS was used to define the synoptic meteorology over the whole Swiss region. The seasonal contribution of each synoptic weather type to the aerosol concentration was deduced from the aerosol annual cycles while the planetary boundary layer (PBL influence was estimated by means of the diurnal cycles. Since aerosols are scavenged by precipitation, the diurnal cycle of the CO concentration was also used to identify polluted air masses. SO2 and NOx concentrations were used as precursor tracers for new particle formation and growth, respectively. The aerosol optical parameters and number concentration show elevated loadings during advective weather types during the December–March period and for the convective anticyclonic and convective indifferent weather types during the April–September period. This study confirms the consensus view that the JFJ is mainly influenced by the free troposphere during winter and by injection of air parcels from the PBL during summer. A more detailed picture is, however, drawn where the JFJ is completely influenced by free tropospheric air masses in winter during advective weather types and largely influenced by the PBL also during the night in summer during the subsidence weather type. Between these two extreme situations, the PBL influence at the JFJ depends on both the time of year and the synoptic weather type. The fraction of PBL air transported to the JFJ was estimated by the relative increase of the specific humidity and CO.

  18. Future trends of the Alpine and ephemeral snowpack at selected sites across Switzerland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmucki, Edgar; Marty, Christoph; Fierz, Charles; Lehning, Michael; Weingartner, Rolf

    2014-05-01

    Snow is a key feature of mountainous environments because of its high implications for hydrology, vegetation and economics, such as winter tourism or hydropower. In particular, snow depth, the stored snow water equivalent, the duration of the snow on the ground or the snow load on a roof are all important parameters for services like road maintenance, avalanche warning, water management, hydro power, flood prevention or building code regulations. The measurement of these snow parameters is either not always possible or too expensive. To overcome this problem, snow models with input from meteorological stations are a worthwhile alternative. In this study we apply the one-dimensional, physically based snow model SNOWPACK. We first demonstrate the performance of SNOWPACK in modelling the seasonal evolution of snow characteristics such as snow depth or duration of snow cover for single years. The required input data for SNOWPACK includes air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, incoming short- and long-wave radiation, and precipitation intensity. As most stations do not measure incoming long-wave radiation, it needs to be parameterized. Moreover, due to wind-induced errors, it is necessary to correct the precipitation measurements. In a second step we show future trends of the Swiss snowpack at selected sites located at different elevations across Switzerland. Therefore we concentrate on the ability of SNOWPACK to model climatological mean values of seasonal snow depth, maximum snow depth and the length of snow season for example. For the assessment of future trends, scenario data from the recently released CH2011 report will be used in order to perturb the observed time series of temperature and precipitation.

  19. Analysis of intensive aerosol optical properties measured at the Jungfraujoch station

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, F.; Nyeki, S.; Baltensperger, U.; Weingartner, E.; Lugauer, M. [Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland)

    1997-09-01

    Characterisation of atmospheric aerosol optical properties at the Jungfraujoch has been conducted to deliver basic data for comparison with those from NOAA baseline atmospheric monitoring stations. (author) 2 figs., 2 refs.

  20. Imaging the Alpine Fault: preliminary results from a detailed 3D-VSP experiment at the DFDP-2 drill site in Whataroa, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lay, Vera; Bodenburg, Sascha; Buske, Stefan; Townend, John; Kellett, Richard; Savage, Martha; Schmitt, Douglas; Constantinou, Alexis; Eccles, Jennifer; Lawton, Donald; Hall, Kevin; Bertram, Malcolm; Gorman, Andrew

    2017-04-01

    The plate-bounding Alpine Fault in New Zealand is an 850 km long transpressive continental fault zone that is late in its earthquake cycle. The Deep Fault Drilling Project (DFDP) aims to deliver insight into the geological structure of this fault zone and its evolution by drilling and sampling the Alpine Fault at depth. Previously analysed 2D reflection seismic data image the main Alpine Fault reflector at a depth of 1.5-2.2 km with a dip of approximately 48° to the southeast below the DFDP-2 borehole. Additionally, there are indications of a more complex 3D fault structure with several fault branches which have not yet been clearly imaged in detail. For that reason we acquired a 3D-VSP seismic data set at the DFDP-2 drill site in January 2016. A zero-offset VSP and a walk-away VSP survey were conducted using a Vibroseis source. Within the borehole, a permanently installed "Distributed Acoustic Fibre Optic Cable" (down to 893 m) and a 3C Sercel slimwave tool (down to 400 m) were used to record the seismic wavefield. In addition, an array of 160 three-component receivers with a spacing of 10 m perpendicular and 20 m parallel to the main strike of the Alpine Fault was set up and moved successively along the valley to record reflections from the main Alpine Fault zone over a broad depth range and to derive a detailed 3D tomographic velocity model in the hanging wall. We will show a detailed 3D velocity model derived from first-arrival traveltime tomography. Subsets of the whole data set were analysed separately to estimate the corresponding ray coverage and the reliability of the observed features in the obtained velocity model. By testing various inversion parameters and starting models, we derived a detailed near-surface velocity model that reveals the significance of the old glacial valley structures. Hence, this new 3D model improves the velocity model derived previously from a 2D seismic profile line in that area. Furthermore, processing of the dense 3C data

  1. Alpine tourism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Macchiavelli

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available The spectacular increase in tourism in the Alps in recent decades has been founded mainly on the boom in skiing, resulting in both strong real estate development and an increasing array of infrastructures and ski runs. Today the ski market seems to have virtually reached saturation point and the winter sports sector needs to diversify its offer through innovation. After a review of the main factors of change in mountain tourism, the paper presents a grid for interpreting the life cycle of alpine destinations, identifying the phases that characterize their evolution. The conditions that may favour innovation in alpine tourism are then identified, as well as the contradictions that frequently accompany them. In most cases, innovation is the result of a process that begins within the alpine community, frequently encouraged and supported by national and international institutions and with whose help structural difficulties are successfully overcome.La forte croissance qu’ont connue les pays alpins dans les dernières décennies a surtout été fondée sur l’offre des activités du ski, avec comme conséquence, un massif développement immobilier et la multiplication d’infrastructures et de pistes. Aujourd’hui, le marché du ski semble arriver à saturation, la Convention alpine a mis un frein à la poursuite du développement des domaines skiables et on observe donc avec intérêt la diversification de l’offre soutenue par l’innovation. Après avoir rappelé les facteurs de changement en cours les plus significatifs dans le tourisme montagnard, l’article présente une grille interprétative de l’évolution des destinations touristiques alpines, identifiant les phases qui ont caractérisé son développement. Ensuite, l’article propose une réflexion sur certaines conditions qui peuvent favoriser l’innovation dans le tourisme alpin, ainsi que sur les contradictions qui accompagnent souvent ces conditions. Dans la plupart des cas

  2. Simulation of Wind-Driven Snow Redistribution at a High-Elevation Alpine Site Using a Meso-Scale Atmospheric Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vionnet, V.; Martin, E.; Masson, V.; Guyomarc'h, G.; Naaim-Bouvet, F.; Prokop, A.; Durand, Y.; Lac, C.

    2012-12-01

    In alpine regions, blowing snow events strongly influence the temporal and spatial evolution of the snow depth distribution throughout the winter season. We recently developed a new simulation system to gain understanding on the complex processes that drive the redistribution of snow by the wind in complex terrain. This new system couples directly the detailed snow-pack model Crocus with the meso-scale atmospheric model Meso-NH. A blowing snow scheme allows Meso-NH to simulate the transport of snow particles in the atmosphere. We used the coupled system to study a blowing snow event with snowfall that occurred in February 2011 in the Grandes Rousses range (French Alps). Three nested domains at an horizontal resolution of 450, 150 and 50 m allow the model to simulate the complex 3D precipitation and wind fields around our experimental site (2720 m a.s.l.) during this 22-hour event. Wind-induced snow transport is activated over the domains of higher resolution (150 and 50 m). We firstly assessed the ability of the model to reproduce atmospheric flows at high resolution in alpine terrain using a large dataset of observations (meteorological data, vertical profile of wind speed). Simulated blowing snow fluxes are then compared with measurements from SPC and mechanical snow traps. Finally a map of snow erosion and accumulation produced by Terrestrial Laser measurements allows to evaluate the quality of the simulated snow depth redistribution.

  3. Chemical composition, mixing state, size and morphology of Ice nucleating particles at the Jungfraujoch research station, Switzerland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebert, Martin; Worringen, Annette; Kandler, Konrad; Weinbruch, Stephan; Schenk, Ludwig; Mertes, Stephan; Schmidt, Susan; Schneider, Johannes; Frank, Fabian; Nilius, Björn; Danielczok, Anja; Bingemer, Heinz

    2014-05-01

    An intense field campaign from the Ice Nuclei Research Unit (INUIT) was performed in January and February of 2013 at the High-Alpine Research Station Jungfraujoch (3580 m a.s.l., Switzerland). Main goal was the assessment of microphysical and chemical properties of free-tropospheric ice-nucelating particles. The ice-nucleating particles were discriminated from the total aerosol with the 'Fast Ice Nucleation CHamber' (FINCH; University Frankfurt) and the 'Ice-Selective Inlet' (ISI, Paul Scherer Institute) followed by a pumped counter-stream virtual impactor. The separated ice-nucleating particles were then collected with a nozzle-type impactor. With the 'FRankfurt Ice nuclei Deposition freezinG Experiment' (FRIDGE), aerosol particles are sampled on a silicon wafer, which is than exposed to ice-activating conditions in a static diffusion chamber. The locations of the growing ice crystals are recorded for later analysis. Finally, with the ICE Counter-stream Virtual Impactor (ICE-CVI) atmospheric ice crystals are separated from the total aerosol and their water content is evaporated to retain the ice residual particles, which are then collected also by impactor sampling. All samples were analyzed in a high-resolution scanning electron microscope. By this method, for each particle its size, morphology, mixing-state and chemical composition is obtained. In total approximately 1700 ice nucleating particles were analyzed. Based on their chemical composition, the particles were classified into seven groups: silicates, metal oxides, Ca-rich particles, (aged) sea-salt, soot, sulphates and carbonaceous matter. Sea-salt is considered as artifact and is not regarded as ice nuclei here. The most frequent ice nucleating particles/ice residuals at the Jungfraujoch station are silicates > carbonaceous particles > metal oxides. Calcium-rich particles and soot play a minor role. Similar results are obtained by quasi-parallel measurements with an online single particle laser ablation

  4. Conifer seedling recruitment across a gradient from forest to alpine tundra: effects of species, provenance, and site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castanha, C.; Torn, M.S.; Germino, M.J.; Weibel, Bettina; Kueppers, L.M.

    2013-01-01

    Background: Seedling germination and survival is a critical control on forest ecosystem boundaries, such as at the alpine–treeline ecotone. In addition, while it is known that species respond individualistically to the same suite of environmental drivers, the potential additional effect of local adaptation on seedling success has not been evaluated. Aims: To determine whether local adaptation may influence the position and movement of forest ecosystem boundaries, we quantified conifer seedling recruitment in common gardens across a subalpine forest to alpine tundra gradient at Niwot Ridge, Colorado, USA. Methods: We studied Pinus flexilis and Picea engelmannii grown from seed collected locally at High (3400 m a.s.l.) and Low (3060 m a.s.l.) elevations. We monitored emergence and survival of seeds sown directly into plots and survival of seedlings germinated indoors and transplanted after snowmelt. Results: Emergence and survival through the first growing season was greater for P. flexilis than P. engelmannii and for Low compared with High provenances. Yet survival through the second growing season was similar for both species and provenances. Seedling emergence and survival tended to be greatest in the subalpine forest and lowest in the alpine tundra. Survival was greater for transplants than for field-germinated seedlings. Conclusions: These results suggest that survival through the first few weeks is critical to the establishment of natural germinants. In addition, even small distances between seed sources can have a significant effect on early demographic performance – a factor that has rarely been considered in previous studies of tree recruitment and species range shifts.

  5. An overview of the Ice Nuclei Research Unit Jungfraujoch/Cloud and Aerosol Characterization Experiment 2013 (INUIT-JFJ/CLACE-2013)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Johannes

    2014-05-01

    Ice formation in mixed phase tropospheric clouds is an essential prerequisite for the formation of precipitation at mid-latitudes. Ice formation at temperatures warmer than -35°C is only possible via heterogeneous ice nucleation, but up to now the exact pathways of heterogeneous ice formation are not sufficiently well understood. The research unit INUIT (Ice NUcleation research unIT), funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG FOR 1525) has been established in 2012 with the objective to investigate heterogeneous ice nucleation by combination of laboratory studies, model calculation and field experiments. The main field campaign of the INUIT project (INUIT-JFJ) was conducted at the High Alpine Research Station Jungfraujoch (Swiss Alps, 3580 m asl) during January and February 2013, in collaboration with several international partners in the framework of CLACE2013. The instrumentation included a large set of aerosol chemical and physical analysis instruments (particle counters, particle sizers, particle mass spectrometers, cloud condensation nuclei counters, ice nucleus counters etc.), that were operated inside the Sphinx laboratory and sampled in mixed phase clouds through two ice selective inlets (Ice-CVI, ISI) as well as through a total aerosol inlet that was used for out-of-cloud aerosol measurements. Besides the on-line measurements, also samples for off-line analysis (ESEM, STXM) have been taken in and out of clouds. Furthermore, several cloud microphysics instruments were operated outside the Sphinx laboratory. First results indicate that a large fraction of ice residues sampled from mixed phase clouds contain organic material, but also mineral dust. Soot and lead were not found to be enriched in ice residues. The concentration of heterogeneous ice nuclei was found to be variable (ranging between 100 per liter) and to be strongly dependent on the operating conditions of the respective IN counter. The number size distribution of ice residues appears to

  6. Increased concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Alpine streams during annual snowmelt: investigating effects of sampling method, site characteristics, and meteorology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shahpoury, Pourya; Hageman, Kimberly J; Matthaei, Christoph D; Alumbaugh, Robert E; Cook, Michelle E

    2014-10-07

    Silicone passive samplers and macroinvertebrates were used to measure time-integrated concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in alpine streams during annual snowmelt. The three sampling sites were located near a main highway in Arthur's Pass National Park in the Southern Alps of New Zealand. A similar set of PAH congeners, composed of 2-4 rings, were found in silicone passive samplers and macroinvertebrates. The background PAH concentrations were similar at all sites, implying that proximity to the highway did not affect concentrations. In passive samplers, an increase of PAH concentrations by up to seven times was observed during snowmelt. In macroinvertebrates, the concentration changes were moderate; however, macroinvertebrate sampling did not occur during the main pulse observed in the passive samplers. The extent of vegetation in the catchment appeared to affect the concentration patterns seen at the different stream sites. A strong correlation was found between PAH concentrations in passive samplers and the amount of rainfall in the study area, indicating that the washout of contaminants from snowpack by rainfall was an important process.

  7. Alpine dams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alain Marnezy

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Les barrages-réservoirs de montagne ont été réalisés initialement dans les Alpes pour répondre à la demande d’énergie en période hivernale. Une certaine diversification des usages de l’eau s’est ensuite progressivement développée, en relation avec le développement touristique des collectivités locales. Aujourd’hui, la participation des ouvrages d’Électricité De France à la production de neige de culture représente une nouvelle étape. Dans les régions où les aménagements hydroélectriques sont nombreux, les besoins en eau pour la production de neige peuvent être résolus par prélèvements à partir des adductions EDF. Les gestionnaires de stations échappent ainsi aux inconvénients liés à la construction et à la gestion des « retenues collinaires ». Cette évolution, qui concerne déjà quelques régions alpines comme la haute Maurienne ou le Beaufortin, apparaît comme une forme renouvelée d’intégration territoriale de la ressource en eau.Mountain reservoirs were initially built in the Alps to meet energy needs in the winter. A certain diversification in the uses of water then gradually developed, related to tourism development in the local communities. Today, the use of facilities belonging to EDF (French Electricity Authority to provide water for winter resorts to make artificial snow represents a new phase. By taking water from EDF resources to supply snow-making equipment, resort managers are thus able to avoid the problems related to the construction and management of small headwater dams. This new orientation in the use of mountain water resources already affects a number of alpine regions such as the Upper Maurienne valley and Beaufortain massif and represents a renewed form of the territorial integration of water resources.

  8. Isotope Investigations at an Alpine Karst Aquifer by Means of On-Site Measurements with High Time Resolution and Near Real-Time Data Availability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leis, A.; Plieschnegger, M.; Harum, T.; Stadler, H.; Schmitt, R.; Pelt, A. Van; Zerobin, W.

    2011-01-01

    For numerous hydrological investigations as the characterization of storage and discharge dynamics at karst springs on-site isotopic measurements with high time resolution could improve the significance of the investigations. Conventional isotope ratio mass spectrometers (IRMS) can only be used in laboratories because of their technical complexity. Since a short time more compact laser based instruments, the so called cavity ringdown spectrometers (CRDS) are commercially available. For on-site use of such an instrument several adaptations are necessary. This concerns especially a direct sample injection from the outflow of the spring, because this is originally not intended. The studied alpine and mountainous karst system is located in the so called Northern Calcareous Alps in Austria reaching altitudes up to approx. 2300 masl. The spring is situated in the Salza-valley at an altitude of approximately 650 masl. The investigated karst spring is a typical limestone spring type according to having well developed karst conduits. The isotopic composition of the water samples were measured by using cavity ring-down spectroscopy with a WS-CRDS (Wavelength-Scanned Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy) instrument (Picarro, Inc.). In order to adapt the System for on-site isotope measurements at the spring the laser spectrometer was coupled to an automatic injection module for continuous measurements of liquid samples based on a VALCO valve. The device replaces the auto-sampler and allows quasi-continuous injections of a 2 ul-water samples into the Picarro L1102-iso-water analyzer via the Picarro vaporizer module.

  9. Alpine research today

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Jacques Brun

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Alpine research benefits from several international coordination networks, only one of which – ISCAR (the International Scientific Committee on Research in the Alps – works solely in the Alpine arc. The creation of ISCAR is a consequence of the input and involvement of various Alpine partners around the Alpine Convention. Alpine research now aims to promote an integrated vision of Alpine territories focusing on creating and maintaining spatial and temporal networks of sustainable relationships between humans and the other components of the ecosphere. It combines resource usage with conservation of the biological and cultural diversity that makes up the Alpine identity. This article aims to show: (1 how international Alpine research coordination is organised; (2 the role played by the Alpine Convention as a framework of reference for specifically Alpine research; and (3 the role that the ISCAR international commit-tee and the Interreg “Alpine Space” programmes play in uniting research around territorial challenges relating to biodiversity conservation and territorial development.La recherche sur les Alpes bénéficie de plusieurs réseaux de coordination internationaux dont un seul, le comité international recherche alpine (ISCAR, se consacre exclusivement à l’arc alpin. La création de l’ISCAR est une retombée de la mobilisation des divers partenaires alpins autour de la mise en place de la Convention alpine. Aujourd’hui, la recherche alpine vise à promouvoir une vision intégrée des territoires centrée sur la création et le maintien d’un réseau spatial et temporel de relations durables entre les hommes et les autres composantes de l’écosphère. Elle associe étroitement la mise en valeur des ressources et la conservation des diversités biologiques et culturelles qui constituent l’identité alpine. Cet article a pour ambition de montrer : (1 comment s’organise la coordination internationale des recherches sur les

  10. Surface-to-mountaintop transport characterised by radon observations at the Jungfraujoch

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Griffiths, A.D.; Chambers, S.D.; Williams, A.G.; Conen, F.; Zimmermann, L.

    2014-01-01

    Atmospheric composition measurements at Jungfraujoch are affected intermittently by boundary-layer air which is brought to the station by processes including thermally driven (anabatic) mountain winds. Using observations of radon-222, and a new objective analysis method, we quantify the land-surface influence at Jungfraujoch hour by hour and detect the presence of anabatic winds on a daily basis. During 2010-2011, anabatic winds occurred on 40% of days, but only from April to September. Anabatic wind days were associated with warmer air temperatures over a large fraction of Europe and with a shift in air-mass properties, even when comparing days with a similar mean radon concentration. Excluding days with anabatic winds, however, did not lead to a better definition of the unperturbed aerosol background than a definition based on radon alone. This implies that a radon threshold reliably excludes local influences from both anabatic and non-anabatic vertical-transport processes.

  11. Seasonal variation of the single scattering albedo of the Jungfraujoch aerosol

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Collaud Coen, M.; Weingartner, E.; Corrigan, C.; Baltensperger, U.

    2003-03-01

    The single scattering albedo ({omega}{sub 0}) represents the fraction of the light extinction due to scattering. It is there-fore a key parameter to estimate the aerosol direct radiative forcing. The seasonal and diurnal variation of the single scattering albedo was calculated for the Jungfraujoch dry aerosol, which is representative for clean remote continental conditions. The values of {omega}{sub 0} vary between 0.7 and 0.9 depending on the season and on the wavelength. (author)

  12. Plants in alpine environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Germino, Matthew J.

    2014-01-01

    Alpine and subalpine plant species are of special interest in ecology and ecophysiology because they represent life at the climate limit and changes in their relative abundances can be a bellwether for climate-change impacts. Perennial life forms dominate alpine plant communities, and their form and function reflect various avoidance, tolerance, or resistance strategies to interactions of cold temperature, radiation, wind, and desiccation stresses that prevail in the short growing seasons common (but not ubiquitous) in alpine areas. Plant microclimate is typically uncoupled from the harsh climate of the alpine, often leading to substantially warmer plant temperatures than air temperatures recorded by weather stations. Low atmospheric pressure is the most pervasive, fundamental, and unifying factor for alpine environments, but the resulting decrease in partial pressure of CO2 does not significantly limit carbon gain by alpine plants. Factors such as tree islands and topographic features create strong heterogeneous mosaics of microclimate and snow cover that are reflected in plant community composition. Factors affecting tree establishment and growth and formation of treeline are key to understanding alpine ecology. Carbohydrate and other carbon storage, rapid development in a short growing season, and physiological function at low temperature are prevailing attributes of alpine plants. A major contemporary research theme asks whether chilling at alpine-treeline affects the ability of trees to assimilate the growth resources and particularly carbon needed for growth or whether the growth itself is limited by the alpine environment. Alpine areas tend to be among the best conserved, globally, yet they are increasingly showing response to a range of anthropogenic impacts, such as atmospheric deposition.

  13. Comparisons of the error budgets associated with ground-based FTIR measurements of atmospheric CH4 profiles at Île de la Réunion and Jungfraujoch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanhaelewyn, Gauthier; Duchatelet, Pierre; Vigouroux, Corinne; Dils, Bart; Kumps, Nicolas; Hermans, Christian; Demoulin, Philippe; Mahieu, Emmanuel; Sussmann, Ralf; de Mazière, Martine

    2010-05-01

    The Fourier Transform Infra Red (FTIR) remote measurements of atmospheric constituents at the observatories at Saint-Denis (20.90°S, 55.48°E, 50 m a.s.l., Île de la Réunion) and Jungfraujoch (46.55°N, 7.98°E, 3580 m a.s.l., Switzerland) are affiliated to the Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC). The European NDACC FTIR data for CH4 were improved and homogenized among the stations in the EU project HYMN. One important application of these data is their use for the validation of satellite products, like the validation of SCIAMACHY or IASI CH4 columns. Therefore, it is very important that errors and uncertainties associated to the ground-based FTIR CH4 data are well characterized. In this poster we present a comparison of errors on retrieved vertical concentration profiles of CH4 between Saint-Denis and Jungfraujoch. At both stations, we have used the same retrieval algorithm, namely SFIT2 v3.92 developed jointly at the NASA Langley Research Center, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the National Institute of Water and Atmosphere Research (NIWA) at Lauder, New Zealand, and error evaluation tools developed at the Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB). The error components investigated in this study are: smoothing, noise, temperature, instrumental line shape (ILS) (in particular the modulation amplitude and phase), spectroscopy (in particular the pressure broadening and intensity), interfering species and solar zenith angle (SZA) error. We will determine if the characteristics of the sites in terms of altitude, geographic locations and atmospheric conditions produce significant differences in the error budgets for the retrieved CH4 vertical profiles

  14. Halogenated source gases measured by FTIR at the Jungfraujoch station: updated trends and new target species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahieu, Emmanuel; Bader, Whitney; Bovy, Benoît; Franco, Bruno; Lejeune, Bernard; Servais, Christian; Notholt, Justus; Palm, Mathias; Toon, Geoffrey C.

    2015-04-01

    The atmospheric abundances of chlorine and fluorine increased very significantly during the second half of last century, following large emissions of long-lived halogenated source gases used in numerous industrial and domestic applications. Given the phase-out schedule of ozone depleting substances adopted by the Montreal Protocol, its Amendments and Adjustments, the loading of the CFCs in the Earth's atmosphere is now slowly decreasing. In contrast, their first replacement products, the HCFCs, are still on the rise, with current rates of increase substantially larger than at the beginning of the 21st century. As potent greenhouse gases, a suite of fluorinated compounds are targeted by the Kyoto Protocol. At present, they continue to accumulate in the atmosphere (Montzka et al., 2011). Given their environmental impacts, continuous monitoring of the abundances of these gases is of primary importance. In addition to the in situ networks, remote sensing techniques operated from space, balloon or from the ground provide valuable information to assess the long-term tropospheric and lower stratospheric trends of an increasing number of halogenated source gases, as well as of the reservoirs resulting from their photolysis in the stratosphere (e.g. Mahieu et al., 2014a). In this contribution, we will present decadal time series of halogenated source gases monitored at the high altitude station of the Jungfraujoch (46.5° N, 8° E, 3580 m asl) with Fourier Transform Infared (FTIR) spectrometers, within the framework of the Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC, see http://www.ndacc.org). Total column trends presented in previous studies for CFC-11, -12 and HCFC-22 (Zander at al., 2008), CCl4 (Rinsland et al., 2012), HCFC-142b (Mahieu et al., 2013), CF4 (Mahieu et al., 2014b) and SF6 (Zander et al., 2008) will be updated using the latest available Jungfraujoch solar observations. Investigations dealing with the definition of approaches to

  15. Long-term series of tropospheric water vapour amounts and HDO/H2O ratio profiles above Jungfraujoch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lejeune, B.; Mahieu, E.; Schneider, M.; Hase, F.; Servais, C.; Demoulin, P.

    2012-04-01

    (Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change, http://www.ndacc.org) of the Jungfraujoch International Scientific Station (Swiss Alps, 46.5° N, 8.0° E, 3580m asl). Information content analysis of the retrieved H2O products allows us to produce a long-term trend from 1996 to 2011 for different tropospheric levels. We will compare the annual cycle of tropospheric HDO/H2O ratio profiles with those already produced at other sites (Schneider et al., 2010). We will also focus on the diurnal variability of water vapour to determine a time limit in the inter-comparison of different water vapour measurement techniques. Acknowledgments The University of Liège involvement has primarily been supported by the PRODEX program funded by the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office, Brussels and by the Swiss GAW-CH program. The FRS-FNRS and the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles are further acknowledged for observational activities support. We thank the International Foundation High Altitude Research Stations Jungfraujoch and Gornergrat (HFSJG, Bern) for supporting the facilities needed to perform the observations. MUSICA is funded by the European Research Council under the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) / ERC Grant agreement n° 256961.

  16. Chemical and physical influences on aerosol activation in liquid clouds: a study based on observations from the Jungfraujoch, Switzerland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. R. Hoyle

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available A simple statistical model to predict the number of aerosols which activate to form cloud droplets in warm clouds has been established, based on regression analysis of data from four summertime Cloud and Aerosol Characterisation Experiments (CLACE at the high-altitude site Jungfraujoch (JFJ. It is shown that 79 % of the observed variance in droplet numbers can be represented by a model accounting only for the number of potential cloud condensation nuclei (defined as number of particles larger than 80 nm in diameter, while the mean errors in the model representation may be reduced by the addition of further explanatory variables, such as the mixing ratios of O3, CO, and the height of the measurements above cloud base. The statistical model has a similar ability to represent the observed droplet numbers in each of the individual years, as well as for the two predominant local wind directions at the JFJ (northwest and southeast. Given the central European location of the JFJ, with air masses in summer being representative of the free troposphere with regular boundary layer in-mixing via convection, we expect that this statistical model is generally applicable to warm clouds under conditions where droplet formation is aerosol limited (i.e. at relatively high updraught velocities and/or relatively low aerosol number concentrations. A comparison between the statistical model and an established microphysical parametrization shows good agreement between the two and supports the conclusion that cloud droplet formation at the JFJ is predominantly controlled by the number concentration of aerosol particles.

  17. The potential for retreating alpine glaciers to alter alpine ecosystems in the Colorado Front Range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, E.; Baron, J.

    2013-12-01

    Glaciers are retreating at an unprecedented rate. In mid-latitude alpine ecosystems the presence of glaciers and rock glaciers govern rates and ecology of alpine and sub-alpine ecosystems. Changes in the thermal environment due to the loss of isothermal habitat and inputs from glacier melt chemistry are altering alpine ecosystems in unpredictable ways. In particular, glacier may be a source of nitrogen that is altering alpine ecosystem dynamics. Loch Vale Watershed (LVWS) located within Rocky Mountain National Park. LVWS contains a surface glacier (Andrew's glacier) and a rock glacier (Taylor's glacier) at the headwater of each of the two drainages within the watershed. We collected precipitation from a National Atmospheric Deposition Site and surface water from multiple alpine lakes and streams during a particularly high and low snow year in the Colorado Front Range. We also sampled stream and lake sediments at each site to analyze the associated microbial community. Concentrations of nitrate and ammonium, relative abundance of amoA (the gene responsible for a key step in the microbial nitrification pathway), and the dual isotope signal to nitrate all point to snow melt as a key deliverer of nitrogen to ecosystems along the Colorado Front Range. However, late summer surface water chemistry is isotopically similar to the chemistry of glacial ice. This suggests that retreating glacier may be an additional source of N to alpine ecosystems and have the potential to alter microbial community composition, biogeochemical rate processes, and ecosystem function. These dynamics are most likely not unique to the Colorado Front Range and should be globally distributed as glaciers continue to retreat in high altitude ecosystems around the world.

  18. The influence of south Foehn on the ozone distribution in the Alpine Rhine valley - results from the MAP field phase

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baumann, K.; Maurer, H.; Rau, G. [Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics, Vienna (AT)] (and others)

    2001-07-01

    During the Mesoscale Alpine Programme (MAP) special observation period (SOP) between 7 September and 15 November 1999, ground-based and airborne measurements have been conducted in the Rhine valley south of the Lake of Constance to investigate the unstationary aspects of Foehn and related phenomena, like the impact of Foehn on the ozone concentrations in the valley. Foehn events occurred with above-average frequency and high diversity. Foehn induced ozone peaks in October and November are found to be much lower than the September Foehn case of the period. An inversion layer in the lake area with ozone concentrations below 10ppb often shields the monitoring stations from the Foehn air aloft. Trajectory calculations for the Foehn period between 19 and 24 October 1999 reveal that the Foehn air originated from below 1 to 1.5km above the Po Basin and the Mediterranean Sea. Tethered balloon soundings in the source area south of the Alps, ozone measurements at the mountain station Jungfraujoch (3580m a.s.l.) and airborne measurements across the Alpine crests reveal that the ozone levels found in the Foehn air correspond to the concentrations just above the mixing height in the Po Basin and are transported across the Alpine crest within the lowest flow layer. (author)

  19. Le tourisme alpin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Macchiavelli

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available La forte croissance qu’ont connue les pays alpins dans les dernières décennies a surtout été fondée sur l’offre des activités du ski, avec comme conséquence, un massif développement immobilier, la multiplication d’infrastructures et l’extension des domaines. Aujourd’hui, le marché du ski semble arriver à saturation, la Convention alpine a mis un frein à la poursuite du développement des domaines skiables et on observe donc avec intérêt la diversification de l’offre soutenue par l’innovation. Après avoir rappelé les facteurs de changement en cours les plus significatifs dans le tourisme montagnard, l’article présente une grille interprétative de l’évolution des destinations touristiques alpines, identifiant les phases qui ont caractérisé son développement. Puis il propose une réflexion sur certaines conditions qui peuvent favoriser l’innovation dans le tourisme alpin, ainsi que sur les contradictions qui les accompagnent souvent. Dans la plupart des cas l’innovation est le résultat d’un processus qui a été lancé et qui s’est développé au sein de la communauté alpine, souvent favorisé et soutenu par des institutions nationales et internationales, et grâce auquel les difficultés structurelles qui ont déjà été abordées précédemment ont pu être surmontées avec succès.The spectacular increase in tourism in the Alps in recent decades has been founded mainly on the boom in skiing, resulting in both strong real estate development and an increasing array of infrastructures and ski runs. Today the ski market seems to have virtually reached saturation point and the winter sports sector needs to diversify its offer through innovation. After a review of the main factors of change in mountain tourism, the paper presents a grid for interpreting the life cycle of alpine destinations, identifying the phases that characterize their evolution. The conditions that may favour innovation in alpine

  20. The onset of alpine pastoral systems in the Eastern Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oeggl, Klaus; Festi, Daniela; Putzer, Andreas

    2015-04-01

    Since the discovery of the Neolithic glacier mummy "Ötzi" in the nival belt of the main Alpine ridge, the onset of alpine pasture is matter of a highly controversial debate both in archaeology and in palaeo-ecology of the Eastern Alps. The implication is that his sojourn in the high-altitudes of the Alps is considered to be connected with pastoral nomadism. Regrettably any archaeological evidence for the existence of such Neolithic alpine pastoral systems is missing up to now and the assumption is based on palynological data only. However, also the palynological record is ambiguous, because pasture indicators in the alpine regions react positive on grazing as well as on fertilization induced by a higher runoff of precipitation. Thus alpine pasture indicators reflect both grazing pressure and climatic change. Anyhow, alpine pastoral systems are a common practice in Alpine animal husbandry, but from an economic point of view such a seasonal vertical transhumance is costly. There are three main reasons for its practice: i) climatic, ii) economic (mainly in connection with population pressure or mining activities), and iii) cultural ideology. In this study we tested the above mentioned reasons in an interdisciplinary study on the beginning of pastoral activities in high altitudes in the central part of the Eastern Alps. This is conducted by palynological analyses of peat deposits situated in the vicinity of the timberline (1600 - 2400 m a.s.l.) combined with archaeological surveys. The investigated sites are located in traditional Alpine transhumance regions and aligned on a transect through the central part of the Eastern Alps. The studies reveal that grazing pressure is reflected since the Bronze Age, which is corroborated by archaeological findings in the vicinity of the investigated sites.

  1. Characterisation of alpine skis

    OpenAIRE

    Wikerman, Fredrik

    2016-01-01

    Skiing is a fast and competitive sport where skiers must push their performance limit to win medals, the di↵erence can be within hundreds of a second. Therefore, technical improvements are essential for assisting in the skier’s improvement. This thesis project is a joint project between KTH and the Swedish Ski Association and Swedish Ski Team with the purpose of obtaining a better understanding of the structural properties of alpine skis, aiming to improve the individual selection process of ...

  2. Sensitivity of Alpine Snow and Streamflow Regimes to Climate Changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasouli, K.; Pomeroy, J. W.; Marks, D. G.; Bernhardt, M.

    2014-12-01

    Understanding the sensitivity of hydrological processes to climate change in alpine areas with snow dominated regimes is of paramount importance as alpine basins show both high runoff efficiency associated with the melt of the seasonal snowpack and great sensitivity of snow processes to temperature change. In this study, meteorological data measured in a selection of alpine headwaters basins including Reynolds Mountain East, Idaho, USA, Wolf Creek, Yukon in Canada, and Zugspitze Mountain, Germany with climates ranging from arctic to continental temperate were used to study the snow and streamflow sensitivity to climate change. All research sites have detailed multi-decadal meteorological and snow measurements. The Cold Regions Hydrological Modelling platform (CRHM) was used to create a model representing a typical alpine headwater basin discretized into hydrological response units with physically based representations of snow redistribution by wind, complex terrain snowmelt energetics and runoff processes in alpine tundra. The sensitivity of snow hydrology to climate change was investigated by changing air temperature and precipitation using weather generating methods based on the change factors obtained from different climate model projections for future and current periods. The basin mean and spatial variability of peak snow water equivalent, sublimation loss, duration of snow season, snowmelt rates, streamflow peak, and basin discharge were assessed under varying climate scenarios and the most sensitive hydrological mechanisms to the changes in the different alpine climates were detected. The results show that snow hydrology in colder alpine climates is more resilient to warming than that in warmer climates, but that compensatory factors to warming such as reduced blowing snow sublimation loss and reduced melt rate should also be assessed when considering climate change impacts on alpine hydrology.

  3. Isotope Investigations at an Alpine Karst Aquifer by Means of On-Site Measurements with High Time Resolution and Near Realtime Data Availability

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leis, A.; Plieschnegger, M.; Harum, T.; Stadler, H. [Joanneum Research, Institute for Water, Energy and Resources, Graz (Austria); Schmitt, R. [Meteorologie Consult GmbH, Koenigstein (Germany); Van Pelt, A. [Picarro Inc., Sunnyvale, California (United States); Zerobin, W. [Vienna Waterworks, Vienna (Austria)

    2013-07-15

    For a lot of hydrological isotope investigations it would be helpful to conduct on-site measurements with a very high time resolution. Recent developments of a highly sensitive gas analyser on the basis of so called 'Cavity Ring Down Spectroscopy' (CRDS) has lead to a new class of on-site capable measuring devices, the wavelength scanned (WS)-CRDS. In the framework of a new project it succeeded for the first time in measuring the stable environmental isotopes of the water on-site and on-line at one of the most important karst springs in Austria. It was necessary, to adapt the WS-CRDS system for on-site application. Particularly the sampling device had to be adopted to get samples from the flow of the spring to the WS-CDRS system in real time. The system was installed at the spring during snowmelt with measuring intervals of fewer than 10 minutes. This measuring device was combined with a near real time data transmission system, based on LEO satellites. This allowed a dissemination of the data via the internet and, for registered users, also a download possibility of the data. (author)

  4. Semenic Mountains’ alpine skiing area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petru BANIAȘ

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The present paper presents, after a short history of alpine skiing which describes apparition, necessity, utility and universality of skiing during time, a comparative study referring to the alpine skiing domain in the Semenic Mountains area. In the paper are also presented general notions about alpine skiing methodology together with an ample description of the plateau area form Semenic Mountains, describing localization and touristic potential. Based on the SWOT analysis made for each slope, was realized a complex analysis of the entire skiing domain, an analysis which includes technical, financial, climatic and environmental aspects, along with an analysis of the marketing policy applied for the specific zone.

  5. The Ladstattschacht cave shaft - tracer hydrological investigation of a site of organic pollution in the Alpine karst system; Der Ladstattschacht - tracerhydrologische Untersuchung einer organischen Altlast im alpinen Karst

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goldscheider, N. [Karlsruhe Univ. (T.H.) (Germany). Lehrstuhl fuer Angewandte Geologie

    1998-12-31

    The Ladstattschacht is a 47 m deep cave shaft in the Schwarzwasser valley (state of Vorarlberg, Austrian Alps) that was completely filled up with waste from private and communal sewage plants until 1975. A multi tracing experiment using three different fluorescent tracers was carried out in order to evaluate the risk potential of this waste site. The organic shaft fill itself, a pothole nearby the Ladstattschacht and an active swallow hole served as injection points. It could be demonstrated that all karstic springs in the Schwarzwasser valley are affected by seepage water from this waste site. Comparison of breakthrough curves allowed to determine retardation processes in the shaft fill and the unsaturated zone and to characterize the karst groundwater flow system. (orig.) [Deutsch] Der Ladstattschacht im Schwarzwassertal (Vorarlberg, Oesterreich) ist ein 47 m tiefer Hoehlenschacht, der bis 1975 als wilde Deponie fuer Klaerschlaemme verwendet wurde. Um das von dieser organischen Altlast ausgehende Gefaehrdungspotential zu bewerten, wurde ein kombinierter Markierungsversuch mit 3 verschiedenen Fluoreszenztracern durchgefuehrt. Dabei dienten die Schachtfuellung, ein benachbarter Naturschacht und eine aktive Schwinde als Eingabestellen. Es konnte belegt werden, dass saemtliche Karstquellen im Schwarzwassertal von Sickerwaessern aus dem Ladstattschacht erreicht werden. Durch den Vergleich der Durchgangskurven konnten sowohl die Retardationsvorgaenge in der Schachtfuellung und in der ungesaettigten Zone, als auch die Abstromverhaeltnisse der Karstentwaesserung charakterisiert werden. (orig.)

  6. Quantitative ecological relationships in the alpine grassland of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A survey, based on 56 000 points at 102 sampling sites in the Tsehlanyane valley of the Oxbow (Madibamatso) Dam catchment in the alpine grassland of Lesotho, indicates that the area is generally in good condition. Physiographic and floristic criteria were measured and the association between pairs of criteria statistically ...

  7. Comparison of continuous in situ CO2 observations at Jungfraujoch using two different measurement techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schibig, M. F.; Steinbacher, M.; Buchmann, B.; van der Laan-Luijkx, I. T.; van der Laan, S.; Ranjan, S.; Leuenberger, M. C.

    2015-01-01

    Since 2004, atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is being measured at the High Altitude Research Station Jungfraujoch by the division of Climate and Environmental Physics at the University of Bern (KUP) using a nondispersive infrared gas analyzer (NDIR) in combination with a paramagnetic O2 analyzer. In January 2010, CO2 measurements based on cavity ring-down spectroscopy (CRDS) as part of the Swiss National Air Pollution Monitoring Network were added by the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa). To ensure a smooth transition - a prerequisite when merging two data sets, e.g., for trend determinations - the two measurement systems run in parallel for several years. Such a long-term intercomparison also allows the identification of potential offsets between the two data sets and the collection of information about the compatibility of the two systems on different time scales. A good agreement of the seasonality, short-term variations and, to a lesser extent mainly due to the short common period, trend calculations is observed. However, the comparison reveals some issues related to the stability of the calibration gases of the KUP system and their assigned CO2 mole fraction. It is possible to adapt an improved calibration strategy based on standard gas determinations, which leads to better agreement between the two data sets. By excluding periods with technical problems and bad calibration gas cylinders, the average hourly difference (CRDS - NDIR) of the two systems is -0.03 ppm ± 0.25 ppm. Although the difference of the two data sets is in line with the compatibility goal of ±0.1 ppm of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the standard deviation is still too high. A significant part of this uncertainty originates from the necessity to switch the KUP system frequently (every 12 min) for 6 min from ambient air to a working gas in order to correct short-term variations of the O2 measurement system. Allowing additional time for

  8. Comparison of continuous in-situ CO2 observations at Jungfraujoch using two different measurement techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schibig, M. F.; Steinbacher, M.; Buchmann, B.; van der Laan-Luijkx, I. T.; van der Laan, S.; Ranjan, S.; Leuenberger, M. C.

    2014-07-01

    Since 2004, atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is measured at the High Altitude Research Station Jungfraujoch by the division of Climate and Environmental Physics at the University of Bern (KUP) using a nondispersive infrared gas analyzer (NDIR) in combination with a paramagnetic O2 analyzer. In January 2010, CO2 measurements based on cavity ring down spectroscopy (CRDS) as part of the Swiss National Air Pollution Monitoring Network have been added by the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa). To ensure a smooth transition - a prerequisite when merging two datasets e.g. for trend determinations - the two measurement systems run in parallel for several years. Such a long-term intercomparison also allows identifying potential offsets between the two datasets and getting information about the compatibility of the two systems on different time scales. A good agreement of the seasonality as well as for the short-term variations was observed and to a lesser extent for trend calculations mainly due to the short common period. However, the comparison revealed some issues related to the stability of the calibration gases of the KUP system and their assigned CO2 mole fraction. It was possible to adapt an improved calibration strategy based on standard gas determinations, which lead to better agreement between the two data sets. By excluding periods with technical problems and bad calibration gas cylinders, the average hourly difference (CRDS - NDIR) of the two systems is -0.03 ppm ± 0.25 ppm. Although the difference of the two datasets is in line with the compatibility goal of ±0.1 ppm of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the standard deviation is still too high. A significant part of this uncertainty originates from the necessity to switch the KUP system frequently (every 12 min) for 6 min from ambient air to a working gas in order to correct short-term variations of the O2 measurement system. Allowing additionally for signal

  9. Les barrages alpins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alain Marnezy

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Les barrages-réservoirs de montagne ont été réalisés initialement dans les Alpes pour répondre à la demande d’énergie en période hivernale. Une certaine diversification des usages de l’eau s’est ensuite progressivement développée, en relation avec le développement touristique des collectivités locales. Aujourd’hui, la participation des ouvrages d’Électricité De France à la production de neige de culture représente une nouvelle étape. Dans les régions où les aménagements hydroélectriques sont nombreux, les besoins en eau pour la production de neige peuvent être résolus par prélèvements à partir des adductions EDF. Les gestionnaires de stations échappent ainsi aux inconvénients liés à la construction et à la gestion des « retenues collinaires ». Cette évolution, qui concerne déjà quelques régions alpines comme la haute Maurienne ou le Beaufortin, apparaît comme une forme renouvelée d’intégration territoriale de la ressource en eau.Mountain reservoirs were initially built in the Alps to meet energy needs in the winter. A certain diversification in the uses of water then gradually developed, related to tourism development in the local communities. Today, the use of facilities belonging to EDF (French Electricity Authority to provide water for winter resorts to make artificial snow represents a new phase. By taking water from EDF resources to supply snow-making equipment, resort managers are thus able to avoid the problems related to the construction and management of small headwater dams. This new orientation in the use of mountain water resources already affects a number of alpine regions such as the Upper Maurienne valley and Beaufortain massif and represents a renewed form of the territorial integration of water resources.

  10. Effect of local perturbations of the geomagnetic field on cosmic ray cutoff rigidities at Jungfraujoch and Kiel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Flueckiger, E.O.; Smart, D.F.; Shea, M.A.

    1983-01-01

    We have investigated the effect of local perturbations of the geomagnetic field on the vertical cosmic ray cutoff rigidities at Jungfraujoch and Kiel as representative mid-latitude neutron monitor stations. The main, effective, and Stoermer vertical cutoff rigidities and their changes were determined by utilizing the trajectory-tracing technique in a magnetic field which is modeled as a simple dipole field to which the disturbance field is superposed. It was found that the cosmic ray cutoff rigidities are most sensitive to variations of the z component of the geomagnetic field at geomagnetic latitudes -20 0 0 and at longitudes within 90 0 to the east of these northern hemisphere stations. Furthermore, cutoff rigidity variations at Kiel are predominantly due to changes of the geomagnetic field within geocentric distances 2.5R/sub E/< r<6R/sub E/, whereas at Jungfraujoch changes in cutoff rigidities are caused almost exclusively by magnetic disturbances within 1R/sub E/< r<4.5R/sub E/. For both locations the dependence of the main, effective, and Stoermer vertical cutoff rigidities on the radial, latitudinal and longitudinal structure of the magnetic perturbations is given explicitly. The results are discussed with respect to the theory by Treiman (1953) describing the effect of a ring current on cosmic ray cutoff rigidities. It is also shown that for the analysis of the characteristic properties of the correlation between cutoff rigidity variations and specific geomagnetic perturbations the rigidity corresponding to the first ''discontinuity band'' of the rigidity spectrum is an extremely useful parameter

  11. La recherche alpine aujourd’hui

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Jacques Brun

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Alpine research benefits from several international coordination networks, only one of which – ISCAR (the International Scientific Committee on Research in the Alps – works solely in the Alpine arc. The creation of ISCAR is a consequence of the input and involvement of various Alpine partners around the Alpine Convention. Alpine research now aims to promote an integrated vision of Alpine territories focusing on creating and maintaining spatial and temporal networks of sustainable relationships between humans and the other components of the ecosphere. It combines resource usage with conservation of the biological and cultural diversity that makes up the Alpine identity. This article aims to show: (1 how international Alpine research coordination is organised; (2 the role played by the Alpine Convention as a framework of reference for specifically Alpine research; and (3 the role that the ISCAR international commit-tee and the Interreg “Alpine Space” programmes play in uniting research around territorial challenges relating to biodiversity conservation and territorial development.La recherche sur les Alpes bénéficie de plusieurs réseaux de coordination internationaux dont un seul, le comité international recherche alpine (ISCAR, se consacre exclusivement à l’arc alpin. La création de l’ISCAR est une retombée de la mobilisation des divers partenaires alpins autour de la mise en place de la Convention alpine. Aujourd’hui, la recherche alpine vise à promouvoir une vision intégrée des territoires centrée sur la création et le maintien d’un réseau spatial et temporel de relations durables entre les hommes et les autres composantes de l’écosphère. Elle associe étroitement la mise en valeur des ressources et la conservation des diversités biologiques et culturelles qui constituent l’identité alpine. Cet article a pour ambition de montrer : (1 comment s’organise la coordination internationale des recherches sur les

  12. PathfinderTURB: an automatic boundary layer algorithm. Development, validation and application to study the impact on in situ measurements at the Jungfraujoch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Poltera

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available We present the development of the PathfinderTURB algorithm for the analysis of ceilometer backscatter data and the real-time detection of the vertical structure of the planetary boundary layer. Two aerosol layer heights are retrieved by PathfinderTURB: the convective boundary layer (CBL and the continuous aerosol layer (CAL. PathfinderTURB combines the strengths of gradient- and variance-based methods and addresses the layer attribution problem by adopting a geodesic approach. The algorithm has been applied to 1 year of data measured by two ceilometers of type CHM15k, one operated at the Aerological Observatory of Payerne (491 m a.s.l. on the Swiss plateau and one at the Kleine Scheidegg (2061 m a.s.l. in the Swiss Alps. The retrieval of the CBL has been validated at Payerne using two reference methods: (1 manual detections of the CBL height performed by human experts using the ceilometer backscatter data; (2 values of CBL heights calculated using the Richardson's method from co-located radio sounding data. We found average biases as small as 27 m (53 m with respect to reference method 1 (method 2. Based on the excellent agreement between the two reference methods, PathfinderTURB has been applied to the ceilometer data at the mountainous site of the Kleine Scheidegg for the period September 2014 to November 2015. At this site, the CHM15k is operated in a tilted configuration at 71° zenith angle to probe the atmosphere next to the Sphinx Observatory (3580 m a.s.l. on the Jungfraujoch (JFJ. The analysis of the retrieved layers led to the following results: the CAL reaches the JFJ 41 % of the time in summer and 21 % of the time in winter for a total of 97 days during the two seasons. The season-averaged daily cycles show that the CBL height reaches the JFJ only during short periods (4 % of the time, but on 20 individual days in summer and never during winter. During summer in particular, the CBL and the CAL modify the

  13. PathfinderTURB: an automatic boundary layer algorithm. Development, validation and application to study the impact on in situ measurements at the Jungfraujoch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poltera, Yann; Martucci, Giovanni; Collaud Coen, Martine; Hervo, Maxime; Emmenegger, Lukas; Henne, Stephan; Brunner, Dominik; Haefele, Alexander

    2017-08-01

    We present the development of the PathfinderTURB algorithm for the analysis of ceilometer backscatter data and the real-time detection of the vertical structure of the planetary boundary layer. Two aerosol layer heights are retrieved by PathfinderTURB: the convective boundary layer (CBL) and the continuous aerosol layer (CAL). PathfinderTURB combines the strengths of gradient- and variance-based methods and addresses the layer attribution problem by adopting a geodesic approach. The algorithm has been applied to 1 year of data measured by two ceilometers of type CHM15k, one operated at the Aerological Observatory of Payerne (491 m a.s.l.) on the Swiss plateau and one at the Kleine Scheidegg (2061 m a.s.l.) in the Swiss Alps. The retrieval of the CBL has been validated at Payerne using two reference methods: (1) manual detections of the CBL height performed by human experts using the ceilometer backscatter data; (2) values of CBL heights calculated using the Richardson's method from co-located radio sounding data. We found average biases as small as 27 m (53 m) with respect to reference method 1 (method 2). Based on the excellent agreement between the two reference methods, PathfinderTURB has been applied to the ceilometer data at the mountainous site of the Kleine Scheidegg for the period September 2014 to November 2015. At this site, the CHM15k is operated in a tilted configuration at 71° zenith angle to probe the atmosphere next to the Sphinx Observatory (3580 m a.s.l.) on the Jungfraujoch (JFJ). The analysis of the retrieved layers led to the following results: the CAL reaches the JFJ 41 % of the time in summer and 21 % of the time in winter for a total of 97 days during the two seasons. The season-averaged daily cycles show that the CBL height reaches the JFJ only during short periods (4 % of the time), but on 20 individual days in summer and never during winter. During summer in particular, the CBL and the CAL modify the air sampled in situ at JFJ, resulting

  14. The Horizontal Ice Nucleation Chamber (HINC): INP measurements at conditions relevant for mixed-phase clouds at the High Altitude Research Station Jungfraujoch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacher, Larissa; Lohmann, Ulrike; Boose, Yvonne; Zipori, Assaf; Herrmann, Erik; Bukowiecki, Nicolas; Steinbacher, Martin; Kanji, Zamin A.

    2017-12-01

    In this work we describe the Horizontal Ice Nucleation Chamber (HINC) as a new instrument to measure ambient ice-nucleating particle (INP) concentrations for conditions relevant to mixed-phase clouds. Laboratory verification and validation experiments confirm the accuracy of the thermodynamic conditions of temperature (T) and relative humidity (RH) in HINC with uncertainties in T of ±0.4 K and in RH with respect to water (RHw) of ±1.5 %, which translates into an uncertainty in RH with respect to ice (RHi) of ±3.0 % at T > 235 K. For further validation of HINC as a field instrument, two measurement campaigns were conducted in winters 2015 and 2016 at the High Altitude Research Station Jungfraujoch (JFJ; Switzerland, 3580 m a. s. l. ) to sample ambient INPs. During winters 2015 and 2016 the site encountered free-tropospheric conditions 92 and 79 % of the time, respectively. We measured INP concentrations at 242 K at water-subsaturated conditions (RHw = 94 %), relevant for the formation of ice clouds, and in the water-supersaturated regime (RHw = 104 %) to represent ice formation occurring under mixed-phase cloud conditions. In winters 2015 and 2016 the median INP concentrations at RHw = 94 % was below the minimum detectable concentration. At RHw = 104 %, INP concentrations were an order of magnitude higher, with median concentrations in winter 2015 of 2.8 per standard liter (std L-1; normalized to standard T of 273 K and pressure, p, of 1013 hPa) and 4.7 std L-1 in winter 2016. The measurements are in agreement with previous winter measurements obtained with the Portable Ice Nucleation Chamber (PINC) of 2.2 std L-1 at the same location. During winter 2015, two events caused the INP concentrations at RHw = 104 % to significantly increase above the campaign average. First, an increase to 72.1 std L-1 was measured during an event influenced by marine air, arriving at the JFJ from the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea. The contribution from anthropogenic or other

  15. Measurements concerning the immission load in the Alpine region with passive samplers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kirchner, M.; Suppan, P.

    1994-02-01

    This project deals with measurements concerning the nuisance situation in various areas of the Alpine region using selected passive collectors for ozone and NO 2 . In a first partial step (phase I) a comparative experiment, building on a pilot test, with the use of different passive collectors in sites in the Alpine region was carried through. In a second stage of the project (Phase II) two types of passive collectors were used at suitable altitude profiles in the Alpine region to measure ozone levels. In this way, more detailed knowledge on the vertical distribution of ozone in areas with a varied orography was to be obtained. The study is a joint project of numerous scientific tasks forces from several countries and a number of institutions participating in the 'ARGE ALP' working group of Alpine countries. Results of the first project phase are reported. (orig./KW) [de

  16. Ground-based FTIR measurements of CO from the Jungfraujoch: characterisation and comparison with in situ surface and MOPITT data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Barret

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available CO vertical profiles have been retrieved from solar absorption FTIR spectra recorded at the NDSC station of the Jungfraujoch (46.5º N, 8º E and 3580 m a.s.l. for the period from January 1997 to May 2001. The characterisation of these profiles has been established by an information content analysis and an estimation of the error budgets. A partial validation of the profiles has been performed through comparisons with correlative measurements. The average volume mixing ratios (vmr in the 3 km layer above the station have been compared with coincident surface measurements. The agreement between monthly means from both measurement techniques is very good, with a correlation coefficient of 0.87, and no significant bias observed. The FTIR total columns have also been compared to CO partial columns above 3580 m a.s.l. derived from the MOPITT (Measurement Of Pollution In The Troposphere instrument for the period March 2000 to May 2001. Relative to the FTIR columns, the MOPITT partial columns exhibit a positive bias of 8±8% for daytime and of 4±7% for nighttime measurements.

  17. Hydrologic response to valley-scale structure in alpine headwaters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weekes, Anne A.; Torgersen, Christian E.; Montgomery, David R.; Woodward, Andrea; Bolton, Susan M.

    2015-01-01

    Few systematic studies of valley-scale geomorphic drivers of streamflow regimes in complex alpine headwaters have compared response between catchments. As a result, little guidance is available for regional-scale hydrological research and monitoring efforts that include assessments of ecosystem function. Physical parameters such as slope, elevation range, drainage area and bedrock geology are often used to stratify differences in streamflow response between sampling sites within an ecoregion. However, these metrics do not take into account geomorphic controls on streamflow specific to glaciated mountain headwaters. The coarse-grained nature of depositional features in alpine catchments suggests that these landforms have little water storage capacity because hillslope runoff moves rapidly just beneath the rock mantle before emerging in fluvial networks. However, recent studies show that a range of depositional features, including talus slopes, protalus ramparts and 'rock-ice' features may have more storage capacity than previously thought.

  18. Long open-path TDL based system for monitoring the background concentration for deployment at Jungfraujoch High Altitude Research Station- Switzerland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simeonov, V.; van den Bergh, H.; Parlange, M. B.

    2009-12-01

    A new long-open-path instrument developed at EPFL for methane and water vapor observation will be presented. The instrument is developed and will be used within the GAW+ CH program and aims at long-term monitoring of background methane concentration at the High Altitude Research Station Jungfraujoch (3580 mASL). The instrument is built on the monostatic scheme (transceiver -distant retroreflector) using a 1.65 nm tunable diode laser (TDL) and a retroreflector at 1200 m from the transceiver. The data will be compared with in-situ measurements to evaluate the effect of the station on the in-situ data.

  19. Seismic anisotropy in the vicinity of the Alpine fault, New Zealand, estimated by seismic interferometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takagi, R.; Okada, T.; Yoshida, K.; Townend, J.; Boese, C. M.; Baratin, L. M.; Chamberlain, C. J.; Savage, M. K.

    2016-12-01

    We estimate shear wave velocity anisotropy in shallow crust near the Alpine fault using seismic interferometry of borehole vertical arrays. We utilized four borehole observations: two sensors are deployed in two boreholes of the Deep Fault Drilling Project in the hanging wall side, and the other two sites are located in the footwall side. Surface sensors deployed just above each borehole are used to make vertical arrays. Crosscorrelating rotated horizontal seismograms observed by the borehole and surface sensors, we extracted polarized shear waves propagating from the bottom to the surface of each borehole. The extracted shear waves show polarization angle dependence of travel time, indicating shear wave anisotropy between the two sensors. In the hanging wall side, the estimated fast shear wave directions are parallel to the Alpine fault. Strong anisotropy of 20% is observed at the site within 100 m from the Alpine fault. The hanging wall consists of mylonite and schist characterized by fault parallel foliation. In addition, an acoustic borehole imaging reveals fractures parallel to the Alpine fault. The fault parallel anisotropy suggest structural anisotropy is predominant in the hanging wall, demonstrating consistency of geological and seismological observations. In the footwall side, on the other hand, the angle between the fast direction and the strike of the Alpine fault is 33-40 degrees. Since the footwall is composed of granitoid that may not have planar structure, stress induced anisotropy is possibly predominant. The direction of maximum horizontal stress (SHmax) estimated by focal mechanisms of regional earthquakes is 55 degrees of the Alpine fault. Possible interpretation of the difference between the fast direction and SHmax direction is depth rotation of stress field near the Alpine fault. Similar depth rotation of stress field is also observed in the SAFOD borehole at the San Andreas fault.

  20. Predicting abundance and variability of ice nucleating particles in precipitation at the high-altitude observatory Jungfraujoch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Stopelli

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Nucleation of ice affects the properties of clouds and the formation of precipitation. Quantitative data on how ice nucleating particles (INPs determine the distribution, occurrence and intensity of precipitation are still scarce. INPs active at −8 °C (INPs−8 were observed for 2 years in precipitation samples at the High-Altitude Research Station Jungfraujoch (Switzerland at 3580 m a.s.l. Several environmental parameters were scanned for their capability to predict the observed abundance and variability of INPs−8. Those singularly presenting the best correlations with observed number of INPs−8 (residual fraction of water vapour, wind speed, air temperature, number of particles with diameter larger than 0.5 µm, season, and source region of particles were implemented as potential predictor variables in statistical multiple linear regression models. These models were calibrated with 84 precipitation samples collected during the first year of observations; their predictive power was successively validated on the set of 15 precipitation samples collected during the second year. The model performing best in calibration and validation explains more than 75 % of the whole variability of INPs−8 in precipitation and indicates that a high abundance of INPs−8 is to be expected whenever high wind speed coincides with air masses having experienced little or no precipitation prior to sampling. Such conditions occur during frontal passages, often accompanied by precipitation. Therefore, the circumstances when INPs−8 could be sufficiently abundant to initiate the ice phase in clouds may frequently coincide with meteorological conditions favourable to the onset of precipitation events.

  1. Long open-path TDL based system for monitoring background concentration for deployment at Jungfraujoch High Altitude Research Station- Switzerland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simeonov, Valentin; van den Bergh, Hubert; Parlange, Marc

    2010-05-01

    A new, long open-path instrument for monitoring of path-averaged methane and water vapor concentrations will be presented. The instrument is built on the monostatic scheme (transceiver - distant retroreflector). A VCSEL tunable diode laser (TDL) with a central wavelength of 1654 nm is used as a light source. A specially designed, single-cell, hollow-cube retroreflector with 150 mm aperture will be installed at 1200 m from the transceiver in the final deployment at Jungfraujjoch and 100 mm retroreflectors will be used in the other applications. The receiver is built around a 20 cm Newtonian telescope. To avoid distortions in the shape of a methane line, caused by atmospheric turbulences, the line is scanned within 1 µs. Fast InGaAs photodiodes and 200 MHz are used to achieve this scanning rate. The expected concentration resolution for the above mentioned path lengths is of the order of 2 ppb. The instrument is developed at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology - Lausanne (EPFL) Switzerland and will be used within the GAW+ CH program for long-term monitoring of background methane concentration in the Swiss Alps. After completing the initial tests at EPFL the instrument will be installed in 2012 at the High Altitude Research Station Jungfraujoch (HARSJ) located at 3580 m ASL. The HARSJ is one of the 24 global GAW stations and carries on continuous observations of a number of trace gasses, including methane. One of the goals of the project is to compare path-averaged to ongoing point measurements of methane in order to identify possible influence of the station. Future deployments of a copy of the instrument include the Colombian part of Amazonia and Siberian wetlands.

  2. Temperature-driven flower longevity in a high-alpine species of Oxalis influences reproductive assurance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arroyo, Mary T K; Dudley, Leah S; Jespersen, Gus; Pacheco, Diego A; Cavieres, Lohengrin A

    2013-12-01

    How high-alpine plants confront stochastic conditions for animal pollination is a critical question. We investigated the effect of temperature on potential flower longevity (FL) measured in pollinator-excluded flowers and actual FL measured in pollinated flowers in self-incompatible Oxalis compacta and evaluated if plastically prolonged potential FL can ameliorate slow pollination under cool conditions. Pollinator-excluded and hand-pollinated flowers were experimentally warmed with open-top chambers (OTCs) on a site at 3470 m above sea level (asl). Flower-specific temperatures, and pollinator-excluded and open-pollination flower life-spans were measured at six alpine sites between 3100 and 3470 m asl. Fruit set was analyzed in relation to inferred pollination time. Warming reduced potential FL. Variable thermal conditions across the alpine landscape predicted potential and actual FL; flower senescence was pollination-regulated. Actual FL and potential FL were coupled. Prolonged potential FL generally increased fruit set under cooler conditions. Plastic responses permit virgin flowers of O. compacta to remain open longer under cooler temperatures, thereby ameliorating slow pollination, and to close earlier when pollination tends to be faster under warmer conditions. Plastic potential FL provides adaptive advantages in the cold, thermally variable alpine habitat, and has important implications for reproductive success in alpine plants in a warming world. © 2013 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.

  3. Effect of degradation intensity on grassland ecosystem services in the alpine region of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lu Wen

    Full Text Available The deterioration of alpine grassland has great impact on ecosystem services in the alpine region of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. However, the effect of grassland degradation on ecosystem services and the consequence of grassland deterioration on economic loss still remains a mystery. So, in this study, we assessed four types of ecosystem services following the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment classification, along a degradation gradient. Five sites of alpine grassland at different levels of degradation were investigated in Guoluo Prefecture of Qinghai Province, China. The species composition, aboveground biomass, soil total organic carbon (TOC, and soil total nitrogen (TN were tested to evaluate major ecological services of the alpine grassland. We estimated the value of primary production, carbon storage, nitrogen recycling, and plant diversity. The results show the ecosystem services of alpine grassland varied along the degradation gradient. The ecosystem services of degraded grassland (moderate, heavy and severe were all significantly lower than non-degraded grassland. Interestingly, the lightly degraded grassland provided more economic benefit from carbon maintenance and nutrient sequestration compared to non-degraded. Due to the destruction of the alpine grassland, the economic loss associated with decrease of biomass in 2008 was $198/ha. Until 2008, the economic loss caused by carbon emissions and nitrogen loss on severely degraded grassland was up to $8 033/ha and $13 315/ha, respectively. Urgent actions are required to maintain or promote the ecosystem services of alpine grassland in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

  4. Effect of degradation intensity on grassland ecosystem services in the alpine region of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Lu; Dong, Shikui; Li, Yuanyuan; Li, Xiaoyan; Shi, Jianjun; Wang, Yanlong; Liu, Demei; Ma, Yushou

    2013-01-01

    The deterioration of alpine grassland has great impact on ecosystem services in the alpine region of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. However, the effect of grassland degradation on ecosystem services and the consequence of grassland deterioration on economic loss still remains a mystery. So, in this study, we assessed four types of ecosystem services following the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment classification, along a degradation gradient. Five sites of alpine grassland at different levels of degradation were investigated in Guoluo Prefecture of Qinghai Province, China. The species composition, aboveground biomass, soil total organic carbon (TOC), and soil total nitrogen (TN) were tested to evaluate major ecological services of the alpine grassland. We estimated the value of primary production, carbon storage, nitrogen recycling, and plant diversity. The results show the ecosystem services of alpine grassland varied along the degradation gradient. The ecosystem services of degraded grassland (moderate, heavy and severe) were all significantly lower than non-degraded grassland. Interestingly, the lightly degraded grassland provided more economic benefit from carbon maintenance and nutrient sequestration compared to non-degraded. Due to the destruction of the alpine grassland, the economic loss associated with decrease of biomass in 2008 was $198/ha. Until 2008, the economic loss caused by carbon emissions and nitrogen loss on severely degraded grassland was up to $8 033/ha and $13 315/ha, respectively. Urgent actions are required to maintain or promote the ecosystem services of alpine grassland in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

  5. Semaine alpine 2008 : innover (dans) les Alpes

    OpenAIRE

    Bourdeau, Philippe; Bourdeau, Philippe; Corneloup, Jean; Corneloup, Jean; Finger-Stich, Andréa; Finger-Stich, Andréa; Giraut, Frédéric; Giraut, Frédéric; Kohler, Yann; Kohler, Yann; Macchiavelli, Andrea; Macchiavelli, Andrea; Scheurer, Thomas; Scheurer, Thomas; Ullrich, Aurelia

    2009-01-01

    Ce premier dossier en ligne se penche sur une question de grande actualité : l’innovation, pour interroger les conceptions et mises en œuvre de démarches innovantes dans les contextes montagnards. Ces textes sont issus de la « Semaine alpine », qui s’est déroulée en juin 2008 à l’Argentière-La Bessée, dans les Hautes-Alpes (France). Ces « Semaines alpines », en alternance avec les « Forums alpins », rassemblent tous les deux ans des chercheurs et des acteurs locaux de l’ensemble de l’arc alp...

  6. The Horizontal Ice Nucleation Chamber (HINC: INP measurements at conditions relevant for mixed-phase clouds at the High Altitude Research Station Jungfraujoch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Lacher

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available In this work we describe the Horizontal Ice Nucleation Chamber (HINC as a new instrument to measure ambient ice-nucleating particle (INP concentrations for conditions relevant to mixed-phase clouds. Laboratory verification and validation experiments confirm the accuracy of the thermodynamic conditions of temperature (T and relative humidity (RH in HINC with uncertainties in T of ±0.4 K and in RH with respect to water (RHw of ±1.5 %, which translates into an uncertainty in RH with respect to ice (RHi of ±3.0 % at T > 235 K. For further validation of HINC as a field instrument, two measurement campaigns were conducted in winters 2015 and 2016 at the High Altitude Research Station Jungfraujoch (JFJ; Switzerland, 3580 m a. s. l.  to sample ambient INPs. During winters 2015 and 2016 the site encountered free-tropospheric conditions 92 and 79 % of the time, respectively. We measured INP concentrations at 242 K at water-subsaturated conditions (RHw = 94 %, relevant for the formation of ice clouds, and in the water-supersaturated regime (RHw = 104 % to represent ice formation occurring under mixed-phase cloud conditions. In winters 2015 and 2016 the median INP concentrations at RHw = 94 % was below the minimum detectable concentration. At RHw = 104 %, INP concentrations were an order of magnitude higher, with median concentrations in winter 2015 of 2.8 per standard liter (std L−1; normalized to standard T of 273 K and pressure, p, of 1013 hPa and 4.7 std L−1 in winter 2016. The measurements are in agreement with previous winter measurements obtained with the Portable Ice Nucleation Chamber (PINC of 2.2 std L−1 at the same location. During winter 2015, two events caused the INP concentrations at RHw = 104 % to significantly increase above the campaign average. First, an increase to 72.1 std L−1 was measured during an event influenced by marine air, arriving at the JFJ

  7. Participative Spatial Scenario Analysis for Alpine Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Marina; Stotten, Rike; Steinbacher, Melanie; Leitinger, Georg; Tasser, Erich; Schirpke, Uta; Tappeiner, Ulrike; Schermer, Markus

    2017-10-01

    Land use and land cover patterns are shaped by the interplay of human and ecological processes. Thus, heterogeneous cultural landscapes have developed, delivering multiple ecosystem services. To guarantee human well-being, the development of land use types has to be evaluated. Scenario development and land use and land cover change models are well-known tools for assessing future landscape changes. However, as social and ecological systems are inextricably linked, land use-related management decisions are difficult to identify. The concept of social-ecological resilience can thereby provide a framework for understanding complex interlinkages on multiple scales and from different disciplines. In our study site (Stubai Valley, Tyrol/Austria), we applied a sequence of steps including the characterization of the social-ecological system and identification of key drivers that influence farmers' management decisions. We then developed three scenarios, i.e., "trend", "positive" and "negative" future development of farming conditions and assessed respective future land use changes. Results indicate that within the "trend" and "positive" scenarios pluri-activity (various sources of income) prevents considerable changes in land use and land cover and promotes the resilience of farming systems. Contrarily, reductions in subsidies and changes in consumer behavior are the most important key drivers in the negative scenario and lead to distinct abandonment of grassland, predominantly in the sub-alpine zone of our study site. Our conceptual approach, i.e., the combination of social and ecological methods and the integration of local stakeholders' knowledge into spatial scenario analysis, resulted in highly detailed and spatially explicit results that can provide a basis for further community development recommendations.

  8. A Synthesis of Cloud Condensation Nuclei Counter (CCNC) Measurements within the EUCAARI Network.

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Paramonov, M.; Kerminen, V.M.; Gysel, M.; Aalto, P.P.; Andreae, M.O.; Asmi, E.; Baltensperger, U.; Bougiatioti, A.; Brus, David; Frank, G.P.; Good, N.; Gunthe, S.S.; Hao, L.; Irwin, M.; Jaatinen, A.; Jurányi, Z.; King, S.M.; Kortelainen, A.; Kristensson, A.; Lihavainen, H.; Lohmann, U.; Martin, S.T.; McFiggans, G.; Mihalopoulos, N.; Nenes, A.; O'Dowd, C.D.; Ovadnevaite, J.; Petäjä, T.; Pöschl, U.; Roberts, G.C.; Rose, D.; Svenningsson, B.; Swietlicki, E.; Weingartner, E.; Whitehead, J.; Wiedensohler, A.; Wittbom, C.; Sierau, B.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 15, č. 21 (2015), s. 12211-12229 ISSN 1680-7316 EU Projects: European Commission(XE) 262254 - ACTRIS Institutional support: RVO:67985858 Keywords : aerosol-chemical composition * size-resolved measurements * alpine site jungfraujoch Subject RIV: CF - Physical ; Theoretical Chemistry Impact factor: 5.114, year: 2015

  9. Frost resistance in alpine woody plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuner, Gilbert

    2014-01-01

    This report provides a brief review of key findings related to frost resistance in alpine woody plant species, summarizes data on their frost resistance, highlights the importance of freeze avoidance mechanisms, and indicates areas of future research. Freezing temperatures are possible throughout the whole growing period in the alpine life zone. Frost severity, comprised of both intensity and duration, becomes greater with increasing elevation and, there is also a greater probability, that small statured woody plants, may be insulated by snow cover. Several frost survival mechanisms have evolved in woody alpine plants in response to these environmental conditions. Examples of tolerance to extracellular freezing and freeze dehydration, life cycles that allow species to escape frost, and freeze avoidance mechanisms can all be found. Despite their specific adaption to the alpine environment, frost damage can occur in spring, while all alpine woody plants have a low risk of frost damage in winter. Experimental evidence indicates that premature deacclimation in Pinus cembra in the spring, and a limited ability of many species of alpine woody shrubs to rapidly reacclimate when they lose snow cover, resulting in reduced levels of frost resistance in the spring, may be particularly critical under the projected changes in climate. In this review, frost resistance and specific frost survival mechanisms of different organs (leaves, stems, vegetative and reproductive over-wintering buds, flowers, and fruits) and tissues are compared. The seasonal dynamics of frost resistance of leaves of trees, as opposed to woody shrubs, is also discussed. The ability of some tissues and organs to avoid freezing by supercooling, as visualized by high resolution infrared thermography, are also provided. Collectively, the report provides a review of the complex and diverse ways that woody plants survive in the frost dominated environment of the alpine life zone.

  10. Frost resistance of alpine woody plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilbert eNeuner

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This report provides a brief review of key findings related to frost resistance in alpine woody plant species, summarizes data on their frost resistance, highlights the importance of freeze avoidance mechanisms, and indicates areas of future research.Freezing temperatures are possible throughout the whole growing period in the alpine life zone. Frost severity, comprised of both intensity and duration, becomes greater with increasing elevation and, there is also a greater probability, that small statured woody plants, may be insulated by snow cover.Several frost survival mechanisms have evolved in woody alpine plants in response to these environmental conditions. Examples of tolerance to extracellular freezing and freeze dehydration, life cycles that allow species to escape frost, and freeze avoidance mechanisms can all be found. Despite their specific adaption to the alpine environment, frost damage can occur in spring, while all alpine woody plants have a low risk of frost damage in winter. Experimental evidence indicates that premature deacclimation in Pinus cembra in the spring, and a limited ability of many species of alpine woody shrubs to rapidly reacclimate when they lose snow cover, resulting in reduced levels of frost resistance in the spring, may be particularly critical under the projected changes in climate.In this review, frost resistance and specific frost survival mechanisms of different organs (leaves, stems, vegetative and reproductive over-wintering buds, flowers and fruits and tissues are compared. The seasonal dynamics of frost resistance of leaves of trees, as opposed to woody shrubs, is also discussed. The ability of some tissues and organs to avoid freezing by supercooling, as visualized by high resolution infrared thermography, are also provided. Collectively, the report provides a review of the complex and diverse ways that woody plants survive in the frost dominated environment of the alpine life zone.

  11. Grazing exclusion increases soil CO2 emission during the growing season in alpine meadows on the Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Na; Wang, Aidong; Allan Degen, A.; Deng, Bin; Shang, Zhanhuan; Ding, Luming; Long, Ruijun

    2018-02-01

    Soil CO2 emission is a key part of the terrestrial carbon cycle. Grazing exclusion by fencing is often considered a beneficial grassland management option to restore degraded grassland, but its effect on soil CO2 emission on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau is equivocal and is the subject of this study. Using a closed static chamber, we measured diurnal soil CO2 flux weekly from July, 2008, to April, 2009, in response to grazing and grazing exclusion in the alpine meadow and alpine shrub meadow. Concomitantly, soil temperature was measured at depths of 5 cm, 10 cm, 15 cm and 20 cm with digital temperature sensors. It emerged that: 1) non-grazed grasslands emitted more soil CO2 than grazed grasslands over the growing season; 2) the alpine shrub meadow emitted more soil CO2 than the alpine meadow; the annual cumulative soil CO2 emissions of alpine meadow and alpine shrub meadow were 241.5-326.5 g C/m2 and 429.0-512.5 g C/m2, respectively; 3) seasonal patterns were evident with more soil CO2 flux in the growing than in the non-growing season; and 4) the diurnal soil CO2 flux exhibited a single peak across all sampling sites. In addition, soil CO2 flux was correlated positively with soil temperature at 5 cm, but not at the other depths. We concluded that grazing exclusion enhanced soil CO2 emission over the growing season, and decreased carbon sequestration of alpine meadow and alpine shrub meadow on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau. Since an increase in soil temperature increased soil CO2 flux, global warming could have an effect on soil CO2 emission in the future.

  12. Retrievals of formaldehyde from ground-based FTIR and MAX-DOAS observations at the Jungfraujoch station and comparisons with GEOS-Chem and IMAGES model simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Franco

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available As an ubiquitous product of the oxidation of many volatile organic compounds (VOCs, formaldehyde (HCHO plays a key role as a short-lived and reactive intermediate in the atmospheric photo-oxidation pathways leading to the formation of tropospheric ozone and secondary organic aerosols. In this study, HCHO profiles have been successfully retrieved from ground-based Fourier transform infrared (FTIR solar spectra and UV-visible Multi-AXis Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (MAX-DOAS scans recorded during the July 2010–December 2012 time period at the Jungfraujoch station (Swiss Alps, 46.5° N, 8.0° E, 3580 m a.s.l.. Analysis of the retrieved products has revealed different vertical sensitivity between both remote sensing techniques. Furthermore, HCHO amounts simulated by two state-of-the-art chemical transport models (CTMs, GEOS-Chem and IMAGES v2, have been compared to FTIR total columns and MAX-DOAS 3.6–8 km partial columns, accounting for the respective vertical resolution of each ground-based instrument. Using the CTM outputs as the intermediate, FTIR and MAX-DOAS retrievals have shown consistent seasonal modulations of HCHO throughout the investigated period, characterized by summertime maximum and wintertime minimum. Such comparisons have also highlighted that FTIR and MAX-DOAS provide complementary products for the HCHO retrieval above the Jungfraujoch station. Finally, tests have revealed that the updated IR parameters from the HITRAN 2012 database have a cumulative effect and significantly decrease the retrieved HCHO columns with respect to the use of the HITRAN 2008 compilation.

  13. Water and CO2 fluxes over semiarid alpine steppe and humid alpine meadow ecosystems on the Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lei; Liu, Huizhi; Shao, Yaping; Liu, Yang; Sun, Jihua

    2018-01-01

    Based on eddy covariance flux data from July 15, 2014, to December 31, 2015, the water and CO2 fluxes were compared over a semiarid alpine steppe (Bange, Tibetan Plateau) and a humid alpine meadow (Lijiang, Yunnan) on the Tibetan Plateau and its surrounding region. During the wet season, the evaporative fraction (EF) was strongly and linearly correlated with the soil water content (SWC) at Bange because of its sparse green grass cover. In contrast, the correlation between the EF at Lijiang and the SWC and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) was very low because the atmosphere was close to saturation and the EF was relatively constant. In the dry season, the EF at both sites decreased with the SWC. The net ecosystem exchange (NEE) at Bange was largely depressed at noon, while this phenomenon did not occur at Lijiang. The saturated NEE at Bange was 24% of that at Lijiang. The temperature sensitivity coefficient of ecosystem respiration at Bange (1.7) was also much lower than that at Lijiang (3.4). The annual total NEE in 2015 was 21.8 and -230.0 g C m-2 yr-1 at Bange and Lijiang, respectively, and the NEE was tightly controlled by the NDVI at the two sites. The distinct differences in the water and CO2 fluxes at Bange and Lijiang are attributed to the large SWC difference and its effect on vegetation growth.

  14. Glucose homeostasis and cardiovascular disease biomarkers in older alpine skiers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dela, F; Niederseer, David; Patsch, Wolfgang

    2011-01-01

    Alpine skiing and ski training involves elements of static and dynamic training, and may therefore improve insulin sensitivity. Healthy men and women who where beginners/intermediate level of alpine skiing, were studied before (Pre) and immediately after (Post) 12 weeks of alpine ski training. Af...

  15. Larch dwarf mistletoe not found on alpine larch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert L. Mathiasen; Brian W. Geils; Clinton E. Carlson; Frank G. Hawksworth

    1995-01-01

    Reports of larch dwarf mistletoe parasitizing alpine larch are based on two collections of this host/parasite combination made by J.R. Weir in Montana during the early 1900s. Examination of host material from these collections indicates that the host is western larch, not alpine larch as previously reported. Attempts to locate larch dwarf mistletoe on alpine larch were...

  16. [Progresses of alpine treeline formation mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cong, Yu; He, Hong Shi; Gu, Xiao Nan; Xu, Wen Ru; Liu, Kai; Zong, Sheng Wei; Du, Hai Bo

    2016-09-01

    Alpine treelines represent one of the most distinct vegetation boundaries between canopy closed montane forest and treeless alpine vegetation. This transitional ecotone is highly sensitive to global and regional climate change and is considered as an ideal indicator of such changes. Treeline studies have evolved from morphological description to various hypotheses of treeline formation. Although individual hypothesis may provide reasonable explanation locally, a generalized hypothesis that is applicable on the global scale is still lacking. Temperature is considered the limited factor controlling the distribution of alpine treeline as low temperature restricts biochemical processes of tree growth. However, which particular biochemical processes are affected by low temperature remains unknown. This paper summarized the mechanisms of treeline formation with a focus on how low temperature affects photosynthesis characteristics, nutrient characteristics, non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) and antioxidant system. We also reviewed the key issues and future perspectives in treeline research.

  17. Snow, ice and water in alpine regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baumgartner, H.

    2009-01-01

    This article takes a look at how climate change will have a deep impact on alpine regions. The findings discussed at a conference organised by the Swiss Hydrologic Commission are presented and discussed. Flooding incidents that occurred 'once in a century' are now becoming more frequent and were considered at the conference as being an indicator of climate change. Changing hydrological factors are also discussed and the influence of climate factors in alpine regions on the water quantities in the rivers are looked at. Also, the spontaneous emptying of glacial lakes as has already happened in Switzerland and the consequences to be drawn from such incidences are discussed.

  18. Modelling of Aerodynamic Drag in Alpine Skiing

    OpenAIRE

    Elfmark, Ola

    2017-01-01

    Most of the breaking force in the speed disciplines in alpine skiing is caused by the aerodynamic drag, and a better knowledge of the drag force is therefore desirable to gain time in races. In this study a complete database of how the drag area (CDA) changes, with respect to the different body segments, was made and used to explain a complete body motion in alpine skiing. Three experiments were performed in the wind tunnel at NTNU, Trondheim. The database from a full body measurement on an a...

  19. Continuous recording of seismic signals in Alpine permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hausmann, H.; Krainer, K.; Staudinger, M.; Brückl, E.

    2009-04-01

    Over the past years various geophysical methods were applied to study the internal structure and the temporal variation of permafrost whereof seismic is of importance. For most seismic investigations in Alpine permafrost 24-channel equipment in combination with long data and trigger cables is used. Due to the harsh environment source and geophone layouts are often limited to 2D profiles. With prospect for future 3D-layouts we introduce an alternative of seismic equipment that can be used for several applications in Alpine permafrost. This study is focussed on controlled and natural source seismic experiments in Alpine permafrost using continuous data recording. With recent data from an ongoing project ("Permafrost in Austria") we will highlight the potential of the used seismic equipment for three applications: (a) seismic permafrost mapping of unconsolidated sediments, (b) seismic tomography in rock mass, and (c) passive seismic monitoring of rock falls. Single recording units (REFTEK 130, 6 channels) are used to continuously record the waveforms of both the seismic signals and a trigger signal. The combination of a small number of recording units with different types of geophones or a trigger allow numerous applications in Alpine permafrost with regard to a high efficiency and flexible seismic layouts (2D, 3D, 4D). The efficiency of the light and robust seismic equipment is achieved by the simple acquisition and the flexible and fast deployment of the (omni-directional) geophones. Further advantages are short (data and trigger) cables and the prevention of trigger errors. The processing of the data is aided by 'Seismon' which is an open source software project based on Matlab® and MySQL (see SM1.0). For active-source experiments automatic stacking of the seismic signals is implemented. For passive data a program for automatic detection of events (e.g. rock falls) is available which allows event localization. In summer 2008 the seismic equipment was used for the

  20. Drivers of spatial heterogeneity in nitrogen processing among three alpine plant communities in the Rocky Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Churchill, A. C.; Beers, A.; Grinath, J.; Bowman, W. D.

    2017-12-01

    Nitrogen cycling across the globe has been fundamentally altered due to regional elevated N deposition and there is a cascade of ecosystem consequences including shifts in species composition, eutrophication, and soil acidification. Making predictions that encompass the factors that drive these ecosystem changes has frequently been limited to single ecosystem types, or areas with fairly homogenous abiotic conditions. The alpine is an ecosystem type that exhibits changes under relatively low levels of N depositions due to short growing seasons and shallow soils limiting N storage. While recent work provided estimates for the magnitude of N associated with ecosystem changes, less is known about the within-site factors that may interact to stabilize or amplify the differential response of N pools under future conditions of resource deposition. To examine numerous potential within-site and regional factors (both biotic and abiotic) affecting ecosystem N pools we examined the relationship between those factors and a suite of ecosystem pools of N followed by model selection procedures and structural equation modelling. Measurements were conducted at Niwot Ridge Long Term Ecological Research site and in Rocky Mountain National Park in three distinct alpine meadow ecosystems (dry, moist, and wet meadows). These meadows span a moisture gradient as well as plant community composition, thereby providing high variability of potential biotic and abiotic drivers across small spatial scales in the alpine. In general, regional scale abiotic factors such as site levels of annual average N deposition or precipitation were poor predictors of seasonal pools of N, while spring soil water pools of N were negatively correlated with elevation. Models containing multiple abiotic and biotic drivers, however, were best at predicting soil and plant pools of N across the two sites. Future analysis will include highlight interactions among with-site factors affecting N pools in the alpine using

  1. Rapid response of alpine timberline vegetation to the Younger Dryas climate oscillation in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reasoner, M.A.; Jodry, M.A.

    2000-01-01

    Paleobotanical records from two high-altitude (>3,300 m) sites in Colorado show a clear and immediate response to the Younger Dryas climate oscillation. The Black Mountain Lake and Sky Pond records indicate that alpine timberline migrated upslope to near-modern elevations during the late Bolling-Allerod (13.6--12.9 ka). Subsequent declines in arboreal pollen percentages and accumulation rates during the Younger Dryas interval (12.9--11.7 ka) reflect a downslope displacement of the alpine timberline ecotone of 60--120 m in elevation. This change translates to a cooling of summer temperature by ∼0.4--0.9 C and is consistent with proposed Younger Dryas advances of alpine glaciers in the Rocky Mountains to positions close to Little Ice Age maxima. Alpine timberline readvanced upslope to elevations above both sites between 11.7 and 11.4 ka. The concomitant response of temperature-sensitive alpine timberline vegetation in Colorado and late-glacial changes in North Atlantic thermohaline circulating implicates a rapid, widespread atmospheric transmission of the Younger Dryas climate oscillation

  2. Rapid response of alpine timberline vegetation to the Younger Dryas climate oscillation in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reasoner, M.A.; Jodry, M.A.

    2000-01-01

    Paleobotanical records from two high-altitude (>3,300 m) sites in Colorado show a clear and immediate response to the Younger Dryas climate oscillation. The Black Mountain Lake and Sky Pond records indicate that alpine timberline migrated upslope to near-modern elevations during the late Bolling-Allerod (13.6--12.9 ka). Subsequent declines in arboreal pollen percentages and accumulation rates during the Younger Dryas interval (12.9--11.7 ka) reflect a downslope displacement of the alpine timberline ecotone of 60--120 m in elevation. This change translates to a cooling of summer temperature by {approximately}0.4--0.9 C and is consistent with proposed Younger Dryas advances of alpine glaciers in the Rocky Mountains to positions close to Little Ice Age maxima. Alpine timberline readvanced upslope to elevations above both sites between 11.7 and 11.4 ka. The concomitant response of temperature-sensitive alpine timberline vegetation in Colorado and late-glacial changes in North Atlantic thermohaline circulating implicates a rapid, widespread atmospheric transmission of the Younger Dryas climate oscillation.

  3. Paleomagnetism and the alpine tectonics of Eurasia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Raven, Th.

    1964-01-01

    The following paper by Gregor and Zijderveld is the first of a series planned to report results of paleomagnetic investigations in the Alpine area from Italy to the Himalayas. These investigations are carried out in close collaboration between the well-equipped paleomagnetic laboratory of

  4. The Alpine loop of the tethys zone

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bemmelen, R.W. van

    The Alpine loop in Europe results from semi-autochthonous crustal movements which are restricted to the mobile Tethys zone. Its evolution cannot be explained by a uniform northward drift and push of the African continent; it has to be sought, in the first place, in geodynamic processes occurring in

  5. Climate change and alpine stream biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hotaling, Scott; Finn, Debra S.; Joseph Giersch, J.

    2017-01-01

    micro- to macroscopic organisms and genes to communities. Herein, we describe the current state of alpine stream biology from an organism-focused perspective. We begin by reviewing seven standard and emerging approaches that combine to form the current state of the discipline. We follow with a call...

  6. Fourteen months of on-line measurements of the non-refractory submicron aerosol at the Jungfraujoch (3580 m a.s.l.) - chemical composition, origins and organic aerosol sources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fröhlich, R.; Cubison, M. J.; Slowik, J. G.; Bukowiecki, N.; Canonaco, F.; Croteau, P. L.; Gysel, M.; Henne, S.; Herrmann, E.; Jayne, J. T.; Steinbacher, M.; Worsnop, D. R.; Baltensperger, U.; Prévôt, A. S. H.

    2015-10-01

    Chemically resolved (organic, nitrate, sulfate, ammonium) data of non-refractory submicron (NR-PM1) aerosol from the first long-term deployment (27 July 2012 to 02 October 2013) of a time-of-flight aerosol chemical speciation monitor (ToF-ACSM) at the Swiss high-altitude site Jungfraujoch (JFJ; 3580 m a.s.l.) are presented. Besides total mass loadings, diurnal variations and relative species contributions during the different meteorological seasons, geographical origin and sources of organic aerosol (OA) are discussed. Backward transport simulations show that the highest (especially sulfate) concentrations of NR-PM1 were measured in air masses advected to the station from regions south of the JFJ, while lowest concentrations were seen from western regions. OA source apportionment for each season was performed using the Source Finder (SoFi) interface for the multilinear engine (ME-2). OA was dominated in all seasons by oxygenated OA (OOA, 71-88 %), with lesser contributions from local tourism-related activities (7-12 %) and hydrocarbon-like OA related to regional vertical transport (3-9 %). In summer the OOA can be separated into a background low-volatility OA (LV-OOA I, possibly associated with long-range transport) and a slightly less oxidised low-volatility OA (LV-OOA II) associated with regional vertical transport. Wood burning-related OA associated with regional transport was detected during the whole winter 2012/2013 and during rare events in summer 2013, in the latter case attributed to small-scale transport for the surrounding valleys. Additionally, the data were divided into periods with free tropospheric (FT) conditions and periods with planetary boundary layer (PBL) influence, enabling the assessment of the composition for each. Most nitrate and part of the OA are injected from the regional PBL, while sulfate is mainly produced in the FT. The south/north gradient of sulfate is also pronounced in FT air masses (sulfate mass fraction from the south: 45

  7. Cuticular waxes in alpine meadow plants: climate effect inferred from latitude gradient in Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Yanjun; Guo, Na; He, Yuji; Gao, Jianhua

    2015-09-01

    Alpine meadow ecosystems are susceptible to climate changes. Still, climate impact on cuticular wax in alpine meadow plants is poorly understood. Assessing the variations of cuticular wax in alpine meadow plants across different latitudes might be useful for predicting how they may respond to climate change. We studied nine alpine meadows in a climate gradient in the east side of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, with mean annual temperature ranging from -7.7 to 3.2°C. In total, 42 plant species were analyzed for cuticular wax, averaged 16 plant species in each meadow. Only four plant species could be observed in all sampling meadows, including Kobresia humilis,Potentilla nivea,Anaphalis lacteal, and Leontopodium nanum. The amounts of wax compositions and total cuticular wax in the four plant species varied among sampling meadows, but no significant correlation could be observed between them and temperature, precipitation, and aridity index based on plant species level. To analyze the variations of cuticular wax on community level, we averaged the amounts of n-alkanes, aliphatic acids, primary alcohols, and total cuticular wax across all investigated plant species in each sampling site. The mean annual temperature, mean temperature in July, and aridity index were significantly correlated with the averaged amounts of wax compositions and total cuticular wax. The average chain length of n-alkanes in both plant and soil linearly increased with increased temperature, whereas reduced with increased aridity index. No significant correlation could be observed between mean annual precipitation and mean precipitation from June to August and the cuticular wax amounts and average chain length. Our results suggest that the survival of some alpine plants in specific environments might be depended on their abilities in adjusting wax deposition on plant leaves, and the alpine meadow plants as a whole respond to climate change, benefiting the stability of alpine meadow ecosystem.

  8. Project SHARE Sustainable Hydropower in Alpine Rivers Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mammoliti Mochet, Andrea

    2010-05-01

    projects. The project openly pursues integrated river management aims (environmental and economic): - define, share and test a decision making framework based on validated methodologies in order to allow public decision makers to take transparent decisions about planning and management of HP concessions, taking account resulting effects on river ecosystems and on all different stakeholders - creation of a technical panel including public decision makers, stakeholders and PPs to promote & transfer the SHARE approach to local, national & transnational level to concretely upgrade the actual standard of problem solving attitude; - classify scenarios of water use optimization, taking into account the different actor needs; - establish a set of generally applicable and comparable indicators & monitoring standards based on transferable guidelines and metrics considering the specific disparities among power stations, diversity of technical approaches and different river ecosystems; - designation and mapping of alpine hydro systems more vulnerable typologies; - designation and mapping of the most convenient sites and typologies of "low impact" new plants; - contribute to the concrete local integration implementation of WFD and RES-e directives. The project partnership embodies different alpine countries & hydrosystems, profiles, status, end users, networks and previous experiences. At the same time the project official observers represent the links with outside the project networks, end users & stakeholders.

  9. Increased spring freezing vulnerability for alpine shrubs under early snowmelt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheeler, J A; Hoch, G; Cortés, A J; Sedlacek, J; Wipf, S; Rixen, C

    2014-05-01

    Alpine dwarf shrub communities are phenologically linked with snowmelt timing, so early spring exposure may increase risk of freezing damage during early development, and consequently reduce seasonal growth. We examined whether environmental factors (duration of snow cover, elevation) influenced size and the vulnerability of shrubs to spring freezing along elevational gradients and snow microhabitats by modelling the past frequency of spring freezing events. We sampled biomass and measured the size of Salix herbacea, Vaccinium myrtillus, Vaccinium uliginosum and Loiseleuria procumbens in late spring. Leaves were exposed to freezing temperatures to determine the temperature at which 50% of specimens are killed for each species and sampling site. By linking site snowmelt and temperatures to long-term climate measurements, we extrapolated the frequency of spring freezing events at each elevation, snow microhabitat and per species over 37 years. Snowmelt timing was significantly driven by microhabitat effects, but was independent of elevation. Shrub growth was neither enhanced nor reduced by earlier snowmelt, but decreased with elevation. Freezing resistance was strongly species dependent, and did not differ along the elevation or snowmelt gradient. Microclimate extrapolation suggested that potentially lethal freezing events (in May and June) occurred for three of the four species examined. Freezing events never occurred on late snow beds, and increased in frequency with earlier snowmelt and higher elevation. Extrapolated freezing events showed a slight, non-significant increase over the 37-year record. We suggest that earlier snowmelt does not enhance growth in four dominant alpine shrubs, but increases the risk of lethal spring freezing exposure for less freezing-resistant species.

  10. The use of invertebrates as indicators of environmental change in alpine rivers and lakes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khamis, K.; Hannah, D.M.; Brown, L.E.; Tiberti, R.; Milner, A.M.

    2014-01-01

    In alpine regions climatic change will alter the balance between water sources (rainfall, ice-melt, snowmelt, and groundwater) for aquatic systems, particularly modifying the relative contributions of meltwater, groundwater and rain to both rivers and lakes. While these changes are expected to have implications for alpine aquatic ecosystems, little is known about potential ecological tipping points and associated indicator taxa. We examined changes in biotic communities along a gradient of glacier influence for two study systems: (1) a stream network in the French Pyrénées; and (2) a network of lakes in the Italian Alps, with the aim of identifying potential indicator taxa (macroinvertebrates and zooplankton) of glacier retreat in these environments. To assess parallels in biotic responses across streams and lakes, both primary data and findings from other publications were synthesised. Using TITAN (Threshold Indicator Taxa ANalysis) changes in community composition of river taxa were identified at thresholds of < 5.1% glacier cover and < 66.6% meltwater contribution. Below these thresholds the loss of cold stenothermic benthic invertebrate taxa, Diamesa spp. and the Pyrenean endemic Rhyacophila angelieri was apparent. Some generalist taxa including Protonemura sp., Perla grandis, Baetis alpinus, Rhithrogena loyolaea and Microspectra sp. increased when glacier cover was < 2.7% and < 52% meltwater. Patterns were not as distinct for the alpine lakes, due to fewer sampling sites; however, Daphnia longispina grp. and the benthic invertebrate groups Plectopera and Planaria were identified as potential indicator taxa. While further work is required to assess potential indicator taxa for alpine lake systems, findings from alpine river systems were consistent between methods for assessing glacier influence (meltwater contribution/glacier cover). Hence, it is clear that TITAN could become a useful management tool, enabling: (i) the identification of taxa particularly

  11. The use of invertebrates as indicators of environmental change in alpine rivers and lakes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Khamis, K.; Hannah, D.M. [School of Geography Earth and Environmental Science, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT (United Kingdom); Brown, L.E. [School of Geography/water@leeds, University of Leeds, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds LS2 9JT (United Kingdom); Tiberti, R. [DSTA, Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra e dell' Ambiente, University of Pavia, Via Ferrata 9, 27100 Pavia (Italy); Alpine Wildlife Research Centre, Gran Paradiso National Park, Degioz 11, I-1101 Valsavarenche, Aosta (Italy); Milner, A.M., E-mail: a.m.milner@bham.ac.uk [School of Geography Earth and Environmental Science, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT (United Kingdom); Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK 99775 (United States)

    2014-09-15

    In alpine regions climatic change will alter the balance between water sources (rainfall, ice-melt, snowmelt, and groundwater) for aquatic systems, particularly modifying the relative contributions of meltwater, groundwater and rain to both rivers and lakes. While these changes are expected to have implications for alpine aquatic ecosystems, little is known about potential ecological tipping points and associated indicator taxa. We examined changes in biotic communities along a gradient of glacier influence for two study systems: (1) a stream network in the French Pyrénées; and (2) a network of lakes in the Italian Alps, with the aim of identifying potential indicator taxa (macroinvertebrates and zooplankton) of glacier retreat in these environments. To assess parallels in biotic responses across streams and lakes, both primary data and findings from other publications were synthesised. Using TITAN (Threshold Indicator Taxa ANalysis) changes in community composition of river taxa were identified at thresholds of < 5.1% glacier cover and < 66.6% meltwater contribution. Below these thresholds the loss of cold stenothermic benthic invertebrate taxa, Diamesa spp. and the Pyrenean endemic Rhyacophila angelieri was apparent. Some generalist taxa including Protonemura sp., Perla grandis, Baetis alpinus, Rhithrogena loyolaea and Microspectra sp. increased when glacier cover was < 2.7% and < 52% meltwater. Patterns were not as distinct for the alpine lakes, due to fewer sampling sites; however, Daphnia longispina grp. and the benthic invertebrate groups Plectopera and Planaria were identified as potential indicator taxa. While further work is required to assess potential indicator taxa for alpine lake systems, findings from alpine river systems were consistent between methods for assessing glacier influence (meltwater contribution/glacier cover). Hence, it is clear that TITAN could become a useful management tool, enabling: (i) the identification of taxa particularly

  12. A half century of change in alpine treeline patterns at Glacier National Park, Montana, U.S.A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klasner, F.L.; Fagre, D.B.

    2002-01-01

    Using sequential aerial photography, we identified changes in the spatial distribution of subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa) habitat at the alpine treeline ecotone. Six 40-ha study sites in the McDonald Creek drainage of Glacier National Park contained subalpine fir forests that graded into alpine tundra. Over a 46-yr period, altitudinal changes in the location of alpine treeline ecotone were not observed. However, over this 46-yr period the area of krummholz, patch-forest, and continuous canopy forest increased by 3.4%, and tree density increased within existing patches of krummholz and patch-forest. Change in subalpine fir vegetation patterns within 100 m of trails was also compared to areas without trails. Within 100 m of trails, the number of small, discrete krummholz stands increased compared to areas without trails, but there was no significant change in total krummholz area. We used historical terrestrial photography to expand the period (to 70 yr) considered. This photography supported the conclusions that a more abrupt ecotone transition developed from forest to tundra at alpine treeline, that tree density within forested areas increased, and that krummholz became fragmented along trails. This local assessment of fine-grained change in the alpine treeline ecotone provides a comparative base for looking at ecotone change in other mountain regions throughout the world.

  13. Phosphate sorption characteristics of European alpine soils

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kaňa, Jiří; Kopáček, Jiří; Camarero, L.; Garcia-Pausas, J.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 75, č. 3 (2011), s. 862-870 ISSN 0361-5995 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA526/09/0567; GA AV ČR(CZ) KJB600960907 Grant - others:EU EMERGE(CZ) EVK1-CT-1999-00032 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60170517 Keywords : phosphate sorption * alpine soil s * acidification Subject RIV: DJ - Water Pollution ; Quality Impact factor: 1.979, year: 2011

  14. Working toward integrated models of alpine plant distribution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Bradley Z; Randin, Christophe F; Boulangeat, Isabelle; Lavergne, Sébastien; Thuiller, Wilfried; Choler, Philippe

    2013-10-01

    Species distribution models (SDMs) have been frequently employed to forecast the response of alpine plants to global changes. Efforts to model alpine plant distribution have thus far been primarily based on a correlative approach, in which ecological processes are implicitly addressed through a statistical relationship between observed species occurrences and environmental predictors. Recent evidence, however, highlights the shortcomings of correlative SDMs, especially in alpine landscapes where plant species tend to be decoupled from atmospheric conditions in micro-topographic habitats and are particularly exposed to geomorphic disturbances. While alpine plants respond to the same limiting factors as plants found at lower elevations, alpine environments impose a particular set of scale-dependent and hierarchical drivers that shape the realized niche of species and that require explicit consideration in a modelling context. Several recent studies in the European Alps have successfully integrated both correlative and process-based elements into distribution models of alpine plants, but for the time being a single integrative modelling framework that includes all key drivers remains elusive. As a first step in working toward a comprehensive integrated model applicable to alpine plant communities, we propose a conceptual framework that structures the primary mechanisms affecting alpine plant distributions. We group processes into four categories, including multi-scalar abiotic drivers, gradient dependent species interactions, dispersal and spatial-temporal plant responses to disturbance. Finally, we propose a methodological framework aimed at developing an integrated model to better predict alpine plant distribution.

  15. Seedling Regeneration in the Alpine Treeline Ecotone: Comparison of Wood Microsites and Adjacent Soil Substrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adelaide Chapman Johnson

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Although climate warming is generally expected to facilitate upward advance of forests, conifer seedling regeneration and survival may be hindered by low substrate moisture, high radiation, and both low and high snow accumulation. To better understand substrate-related factors promoting regeneration in the alpine treeline ecotone, this study compared 2 substrates supporting conifer seedlings: rotten downed wood and adjacent soil. Study locations, each with 3 levels of incoming radiation, were randomly selected at forest line–alpine meadow borders in Pacific Northwest wilderness areas extending along an east–west precipitation gradient. Associations among substrate type, seedling density, radiation, site moisture, site temperature, plant water potential, and plant stomatal conductance were assessed. Wood microsites, flush with the ground and supporting Abies spp conifer seedlings, extended up to 20 m into alpine meadows from the forest line. Although wood microsites thawed later in the spring and froze earlier in the fall, they had warmer summer temperatures, greater volumetric water content, and more growing degree hours, and seedlings growing on wood had higher water potentials than seedlings growing on adjacent soil. At drier eastern sites, there was a positive relationship between seedling density and volumetric water content. Further, there was a positive relationship between seedling stomatal conductance and volumetric water content. Our study indicates that in the Pacific Northwest. and likely elsewhere, seedlings benefit from wood microsites, which provide greater water content. Given predictions of increased summer drought in some locations globally, wood microsites at forest line–alpine meadows and forest line–grasslands borders may become increasingly important for successful conifer regeneration.

  16. Retrievals of ethane from ground-based high-resolution FTIR solar observations with updated line parameters: determination of the optimum strategy for the Jungfraujoch station.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bader, W.; Perrin, A.; Jacquemart, D.; Sudo, K.; Yashiro, H.; Gauss, M.; Demoulin, P.; Servais, C.; Mahieu, E.

    2012-04-01

    of methyl chloride (CH3Cl) in the 3.4 μm region (Bray et al., 2011) will be quantified. The ethane a priori volume mixing ratio (VMR) profile and associated covariance are based on synthetic data from the chemical transport model (CTM) of the University of Oslo. In this contribution, we will present updated ethane total and tropospheric column retrievals, using the SFIT-2 algorithm (v3.91) and high-resolution Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) solar absorption observations recorded with a Bruker 120HR instrument, at the high altitude research station of the Jungfraujoch (46.5° N, 8° E, 3580 m asl), within the framework of the Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC, visit http://www.ndacc.org). We will characterize three microwindows encompassing the strongest ethane features after careful selection of a priori VMR profiles, spectroscopic parameters, accounting at best for all interfering species. We will then present the retrieval strategy representative of the best combination of those three characterized micro-windows in order to minimize the fitting residuals while maximizing the information content, the precision and the reliability of the retrieved product. The long-term C2H6 column time series will be produced using the Jungfraujoch observational database. Comparisons with synthetic data produced by two chemical transport model (CHASER and the one of the University of Oslo) will also be presented and analyzed, aiming at the determination and interpretation of long-term trends and interannual variations of ethane at Northern mid-latitudes. Acknowledgments The University of Liège involvement has primarily been supported by the PRODEX program funded by the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office, Brussels and by the Swiss GAW-CH program. E. Mahieu is Research Associate with the F.R.S. - FNRS. The FRS-FNRS and the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles are further acknowledged for observational activities support. We thank the International

  17. First retrievals of HCFC-142b from ground-based high-resolution FTIR solar observations: application to high-altitude Jungfraujoch spectra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahieu, Emmanuel; O'Doherty, Simon; Reimann, Stefan; Vollmer, Martin; Bader, Whitney; Bovy, Benoît; Lejeune, Bernard; Demoulin, Philippe; Roland, Ginette; Servais, Christian; Zander, Rodolphe

    2013-04-01

    Hydrofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are the first substitutes to the long-lived ozone depleting halocarbons, in particular the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Given the complete ban of the CFCs by the Montreal Protocol, its Amendments and Adjustments, HCFCs are on the rise, with current rates of increase substantially larger than at the beginning of the 21st century. HCFC-142b (CH3CClF2) is presently the second most abundant HCFCs, after HCFC-22 (CHClF2). It is used in a wide range of applications, including as a blowing foam agent, in refrigeration and air-conditioning. Its concentration will soon reach 25 ppt in the northern hemisphere, with mixing ratios increasing at about 1.1 ppt/yr [Montzka et al., 2011]. The HCFC-142b lifetime is estimated at 18 years. With a global warming potential of 2310 on a 100-yr horizon, this species is also a potent greenhouse gas [Forster et al., 2007]. First space-based retrievals of HCFC-142b have been reported by Dufour et al. [2005]. 17 occultations recorded in 2004 by the Canadian ACE-FTS instrument (Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment - Fourier Transform Spectrometer, onboard SCISAT-1) were analyzed, using two microwindows (1132.5-1135.5 and 1191.5-1195.5 cm-1). In 2009, Rinsland et al. determined the HCFC-142b trend near the tropopause, from the analysis of ACE-FTS observations recorded over the 2004-2008 time period. The spectral region used in this study extended from 903 to 905.5 cm-1. In this contribution, we will present the first HCFC-142b measurements from ground-based high-resolution Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) solar spectra. We use observations recorded at the high altitude station of the Jungfraujoch (46.5°N, 8°E, 3580 m asl), with a Bruker 120HR instrument, in the framework of the Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC, visit http://www.ndacc.org). The retrieval of HCFC-142b is very challenging, with simulations indicating only weak absorptions, lower than 1% for low sun spectra and current

  18. Variability of IN measured with the Fast Ice Nucleus Chamber (FINCH) at the high altitude research station Jungfraujoch during wintertime 2013

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Fabian; Nillius, Björn; Bundke, Ulrich; Curtius, Joachim

    2014-05-01

    Ice nuclei (IN) are an important component of the atmospheric aerosol. Despite their low concentrations in the atmosphere, they have an influence on the formation of ice crystals in mixed-phase clouds and therefore on precipitation. The Fast Ice Nucleus CHamber (FINCH)1, a counter for ice nucleating particles developed at the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main allows long-term measurements of the IN number concentration. In FINCH the ice activation of the aerosol particles is achieved by mixing air flows with different temperature and humidity. The IN number concentration measurements at different meteorological conditions during the INUIT-JFJ campaign at the high altitude research station Jungfraujoch in Switzerland are presented and its variability are discussed. The good operational performance of the instrument allowed up to 10 hours of continuous measurements. Acknowledgment: This work was supported by the German Research Foundation, DFG Grant: BU 1432/3-2 BU 1432/4-1 in the framework of INUIT (FOR 1525) and SPP 1294 HALO. 1- Bundke, U., Nillius, B., Jaenicke, R., Wetter, T., Klein, H., and Bingemer, H. (2008). The fast ice nucleus chamber finch. Atmospheric Research, 90:180-186.

  19. Soil Fauna Affects Dissolved Carbon and Nitrogen in Foliar Litter in Alpine Forest and Alpine Meadow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Shu; Yang, Wanqin; Tan, Yu; Peng, Yan; Li, Jun; Tan, Bo; Wu, Fuzhong

    2015-01-01

    Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and total dissolved nitrogen (TDN) are generally considered important active biogeochemical pools of total carbon and nitrogen. Many studies have documented the contributions of soil fauna to litter decomposition, but the effects of the soil fauna on labile substances (i.e., DOC and TDN) in litter during early decomposition are not completely clear. Therefore, a field litterbag experiment was carried out from 13th November 2013 to 23rd October 2014 in an alpine forest and an alpine meadow located on the eastern Tibetan Plateau. Litterbags with different mesh sizes were used to provide access to or prohibit the access of the soil fauna, and the concentrations of DOC and TDN in the foliar litter were measured during the winter (the onset of freezing, deep freezing and thawing stage) and the growing season (early and late). After one year of field incubation, the concentration of DOC in the litter significantly decreased, whereas the TDN concentration in the litter increased. Similar dynamic patterns were detected under the effects of the soil fauna on both DOC and TDN in the litter between the alpine forest and the alpine meadow. The soil fauna showed greater positive effects on decreasing DOC concentration in the litter in the winter than in the growing season. In contrast, the dynamics of TND in the litter were related to seasonal changes in environmental factors, rather than the soil fauna. In addition, the soil fauna promoted a decrease in litter DOC/TDN ratio in both the alpine forest and the alpine meadow throughout the first year of decomposition, except for in the late growing season. These results suggest that the soil fauna can promote decreases in DOC and TDN concentrations in litter, contributing to early litter decomposition in these cold biomes.

  20. Characterising hydrological behaviour of springs draining different alpine formations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volze, N.; Smoorenburg, M.; Kienzler, P.; Naef, F.; Rabenstein, L.; Kinzelbach, W.

    2012-04-01

    The project SACflood (Susceptibility of alpine catchment flood runoff to changes in meteorological boundary conditions) concentrates on alpine areas and wants to identify catchments that show a damped reaction to runoff but may react unexpectedly strong to increased precipitation as observed in 2005 in the Schächen. The catchment showed a delayed and damped behaviour for smaller precipitation events but reacted with strongly increased discharge when a threshold amount of rainfall was reached, causing a flood with high damages. This is attributed to the complex interaction of storage and drainage mechanisms that are not yet well enough understood. Typical alpine geomorphic formations are identified that are likely to be associated with large storages which could considerably delay runoff reaction but still contribute to flow within a timescale relevant for flood formation. From these geomorphic formations deep drainage is measured as outflow from several springs. In addition natural tracers are measured in the springs. On a steep hill slope, associated to one of the observed springs, ground water levels are observed. Geoelectric profiles were recorded to depict the structure of the underground. Discharge measurements from the springs show remarkable differences between the sites. After long dry periods certain springs do not react to rainfall immediately but need considerable amounts of rain to increase discharge. Even steep slopes as well as large talus areas can substantially delay runoff. Observations of the groundwater levels reveal an unexpected picture of the underground. The water table is not as often assumed above the bedrock but at a depth of several meters within the highly fractured bedrock material. This can result in a much higher storage capacity of such slopes despite the steepness of the surface. On the basis of the results from field work conceptual ideas are developed. The influence of parameters such as the depth of the unsaturated zone and the

  1. Functional traits and root morphology of alpine plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohl, Mandy; Stroude, Raphaël; Buttler, Alexandre; Rixen, Christian

    2011-09-01

    Vegetation has long been recognized to protect the soil from erosion. Understanding species differences in root morphology and functional traits is an important step to assess which species and species mixtures may provide erosion control. Furthermore, extending classification of plant functional types towards root traits may be a useful procedure in understanding important root functions. In this study, pioneer data on traits of alpine plant species, i.e. plant height and shoot biomass, root depth, horizontal root spreading, root length, diameter, tensile strength, plant age and root biomass, from a disturbed site in the Swiss Alps are presented. The applicability of three classifications of plant functional types (PFTs), i.e. life form, growth form and root type, was examined for above- and below-ground plant traits. Plant traits differed considerably among species even of the same life form, e.g. in the case of total root length by more than two orders of magnitude. Within the same root diameter, species differed significantly in tensile strength: some species (Geum reptans and Luzula spicata) had roots more than twice as strong as those of other species. Species of different life forms provided different root functions (e.g. root depth and horizontal root spreading) that may be important for soil physical processes. All classifications of PFTs were helpful to categorize plant traits; however, the PFTs according to root type explained total root length far better than the other PFTs. The results of the study illustrate the remarkable differences between root traits of alpine plants, some of which cannot be assessed from simple morphological inspection, e.g. tensile strength. PFT classification based on root traits seems useful to categorize plant traits, even though some patterns are better explained at the individual species level.

  2. The Balearic Islands in the Alpine Orogeny

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bourrouilh, R.

    2016-10-01

    The place of the Balearic Islands in the Alpine orogeny is examined using detailed sedimentology studies, stratigraphical studies from the Lower Devonian (Lochkovian) to modern times and a careful tectonic review of sedimentary formations from the Western Mediterranean. Despite being considered as the ultimate end of the north-eastern termination of the Betic Cordillera, the history of the Balearic archipelago seems to be closer to the tectonic opening of the Gulf of Valencia and to the Corsica-Sardinia rotation, and thus to the tectonic history of the Western Mediterranean Sea, than to the tectonics of the Betic Cordillera which appear as its symmetrical image with respect to this opening. (Author)

  3. Alpine vegetation communities and the alpine-treeline ecotone boundary in New England as biomonitors for climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenneth D. Kimball; Douglas M. Weihrauch

    2000-01-01

    This study mapped and analyzed the alpine-treeline ecotone (ATE) boundary and alpine plant communities on the Presidential Range, New Hampshire and Mount Katahdin, Maine. These are sensitive biomonitoring parameters for plant community responses to climatic change. The ATE boundary spans a considerable elevational range, suggesting that shorter growing seasons with...

  4. Simulating the influence of snow surface processes on soil moisture dynamics and streamflow generation in an alpine catchment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Wever

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The assessment of flood risks in alpine, snow-covered catchments requires an understanding of the linkage between the snow cover, soil and discharge in the stream network. Here, we apply the comprehensive, distributed model Alpine3D to investigate the role of soil moisture in the predisposition of the Dischma catchment in Switzerland to high flows from rainfall and snowmelt. The recently updated soil module of the physics-based multilayer snow cover model SNOWPACK, which solves the surface energy and mass balance in Alpine3D, is verified against soil moisture measurements at seven sites and various depths inside and in close proximity to the Dischma catchment. Measurements and simulations in such terrain are difficult and consequently, soil moisture was simulated with varying degrees of success. Differences between simulated and measured soil moisture mainly arise from an overestimation of soil freezing and an absence of a groundwater description in the Alpine3D model. Both were found to have an influence in the soil moisture measurements. Using the Alpine3D simulation as the surface scheme for a spatially explicit hydrologic response model using a travel time distribution approach for interflow and baseflow, streamflow simulations were performed for the discharge from the catchment. The streamflow simulations provided a closer agreement with observed streamflow when driving the hydrologic response model with soil water fluxes at 30 cm depth in the Alpine3D model. Performance decreased when using the 2 cm soil water flux, thereby mostly ignoring soil processes. This illustrates that the role of soil moisture is important to take into account when understanding the relationship between both snowpack runoff and rainfall and catchment discharge in high alpine terrain. However, using the soil water flux at 60 cm depth to drive the hydrologic response model also decreased its performance, indicating that an optimal soil depth to include in

  5. Seasonal Changes in the Character and Nitrogen Content of Dissolved Organic Matter in an Alpine/Subalpine Headwater Catchment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eran W. Hood

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available We are studying the chemical quality of dissolved organic nitrogen (DON in a high-elevation watershed in the Colorado Front Range. Samples were collected over the 2000 snowmelt runoff season at two sites across an alpine/subalpine ecotone to understand how the transition between the lightly vegetated alpine and forested reaches of the catchment influences the chemical character of DON. Samples were analyzed approximately weekly for dissolved organic material (DOM content and chemical character. A subset of samples was analyzed for the elemental content of fulvic and hydrophilic acids. Concentrations of DON at both sites were highest in the spring at the initiation of snowmelt, decreased during snowmelt, and increased again during the late summer and fall. In contrast, concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC peaked on the ascending limb of the hydrograph and declined to seasonal minima on the descending limb of the hydrograph. The ratio of DOC:DON showed a seasonal shift at both sites with high values (40 to 55 during peak runoff in early summer and lower values (15 to 25 during low flows late in the runoff season. These results indicate that there was a seasonal change in the relative N content of DOM at both sites. Chemical fractionation of DOC showed that there were temporal and longitudinal changes in the chemical character of DOC. At the alpine site, the fulvic acid content of DOC decreased from 57% in June to 35% in September. The change in fulvic acid was less pronounced at the forested site, from 66% in June to 54% in September. Elemental analysis of fulvic and hydrophilic acids indicated that hydrophilic acids were N rich compared to fulvic acids. Additionally, fulvic and hydrophilic acids isolated at the alpine site had a lower C:N ratio than those isolated at the forested site. Similarly, the C:N ratio of organic acids at both sites was lower in September than in June during peak runoff. These differences appear to be a result

  6. Metabolic Profiling of Alpine and Ecuadorian Lichens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Verena K. Mittermeier

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Non-targeted 1H-NMR methods were used to determine metabolite profiles from crude extracts of Alpine and Ecuadorian lichens collected from their natural habitats. In control experiments, the robustness of metabolite detection and quantification was estimated using replicate measurements of Stereocaulon alpinum extracts. The deviations in the overall metabolite fingerprints were low when analyzing S. alpinum collections from different locations or during different annual and seasonal periods. In contrast, metabolite profiles observed from extracts of different Alpine and Ecuadorian lichens clearly revealed genus- and species-specific profiles. The discriminating functions determining cluster formation in principle component analysis (PCA were due to differences in the amounts of genus-specific compounds such as sticticin from the Sticta species, but also in the amounts of ubiquitous metabolites, such as sugar alcohols or trehalose. However, varying concentrations of these metabolites from the same lichen species e.g., due to different environmental conditions appeared of minor relevance for the overall cluster formation in PCA. The metabolic clusters matched phylogenetic analyses using nuclear ribosomal DNA (nrDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS sequences of lichen mycobionts, as exemplified for the genus Sticta. It can be concluded that NMR-based non-targeted metabolic profiling is a useful tool in the chemo-taxonomy of lichens. The same approach could also facilitate the discovery of novel lichen metabolites on a rapid and systematical basis.

  7. A modified MOD16 algorithm to estimate evapotranspiration over alpine meadow on the Tibetan Plateau, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Yaping; Qin, Dahe; Ding, Yongjian; Zhao, Qiudong; Zhang, Shiqiang

    2018-06-01

    The long-term change of evapotranspiration (ET) is crucial for managing water resources in areas with extreme climates, such as the Tibetan Plateau (TP). This study proposed a modified algorithm for estimating ET based on the MOD16 algorithm on a global scale over alpine meadow on the TP in China. Wind speed and vegetation height were integrated to estimate aerodynamic resistance, while the temperature and moisture constraints for stomatal conductance were revised based on the technique proposed by Fisher et al. (2008). Moreover, Fisher's method for soil evaporation was adopted to reduce the uncertainty in soil evaporation estimation. Five representative alpine meadow sites on the TP were selected to investigate the performance of the modified algorithm. Comparisons were made between the ET observed using the Eddy Covariance (EC) and estimated using both the original and modified algorithms. The results revealed that the modified algorithm performed better than the original MOD16 algorithm with the coefficient of determination (R2) increasing from 0.26 to 0.68, and root mean square error (RMSE) decreasing from 1.56 to 0.78 mm d-1. The modified algorithm performed slightly better with a higher R2 (0.70) and lower RMSE (0.61 mm d-1) for after-precipitation days than for non-precipitation days at Suli site. Contrarily, better results were obtained for non-precipitation days than for after-precipitation days at Arou, Tanggula, and Hulugou sites, indicating that the modified algorithm may be more suitable for estimating ET for non-precipitation days with higher accuracy than for after-precipitation days, which had large observation errors. The comparisons between the modified algorithm and two mainstream methods suggested that the modified algorithm could produce high accuracy ET over the alpine meadow sites on the TP.

  8. A comparison of Alpine emissions to forest soil and spruce needle loads for persistent organic pollutants (POPs)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Belis, C.A., E-mail: claudio.belis@jrc.ec.europa.e [Regional Agency for Environmental Protection of Lombardia (Italy); Offenthaler, I.; Uhl, M.; Nurmi-Legat, J. [Umweltbundesamt GmbH (Austria); Bassan, R. [Regional Agency for Environmental Prevention and Protection of Veneto (Italy); Jakobi, G.; Kirchner, M. [Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen, German Research Centre for Environment and Health (Germany); Knoth, W. [German Federal Environmental Agency (Germany); Kraeuchi, N. [WSL Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (Switzerland); Levy, W. [Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen, German Research Centre for Environment and Health (Germany); Magnani, T. [Regional Agency for Environmental Protection of Lombardia (Italy); Moche, W. [Umweltbundesamt GmbH (Austria); Schramm, K.-W. [Regional Agency for Environmental Prevention and Protection of Veneto (Italy); Simoncic, P. [Slovenian Forestry Institute (Slovenia); Weiss, P. [Umweltbundesamt GmbH (Austria)

    2009-12-15

    The project MONARPOP analysed the concentrations of semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs) in two important sink compartments, needles of Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst.) and forest soil from 40 remote Alpine forest sites in Austria, Germany, Italy, Slovenia and Switzerland. In the present study the load of PCDD/F, PCB, PBDE, PAH, HCB, HCH and DDT in the Alps calculated on the basis of measured data are compared with their estimated emissions in the Alpine region. It comes out that the masses of the studied pollutants stored in the forests are higher than the corresponding emissions in the Alpine area indicating that the Alps are a sink for POPs advected from surrounding areas. It is assumed that local emissions of PCDD/F and PAH deriving from biomass burning are probably underestimated and that the pool of these pollutants in the forests represents the accumulation over some decades. - The loads of POPs in the Alps are higher than their emissions in the Alpine region.

  9. Increasing alpine transit traffic through Switzerland will considerably enhance high altitude alpine pollutant levels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Prevot, A S.H.; Dommen, J; Furger, M; Graber, W K [Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland)

    1999-08-01

    Within the EU-Project VOTALP (Vertical Ozone Transports in the Alps), we have shown that deep alpine valleys like the Mesolcina Valley very efficiently transport air out of the polluted valley up to altitudes between 2000 and near 4000 m asl (above sea level). Pollutants emitted in these valleys are very efficiently transported up to high altitudes. (author) 2 figs., 1 tab., 2 refs.

  10. Inspection of Alpine glaciers with cosmic-ray muon radiography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishiyama, Ryuichi; Ariga, Akitaka; Ariga, Tomoko; Ereditato, Antonio; Lechmann, Alessandro; Mair, David; Scampoli, Paola; Schlunegger, Fritz; Vladymyrov, Mykhailo

    2016-04-01

    Radiography using cosmic-ray muons represents a challenging method for probing the bedrock topography beneath Alpine glaciers. We present the current status of our feasibility study at Eiger glacier, situated on the western flank of the Eiger in the Jungfrau region, Central Swiss Alps. The muon radiography is a technique that has been recently developed to investigate the internal density profiles of geoscientific targets. It is based on the measurement of the absorption of the cosmic-ray muons inside a material. Because the energy spectrum of cosmic-ray muons and the energy dependence of muon range have been studied well during the past years, the attenuation of the muon flux can be used to derive the column density, i.e. the density integrated along the muon trajectories, of geoscientific targets. This technique has recently been applied for non-invasive inspection of volcanoes, nuclear reactors, seismic faults, caves and etc. The greatest advantage of the method in the field of glacier studies is that it yields a unique solution of the density underneath a glacier without any assumption of physical properties inside the target. Large density contrasts, as expected between glacier ice (˜ 1.0g/cm3) and bedrock (˜ 2.5g/cm3), would allow us to elucidate the shape of the bedrock in high resolution. Accordingly, this technology will provide for the first time information on the bedrock surface beneath a steep and non-accessible Alpine glacier, in a complementary way with respect to other exploration methods (drilling, ground penetrating radar, seismic survey, gravity explorations and etc.). Our first aim is to demonstrate the feasibility of the method through a case study at the Eiger glacier, situated in the Central Swiss Alps. The Eiger glacier straddles the western flank of the Eiger between 3700 and 2300 m above sea level (a.s.l.). The glacier has shortened by about 150 m during the past 30 years in response to the ongoing global warming, causing a concern for

  11. Climate-induced glacier and snow loss imperils alpine stream insects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giersch, J. Joseph; Hotaling, Scott; Kovach, Ryan; Jones, Leslie A.; Muhlfeld, Clint C.

    2017-01-01

    Climate warming is causing rapid loss of glaciers and snowpack in mountainous regions worldwide. These changes are predicted to negatively impact the habitats of many range-restricted species, particularly endemic, mountaintop species dependent on the unique thermal and hydrologic conditions found only in glacier-fed and snowmelt-driven alpine streams. Though progress has been made, existing understanding of the status, distribution, and ecology of alpine aquatic species, particularly in North America, is lacking, thereby hindering conservation and management programs. Two aquatic insects – the meltwater stonefly Lednia tumana and the glacier stonefly Zapada glacier – were recently proposed for listing under the U.S. Endangered Species Act due to climate-change-induced habitat loss. Using a large dataset (272 streams, 482 total sites) with high-resolution climate and habitat information, we describe the distribution, status, and key environmental features that limit L. tumana and Z. glacier across the northern Rocky Mountains. Lednia tumana was detected in 113 streams (175 sites) within Glacier National Park (GNP) and surrounding areas. The probability of L. tumana occurrence increased with cold stream temperatures and close proximity to glaciers and permanent snowfields. Similarly, densities of L. tumana declined with increasing distance from stream source. Zapada glacier was only detected in 10 streams (20 sites), six in GNP and four in mountain ranges up to ~600 km southwest. Our results show that both L. tumana and Z. glacier inhabit an extremely narrow distribution, restricted to short sections of cold, alpine streams often below glaciers predicted to disappear over the next two decades. Climate warming-induced glacier and snow loss clearly imperils the persistence of L. tumana and Z. glacier throughout their ranges, highlighting the role of mountaintop aquatic invertebrates as sentinels of climate change in mid-latitude regions.

  12. Anterior cruciate ligament injury/reinjury in alpine ski racing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jordan, Matthew J; Aagaard, Per; Herzog, Walter

    2017-01-01

    and return to sport after ACL injury in alpine ski racing. Given that most of the scientific studies on ACL injuries in alpine ski racing have been descriptive, and that very few studies contributed higher level scientific evidence, a nonsystematic narrative review was employed. Three scholarly databases...... were searched for articles on ACL injury or knee injury in alpine ski racing. Studies were classified according to their relevance in relation to epidemiology, etiology, risk factors, and return to sport/reinjury prevention. Alpine ski racers (skiers) were found to be at high risk for knee injuries...... injuries in development-level skiers, there was limited scientific data on ACL injury risk factors among elite skiers. Based on expert opinion, research on injury risk factors should focus on equipment design, course settings/speed, and athlete factors (eg, fitness). While skiers seem to make a successful...

  13. Microbial diversity in European alpine permafrost and active layers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frey, Beat; Rime, Thomas; Phillips, Marcia; Stierli, Beat; Hajdas, Irka; Widmer, Franco; Hartmann, Martin

    2016-03-01

    Permafrost represents a largely understudied genetic resource. Thawing of permafrost with global warming will not only promote microbial carbon turnover with direct feedback on greenhouse gases, but also unlock an unknown microbial diversity. Pioneering metagenomic efforts have shed light on the permafrost microbiome in polar regions, but temperate mountain permafrost is largely understudied. We applied a unique experimental design coupled to high-throughput sequencing of ribosomal markers to characterize the microbiota at the long-term alpine permafrost study site 'Muot-da-Barba-Peider' in eastern Switzerland with an approximate radiocarbon age of 12 000 years. Compared to the active layers, the permafrost community was more diverse and enriched with members of the superphylum Patescibacteria (OD1, TM7, GN02 and OP11). These understudied phyla with no cultured representatives proposedly feature small streamlined genomes with reduced metabolic capabilities, adaptations to anaerobic fermentative metabolisms and potential ectosymbiotic lifestyles. The permafrost microbiota was also enriched with yeasts and lichenized fungi known to harbour various structural and functional adaptation mechanisms to survive under extreme sub-zero conditions. These data yield an unprecedented view on microbial life in temperate mountain permafrost, which is increasingly important for understanding the biological dynamics of permafrost in order to anticipate potential ecological trajectories in a warming world. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Drones application on snow and ice surveys in alpine areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Rocca, Leonardo; Bonetti, Luigi; Fioletti, Matteo; Peretti, Giovanni

    2015-04-01

    First results from Climate change are now clear in Europe, and in Italy in particular, with the natural disasters that damaged irreparably the territory and the habitat due to extreme meteorological events. The Directive 2007/60/EC highlight that an "effective natural hazards prevention and mitigation that requires coordination between Member States above all on natural hazards prevention" is necessary. A climate change adaptation strategy is identified on the basis of the guidelines of the European Community program 2007-2013. Following the directives provided in the financial instrument for civil protection "Union Civil Protection Mechanism" under Decision No. 1313/2013 / EU of the European Parliament and Council, a cross-cutting approach that takes into account a large number of implementation tools of EU policies is proposed as climate change adaptation strategy. In last 7 years a network of trans-Alpine area's authorities was created between Italy and Switzerland to define an adaptive strategy on climate change effects on natural enviroment based on non structural remedies. The Interreg IT - CH STRADA Project (STRategie di ADAttamento al cambiamento climatico) was born to join all the non structural remedies to climate change effects caused by snow and avalanches, on mountain sources, extreme hydrological events and to manage all transnational hydrological resources, involving all stakeholders from Italy and Switzerland. The STRADA project involved all civil protection authorities and all research centers in charge of snow, hydrology end civil protection. The Snow - meteorological center of the Regional Agency for Environment Protection (CNM of ARPA Lombardia) and the Civil Protection of Lombardy Region created a research team to develop tools for avalanche prediction and to observe and predict snow cover on Alpine area. With this aim a lot of aerial photo using Drone as been performed in unusual landscape. Results of all surveys were really interesting on a

  15. The relationship between soil physical properties and alpine plant diversity on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Tang

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Through a large-scale research, we examined the heterogeneity of soil properties and plant diversity, as well as their relationships across alpine grassland types on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The soil pH and EC value increased with the constant deepening of the soil in all the three alpine grassland types which in order of absolute value in every soil layer were alpine desert steppe, alpine steppe and alpine meadow. Among the three grassland types, the alpine meadow possessed the highest SM but the lowest SBD. For plant diversity, alpine meadow was the highest, alpine desert steppe ranked the second and alpine steppe was the last. SM and SBD were the highest influential soil physical properties to species richness, but with opposite effects.

  16. Identification of mineral dust layers in high alpine snow packs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greilinger, Marion; Kau, Daniela; Schauer, Gerhard; Kasper-Giebl, Anne

    2017-04-01

    Deserts serve as a major source for aerosols in the atmosphere with mineral dust as a main contributor to primary aerosol mass. Especially the Sahara, the largest desert in the world, contributes roughly half of the primarily emitted aerosol mass found in the atmosphere [1]. The eroded Saharan dust is episodically transported over thousands of kilometers with synoptic wind patterns towards Europe [2] and reaches Austria about 20 to 30 days per year. Once the Saharan dust is removed from the atmosphere via dry or wet deposition processes, the chemical composition of the precipitation or the affected environment is significantly changed. Saharan dust serves on the one hand as high ionic input leading to an increase of ionic species such as calcium, magnesium or sulfate. On the other hand Saharan dust provides a high alkaline input neutralizing acidic components and causing the pH to increase [3]. Based on these changes in the ion composition, the pH and cross plots of the ion and conductivity balance [4] we tried to develop a method to identify Saharan dust layers in high alpine snow packs. We investigated seasonal snow packs of two high alpine sampling sites situated on the surrounding glaciers of the meteorological Sonnblick observatory serving as a global GAW (Global Atmospheric Watch) station located in the National Park Hohe Tauern in the Austrian Alps. Samples with 10 cm resolution representing the whole winter accumulation period were taken just prior to the start of snow melt at the end of April 2016. In both snow packs two layers with clearly different chemical behavior were observed. In comparison with the aerosol data from the Sonnblick observatory, these layers could be clearly identified as Saharan dust layers. Identified Saharan dust layers in the snow pack allow calculations of the ecological impact of deposited ions, with and without Saharan dust, during snow melt. Furthermore the chemical characteristics for the identification of Saharan dust layers

  17. The alpine cushion plant Silene acaulis as foundation species: a bug's-eye view to facilitation and microclimate.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivia Molenda

    Full Text Available Alpine ecosystems are important globally with high levels of endemic and rare species. Given that they will be highly impacted by climate change, understanding biotic factors that maintain diversity is critical. Silene acaulis is a common alpine nurse plant shown to positively influence the diversity and abundance of organisms--predominantly other plant species. The hypothesis that cushion or nurse plants in general are important to multiple trophic levels has been proposed but rarely tested. Alpine arthropod diversity is also largely understudied worldwide, and the plant-arthropod interactions reported are mostly negative, that is,. herbivory. Plant and arthropod diversity and abundance were sampled on S. acaulis and at paired adjacent microsites with other non-cushion forming vegetation present on Whistler Mountain, B.C., Canada to examine the relative trophic effects of cushion plants. Plant species richness and abundance but not Simpson's diversity index was higher on cushion microsites relative to other vegetation. Arthropod richness, abundance, and diversity were all higher on cushion microsites relative to other vegetated sites. On a microclimatic scale, S. acaulis ameliorated stressful conditions for plants and invertebrates living inside it, but the highest levels of arthropod diversity were observed on cushions with tall plant growth. Hence, alpine cushion plants can be foundation species not only for other plant species but other trophic levels, and these impacts are expressed through both direct and indirect effects associated with altered environmental conditions and localized productivity. Whilst this case study tests a limited subset of the membership of alpine animal communities, it clearly demonstrates that cushion-forming plant species are an important consideration in understanding resilience to global changes for many organisms in addition to other plants.

  18. How cushion communities are maintained in alpine ecosystems: A review and case study on alpine cushion plant reproduction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianguo Chen

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Cushion species occur in nearly all alpine environments worldwide. In past decades, the adaptive and ecosystem-engineering roles of such highly specialized life forms have been well studied. However, the adaptive strategies responsible for cushion species reproductive success and maintenance in severe alpine habitats remain largely unclear. In this study, we reviewed the current understanding of reproductive strategies and population persistence in alpine cushion species. We then present a preliminary case study on the sexual reproduction of Arenaria polytrichoides (Caryophyllaceae, a typical cushion species inhabiting high elevations of the Himalaya Hengduan Mountains, which is a hotspot for diversification of cushion species. Finally, we highlight the limitations of our current understanding of alpine cushion species reproduction and propose future directions for study.

  19. Influence of Slope-Scale Snowmelt on Catchment Response Simulated With the Alpine3D Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brauchli, Tristan; Trujillo, Ernesto; Huwald, Hendrik; Lehning, Michael

    2017-12-01

    Snow and hydrological modeling in alpine environments remains challenging because of the complexity of the processes affecting the mass and energy balance. This study examines the influence of snowmelt on the hydrological response of a high-alpine catchment of 43.2 km2 in the Swiss Alps during the water year 2014-2015. Based on recent advances in Alpine3D, we examine how snow distributions and liquid water transport within the snowpack influence runoff dynamics. By combining these results with multiscale observations (snow lysimeter, distributed snow depths, and streamflow), we demonstrate the added value of a more realistic snow distribution at the onset of melt season. At the site scale, snowpack runoff is well simulated when the mass balance errors are corrected (R2 = 0.95 versus R2 = 0.61). At the subbasin scale, a more heterogeneous snowpack leads to a more rapid runoff pulse originating in the shallower areas while an extended melting period (by a month) is caused by snowmelt from deeper areas. This is a marked improvement over results obtained using a traditional precipitation interpolation method. Hydrological response is also improved by the more realistic snowpack (NSE of 0.85 versus 0.74), even though calibration processes smoothen out the differences. The added value of a more complex liquid water transport scheme is obvious at the site scale but decreases at larger scales. Our results highlight not only the importance but also the difficulty of getting a realistic snowpack distribution even in a well-instrumented area and present a model validation from multiscale experimental data sets.

  20. Alpine grassland soil organic carbon stock and its uncertainty in the three rivers source region of the Tibetan Plateau.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaofeng Chang

    Full Text Available Alpine grassland of the Tibetan Plateau is an important component of global soil organic carbon (SOC stocks, but insufficient field observations and large spatial heterogeneity leads to great uncertainty in their estimation. In the Three Rivers Source Region (TRSR, alpine grasslands account for more than 75% of the total area. However, the regional carbon (C stock estimate and their uncertainty have seldom been tested. Here we quantified the regional SOC stock and its uncertainty using 298 soil profiles surveyed from 35 sites across the TRSR during 2006-2008. We showed that the upper soil (0-30 cm depth in alpine grasslands of the TRSR stores 2.03 Pg C, with a 95% confidence interval ranging from 1.25 to 2.81 Pg C. Alpine meadow soils comprised 73% (i.e. 1.48 Pg C of the regional SOC estimate, but had the greatest uncertainty at 51%. The statistical power to detect a deviation of 10% uncertainty in grassland C stock was less than 0.50. The required sample size to detect this deviation at a power of 90% was about 6-7 times more than the number of sample sites surveyed. Comparison of our observed SOC density with the corresponding values from the dataset of Yang et al. indicates that these two datasets are comparable. The combined dataset did not reduce the uncertainty in the estimate of the regional grassland soil C stock. This result could be mainly explained by the underrepresentation of sampling sites in large areas with poor accessibility. Further research to improve the regional SOC stock estimate should optimize sampling strategy by considering the number of samples and their spatial distribution.

  1. Ethnobotany of medicinal plants among the communities of Alpine and Sub-alpine regions of Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kayani, Sadaf; Ahmad, Mushtaq; Sultana, Shazia; Khan Shinwari, Zabta; Zafar, Muhammed; Yaseen, Ghulam; Hussain, Manzoor; Bibi, Tahira

    2015-04-22

    To best of our knowledge it is first quantitative ethno-botanical study from Alpine and Sub-alpine, Western Himalaya of Pakistan. The study aims to report, compare the uses and highlight the ethno-botanical significance of medicinal plants for treatment of various diseases. A total of 290 (278 males and 12 females) informants including 14 Local Traditional Healers (LTHs) were interviewed. Information was collected using semi-structured interviews, analyzed and compared by quantitative ethno-botanical indices such as Informant Consensus Factor (ICF), Relative frequency of citation (RFC), use value (UV), Fidelity Level (FL) and Jaccard index (JI). A total of 125 plant species (Gymnosperms 7 species, Monocotyledons 2 and 116 Di-cotyledons) belonging to 41 families are collected, identified and ethno-botanically assessed. The most dominant family is Ranunculaceae (20 species) followed by Rosaceae (14 species). In diseases treated, gastrointestinal tract (GIT) diseases have highest proportion (27.5%) followed by respiratory diseases (20%) in the mountain communities. The most dominant life form of plants used is herbs (78%) followed by shrubs (19%) while the most commonly used plant parts are leaves (44 reports) followed by underground part, the roots (37 reports). The highest ICF (0.68) is found for ear, nose and eye disease category followed by respiratory disorders (0.46). There are 15 medicinal plants having 100% FL. Use value (UV) and Relative frequency of citation (RFC) range from 0.03 to 0.53 and 0.04 to 0.23 respectively. In comparison, maximum similarity index is found in the studies with JI 19.52 followed by 17.39. Similarity percentage of plant uses range from 1.69% to 19.52% while dissimilarity percentage varies from 0% to 20%. The Alpine and Sub-alpine regions of Pakistan are rich in medicinal plants and still need more research exploration. On the other hand, ethno-botanical knowledge in study areas is decreasing day by day due to high emigration rates

  2. Renewable Energy, Authenticity, and Tourism: Social Acceptance of Photovoltaic Installations in a Swiss Alpine Region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annina Helena Michel

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available With the increasing emergence of renewable energy sites in Switzerland, new impacts on the landscape can be observed. Above the Alpine village of Bellwald, a pilot project testing avalanche barriers as a possible site for photovoltaic installations was inaugurated in 2012. This study focused on social aspects of the project and asked questions about local residents' and tourists' perceptions of and attitudes toward the installations. Its findings reveal that the new elements are not perceived as a drastic intrusion into the landscape, because the view was already affected by the avalanche barriers, which are accepted because of their vital protective function. No significant difference was found between residents' and tourists' evaluation of the new photovoltaic installations. However, different factors influenced the perceptions of these 2 groups. In both groups, conceptions related to place played an important role in the evaluation of possible photovoltaic sites.

  3. Aortic Dissection Type A in Alpine Skiers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Schachner

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Patients and Methods. 140 patients with aortic dissection type A were admitted for cardiac surgery. Seventy-seven patients experienced their dissection in the winter season (from November to April. We analyzed cases of ascending aortic dissection associated with alpine skiing. Results. In 17 patients we found skiing-related aortic dissections. Skiers were taller (180 (172–200 cm versus 175 (157–191 cm, and heavier (90 (68–125 kg versus 80 (45–110 kg, than nonskiers. An extension of aortic dissection into the aortic arch, the descending thoracic aorta, and the abdominal aorta was found in 91%, 74%, and 69%, respectively, with no significant difference between skiers and nonskiers. Skiers experienced RCA ostium dissection requiring CABG in 17.6% while this was true for 5% of nonskiers (. Hospital mortality of skiers was 6% versus 13% in nonskiers (. The skiers live at an altitude of 170 (0–853 m.a.s.l. and experience their dissection at 1602 (1185–3105; m.a.s.l. In 82% symptom start was during recreational skiing without any trauma. Conclusion. Skiing associated aortic dissection type A is usually nontraumatic. The persons affected live at low altitudes and practice an outdoor sport at unusual high altitude at cold temperatures. Postoperative outcome is good.

  4. Aortic Dissection Type A in Alpine Skiers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schachner, Thomas; Fischler, Nikolaus; Dumfarth, Julia; Bonaros, Nikolaos; Krapf, Christoph; Schobersberger, Wolfgang; Grimm, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Patients and Methods. 140 patients with aortic dissection type A were admitted for cardiac surgery. Seventy-seven patients experienced their dissection in the winter season (from November to April). We analyzed cases of ascending aortic dissection associated with alpine skiing. Results. In 17 patients we found skiing-related aortic dissections. Skiers were taller (180 (172–200) cm versus 175 (157–191) cm, P = 0.008) and heavier (90 (68–125) kg versus 80 (45–110) kg, P = 0.002) than nonskiers. An extension of aortic dissection into the aortic arch, the descending thoracic aorta, and the abdominal aorta was found in 91%, 74%, and 69%, respectively, with no significant difference between skiers and nonskiers. Skiers experienced RCA ostium dissection requiring CABG in 17.6% while this was true for 5% of nonskiers (P = 0.086). Hospital mortality of skiers was 6% versus 13% in nonskiers (P = 0.399). The skiers live at an altitude of 170 (0–853) m.a.s.l. and experience their dissection at 1602 (1185–3105; P < 0.001) m.a.s.l. In 82% symptom start was during recreational skiing without any trauma. Conclusion. Skiing associated aortic dissection type A is usually nontraumatic. The persons affected live at low altitudes and practice an outdoor sport at unusual high altitude at cold temperatures. Postoperative outcome is good. PMID:23971024

  5. Human behaviour towards climatic change during the 4th millennium BC in the Swiss Alpine forelands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Karg, Sabine

    Human behaviour towards climatic change during the 4th millennium BC in the Swiss Alpine forelands.......Human behaviour towards climatic change during the 4th millennium BC in the Swiss Alpine forelands....

  6. Automatic Identification of Alpine Mass Movements by a Combination of Seismic and Infrasound Sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hübl, Johannes; McArdell, Brian W.; Walter, Fabian

    2018-01-01

    The automatic detection and identification of alpine mass movements such as debris flows, debris floods, or landslides have been of increasing importance for devising mitigation measures in densely populated and intensively used alpine regions. Since these mass movements emit characteristic seismic and acoustic waves in the low-frequency range (<30 Hz), several approaches have already been developed for detection and warning systems based on these signals. However, a combination of the two methods, for improving detection probability and reducing false alarms, is still applied rarely. This paper presents an update and extension of a previously published approach for a detection and identification system based on a combination of seismic and infrasound sensors. Furthermore, this work evaluates the possible early warning times at several test sites and aims to analyze the seismic and infrasound spectral signature produced by different sediment-related mass movements to identify the process type and estimate the magnitude of the event. Thus, this study presents an initial method for estimating the peak discharge and total volume of debris flows based on infrasound data. Tests on several catchments show that this system can detect and identify mass movements in real time directly at the sensor site with high accuracy and a low false alarm ratio. PMID:29789449

  7. Automatic Identification of Alpine Mass Movements by a Combination of Seismic and Infrasound Sensors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Schimmel

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available The automatic detection and identification of alpine mass movements such as debris flows, debris floods, or landslides have been of increasing importance for devising mitigation measures in densely populated and intensively used alpine regions. Since these mass movements emit characteristic seismic and acoustic waves in the low-frequency range (<30 Hz, several approaches have already been developed for detection and warning systems based on these signals. However, a combination of the two methods, for improving detection probability and reducing false alarms, is still applied rarely. This paper presents an update and extension of a previously published approach for a detection and identification system based on a combination of seismic and infrasound sensors. Furthermore, this work evaluates the possible early warning times at several test sites and aims to analyze the seismic and infrasound spectral signature produced by different sediment-related mass movements to identify the process type and estimate the magnitude of the event. Thus, this study presents an initial method for estimating the peak discharge and total volume of debris flows based on infrasound data. Tests on several catchments show that this system can detect and identify mass movements in real time directly at the sensor site with high accuracy and a low false alarm ratio.

  8. Minimal erosion of Arctic alpine topography during late Quaternary glaciation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gjermundsen, Endre F.; Briner, Jason P.; Akçar, Naki; Foros, Jørn; Kubik, Peter W.; Salvigsen, Otto; Hormes, Anne

    2015-10-01

    The alpine topography observed in many mountainous regions is thought to have formed during repeated glaciations of the Quaternary period. Before this time, landscapes had much less relief. However, the spatial patterns and rates of Quaternary exhumation at high latitudes--where cold-based glaciers may protect rather than erode landscapes--are not fully quantified. Here we determine the exposure and burial histories of rock samples from eight summits of steep alpine peaks in northwestern Svalbard (79.5° N) using analyses of 10Be and 26Al concentrations. We find that the summits have been preserved for at least the past one million years. The antiquity of Svalbard’s alpine landscape is supported by the preservation of sediments older than one million years along a fjord valley, which suggests that both mountain summits and low-elevation landscapes experienced very low erosion rates over the past million years. Our findings support the establishment of northwestern Svalbard’s alpine topography during the early Quaternary. We suggest that, as the Quaternary ice age progressed, glacial erosion in the Arctic became inefficient and confined to ice streams, and high-relief alpine landscapes were preserved by minimally erosive glacier armour.

  9. Photochemistry and aerosol in alpine region: mixing and transport

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chaxel, E.

    2006-11-01

    The Alpine arc deeply interacts with general circulation of atmosphere. By studying configurations in summer and winter over various Alpine areas, this work explains how mixing and transport of airborne pollutants happen, both gaseous and particulate matter, from their emission sources to free troposphere. Using observational results and a comprehensive Eulerian modelling system, one focuses on mechanisms of pollution by ozone in summer and by particulate matter and benzene in winter. After having validated the modelling system using datasets from field experiments POVA, GRENOPHOT and ESCOMPTE, it is applied on two periods with principal interest in the Grenoble area: one is the heat-wave August 2003 and the other is a long episode of thermal inversion in February 2005. Uncertainties are also calculated. One finishes by applying the modelling chain to understand how a stratospheric intrusion following a tropopause fold affected the Alpine region in July 2004. (author)

  10. Modelling atmospheric circulations for the study of Alpine valleys pollution; Modelisation des circulations atmospheriques pour l'etude de la pollution des vallees alpines

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brulfert, G

    2004-11-15

    Local weather phenomena observed in alpine valleys frequently lead to the accumulation of emitted anthropogenic airborne species in the low layers of the atmosphere. The development of a numerical model allows reproducing the chemical evolution of air mass during POVA intensive period of observations. In Chamonix and Maurienne valley, computations of photochemical indicators (NO{sub y}, O{sub 3}/NO{sub z}, H{sub 2}O{sub 2}/HNO{sub 3}) prove the ozone regime to be control by volatile organic compounds. Moreover simulation highlighted that the major part of this secondary pollutant is regionally produced. The development of an indicator who localised ozone production sites can help to define abatement scenarios. The chemical mechanism RACM allows describing the evolution of many species. It is possible to conclude that in winter road traffic and heating are the main sources of volatile organic compounds. (author)

  11. Modelling atmospheric circulations for the study of Alpine valleys pollution; Modelisation des circulations atmospheriques pour l'etude de la pollution des vallees alpines

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brulfert, G.

    2004-11-15

    Local weather phenomena observed in alpine valleys frequently lead to the accumulation of emitted anthropogenic airborne species in the low layers of the atmosphere. The development of a numerical model allows reproducing the chemical evolution of air mass during POVA intensive period of observations. In Chamonix and Maurienne valley, computations of photochemical indicators (NO{sub y}, O{sub 3}/NO{sub z}, H{sub 2}O{sub 2}/HNO{sub 3}) prove the ozone regime to be control by volatile organic compounds. Moreover simulation highlighted that the major part of this secondary pollutant is regionally produced. The development of an indicator who localised ozone production sites can help to define abatement scenarios. The chemical mechanism RACM allows describing the evolution of many species. It is possible to conclude that in winter road traffic and heating are the main sources of volatile organic compounds. (author)

  12. Atmospheric deposition as a source of carbon and nutrients to barren, alpine soils of the Colorado Rocky Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mladenov, N.; Williams, M. W.; Schmidt, S. K.; Cawley, K.

    2012-03-01

    Many alpine areas are experiencing intense deglaciation, biogeochemical changes driven by temperature rise, and changes in atmospheric deposition. There is mounting evidence that the water quality of alpine streams may be related to these changes, including rising atmospheric deposition of carbon (C) and nutrients. Given that barren alpine soils can be severely C limited, we evaluated the magnitude and chemical quality of atmospheric deposition of C and nutrients to an alpine site, the Green Lake 4 catchment in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Using a long term dataset (2002-2010) of weekly atmospheric wet deposition and snowpack chemistry, we found that volume weighted mean dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations were approximately 1.0 mg L-1and weekly concentrations reached peaks as high at 6-10 mg L-1 every summer. Total dissolved nitrogen concentration also peaked in the summer, whereas total dissolved phosphorus and calcium concentrations were highest in the spring. Relationships among DOC concentration, dissolved organic matter (DOM) fluorescence properties, and nitrate and sulfate concentrations suggest that pollutants from nearby urban and agricultural sources and organic aerosols derived from sub-alpine vegetation may influence high summer DOC wet deposition concentrations. Interestingly, high DOC concentrations were also recorded during "dust-in-snow" events in the spring. Detailed chemical and spectroscopic analyses conducted for samples collected in 2010 revealed that the DOM in many late spring and summer samples was less aromatic and polydisperse and of lower molecular weight than that of winter and fall samples and, therefore, likely to be more bioavailable to microbes in barren alpine soils. Bioavailability experiments with different types of atmospheric C sources are needed to better evaluate the substrate quality of atmospheric C inputs. Our C budget estimates for the Green Lake 4 catchment suggest that atmospheric deposition represents an

  13. Atmospheric deposition as a source of carbon and nutrients to an alpine catchment of the Colorado Rocky Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mladenov, N.; Williams, M. W.; Schmidt, S. K.; Cawley, K.

    2012-08-01

    Many alpine areas are experiencing deglaciation, biogeochemical changes driven by temperature rise, and changes in atmospheric deposition. There is mounting evidence that the water quality of alpine streams may be related to these changes, including rising atmospheric deposition of carbon (C) and nutrients. Given that barren alpine soils can be severely C limited, atmospheric deposition sources may be an important source of C and nutrients for these environments. We evaluated the magnitude of atmospheric deposition of C and nutrients to an alpine site, the Green Lake 4 catchment in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Using a long-term dataset (2002-2010) of weekly atmospheric wet deposition and snowpack chemistry, we found that volume weighted mean dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations were 1.12 ± 0.19 mg l-1, and weekly concentrations reached peaks as high at 6-10 mg l-1 every summer. Total dissolved nitrogen concentration also peaked in the summer, whereas total dissolved phosphorus and calcium concentrations were highest in the spring. To investigate potential sources of C in atmospheric deposition, we evaluated the chemical quality of dissolved organic matter (DOM) and relationships between DOM and other solutes in wet deposition. Relationships between DOC concentration, fluorescence, and nitrate and sulfate concentrations suggest that pollutants from nearby urban and agricultural sources and organic aerosols derived from sub-alpine vegetation may influence high summer DOC wet deposition concentrations. Interestingly, high DOC concentrations were also recorded during "dust-in-snow" events in the spring, which may reflect an association of DOM with dust. Detailed chemical and spectroscopic analyses conducted for samples collected in 2010 revealed that the DOM in many late spring and summer samples was less aromatic and polydisperse and of lower molecular weight than that of winter and fall samples. Our C budget estimates for the Green Lake 4 catchment

  14. Transient thermal effects in Alpine permafrost

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Noetzli

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available In high mountain areas, permafrost is important because it influences the occurrence of natural hazards, because it has to be considered in construction practices, and because it is sensitive to climate change. The assessment of its distribution and evolution is challenging because of highly variable conditions at and below the surface, steep topography and varying climatic conditions. This paper presents a systematic investigation of effects of topography and climate variability that are important for subsurface temperatures in Alpine bedrock permafrost. We studied the effects of both, past and projected future ground surface temperature variations on the basis of numerical experimentation with simplified mountain topography in order to demonstrate the principal effects. The modeling approach applied combines a distributed surface energy balance model and a three-dimensional subsurface heat conduction scheme. Results show that the past climate variations that essentially influence present-day permafrost temperatures at depth of the idealized mountains are the last glacial period and the major fluctuations in the past millennium. Transient effects from projected future warming, however, are likely larger than those from past climate conditions because larger temperature changes at the surface occur in shorter time periods. We further demonstrate the accelerating influence of multi-lateral warming in steep and complex topography for a temperature signal entering the subsurface as compared to the situation in flat areas. The effects of varying and uncertain material properties (i.e., thermal properties, porosity, and freezing characteristics on the subsurface temperature field were examined in sensitivity studies. A considerable influence of latent heat due to water in low-porosity bedrock was only shown for simulations over time periods of decades to centuries. At the end, the model was applied to the topographic setting of the Matterhorn

  15. Alpine ski bindings and injuries. Current findings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Natri, A; Beynnon, B D; Ettlinger, C F; Johnson, R J; Shealy, J E

    1999-07-01

    In spite of the fact that the overall incidence of alpine ski injuries has decreased during the last 25 years, the incidence of serious knee sprains usually involving the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) has risen dramatically since the late 1970s. This trend runs counter to a dramatic reduction in lower leg injuries that began in the early 1970s and to date has lowered the risk of injury below the knee by almost 90%. One of the primary design objectives of modern ski boots and bindings has been to protect the skier from tibia and ankle fractures. So, in that sense, they have done an excellent job. However, despite advances in equipment design, modern ski bindings have not protected the knee from serious ligament trauma. At the present time, we are unaware of any binding design, settings or function that can protect both the knee and lower extremities from serious ligament sprains. No innovative change in binding design appears to be on the horizon that has the potential to reduce the risk of these severe knee injuries. Indeed, only 1 study has demonstrated a means to help reduce this risk of serious knee sprains, and this study involved education of skiers, not ski equipment. Despite the inability of bindings to reduce the risk of severe knee injuries there can be no doubt that improvement in ski bindings has been the most important factor in the marked reduction in incidence of lower leg and ankle injuries during the last 25 years. The authors strongly endorse the application of present International Standards Organisation (ISO) and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards concerning mounting, setting and maintaining modern 'state of the art' bindings.

  16. Uranium-series dating of fossil bones from alpine caves

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leitner-Wild, E.; Steffan, I.

    1993-01-01

    During the course of an investigation of fossil cave bear populations the uranium-series method for absolute age determination has been applied to bone material. The applicability of the method to bone samples from alpine caves is demonstrated by the concordance of U/Th and U/Pa ages and cross-checks with the radiocarbon method. Stratigraphic agreement between bone ages and carbonate speleothem ages also indicates the potential of the uranium-series method as a suitable tool for the age determination of fossil bones from alpine cave environments. (Author)

  17. Ecological half-life of 137Cs in lichens in an alpine region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machart, Peter; Hofmann, Werner; Türk, Roman; Steger, Ferdinand

    2007-01-01

    About 17 years after the Chernobyl accident, lichen samples were collected in an alpine region in Austria (Bad Gastein), which was heavily contaminated by the Chernobyl fallout. Measured 137Cs activity concentrations in selected lichens (Cetraria islandica, Cetraria cucullata, and Cladonia arbuscula) ranged from 100 to 1100 Bq kg(-1) dry weight, depending on lichen species and sampling site. Ecological half-lives for 137Cs in different lichen samples, obtained by comparison with earlier measurements of the same lichen species at the same site, ranged from 2 to 6 years, with average values between 3 and 4 years. Comparison with earlier studies indicated that ecological half-lives hardly changed during the last 10 years, suggesting that ecological clearance mechanisms (e.g. washout or soil transfer) did not vary substantially at the selected sampling area.

  18. Ecological half-life of 137Cs in lichens in an alpine region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Machart, Peter; Hofmann, Werner; Tuerk, Roman; Steger, Ferdinand

    2007-01-01

    About 17 years after the Chernobyl accident, lichen samples were collected in an alpine region in Austria (Bad Gastein), which was heavily contaminated by the Chernobyl fallout. Measured 137 Cs activity concentrations in selected lichens (Cetraria islandica, Cetraria cucullata, and Cladonia arbuscula) ranged from 100 to 1100 Bq kg -1 dry weight, depending on lichen species and sampling site. Ecological half-lives for 137 Cs in different lichen samples, obtained by comparison with earlier measurements of the same lichen species at the same site, ranged from 2 to 6 years, with average values between 3 and 4 years. Comparison with earlier studies indicated that ecological half-lives hardly changed during the last 10 years, suggesting that ecological clearance mechanisms (e.g. washout or soil transfer) did not vary substantially at the selected sampling area

  19. Physiological limitation at alpine treeline: relationships of threshold responses of conifers to their establishment patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Germino, M. J.; Lazarus, B.; Castanha, C.; Moyes, A. B.; Kueppers, L. M.

    2014-12-01

    An understanding of physiological limitations to tree establishment at alpine treeline form the basis for predicting how this climate-driven boundary will respond to climate shifts. Most research on this topic has focused on limitations related to carbon balance and growth of trees. Carbon balance could limit survival and establishment primarily through slow-acting, chronic means. We asked whether tree survival and thus establishment patterns reflect control by chronic effects in comparison to acute, threshold responses, such as survival of frost events. Seedling survivorship patterns were compared to thresholds in freezing (temperature causing leaf freezing, or freezing point, FP; and physiological response to freezing) and water status (turgor loss point, TLP; and related physiological adjustments). Subject seedlings were from forest, treeline, and alpine sites in the Alpine Treeline Warming Experiment in Colorado, and included limber and lodgepole pine (a low-elevation species), and Engelmann Spruce. Preliminary results show survival increases with seedling age, but the only corresponding increase in stress acclimation was photosynthetic resistance to freezing and TLP, not FP. Differences in survivorship among the species were not consistent with variation in FP but they generally agreed with variation in photosynthetic resistance to deep freezing and to early-season drought avoidance. Mortality of limber pine increased 35% when minimum temperatures decreased below -9C, which compares with FPs of >-8.6C, and about 1/3 of its mortality occurred during cold/wet events, particularly in the alpine. The other major correlate of mortality is midsummer drying events, as previously reported. Also in limber pine, the TLP for year-old seedlings (-2.5 MPa) corresponded with seasonal-drought mortality. In summary, we show several examples of correspondence in physiological thresholds to mortality events within a species, although the relationships are not strong. Across

  20. Contamination sources and distribution patterns of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in Alpine rivers strongly affected by tourism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandaric, Ladislav; Diamantini, Elena; Stella, Elisa; Cano-Paoli, Karina; Valle-Sistac, Jennifer; Molins-Delgado, Daniel; Bellin, Alberto; Chiogna, Gabriele; Majone, Bruno; Diaz-Cruz, M Silvia; Sabater, Sergi; Barcelo, Damia; Petrovic, Mira

    2017-07-15

    Knowledge regarding the impact of tourism on the emergence of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in Alpine river waters is limited and scarce. Therefore, a study on the occurrence patterns and spatiotemporal variability of 105 PPCPs in an Alpine river basin located in the Trentino-Alto Adige region (North-Eastern Italy) has been conducted. We observed that the total concentration of analyzed PPCPs was generally higher in all sampling sites during winter than in the summer. The analysis of tourist data revealed that during both sampling campaigns the number of tourists was lower in the downstream sites in comparison with the upstream area of the basin (Val di Sole). Particularly, sampling sites located near important tourist resorts have shown the highest abundance of the PPCPs during winter, being analgesics/anti-inflammatories, antihypertensives and antibiotics the most abundant pharmaceutically active compounds (PhACs). Diclofenac showed the highest concentration amongst PhACs, reaching concentrations up to 675ngL -1 in the sampling site situated downstream of the Tonale wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). Antihypertensives were found at concentrations >300ngL -1 , while antibiotics were quantified up to 196ngL -1 , respectively. Amongst personal care products (PCPs), the most abundant compound was octyl-dimethyl-p-aminobenzoic acid (ODPABA) with concentrations reaching up to 748ngL -1 in the sampling site situated within the Rotaliana district. In general, concentrations and detection frequencies were higher in water than in the sediment samples. The most frequently detected PhACs in sediments from both sampling campaigns were antibiotics, while amongst PCPs in sediments, octocrylene (OC) showed the highest concentration in both sampling campaigns. As a result, this study highlights the potential impact of tourism on the water quality of the Alpine aquatic ecosystems. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Photochemistry and aerosol in alpine region: mixing and transport; Photochimie et aerosol en region alpine: melange et transport

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chaxel, E

    2006-11-15

    The Alpine arc deeply interacts with general circulation of atmosphere. By studying configurations in summer and winter over various Alpine areas, this work explains how mixing and transport of airborne pollutants happen, both gaseous and particulate matter, from their emission sources to free troposphere. Using observational results and a comprehensive Eulerian modelling system, one focuses on mechanisms of pollution by ozone in summer and by particulate matter and benzene in winter. After having validated the modelling system using datasets from field experiments POVA, GRENOPHOT and ESCOMPTE, it is applied on two periods with principal interest in the Grenoble area: one is the heat-wave August 2003 and the other is a long episode of thermal inversion in February 2005. Uncertainties are also calculated. One finishes by applying the modelling chain to understand how a stratospheric intrusion following a tropopause fold affected the Alpine region in July 2004. (author)

  2. An Investigation of the Impacts of Climate and Environmental Change on Alpine Lakes in the Uinta Mountains, Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moser, K. A.; Hundey, E. J.; Porinchu, D. F.

    2007-12-01

    Aquatic systems in alpine and sub-alpine areas of the western United States are potentially impacted by atmospheric pollution and climate change. Because these mountainous regions are an important water resource for the western United States, it is critical to monitor and protect these systems. The Uinta Mountains are an east- west trending mountain range located on the border between Utah, Wyoming and Colorado and downwind of the Wasatch Front, Utah, which is characterized by a rapidly expanding population, as well as mining and industry. This alpine area provides water to many areas in Utah, and contributes approximately nine percent of the water supply to the Upper Colorado River. Our research is focused on determining the impacts of climate change and pollution on alpine lakes in the Uinta Mountains. The results presented here are based on limnological measurements made at 64 Uinta Mountain lakes spanning a longitude gradient of one degree and an elevation gradient of 3000 feet. At each lake maximum depth, conductivity, salinity, pH, Secchi depth, temperature, alkalinity, and concentrations of major anions, cations and trace metals were measured. Principal Components Analysis (PCA) was performed to determine relationships between these variables and to examine the variability of the values of these variables. Our results indicate that steep climate gradients related to elevation and longitude result in clear differences in limnological properties of the study sites, with high elevation lakes characterized by greater amounts of nitrate and nitrite compared to low elevation sites. As well, diatoms in these lakes indicate that many high elevation sites are mesotrophic to eutrophic, which is unexpected for such remote aquatic ecosystems. We hypothesize that elevated nitrate and nitrite levels at high elevation sites are related to atmospherically derived nitrogen, but are being exacerbated relative to lower elevation sites by greater snow cover and reduced plant

  3. The 'Alpine Windharvest' project - Overview; Projekt Alpine Windharvest - Schlussbericht

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schaffner, B.; Kunz, S. [Suisse Eole, Meteotest, Berne (Switzerland)

    2005-07-01

    This short introduction forms part of a final report for the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) that presents the results of a project carried out by the Swiss wind-energy organisation 'Suisse Eole' and the meteorology specialists of the company METEOTEST. The project investigated the use of digital relief-analysis and formed part of a European wind-energy project that investigated the technical, legal and socio-economical aspects of the use of wind energy. The work-package 7 included the identification of wind-energy areas using comparative Geographic Information System (GIS) methods. An overview is provided of the wind-energy potential in the whole of the alpine region and five areas in which measurements are to be made, including GIS analyses, are defined.

  4. Increased stem density and competition may diminish the positive effects of warming at alpine treeline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yafeng; Pederson, Neil; Ellison, Aaron M; Buckley, Hannah L; Case, Bradley S; Liang, Eryuan; Julio Camarero, J

    2016-07-01

    The most widespread response to global warming among alpine treeline ecotones is not an upward shift, but an increase in tree density. However, the impact of increasing density on interactions among trees at treeline is not well understood. Here, we test if treeline densification induced by climatic warming leads to increasing intraspecific competition. We mapped and measured the size and age of Smith fir trees growing in two treelines located in the southeastern Tibetan Plateau. We used spatial point-pattern and codispersion analyses to describe the spatial association and covariation among seedlings, juveniles, and adults grouped in 30-yr age classes from the 1860s to the present. Effects of competition on tree height and regeneration were inferred from bivariate mark-correlations. Since the 1950s, a rapid densification occurred at both sites in response to climatic warming. Competition between adults and juveniles or seedlings at small scales intensified as density increased. Encroachment negatively affected height growth and further reduced recruitment around mature trees. We infer that tree recruitment at the studied treelines was more cold-limited prior to 1950 and shifted to a less temperature-constrained regime in response to climatic warming. Therefore, the ongoing densification and encroachment of alpine treelines could alter the way climate drives their transitions toward subalpine forests. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  5. Alpine cloud climatology using long-term NOAA-AVHRR satellite data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kaestner, M.; Kriebel, K.T.

    2000-07-01

    Three different climates have been identified by our evaluation of AVHRR (advanced very high resolution radiometer) data using APOLLO (AVHRR processing scheme over land, clouds and ocean) for a five-years cloud climatology of the Alpine region. The cloud cover data from four layers were spatially averaged in boxes of 15 km by 14 km. The study area only comprises 540 km by 560 km, but contains regions with moderate, Alpine and Mediterranean climate. Data from the period July 1989 until December 1996 have been considered. The temporal resolution is one scene per day, the early afternoon pass, yielding monthly means of satellite derived cloud coverages 5% to 10% above the daily mean compared to conventional surface observation. At nonvegetated sites the cloudiness is sometimes significantly overestimated. Averaging high resolution cloud data seems to be superior to low resolution measurements of cloud properties and averaging is favourable in topographical homogeneous regions only. The annual course of cloud cover reveals typical regional features as foehn or temporal singularities as the so-called Christmas thaw. The cloud cover maps in spatially high resolution show local luff/lee features which outline the orography. Less cloud cover is found over the Alps than over the forelands in winter, an accumulation of thick cirrus is found over the High Alps and an accumulation of thin cirrus north of the Alps. (orig.)

  6. CanWEA regional issues and wind energy project siting : mountainous areas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    D' Entremont, M. [Jacques Whitford Ltd., Vancouver, BC (Canada)]|[Axys Environmental Consulting Ltd., Vancouver, BC (Canada)

    2008-07-01

    Planning and permitting considerations for wind energy project siting in mountainous areas were discussed. Mountainous regions have a specific set of environmental and socio-economic concerns. Potential disruptions to wildlife, noise, and visual impacts are a primary concern in the assessment of potential wind farm projects. Alpine habitats are unique and often contain fragile and endangered species. Reclamation techniques for mountainous habitats have not been extensively tested, and the sites are not as resilient as sites located in other ecosystems. In addition, alpine habitats are often migratory corridors and breeding grounds for threatened or endangered birds. In the winter months, alpine habitats are used by caribou, grizzly bears, and wolverine dens. Bats are also present at high elevations. It is often difficult to conduct baseline and monitoring studies in mountainous areas since alpine habitat is subject to rapid weather changes, and has a very short construction period. tabs., figs.

  7. Diversity and distribution patterns of root-associated fungi on herbaceous plants in alpine meadows of southwestern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Qian; Yang, Zhu L

    2016-01-01

    The diversity of root-associated fungi associated with four ectomycorrhizal herbaceous species, Kobresia capillifolia, Carex parva, Polygonum macrophyllum and Potentilla fallens, collected in three sites of alpine meadows in southwestern China, was estimated based on internal transcribed spacer (ITS) rDNA sequence analysis of root tips. Three hundred seventy-seven fungal sequences sorted to 154 operational taxonomical units (sequence similarity of ≥ 97% across the ITS) were obtained from the four plant species across all three sites. Similar taxa (in GenBank with ≥ 97% similarity) were not found in GenBank and/or UNITE for most of the OTUs. Ectomycorrhiz a made up 64% of the fungi operational taxonomic units (OTUs), endophytes constituted 4% and the other 33% were unidentified root-associated fungi. Fungal OTUs were represented by 57% basidiomycetes and 43% ascomycetes. Inocybe, Tomentella/Thelophora, Sebacina, Hebeloma, Pezizomycotina, Cenococcum geophilum complex, Cortinarius, Lactarius and Helotiales were OTU-rich fungal lineages. Across the sites and host species the root-associated fungal communities generally exhibited low host and site specificity but high host and sampling site preference. Collectively our study revealed noteworthy diversity and endemism of root-associated fungi of alpine plants in this global biodiversity hotspot. © 2016 by The Mycological Society of America.

  8. Influence of mineralogy and microstructures on strain localization and fault zone architecture of the Alpine Fault, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ichiba, T.; Kaneki, S.; Hirono, T.; Oohashi, K.; Schuck, B.; Janssen, C.; Schleicher, A.; Toy, V.; Dresen, G.

    2017-12-01

    The Alpine Fault on New Zealand's South Island is an oblique, dextral strike-slip fault that accommodated the majority of displacement between the Pacific and the Australian Plates and presents the biggest seismic hazard in the region. Along its central segment, the hanging wall comprises greenschist and amphibolite facies Alpine Schists. Exhumation from 35 km depth, along a SE-dipping detachment, lead to mylonitization which was subsequently overprinted by brittle deformation and finally resulted in the fault's 1 km wide damage zone. The geomechanical behavior of a fault is affected by the internal structure of its fault zone. Consequently, studying processes controlling fault zone architecture allows assessing the seismic hazard of a fault. Here we present the results of a combined microstructural (SEM and TEM), mineralogical (XRD) and geochemical (XRF) investigation of outcrop samples originating from several locations along the Alpine Fault, the aim of which is to evaluate the influence of mineralogical composition, alteration and pre-existing fabric on strain localization and to identify the controls on the fault zone architecture, particularly the locus of brittle deformation in P, T and t space. Field observations reveal that the fault's principal slip zone (PSZ) is either a thin (< 1 cm to < 7 cm) layered structure or a relatively thick (10s cm) package lacking a detectable macroscopic fabric. Lithological and related rheological contrasts are widely assumed to govern strain localization. However, our preliminary results suggest that qualitative mineralogical composition has only minor impact on fault zone architecture. Quantities of individual mineral phases differ markedly between fault damage zone and fault core at specific sites, but the quantitative composition of identical structural units such as the fault core, is similar in all samples. This indicates that the degree of strain localization at the Alpine Fault might be controlled by small initial

  9. Alpine glacial topography and the rate of rock column uplift

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Vivi Kathrine; Egholm, D.L.; Nielsen, S.B.

    2010-01-01

    The present study investigates the influence of alpine glacial erosion on the morphology and relief distribution of mountain regions associated with varying rock column uplift rates. We take a global approach and analyse the surface area distribution of all mountain regions affected by glacial er...

  10. Classification of the eastern alpine vegetation of Lesotho | Morris ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Five vegetation communities in the alpine catchment of Lesotho were identified by hierarchical classification of the botanical composition data. Discriminant analysis indicated that these communities occupy particular topographic positions. The community-environmental relationships identified in this study were similar to ...

  11. Vegetation Structure and Temperature Regimes of Tropical Alpine Treelines

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bader, M.Y.; Rietkerk, M.G.; Bregt, A.K.

    2007-01-01

    Alpine treeline ecotones can be gradual transitions, abrupt boundaries, or patchy mosaics, and these different patterns may indicate important processes and dynamic properties. We present observed spatial patterns of a wide range of tropical treelines and try to explain these patterns. Treelines

  12. Vegetation structure and temperature regimes of tropical alpine treelines

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bader, M.; Rietkerk, M.; Bregt, A.K.

    2007-01-01

    Alpine treeline ecotones can be gradual transitions, abrupt boundaries, or patchy mosaics, and these different patterns may indicate important processes and dynamic properties. We present observed spatial patterns of a wide range of tropical treelines and try to explain these patterns. Treelines

  13. Australian Alps: Kosciuszko, Alpine and Namadgi National Parks (Second Edition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole Porter

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Reviewed: Australian Alps: Kosciuszko, Alpine and Namadgi National Parks (Second Edition By Deidre Slattery. Clayton South, Australia: CSIRO Publishing, 2015. xvii + 302 pp. AU$ 45.00, US$ 35.95. ISBN 978-1-486-30171-3.

  14. Alpine Skiing With total knee ArthroPlasty (ASWAP)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, M.; Pötzelsberger, B.; Scheiber, P.

    2015-01-01

    We investigated the effect of alpine skiing for 12 weeks on skeletal muscle characteristics and biomarkers of glucose homeostasis and cardiovascular risk factors. Twenty-three patients with a total knee arthroplasty (TKA) were studied 2.9 ± 0.9 years (mean ± SD) after the operation. Fourteen...

  15. Methods for measuring arctic and alpine shrub growth: A review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Myers-Smith, I.H.; Hallinger, M.; Blok, D.; Sass-Klaassen, U.G.W.; Rayback, S.A.

    2015-01-01

    Shrubs have increased in abundance and dominance in arctic and alpine regions in recent decades. This often dramatic change, likely due to climate warming, has the potential to alter both the structure and function of tundra ecosystems. The analysis of shrub growth is improving our understanding of

  16. [A large-scale accident in Alpine terrain].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wildner, M; Paal, P

    2015-02-01

    Due to the geographical conditions, large-scale accidents amounting to mass casualty incidents (MCI) in Alpine terrain regularly present rescue teams with huge challenges. Using an example incident, specific conditions and typical problems associated with such a situation are presented. The first rescue team members to arrive have the elementary tasks of qualified triage and communication to the control room, which is required to dispatch the necessary additional support. Only with a clear "concept", to which all have to adhere, can the subsequent chaos phase be limited. In this respect, a time factor confounded by adverse weather conditions or darkness represents enormous pressure. Additional hazards are frostbite and hypothermia. If priorities can be established in terms of urgency, then treatment and procedure algorithms have proven successful. For evacuation of causalities, a helicopter should be strived for. Due to the low density of hospitals in Alpine regions, it is often necessary to distribute the patients over a wide area. Rescue operations in Alpine terrain have to be performed according to the particular conditions and require rescue teams to have specific knowledge and expertise. The possibility of a large-scale accident should be considered when planning events. With respect to optimization of rescue measures, regular training and exercises are rational, as is the analysis of previous large-scale Alpine accidents.

  17. A modified MOD16 algorithm to estimate evapotranspiration over alpine meadow on the Tibetan Plateau, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Y.; Ding, Y.; Zhao, Q.; Zhang, S.

    2017-12-01

    The accurate estimation of evapotranspiration (ET) is crucial for managing water resources in areas with extreme climates affected by climate change, such as the Tibetan Plateau (TP). The MOD16 ET product has also been validated and applied in many countries with various climates, however, its performance varies under different climates and regions. Several have studied ET based on satellite-based models on the TP. However, only a few studies on the performance of MOD16 in the TP with heterogeneous land cover have been reported. This study proposes an improved algorithm for estimating ET based on a proposed modified MOD16 method over alpine meadow on the TP in China. Wind speed and vegetation height were integrated to estimate aerodynamic resistance, while the temperature and moisture constraint for stomatal conductance were revised based on the technique proposed by Fisher et al. (2008). Moreover, Fisher's method for soil evaporation was introduced to decrease the uncertainty of soil evaporation estimation. Five representative alpine meadow sites on the TP were selected to investigate the performance of the modified algorithm. Comparisons between ET observed using Eddy Covariance (EC) and estimated using both the original method and modified method suggest that the modified algorithm had better performance than the original MOD16 method. This result was achieved considering that the coefficient of determination (R2) increased from 0.28 to 0.70, and the root mean square error (RMSE) decreased from 1.31 to 0.77 mm d-1. The modified algorithm also outperformed on precipitation days compared to non-precipitation days at Suli and Hulugou sites, while it performed well for both non-precipitation and precipitation days at Tanggula site. Comparisons of the 8-day ET estimation using the MOD16 product, original MOD16 method, and modified MOD16 method with observed ET suggest that MOD16 product underestimated ET over the alpine meadow of the TP during the growing season

  18. Monitoring coal mine changes and their impact on landscape patterns in an alpine region: a case study of the Muli coal mine in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Dawen; Yan, Changzhen; Xing, Zanpin; Xiu, Lina

    2017-10-14

    The Muli coal mine is the largest open-cast coal mine in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and it consists of two independent mining sites named Juhugeng and Jiangcang. It has received much attention due to the ecological problems caused by rapid expansion in recent years. The objective of this paper was to monitor the mining area and its surrounding land cover over the period 1976-2016 utilizing Landsat images, and the network structure of land cover changes was determined to visualize the relationships and pattern of the mining-induced land cover changes. In addition, the responses of the surrounding landscape pattern were analysed by constructing gradient transects. The results show that the mining area was increasing in size, especially after 2000 (increased by 71.68 km 2 ), and this caused shrinkage of the surrounding lands, including alpine meadow wetland (53.44 km 2 ), alpine meadow (6.28 km 2 ) and water (6.24 km 2 ). The network structure of the mining area revealed the changes in lands surrounding the mining area. The impact of mining development on landscape patterns was mainly distributed within a range of 1-6 km. Alpine meadow wetland was most affected in Juhugeng, while alpine meadow was most affected in Jiangcang. The results of this study provide a reference for the ecological assessment and restoration of the Muli coal mine land.

  19. UAS applications in high alpine, snow-covered terrain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bühler, Y.; Stoffel, A.; Ginzler, C.

    2017-12-01

    Access to snow-covered, alpine terrain is often difficult and dangerous. Hence parameters such as snow depth or snow avalanche release and deposition zones are hard to map in situ with adequate spatial and temporal resolution and with spatial continuous coverage. These parameters are currently operationally measured at automated weather stations and by observer networks. However such isolated point measurements are not able to capture the information spatial continuous and to describe the high spatial variability present in complex mountain topography. Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) have the potential to fill this gap by frequently covering selected high alpine areas with high spatial resolution down to ground resolutions of even few millimeters. At the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF we test different photogrammetric UAS with visual and near infrared bands. During the last three years we were able to gather experience in more than 100 flight missions in extreme terrain. By processing the imagery applying state-of-the-art structure from motion (SfM) software, we were able to accurately document several avalanche events and to photogrammetrically map snow depth with accuracies from 1 to 20 cm (dependent on the flight height above ground) compare to manual snow probe measurements. This was even possible on homogenous snow surfaces with very little texture. A key issue in alpine terrain is flight planning. We need to cover regions at high elevations with large altitude differences (up to 1 km) with high wind speeds (up to 20 m/s) and cold temperatures (down to - 25°C). Only a few UAS are able to cope with these environmental conditions. We will give an overview on our applications of UAS in high alpine terrain that demonstrate the big potential of such systems to acquire frequent, accurate and high spatial resolution geodata in high alpine, snow covered terrain that could be essential to answer longstanding questions in avalanche and snow hydrology

  20. ECOLOGICAL STATUS AND IMPACT OF DISTURBANCE IN AN ALPINE PASTURE OF GARHWAL HIMALAYA, INDIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MANOJ DHAULAKHANDI

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available The alpine area in Garhwal Himalaya is highly fragile and is known for its beautiful flora and fauna. The study area was located just below the Gangotri glacier which is the origin of Bhagirathi, a holy river of India. Pilgrimage, tourism, adventure activities and mules are the factors responsible for causing disturbance in this area. There is a remarkable variation in the values of diversity, species richness, dominance, density IVI and biomass production at Bhojbasa Protected (BP and Bhojbasa Disturbed (BD sites. The value of liveshoot biomass was highest in August (444 g m-2 on BP and 80 g m-2 on BD sites. Belowground biomass was also recorded highest for BP site and lowest for BD site. The ANP value at BP site was 363 g m-2 y-1 and 26 g m-2 y-1 at BD site.This area has shown decrease in diversity and productivity, and heavy soil erosion that indicate the consequence of increasing human activities due to pilgrimage, tourism and camping and frequent movement of mules carrying goods. Therefore, this area requires strict measures for biodiversity conservation and disaster mitigation.

  1. A more holistic understanding of soil organic matter pools of alpine and pre-alpine grassland soils in a changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia Franco, Noelia; Wiesmeier, Martin; Kiese, Ralf; Dannenmann, Michael; Wolf, Benjamin; Brandhuber, Robert; Beck, Robert; Kögel-Knabner, Ingrid

    2016-04-01

    In southern Germany, the alpine and pre-alpine grassland systems (> 1 Mio ha) provide an important economic value via fodder used for milk and meat production and grassland soils support environmental key functions (C and N storage, water retention, erosion control and biodiversity hot spot). In addition, these grassland soils constitute important regions for tourism and recreation. However, the different land use and management practices in this area introduce changes which are likely to accelerate due to climate change. The newly launched SUPSALPS project within the BonaRes Initiative of the German Ministry for Education and Research is focused on the development and evaluation of innovative grassland management strategies under climate change with an emphasis on soil functions, which are on the one hand environmental sustainable and on the other hand economically viable. Several field experiments of the project will be initialized in order to evaluate grassland soil functioning for a range of current and climate adapted management practices. A multi-factorial design combines ongoing and new plant-soil meso-/macrocosm and field studies at a multitude of existing long-term research sites along an elevation gradient in Bavaria. One of the specific objectives of the project is to improve our knowledge on the sensitivity of specific soil organic matter (SOM) fractions to climate change. Moreover, the project aims to determine the processes and mechanisms involved in the build-up and stabilization of C and N pools under different management practices. In order to derive sensitive SOM pools, a promising physical fractionation method was developed that enables the separation of five different SOM fractions by density, ultrasonication and sieving separation: fine particulate organic matter (fPOM), occluded particulate organic matter (oPOM>20μm and oPOM 20 μm; medium + fine silt and clay, management changes.

  2. Assessing the recovery potential of alpine moss-sedge heath: Reciprocal transplants along a nitrogen deposition gradient

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Armitage, Heather F., E-mail: h.armitage@abdn.ac.u [Macaulay Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen AB15 8QH (United Kingdom); Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 3UU (United Kingdom); Britton, Andrea J. [Macaulay Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen AB15 8QH (United Kingdom); Woodin, Sarah J. [Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 3UU (United Kingdom); Wal, Rene van der [Aberdeen Centre for Environmental Sustainability (ACES), School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 3UU (United Kingdom)

    2011-01-15

    The potential of alpine moss-sedge heath to recover from elevated nitrogen (N) deposition was assessed by transplanting Racomitrium lanuginosum shoots and vegetation turfs between 10 elevated N deposition sites (8.2-32.9 kg ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1}) and a low N deposition site, Ben Wyvis (7.2 kg ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1}). After two years, tissue N of Racomitrium shoots transplanted from higher N sites to Ben Wyvis only partially equilibrated to reduced N deposition whereas reciprocal transplants almost matched the tissue N of indigenous moss. Unexpectedly, moss shoot growth was stimulated at higher N deposition sites. However, moss depth and biomass increased in turfs transplanted to Ben Wyvis, apparently due to slower shoot turnover (suggested to result partly from decreased tissue C:N slowing decomposition), whilst abundance of vascular species declined. Racomitrium heath has the potential to recover from the impacts of N deposition; however, this is constrained by the persistence of enhanced moss tissue N contents. - Alpine moss-sedge heath, dominated by Racomitrium lanuginosum, from across the UK has the potential to recover from the impacts of N pollution; however, this is constrained by persistence of enhanced moss tissue N contents.

  3. Assessing the recovery potential of alpine moss-sedge heath: Reciprocal transplants along a nitrogen deposition gradient

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Armitage, Heather F.; Britton, Andrea J.; Woodin, Sarah J.; Wal, Rene van der

    2011-01-01

    The potential of alpine moss-sedge heath to recover from elevated nitrogen (N) deposition was assessed by transplanting Racomitrium lanuginosum shoots and vegetation turfs between 10 elevated N deposition sites (8.2-32.9 kg ha -1 yr -1 ) and a low N deposition site, Ben Wyvis (7.2 kg ha -1 yr -1 ). After two years, tissue N of Racomitrium shoots transplanted from higher N sites to Ben Wyvis only partially equilibrated to reduced N deposition whereas reciprocal transplants almost matched the tissue N of indigenous moss. Unexpectedly, moss shoot growth was stimulated at higher N deposition sites. However, moss depth and biomass increased in turfs transplanted to Ben Wyvis, apparently due to slower shoot turnover (suggested to result partly from decreased tissue C:N slowing decomposition), whilst abundance of vascular species declined. Racomitrium heath has the potential to recover from the impacts of N deposition; however, this is constrained by the persistence of enhanced moss tissue N contents. - Alpine moss-sedge heath, dominated by Racomitrium lanuginosum, from across the UK has the potential to recover from the impacts of N pollution; however, this is constrained by persistence of enhanced moss tissue N contents.

  4. Robust extraction of baseline signal of atmospheric trace species using local regression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruckstuhl, A. F.; Henne, S.; Reimann, S.; Steinbacher, M.; Vollmer, M. K.; O'Doherty, S.; Buchmann, B.; Hueglin, C.

    2012-11-01

    The identification of atmospheric trace species measurements that are representative of well-mixed background air masses is required for monitoring atmospheric composition change at background sites. We present a statistical method based on robust local regression that is well suited for the selection of background measurements and the estimation of associated baseline curves. The bootstrap technique is applied to calculate the uncertainty in the resulting baseline curve. The non-parametric nature of the proposed approach makes it a very flexible data filtering method. Application to carbon monoxide (CO) measured from 1996 to 2009 at the high-alpine site Jungfraujoch (Switzerland, 3580 m a.s.l.), and to measurements of 1,1-difluoroethane (HFC-152a) from Jungfraujoch (2000 to 2009) and Mace Head (Ireland, 1995 to 2009) demonstrates the feasibility and usefulness of the proposed approach. The determined average annual change of CO at Jungfraujoch for the 1996 to 2009 period as estimated from filtered annual mean CO concentrations is -2.2 ± 1.1 ppb yr-1. For comparison, the linear trend of unfiltered CO measurements at Jungfraujoch for this time period is -2.9 ± 1.3 ppb yr-1.

  5. Robust extraction of baseline signal of atmospheric trace species using local regression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. F. Ruckstuhl

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The identification of atmospheric trace species measurements that are representative of well-mixed background air masses is required for monitoring atmospheric composition change at background sites. We present a statistical method based on robust local regression that is well suited for the selection of background measurements and the estimation of associated baseline curves. The bootstrap technique is applied to calculate the uncertainty in the resulting baseline curve. The non-parametric nature of the proposed approach makes it a very flexible data filtering method. Application to carbon monoxide (CO measured from 1996 to 2009 at the high-alpine site Jungfraujoch (Switzerland, 3580 m a.s.l., and to measurements of 1,1-difluoroethane (HFC-152a from Jungfraujoch (2000 to 2009 and Mace Head (Ireland, 1995 to 2009 demonstrates the feasibility and usefulness of the proposed approach.

    The determined average annual change of CO at Jungfraujoch for the 1996 to 2009 period as estimated from filtered annual mean CO concentrations is −2.2 ± 1.1 ppb yr−1. For comparison, the linear trend of unfiltered CO measurements at Jungfraujoch for this time period is −2.9 ± 1.3 ppb yr−1.

  6. Des broussailles dans les prairies alpines

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    Olivier Camacho

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Landscape closing due to the decline in agricultural activity is considered to be a major problem in the Alps. Abondance Valley provides a good example of this phenomenon and is also representative of a paradox commonly found in the Northern French Alps: the mountainsides and alpine pastures are still used, whereas they are becoming increasingly afforested. Environmental conditions play a major role in the localisation of agricultural land uses, but they are not sufficient to explain why pastures still in use are being invaded by shrub. Even if cutting makes it possible to effectively control the encroachment by woody species, this is not true for uncut pastures where grazing is not able to keep up with grass production. This situation is repeated every year and is the likely cause of the colonisation by woody species. To ensure their forage system and to simplify their work, farmers tend to establish grazing units that are oversized in relation to the needs of their animals. They implement compensatory practices that consist of mechanical maintenance as a complement to grazing to limit the dynamics of woody species. These labour-intensive practices are not used on all of the pastures. The analysis of farmers’ practices by agronomists is therefore a useful complement to studies of physical and socio-economic environments, at the level of the grazed field as well as at that of the valley as a whole.La dégradation des paysages par suite du recul de l’activité agricole est considérée comme un enjeu majeur dans les Alpes. La vallée d’Abondance illustre bien ce phénomène de fermeture de l’espace mais elle est en outre représentative d’un paradoxe assez répandu dans les Alpes du nord françaises : les versants et les alpages sont encore exploités et pourtant ils se boisent progressivement. Les conditions de milieux jouent un rôle majeur sur la localisation des usages agricoles de l'espace, mais elles ne peuvent pas suffire pour

  7. Influence of snow cover distribution on soil temperature and nutrient dynamics in alpine pedoenvironments

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    Ermanno Zanini

    Full Text Available In Alpine sites snow is present on the ground from six to eight months per year in relation to elevation and exposure. Water is therefore immobilized into the solid state for the greater part of the winter season and released to the ground in a short period during spring snowmelt. In these areas, snow distribution exercises a fundamental role in influencing soil temperature and nutrient dynamics, in particular of nitrogen, with great consequences on plant nutrition. The dormant vegetation period, the low temperatures and the persistent snow cover suggest that soil biological activity is only concentrated during summer. As a matter of fact, soils covered with a consistent snow cover are isolated from the air temperature and can not freeze during winter. A snowpack of sufficient thickness, accumulated early in winter, insulates the ground from the surrounding atmosphere maintaining soil temperature closed to 0 °C during the whole winter season. The elevation of the snow line and the shorter permanence of snow on the ground, as a result of global warming (IPCC, 1996, 2001, might reduce the insulation effect of the snowpack, exposing soils of the mountain belt to lower temperatures and to a greater frequency of freeze/thaw cycles, which might alter organic matter dynamics and soil nutrient availability. Such thermal stresses may determine the lysis of microbial cells and the consequent increase of nitrogen and carbon mineralization by the survived microorganisms. Moreover, the freeze/thaw cycles can determine the exposure of exchange surfaces not available before, with release of organic matter of non-microbial origin, which may become available to surviving microorganisms for respiration. The reduced or absent microbial immobilization may cause the accumulation of remarkable amounts of inorganic nitrogen in soil, potentially leachable during spring snowmelt, when plants have not still started the growing season. Changes of snow distribution in

  8. First measurement of ice-bedrock interface of alpine glaciers by cosmic muon radiography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishiyama, R.; Ariga, A.; Ariga, T.; Käser, S.; Lechmann, A.; Mair, D.; Scampoli, P.; Vladymyrov, M.; Ereditato, A.; Schlunegger, F.

    2017-06-01

    The shape of the bedrock underneath alpine glaciers bears vital information on the erosional mechanism related to the flow of ice. So far, several geophysical exploration methods have been proposed to map the bedrock topography though with limited accuracy. Here we illustrate the first results from a technology, called cosmic ray muon radiography, newly applied in glacial geology to investigate the bedrock geometry beneath the Aletsch Glacier situated in the Central Swiss Alps. For this purpose we installed new cosmic muon detectors made of emulsion films at three sites along the Jungfrau railway tunnel and measured the shape of the bedrock under the uppermost part of Aletsch Glacier (Jungfraufirn). Our results constrain the continuation of the bedrock-ice interface up to a depth of 50 m below the surface, where the bedrock underneath the glacier strikes NE-SW and dips at 45° ± 5°. This documents the first successful application of this technology to a glaciated environment.

  9. Innovation in the plural of the alpine cre-actors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andréa Finger-Stich

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available The capacity to innovate for a sustainable development of alpine territories cannot depend only on economic, legal and political conditions defined by the State at national and international levels. It depends also on local conditions that situate historically and geographically the actors in a continuity of social and ecological relationships. This approach highlights the collective – thus organisational – dimensions of the innovation process, including the imagination, the development, the implementation and even the diffusion of a new practice. Our point of view is that for contributing to the sustainable development of the Alps, innovations need to change the ecological, political, social and cultural relationships engaging the actors in these territories. This change affects as much the object territory as the subject actor of the territory. This is why innovating in the Alps means also innovating the Alps and the alpine actors (Cosalp, 2008. Based on a research about local people’s participation in the management of alpine communal forests, the article shows the importance of local interactions involving actors of diverse occupation, gender, age and origins1.La capacité d’innovation pour un développement durable des territoires alpins ne peut dépendre uniquement de conditions économiques, légales et politiques définies par les Etats aux échelles nationale et internationale. Elle dépend aussi de conditions locales, qui situent historiquement et géographiquement les acteurs dans une continuité de relations sociales et écologiques. Cette perspective accentue l’importance de la dimension collective, donc organisationnelle, du processus d’innovation, allant de l’imagination, puis au développement, à la réalisation – voire la diffusion – d’une nouvelle pratique. Le point de vue de cet article est qu’une innovation, pour contribuer au développement durable des Alpes, doit changer les relations

  10. Integration of 3D geological modeling and gravity surveys for geothermal prospection in an Alpine region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guglielmetti, L.; Comina, C.; Abdelfettah, Y.; Schill, E.; Mandrone, G.

    2013-11-01

    Thermal sources are common manifestations of geothermal energy resources in Alpine regions. The up-flow of the fluid is well-known to be often linked to cross-cutting fault zones providing a significant volume of fractures. Since conventional exploration methods are challenging in such areas of high topography and complicated logistics, 3D geological modeling based on structural investigation becomes a useful tool for assessing the overall geology of the investigated sites. Geological modeling alone is, however, less effective if not integrated with deep subsurface investigations that could provide a first order information on geological boundaries and an imaging of geological structures. With this aim, in the present paper the combined use of 3D geological modeling and gravity surveys for geothermal prospection of a hydrothermal area in the western Alps was carried out on two sites located in the Argentera Massif (NW Italy). The geothermal activity of the area is revealed by thermal anomalies with surface evidences, such as hot springs, at temperatures up to 70 °C. Integration of gravity measurements and 3D modeling investigates the potential of this approach in the context of geothermal exploration in Alpine regions where a very complex geological and structural setting is expected. The approach used in the present work is based on the comparison between the observed gravity and the gravity effect of the 3D geological models, in order to enhance local effects related to the geothermal system. It is shown that a correct integration of 3D modeling and detailed geophysical survey could allow a better characterization of geological structures involved in geothermal fluids circulation. Particularly, gravity inversions have successfully delineated the continuity in depth of low density structures, such as faults and fractured bands observed at the surface, and have been of great help in improving the overall geological model.

  11. Measurements of IN and BIO-IN with the fast ice nucleus chamber FINCH at Mt. Zugspitze, Mt. Puy de Dôme and Jungfraujoch during fall and winter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nillius, B.; Frank, F.; Bingemer, H.; Curtius, J.; Bundke, U.

    2013-05-01

    In this work we present IN measurements at Mt. Zugspitze, Germany, 2650 m.a.s.l., Mt. Puy de Dôme, France, 1464 m.a.s.l. and Jungfraujoch, Switzerland, 3580 m a.s.l during fall and winter 2012 with the instrument FINCH HALO (Fast Ice Nucleus Chamber for the High Altitude and LOng range research aircraft HALO). In this device the temperature and super saturation for activation of Ice Nuclei (IN) and the growth to ice crystals is obtained by mixing three gas flows of different temperatures and moisture. After the growth of IN and Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN) to macroscopic ice crystals and super-cooled water droplets in the development chamber, they are counted using an optical detector. The discrimination between ice and water is made by measuring the circular depolarization ratio of the backscattered laser light of each individual particle. IN are classified as biological particles by measuring their individual intrinsic-fluorescence during the winter campaigns in average 30-40 % of the IN show an intrinsic fluorescence and are supposed to be of biological origin.

  12. MILK COAGULATION PROPERTIES OF CATTLE BREEDS REARED IN ALPINE AREA

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    Giulio Visentin

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the present study was to apply mid-infrared spectroscopy prediction models developed for milk coagulation properties (MCP to a spectral dataset of 123,240 records collected over a 2-year period in the Alpine area, and to investigate sources of variation of the predicted MCP. Mixed linear models included fixed effects of breed, month and year of sampling, days in milk, parity, and the interactions between the main effects. Random effects were herd nested within breed, cow nested within breed, and the residual. All fixed effects were significant (P<0.05 in explaining the variation of MCP. In particular, milk clotting characteristics varied significantly among breeds, and local Alpine Grey breed exhibited the most favourable processing characteristics. Milk coagulation properties varied across lactation and were at their worst after the peak.

  13. Climate change and mountain Grouse: recent evidences from alpine habitats

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    Brugnoli A

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Current climate change, referring as well to the observed rain and temperature patterns as to the increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather conditions, has a deep influence on biotic communities and, in particular, on mountain Grouse. These species show great adaptation to coldness, are highly sedentary and have quite “strict” ecological requirements, when it deals with habitat selection. Moreover, their alpine ranges are dangerously marginal to the main distribution areas, which increases the risk of dramatic changes in occurrence, demography and ecology. However, not all the species will predictably be exposed in the same way to the menace of climate change over the next 50-100 years. This article gives a brief review of the main data acquired in the alpine environment in this matter. It also underlines the utmost need to proceed with research and monitoring activities, in order to effectively adapt and manage conservation strategies on mid-long terms.

  14. Impact of climatic change on alpine ecosystems: inference and prediction

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    Nigel G. Yoccoz

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Alpine ecosystems will be greatly impacted by climatic change, but other factors, such as land use and invasive species, are likely to play an important role too. Climate can influence ecosystems at several levels. We describe some of them, stressing methodological approaches and available data. Climate can modify species phenology, such as flowering date of plants and hatching date in insects. It can also change directly population demography (survival, reproduction, dispersal, and therefore species distribution. Finally it can effect interactions among species – snow cover for example can affect the success of some predators. One characteristic of alpine ecosystems is the presence of snow cover, but surprisingly the role played by snow is relatively poorly known, mainly for logistical reasons. Even if we have made important progress regarding the development of predictive models, particularly so for distribution of alpine plants, we still need to set up observational and experimental networks which properly take into account the variability of alpine ecosystems and of their interactions with climate.Les écosystèmes alpins vont être grandement influencés par les changements climatiques à venir, mais d’autres facteurs, tels que l’utilisation des terres ou les espèces invasives, pourront aussi jouer un rôle important. Le climat peut influencer les écosystèmes à différents niveaux, et nous en décrivons certains, en mettant l’accent sur les méthodes utilisées et les données disponibles. Le climat peut d’abord modifier la phénologie des espèces, comme la date de floraison des plantes ou la date d’éclosion des insectes. Il peut ensuite affecter directement la démographie des espèces (survie, reproduction, dispersion et donc à terme leur répartition. Il peut enfin agir sur les interactions entre espèces – le couvert neigeux par exemple modifie le succès de certains prédateurs. Une caractéristique des

  15. Spatial distribution and environmental analysis of the alpine flora in the Pyrenees

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    D. Gómez

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available On the basis of the digital edition of the “Atlas of the vascular flora of the Pyrenees” (www.florapyrenaea. org, the alpine flora of this mountain range is delimited in order to know its diversity and the different patterns of its spatial distribution, along with some other environmental characteristics. The Pyrenean alpine flora is made up of 645 taxa (630 species and 15 subspecies. All the administrative regions harbour more than 60% of the alpine plants, with Catalonia and Aragon reaching the highest values (around 90%. Along the altitudinal gradient, the highest plant diversity is found between 2300 and 2600 m. a. s. l., although 25% of the total alpine flora goes beyond 3000 m. On the other hand, a remarkable number of alpine plants live in the lowlands, and thus more than 300 alpine plants can be found below 1500 m. The average altitude range of the alpine plants is 1369 m, 300 m wider than that observed for the whole Pyrenean flora. Life-forms, habitat distribution and habitat naturalness of alpine plants are significantly different from those of the whole Pyrenean flora. Distribution of abundance categories also shows values of rarity significantly lower among alpine plants than for the whole flora. More than half the Pyrenean endemic plants are present in the alpine flora. High diversity and wide ecological amplitude of the alpine flora must be taken into account either when considering vulnerability of alpine plants facing “global change” or when addressing conservation policies for the whole Pyrenees from a common perspective.

  16. Identifying key conservation threats to Alpine birds through expert knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedrini, Paolo; Brambilla, Mattia; Rolando, Antonio; Girardello, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Alpine biodiversity is subject to a range of increasing threats, but the scarcity of data for many taxa means that it is difficult to assess the level and likely future impact of a given threat. Expert opinion can be a useful tool to address knowledge gaps in the absence of adequate data. Experts with experience in Alpine ecology were approached to rank threat levels for 69 Alpine bird species over the next 50 years for the whole European Alps in relation to ten categories: land abandonment, climate change, renewable energy, fire, forestry practices, grazing practices, hunting, leisure, mining and urbanization. There was a high degree of concordance in ranking of perceived threats among experts for most threat categories. The major overall perceived threats to Alpine birds identified through expert knowledge were land abandonment, urbanization, leisure and forestry, although other perceived threats were ranked highly for particular species groups (renewable energy and hunting for raptors, hunting for gamebirds). For groups of species defined according to their breeding habitat, open habitat species and treeline species were perceived as the most threatened. A spatial risk assessment tool based on summed scores for the whole community showed threat levels were highest for bird communities of the northern and western Alps. Development of the approaches given in this paper, including addressing biases in the selection of experts and adopting a more detailed ranking procedure, could prove useful in the future in identifying future threats, and in carrying out risk assessments based on levels of threat to the whole bird community. PMID:26966659

  17. Identifying key conservation threats to Alpine birds through expert knowledge

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dan E. Chamberlain

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Alpine biodiversity is subject to a range of increasing threats, but the scarcity of data for many taxa means that it is difficult to assess the level and likely future impact of a given threat. Expert opinion can be a useful tool to address knowledge gaps in the absence of adequate data. Experts with experience in Alpine ecology were approached to rank threat levels for 69 Alpine bird species over the next 50 years for the whole European Alps in relation to ten categories: land abandonment, climate change, renewable energy, fire, forestry practices, grazing practices, hunting, leisure, mining and urbanization. There was a high degree of concordance in ranking of perceived threats among experts for most threat categories. The major overall perceived threats to Alpine birds identified through expert knowledge were land abandonment, urbanization, leisure and forestry, although other perceived threats were ranked highly for particular species groups (renewable energy and hunting for raptors, hunting for gamebirds. For groups of species defined according to their breeding habitat, open habitat species and treeline species were perceived as the most threatened. A spatial risk assessment tool based on summed scores for the whole community showed threat levels were highest for bird communities of the northern and western Alps. Development of the approaches given in this paper, including addressing biases in the selection of experts and adopting a more detailed ranking procedure, could prove useful in the future in identifying future threats, and in carrying out risk assessments based on levels of threat to the whole bird community.

  18. Forgotten Edible alpine plants in the canton of Valais

    OpenAIRE

    Abbet, Christian Paul

    2014-01-01

    Tradition possesses plenty of forgotten wild edible plants and may help researchers in the quest for new food varieties. Swiss alpine cantons, especially the canton of Valais, have still had a viable tradition. However, societal changes and extensive urbanization have caused this knowledge to be confined to lateral valleys. This contribution aimed to document wild edible plants which were collected in the canton of Valais. 38 informants originating from four different valleys of the canton (V...

  19. Tourism and Water: Themes of the Alpine Convention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imhof, R.

    2012-04-01

    1) The contribution reflects the personal opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the point of view of the Permanent Secretariat. The Alpine Convention is a multilateral framework treaty signed in 1991 by the eight states of the Alpine bow as well as the European Community. Its main objectives are the sustainable development of the Alpine territory and the safeguarding of the interests of the people living within it, embracing the environmental, social and economic dimensions in the broadest sense. In order to achieve its objectives, over the years the Framework Convention has been equipped with a large number of thematic protocols, e.g. on tourism. The overall objective of the Protocol on Tourism, which first came into force in 2002, is to contribute to sustainable development in the Alpine region within the existing institutional framework, by encouraging environmentally-friendly tourism through specific measures and recommendations which take the interests of both the local population and tourists into account. The provisions of the Protocol on Tourism primarily concern tourism management and controlling tourist flows, structural developments such as ski lifts and ski slopes, accommodation and the balanced development of economically weak areas. Guidelines, development plans, sectoral plans have to be adopted at the appropriate territorial level in order to enable to assess the impact of tourism development on, inter alia, water. This extends also to ski slopes developments. For example the production of artificial snow production may be authorized only if the location's hydrological, climatic and ecological conditions allow. Water is listed among the twelve themes in relation to which the Contracting Parties are supposed to take measures and coordinate their policies (Article 2 of the Framework Convention). The Alpine Convention aims to preserve and re-establish healthy water systems, especially keeping waters clean and protecting the natural

  20. Abiotic and biotic controls of spatial pattern at alpine treeline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malanson, George P.; Xiao, Ningchuan; Alftine, K.J.; Bekker, Mathew; Butler, David R.; Brown, Daniel G.; Cairns, David M.; Fagre, Daniel; Walsh, Stephen J.

    2000-01-01

    At alpine treeline, trees and krummholz forms affect the environment in ways that increase their growth and reproduction. We assess the way in which these positive feedbacks combine in spatial patterns to alter the environment in the neighborhood of existing plants. The research is significant because areas of alpine tundra are susceptible to encroachment by woody species as climate changes. Moreover, understanding the general processes of plant invasion is important. The importance of spatial pattern has been recognized, but the spatial pattern of positive feedbacks per se has not been explored in depth. We present a linked set of models of vegetation change at an alpine forest-tundra ecotone. Our aim is to create models that are as simple as possible in order to test specific hypotheses. We present results from a model of the resource averaging hypothesis and the positive feedback switch hypothesis of treelines. We compare the patterns generated by the models to patterns observed in fine scale remotely sensed data.

  1. The microbially mediated soil organic carbon loss under degenerative succession in an alpine meadow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yuguang; Liu, Xiao; Cong, Jing; Lu, Hui; Sheng, Yuyu; Wang, Xiulei; Li, Diqiang; Liu, Xueduan; Yin, Huaqun; Zhou, Jizhong; Deng, Ye

    2017-07-01

    Land-cover change has long been recognized as having marked effect on the amount of soil organic carbon (SOC). However, the microbially mediated processes and mechanisms on SOC are still unclear. In this study, the soil samples in a degenerative succession from alpine meadow to alpine steppe meadow in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau were analysed using high-throughput technologies, including Illumina sequencing and geochip functional gene arrays. The soil microbial community structure and diversity were significantly (p carbon degradation genes (e.g., pectin and hemicellulose) was significantly higher in alpine steppe meadow than in alpine meadow, but the relative abundance of soil recalcitrant carbon degradation genes (e.g., chitin and lignin) showed the opposite tendency. The Biolog Ecoplate experiment showed that microbially mediated soil carbon utilization was more active in alpine steppe meadow than in alpine meadow. Consequently, more soil labile carbon might be decomposed in alpine steppe meadow than in alpine meadow. Therefore, the degenerative succession of alpine meadow because of climate change or anthropogenic activities would most likely decrease SOC and nutrients medicated by changing soil microbial community structure and their functional potentials for carbon decomposition. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Snow cover dynamics and water balance in complex high alpine terrain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warscher, Michael; Kraller, Gabriele; Kunstmann, Harald; Strasser, Ulrich; Franz, Helmut

    2010-05-01

    The water balance in high alpine regions in its full complexity is so far insufficiently understood. High altitudinal gradients, a strong variability of meteorological variables in time and space, complex hydrogeological situations, unquantified lateral snow transport processes and heterogenous snow cover dynamics result in high uncertainties in the quantification of the water balance. To achieve interpretable modeling results we have complemented the deterministic hydrological model WaSiM-ETH with the high-alpine specific snow model AMUNDSEN. The integration of the new snow module was done to improve the modeling of water fluxes influenced by the dynamics of the snow cover, which greatly affect the water cycle in high alpine regions. To enhance the reproduction of snow deposition and ablation processes, the new approach calculates the energy balance of the snow cover considering the terrain-dependent radiation fluxes, the interaction between tree canopy and snow cover as well as lateral snow transport processes. The test site for our study is the Berchtesgaden National Park which is characterized by an extreme topography with mountain ranges covering an altitude from 607 to 2713 m.a.s.l. About one quarter of the investigated catchment area, which comprises 433 km² in total, is terrain steeper than 35°. Due to water soluble limestone being predominant in the region, a high number of subsurface water pathways (karst) exist. The results of several tracer experiments and extensive data of spring observations provide additional information to meet the challenge of modeling the unknown subsurface pathways and the complex groundwater system of the region. The validation of the new snow module is based on a dense network of meteorological stations which have been adapted to measure physical properties of the snow cover like snow water equivalent and liquid water content. We will present first results which show that the integration of the new snow module generates a

  3. Mountain Rivers and Climate Change: Analysis of hazardous events in torrents of small alpine watersheds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutzmann, Silke; Sass, Oliver

    2016-04-01

    Torrential processes like flooding, heavy bedload transport or debris flows in steep mountain channels emerge during intense, highly localized rainfall events. They pose a serious risk on the densely populated Alpine region. Hydrogeomorphic hazards are profoundly nonlinear, threshold mediated phenomena frequently causing costly damage to infrastructure and people. Thus, in the context of climate change, there is an ever rising interest in whether sediment cascades of small alpine catchments react to changing precipitation patterns and how the climate signal is propagated through the fluvial system. We intend to answer the following research questions: (i) What are critical meteorological characteristics triggering torrential events in the Eastern Alps of Austria? (ii) The effect of external triggers is strongly mediated by the internal disposition of catchments to respond. Which factors control the internal susceptibility? (iii) Do torrential processes show an increase in magnitude and frequency or a shift in seasonality in the recent past? (iv) Which future changes can be expected under different climate scenarios? Quantifications of bedload transport in small alpine catchments are rare and often associated with high uncertainties. Detailed knowledge though exists for the Schöttlbach catchment, a 71 km2 study area in Styria in the Eastern Alps. The torrent is monitored since a heavy precipitation event resulted in a disastrous flood in July 2011. Sediment mobilisation from slopes as well as within-channel storage and fluxes are regularly measured by photogrammetric methods and sediment impact sensors (SIS). The associated hydro-meteorological conditions are known from a dense station network. Changing states of connectivity can thus be related to precipitation and internal dynamics (sediment availability, cut-and-fill cycles). The site-specific insights are then conceptualized for application to a broader scale. Therefore, a Styria wide database of torrential

  4. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs in the atmospheres of two French alpine valleys: sources and temporal patterns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Marchand

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Alpine valleys represent some of the most important crossroads for international heavy-duty traffic in Europe, but the full impact of this traffic on air quality is not known due to a lack of data concerning these complex systems. As part of the program "Pollution des Vallées Alpines" (POVA, we performed two sampling surveys of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs in two sensitive valleys: the Chamonix and Maurienne Valleys, between France and Italy. Sampling campaigns were performed during the summer of 2000 and the winter of 2001, with both periods taking place during the closure of the "Tunnel du Mont-Blanc". The first objective of this paper is to describe the relations between PAH concentrations, external parameters (sampling site localization, meteorological parameters, sources, and aerosol characteristics, including its carbonaceous fraction (OC and EC. The second objective is to study the capacity of PAH profiles to accurately distinguish the different emission sources. Temporal evolution of the relative concentration of an individual PAH (CHR and the PAH groups BghiP+COR and BbF+BkF is studied in order to differentiate wood combustion, gasoline, and diesel emissions, respectively. The results show that the total particulate PAH concentrations were higher in the Chamonix valley during both seasons, despite the cessation of international traffic. Seasonal cycles, with higher concentrations in winter, are also stronger in this valley. During winter, particulate PAH concentration can reach very high levels (up to 155 ng.m-3 in this valley during cold anticyclonic periods. The examination of sources shows the impact during summer of heavy-duty traffic in the Maurienne valley and of gasoline vehicles in the Chamonix valley. During winter, Chamonix is characterized by the strong influence of wood combustion in residential fireplaces, even if the temporal evolution of specific PAH ratios are difficult to interpret. Information on sources

  5. 78 FR 28273 - Alpine Investors IV SBIC, LP; Notice Seeking Exemption Under Section 312 of the Small Business...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-14

    ... SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION [License No. 09/09-0461] Alpine Investors IV SBIC, LP; Notice... hereby given that Alpine Investors IV SBIC, LP, 3 Embarcadero Center, Suite 2330, San Francisco, CA, a...'') Rules and [[Page 28274

  6. Modeling alpine grasslands with two integrated hydrologic models: a comparison of the different process representation in CATHY and GEOtop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camporese, M.; Bertoldi, G.; Bortoli, E.; Wohlfahrt, G.

    2017-12-01

    Integrated hydrologic surface-subsurface models (IHSSMs) are increasingly used as prediction tools to solve simultaneously states and fluxes in and between multiple terrestrial compartments (e.g., snow cover, surface water, groundwater), in an attempt to tackle environmental problems in a holistic approach. Two such models, CATHY and GEOtop, are used in this study to investigate their capabilities to reproduce hydrological processes in alpine grasslands. The two models differ significantly in the complexity of the representation of the surface energy balance and the solution of Richards equation for water flow in the variably saturated subsurface. The main goal of this research is to show how these differences in process representation can lead to different predictions of hydrologic states and fluxes, in the simulation of an experimental site located in the Venosta Valley (South Tyrol, Italy). Here, a large set of relevant hydrological data (e.g., evapotranspiration, soil moisture) has been collected, with ground and remote sensing observations. The area of interest is part of a Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site, a mountain steep, heterogeneous slope, where the predominant land use types are meadow, pasture, and forest. The comparison between data and model predictions, as well as between simulations with the two IHSSMs, contributes to advance our understanding of the tradeoffs between different complexities in modeĺs process representation, model accuracy, and the ability to explain observed hydrological dynamics in alpine environments.

  7. 'Isotope language' of the Alpine Iceman investigated with AMS and MS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kutschera, Walter; Mueller, Wolfgang

    2003-01-01

    This paper reviews the use of stable and radioactive isotopes to elucidate an extraordinary archaeological find, the Alpine Iceman 'Oetzi'. In 1991 the body of this man was accidentally discovered in an ice-filled depression at a high-altitude mountain pass (Tisenjoch, 3210 m) of the Oetztal Alps. This location at the Austrian-Italian border apparently formed an ancient transition across the Alps from South to North. 14 C dating of the body with accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) revealed that the Iceman had lived some 5200 years ago, within the time period from 3370 to 3100 years BC (Before Christ). A variety of other materials from the discovery site were also dated with 14 C AMS suggesting a use of the mountain pass at other time periods, and varying climatic conditions. Ongoing investigations with thermal ionization (TIMS), inductively-coupled plasma (ICP-MS) and gas mass spectrometry include isotope ratios of 18 O/ 16 O (δ 18 O), 87 Sr/ 86 Sr and 206 Pb/ 204 Pb, in order to reveal the Iceman's origin and migrational behavior. Analyzed samples include tooth enamel, bones and contents of his intestine, which all represent different ontogenetic (developmental) stages. The isotopic composition of the Iceman is compared to both soils from archaeological sites and local waters. Taken together, the results point towards an origin of the Iceman in the Southeast of the finding site, consistent with archaeological and paleobotanical data

  8. In-situ carbon and nitrogen turnover dynamics and the role of soil functional biodiversity therein; a climate warming simulation study in Alpine ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Djukic, Ika

    2010-05-01

    Climate change affects a variety of soil properties and processes. Alpine soils take an extraordinary position in this context because of the vulnerability of mountain regions to climatic changes. We used altitudinal soil translocation to simulate the combined effects of changing climatic conditions and shifting vegetation zones in order to study short- to medium-term soil changes in the Austrian Limestone Alps. We translocated 160 soil cores from an alpine grassland site (1900 m asl) down to a sub-alpine spruce forest (1300 m asl) and a montane beech forest site (900m asl), including reference soil cores at each site to estimate artifacts arising from the method. 15N-labeled maize straw was added (1 kg/m2) to translocated and control soil cores and sampled over a period of 2 years for the analysis of δ13C and δ15N in the bulk soil and extracted phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs). Additionally, 20 litter bags (at each of the three climatic zones) containing Fagus sylvatica or Pinus nigra litter were inserted into the soil, and decomposition was studied over a two-year period. The basic soil parameters (organic C, total N and pH) were unaffected by translocation within the observation time. Overall, decomposition of Pinus nigra litter was significantly slower compared to Fagus sylvatica, and the decomposition rate of both litter types was inversely related to elevation. The decomposition of the maize straw carbon was significantly faster in the translocated soil cores (sites at 900 and 1300 m asl) than at the original site (1900 m asl). The labelled nitrogen contents in the translocated soil cores showed just marginal differences to the soil cores at the original site. The maize straw application promptly increased the amount of bacterial and fungal PLFAs at all studied sites. Downslope translocated soil cores showed an increase in total microbial biomass and sum of bacteria. The fungal PLFA biomarker 18:2ω6,9 was slightly lower at the new (host) sites compared to

  9. Ecohydrological interactions between soil and trees in Alpine apple orchards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penna, Daniele; Scandellari, Francesca; Zanotelli, Damiano; Michael, Engel; Tagliavini, Massimo; Comiti, Francesco

    2016-04-01

    Tracer-based investigations of water exchanges between soil and trees in natural forested catchments are receiving relevant attention in modern ecohydrology. However, the interactions between tree water use and the hydrological cycle in agricultural environments are still poorly understood. In this work, we use stable isotopes of water (2H and 18O) and electric conductivity as tracers to improve our understanding of the functional interrelations between water generating surface runoff and recharging groundwater, and water taken up by apple trees (Malus domestica, cv. 'Pinova') in an Alpine valley in South Tyrol, Northern Italy. From April to October 2015 we monitored two orchards approximately of the same size (roughly 400 m2) and soil texture (silt loam) located in a flat area at different distance from the Adige/Etsch River (50 m vs. 450 m). We have addressed the following questions: i) at which soil depth do apple trees take up water? ii) do apple trees take up water from shallow groundwater? iii) are there differences in the isotopic composition of the water fluxes between the two sites? Samples for isotopic analysis were taken approximately fortnightly from the river, two groundwater wells close to each field, mobile soil water (from suction cups at 25 cm and 50 cm), open area precipitation, throughfall, irrigation and sap (through a portable pressure bomb). Tightly-bound soil water was also cryogenically extracted from samples taken every 10 cm from 60 cm-long soil cores taken at three locations for each field on one occasion in mid-summer. Ancillary measurements were electrical conductivity of all water sources except for sap. In addition to meteorological and discharge data, soil moisture was continuously measured at 10 cm and 50 cm in three locations, and sap flow on three trees, for each field. Preliminary results show that two water pools with distinct isotopic signature exist: i) river water, groundwater and irrigation water show values relatively

  10. Predictive Analysis of Geochemical Controls in an Alpine Stream

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jochems, A. P.; Sherson, L. R.; Crossey, L. J.; Karlstrom, K. E.

    2010-12-01

    Alpine watersheds are increasingly relied upon for use in the American West, necessitating a more complete understanding of annual hydrologic patterns and geologic influences on water chemistry. The Jemez River is a fifth order stream in central New Mexico that flows from its source in the Jemez Mountains to its confluence with the Rio Grande north of the town of Bernalillo. Designated uses of the Jemez River include domestic water supply, recreation, and agriculture. Geothermal uses are currently being considered as well. The river recharges shallow aquifer waters used by several communities, including tribal lands of the Jemez Pueblo. The hydrogeology of the Jemez system is characterized by geothermal inputs from the Baca hydrothermal system associated with the 1.2Ma Valles caldera, as well as groundwater and surface water interactions. Freshwater input from the Rio Guadalupe and several ephemeral tributaries also influences the water chemistry of the Jemez system. Fifteen sites along a 35 km reach of the river were sampled between 2006 and 2010. Discharge of the Jemez River ranged from 10-876 cfs over the study period. The annual hydrograph is affected by annual snowmelt in the Jemez Mountains as well as surges due to monsoonal rains in July and August. Geochemical data collected over this period include temperature, conductivity, pH, dissolved oxygen (D.O.), major ions, trace elements, and stable isotopes. Continuous records of temperature, conductivity, pH, D.O. and turbidity data were collected from a water quality sonde installed in March 2010. Geochemical modeling and time series analysis were performed using PHREEQC, Geochemist’s Workbench, and MATLAB. Empirical data collected during this study gave rise to several models describing the hydrology and geochemistry of the Jemez system. Our data suggest that springs are the primary contributors to dissolved load, and that solute loading from geothermal inputs is intensified by low flows observed on

  11. Dairy cattle on Norwegian alpine rangelands – grazing preferences and milk quality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sickel, H; Abrahamsen, R K; Eldegard, K; Lunnan, T; Norderhaug, A; Petersen, M.A.; Sickel, M.; Steenhuisen, F.; Ohlson, M.

    2014-01-01

    The results from the study ‘Effects of vegetation and grazing preferences on the quality of alpine dairy products’ will be presented. The main objective of the project was to investigate the connections bet - ween alpine rangeland vegetation, landscape use and grazing preferences of free ranging

  12. Evaluation of storage and filtration protocols for alpine/subalpine lake water quality samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    John L. Korfmacher; Robert C. Musselman

    2007-01-01

    Many government agencies and other organizations sample natural alpine and subalpine surface waters using varying protocols for sample storage and filtration. Simplification of protocols would be beneficial if it could be shown that sample quality is unaffected. In this study, samples collected from low ionic strength waters in alpine and subalpine lake inlets...

  13. High solar radiation hinders tree regeneration above the alpine treeline in northern Ecuador

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bader, M.; Geloof, van I.; Rietkerk, M.

    2007-01-01

    Many tropical alpine treelines lie below their climatic potential, because of natural or anthropogenic causes. Forest extension above the treeline depends on the ability of trees to establish in the alpine environment. This ability may be limited by different factors, such as low temperatures,

  14. A simple spatial model exploring positive feedbacks at tropical alpine treelines

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bader, M.; Rietkerk, M.; Bregt, A.K.

    2008-01-01

    Climate change could cause alpine treelines to shift in altitude or to change their spatial pattern, but little is known about the drivers of treeline dynamics and patterning. The position and patterns of tropical alpine treelines are generally attributed to land use, especially burning. Species

  15. High solar radiation hinders tree regeneration above the alpine treeline in northern Ecuador

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bader, M.Y.; Geloof, I. van; Rietkerk, M.G.

    2007-01-01

    Many tropical alpine treelines lie below their climatic potential, because of natural or anthropogenic causes. Forest extension above the treeline depends on the ability of trees to establish in the alpine environment. This ability may be limited by different factors, such as low

  16. Area burned in alpine treeline ecotones reflects region-wide trends

    Science.gov (United States)

    C. Alina Cansler; Donald McKenzie; Charles B. Halpern

    2016-01-01

    The direct effects of climate change on alpine treeline ecotones – the transition zones between subalpine forest and non-forested alpine vegetation – have been studied extensively, but climate-induced changes in disturbance regimes have received less attention. To determine if recent increases in area burned extend to these higher-elevation landscapes, we analysed...

  17. Vascular plant flora of the alpine zone in the southern Rocky Mountains, U.S.A

    Science.gov (United States)

    James F. Fowler; B. E. Nelson; Ronald L. Hartman

    2014-01-01

    Field detection of changes in occurrence, distribution, or abundance of alpine plant species is predicated on knowledge of which species are in specific locations. The alpine zone of the Southern Rocky Mountain Region has been systematically inventoried by the staff and floristics graduate students from the Rocky Mountain Herbarium over the last 27 years. It is...

  18. U.S. Geological Survey research in Handcart Gulch, Colorado—An alpine watershed with natural acid-rock drainage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manning, Andrew H.; Caine, Jonathan S.; Verplanck, Philip L.; Bove, Dana J.; Kahn, Katherine G.

    2009-01-01

    Handcart Gulch is an alpine watershed along the Continental Divide in the Colorado Rocky Mountain Front Range. It contains an unmined mineral deposit typical of many hydrothermal mineral deposits in the intermountain west, composed primarily of pyrite with trace metals including copper and molybdenum. Springs and the trunk stream have a natural pH value of 3 to 4. The U.S. Geological Survey began integrated research activities at the site in 2003 with the objective of better understanding geologic, geochemical, and hydrologic controls on naturally occurring acid-rock drainage in alpine watersheds. Characterizing the role of groundwater was of particular interest because mountain watersheds containing metallic mineral deposits are often underlain by complexly deformed crystalline rocks in which groundwater flow is poorly understood. Site infrastructure currently includes 4 deep monitoring wells high in the watershed (300– 1,200 ft deep), 4 bedrock (100–170 ft deep) and 5 shallow (10–30 ft deep) monitoring wells along the trunk stream, a stream gage, and a meteorological station. Work to date at the site includes: geologic mapping and structural analysis; surface sample and drill core mineralogic characterization; geophysical borehole logging; aquifer testing; monitoring of groundwater hydraulic heads and streamflows; a stream tracer dilution study; repeated sampling of surface and groundwater for geochemical analyses, including major and trace elements, several isotopes, and groundwater age dating; and construction of groundwater flow models. The unique dataset collected at Handcart Gulch has yielded several important findings about bedrock groundwater flow at the site. Most importantly, we find that bedrock bulk permeability is nontrivial and that bedrock groundwater apparently constitutes a substantial fraction of the hydrologic budget. This means that bedrock groundwater commonly may be an underappreciated component of the hydrologic system in studies of

  19. Cosmogenic radionuclides in the environment: 32Si in precipitation samples from the Jungfraujoch, production cross sections of 36Cl in Argon and modeling of the atmospheric 36Cl production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parrat, Y.

    1997-06-01

    The concentrations of the cosmogenic radionuclide 32 Si were measured in four fresh snow samples from the Jungfraujoch in the Swiss Alps (3450 m asl.) to study the feasibility of measuring this potential dating nuclide with Accelerator Mass Spectrometry. This technique could reduce drastically the amount of material needed for measurements of 32 Si concentrations in environmental samples in contrast to conventional radiometric detection. The measured 32 Si concentrations in the snow samples were between 1.84 and 6.28 μBql -1 . These values agree with other measurements of precipitation samples. The measured 32 Si/Si tot ratios ranged from 2.5.10 -17 to 2.3.10 -15 and were thus below the present detection limit of about 10 -14 , showing that at present it is not possible to carry out AMS measurements of 32 Si in precipitation samples. For the first time, experimental cross sections of the reaction 40 Ar(p,X) 36 Cl have been determined for the proton energy range 16-590 MeV. These cross sections were measured using a gas target, a novel method which was tested successfully by irradiating nitrogen targets to confirm literature values of the N(p,X) 7 Be and N(p,X) 10 Be cross sections. In fact, good agreement was found between the obtained cross sections with those using solid targets. Production of several radionuclides in the reaction of proton with nickel were also measured. Comparison of these cross sections with literature data proved that the proton flux measurements carried out with ionization chambers were very accurate. The excitation function of the reaction 40 Ar(p,X) 36 Cl exhibits two maxima at proton energies of 20 MeV for the (p,αn)reaction and 95 MeV for the (p,2p3n) reaction, with maximum cross sections of 105 mb and 53 mb, respectively. (author) figs., tabs., refs

  20. Influence of climate on alpine stream chemistry and water sources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foks, Sydney; Stets, Edward; Singha, Kamini; Clow, David W.

    2018-01-01

    The resilience of alpine/subalpine watersheds may be viewed as the resistance of streamflow or stream chemistry to change under varying climatic conditions, which is governed by the relative size (volume) and transit time of surface and subsurface water sources. Here, we use end‐member mixing analysis in Andrews Creek, an alpine stream in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, from water year 1994 to 2015, to explore how the partitioning of water sources and associated hydrologic resilience change in response to climate. Our results indicate that four water sources are significant contributors to Andrews Creek, including snow, rain, soil water, and talus groundwater. Seasonal patterns in source‐water contributions reflected the seasonal hydrologic cycle, which is driven by the accumulation and melting of seasonal snowpack. Flushing of soil water had a large effect on stream chemistry during spring snowmelt, despite making only a small contribution to streamflow volume. Snow had a large influence on stream chemistry as well, contributing large amounts of water with low concentrations of weathering products. Interannual patterns in end‐member contributions reflected responses to drought and wet periods. Moderate and significant correlations exist between annual end‐member contributions and regional‐scale climate indices (the Palmer Drought Severity Index, the Palmer Hydrologic Drought Index, and the Modified Palmer Drought Severity Index). From water year 1994 to 2015, the percent contribution from the talus‐groundwater end member to Andrews Creek increased an average of 0.5% per year (p < 0.0001), whereas the percent contributions from snow plus rain decreased by a similar amount (p = 0.001). Our results show how water and solute sources in alpine environments shift in response to climate variability and highlight the role of talus groundwater and soil water in providing hydrologic resilience to the system.

  1. Synoptic climatology evaluation of wind fields in the alpine region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lotteraner, C.

    2009-01-01

    The present investigation basically consists of two parts: In the first part, a 22-year set of 3-hourly 2D-wind analyses (1980-2001) that have been generated within the framework of the VERACLIM (VERA-Climatology) project are evaluated climatologically over the Alpine region. VERACLIM makes use of the VERA (Vienna Enhanced Resolution Analysis) analysis system, combining both the high spatial resolution as provided by the analysis algorithm and the high temporal resolution of a comprehensive synop data set, provided by ECMWF's (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) data archives. The obtained charts of averaged wind speed and the mean wind vector as well as the evaluations of frequency distribution of wind speed and wind direction on gridpoints for several different time periods should be interpreted very carefully as orographic influence is not taken into consideration in the analysis algorithm. However, the 3-hourly wind analyses of the time period 1980-2001 are suitable for investigation of the so-called Alpine Pumping. For that purpose, an arbitrarily chosen border has been drawn around the Alps and the Gauss theorem has been applied in a way that the mean diurnal variations of the two-dimensional divergence over the Alps could be evaluated. The sinusoidal run of the curve not only visualizes the 'breathing of the Alps' in an impressive way, it also enables us to roughly estimate the diurnal air volume exchange on days with a weak large-scale pressure gradient and strong incoming solar radiation. The second part of this investigation deals with the development of three different 'wind-fingerprints' which are included in the VERA-system in order to improve the analysis quality. The wind-fingerprints are designed in a way that they reflect the wind field pattern in the Alpine region on days with weak large-scale pressure gradient and strong incoming solar radiation. Using the fingerprints, both the effects of channelling as well as thermally induced

  2. Climate change and tourism in the alpine regions of Switzerland

    OpenAIRE

    Bürki, R; Abegg, B; Elsasser, H

    2007-01-01

    For many alpine areas in Switzerland, winter tourism is the most important source of income, and snow-reliability is one of the key elements of the offers made by tourism in the Alps. 85% of Switzerland’s current ski resorts can be designated as snow-reliable. If climate change occurs, the level of snow-reliability will rise from 1200 m up to 1800 m over the next few decades. Only 44% of the ski resorts wouldthen still be snow-reliable. While some regions may be able to maintain their winter ...

  3. Multitemporal Accuracy and Precision Assessment of Unmanned Aerial System Photogrammetry for Slope-Scale Snow Depth Maps in Alpine Terrain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Marc S.; Bühler, Yves; Fromm, Reinhard

    2017-12-01

    Reliable and timely information on the spatio-temporal distribution of snow in alpine terrain plays an important role for a wide range of applications. Unmanned aerial system (UAS) photogrammetry is increasingly applied to cost-efficiently map the snow depth at very high resolution with flexible applicability. However, crucial questions regarding quality and repeatability of this technique are still under discussion. Here we present a multitemporal accuracy and precision assessment of UAS photogrammetry for snow depth mapping on the slope-scale. We mapped a 0.12 km2 large snow-covered study site, located in a high-alpine valley in Western Austria. 12 UAS flights were performed to acquire imagery at 0.05 m ground sampling distance in visible (VIS) and near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths with a modified commercial, off-the-shelf sensor mounted on a custom-built fixed-wing UAS. The imagery was processed with structure-from-motion photogrammetry software to generate orthophotos, digital surface models (DSMs) and snow depth maps (SDMs). Accuracy of DSMs and SDMs were assessed with terrestrial laser scanning and manual snow depth probing, respectively. The results show that under good illumination conditions (study site in full sunlight), the DSMs and SDMs were acquired with an accuracy of ≤ 0.25 and ≤ 0.29 m (both at 1σ), respectively. In case of poorly illuminated snow surfaces (study site shadowed), the NIR imagery provided higher accuracy (0.19 m; 0.23 m) than VIS imagery (0.49 m; 0.37 m). The precision of the UASSDMs was 0.04 m for a small, stable area and below 0.33 m for the whole study site (both at 1σ).

  4. Migration of sharks into freshwater systems during the Miocene and implications for Alpine paleoelevation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kocsis, László; Vennemann, Torsten W.; Fontignie, Denis

    2007-05-01

    Trace-element and isotopic compositions of fossilized shark teeth sampled from Miocene marine sediments of the north Alpine Molasse Basin, the Vienna Basin, and the Pannonian Basin generally show evidence of formation in a marine environment under conditions geochemically equivalent to the open ocean. In contrast, two of eight shark teeth from the Swiss Upper Marine Molasse locality of La Molière have extremely low δ18O values (10.3‰ and 11.3‰) and low 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.707840 and 0.707812) compared to other teeth from this locality (21.1‰ 22.4‰ and 0.708421 0.708630). The rare earth element (REE) abundances and patterns from La Molière not only differ between dentine and enameloid of the same tooth, but also between different teeth, supporting variable conditions of diagenesis at this site. However, the REE patterns of enameloid from the “exotic” teeth analyzed for O and Sr isotopic compositions are similar to those of teeth that have O and Sr isotopic compositions typical of a marine setting at this site. Collectively, this suggests that the two “exotic” teeth were formed while the sharks frequented a freshwater environment with very low 18O-content and Sr isotopic composition controlled by Mesozoic calcareous rocks. This is consistent with a paleogeography of high-elevation (˜2300 m) Miocene Alps adjacent to a marginal sea.

  5. Vertical distribution of organochlorine pesticides in humus along Alpine altitudinal profiles in relation to ambiental parameters

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kirchner, M., E-mail: kirchner@helmholtz-muenchen.d [Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen, GmbH, Institutes of Ecological Chemistry, Developmental Genetics and Soil Ecology, Ingolstaedter Landstrasse 1, D-85764 Neuherberg (Germany); Faus-Kessler, T.; Jakobi, G.; Levy, W.; Henkelmann, B.; Bernhoeft, S.; Kotalik, J.; Zsolnay, A. [Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen, GmbH, Institutes of Ecological Chemistry, Developmental Genetics and Soil Ecology, Ingolstaedter Landstrasse 1, D-85764 Neuherberg (Germany); Bassan, R. [Regional Agency for Environmental Prevention and Protection of Veneto (Italy); Belis, C. [Regional Agency for Environmental Protection of Lombardy (Italy); Kraeuchi, N. [Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (Switzerland); Moche, W. [Federal Environment Agency Ltd. (Austria); Simoncic, P. [Slovenian Forestry Institute (Slovenia); Uhl, M.; Weiss, P. [Federal Environment Agency Ltd. (Austria); Schramm, K.-W. [Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen, GmbH, Institutes of Ecological Chemistry, Developmental Genetics and Soil Ecology, Ingolstaedter Landstrasse 1, D-85764 Neuherberg (Germany)

    2009-12-15

    In forest soils along vertical profiles located in different parts of the Alps, concentrations of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), namely organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) like dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes (DDTs), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCH), heptachlor, aldrin, dieldrin and mirex, were measured. Though local characteristics of the sites are influenced by numerous factors like orographic and meteorological parameters, forest stand characteristics and humus parameters, we ascertained a marked vertical increase of concentrations of some organochlorine compounds in the soil. On the basis of climatological values of each site, we found that the contamination increase with altitude can be ascribed to a certain 'cold condensation effect'. In addition, the perennial atmospheric deposition of POPs is controlled by precipitation. Other key parameters explaining the accumulation of POPs are the soil organic carbon stocks, the turnover times, the re-volatilisation and degradation processes, which vary with altitude. - Caused by temperature-dependent processes regarding deposition, re-volatilization and decomposition of POPs, the concentration of organochlorine pesticides varies in the Alpine region with altitude.

  6. Performance of complex snow cover descriptions in a distributed hydrological model system: A case study for the high Alpine terrain of the Berchtesgaden Alps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warscher, M; Strasser, U; Kraller, G; Marke, T; Franz, H; Kunstmann, H

    2013-05-01

    [1] Runoff generation in Alpine regions is typically affected by snow processes. Snow accumulation, storage, redistribution, and ablation control the availability of water. In this study, several robust parameterizations describing snow processes in Alpine environments were implemented in a fully distributed, physically based hydrological model. Snow cover development is simulated using different methods from a simple temperature index approach, followed by an energy balance scheme, to additionally accounting for gravitational and wind-driven lateral snow redistribution. Test site for the study is the Berchtesgaden National Park (Bavarian Alps, Germany) which is characterized by extreme topography and climate conditions. The performance of the model system in reproducing snow cover dynamics and resulting discharge generation is analyzed and validated via measurements of snow water equivalent and snow depth, satellite-based remote sensing data, and runoff gauge data. Model efficiency (the Nash-Sutcliffe coefficient) for simulated runoff increases from 0.57 to 0.68 in a high Alpine headwater catchment and from 0.62 to 0.64 in total with increasing snow model complexity. In particular, the results show that the introduction of the energy balance scheme reproduces daily fluctuations in the snowmelt rates that trace down to the channel stream. These daily cycles measured in snowmelt and resulting runoff rates could not be reproduced by using the temperature index approach. In addition, accounting for lateral snow transport changes the seasonal distribution of modeled snowmelt amounts, which leads to a higher accuracy in modeling runoff characteristics.

  7. Fine Root Abundance and Dynamics of Stone Pine (Pinus cembra) at the Alpine Treeline Is Not Impaired by Self-shading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kubisch, Petra; Leuschner, Christoph; Coners, Heinz; Gruber, Andreas; Hertel, Dietrich

    2017-01-01

    Low temperatures are crucial for the formation of the alpine treeline worldwide. Since soil temperature in the shade of tree canopies is lower than in open sites, it was assumed that self-shading may impair the trees' root growth performance. While experiments with tree saplings demonstrate root growth impairment at soil temperatures below 5-7°C, field studies exploring the soil temperature - root growth relationship at the treeline are missing. We recorded soil temperature and fine root abundance and dynamics in shaded and sun-exposed areas under canopies of isolated Pinus cembra trees at the alpine treeline. In contrast to the mentioned assumption, we found more fine root biomass and higher fine root growth in colder than in warmer soil areas. Moreover, colder areas showed higher fine root turnover and thus lower root lifespan than warmer places. We conclude that P. cembra balances enhanced fine root mortality in cold soils with higher fine root activity and by maintaining higher fine root biomass, most likely as a response to shortage in soil resource supply. The results from our study highlight the importance of in situ measurements on mature trees to understand the fine root response and carbon allocation pattern to the thermal growth conditions at the alpine treeline.

  8. Very high geothermal gradient in near surface of the Whataroa Valley adjacent to the Alpine Fault: topographic driving forces and permeable mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Upton, P.; Sutherland, R.; Townend, J.; Coussens, J.; Capova, L.

    2015-12-01

    The first phase of the Deep Fault Drilling Project (DFDP-1B) yielded a geothermal gradient of 62.6 ± 2.1 °C/km from a depth of 126 m where it intersected the Alpine Fault principal slip surface beneath Gaunt Creek (Sutherland et al. 2012). Ambient fluid pressures in DFDP-2B at Whataroa River were 8-10% above hydrostatic and a geothermal gradient of >130°C/km was determined, the geothermal gradient being considerably higher than we had predicted previously. 3D coupled thermal/fluid flow models have been generated of the Whataroa Valley and the DFDP-2 drill site. Modelling confirms that the following features, present in the Whataroa Valley, are a requirement for a geothermal gradient of >130°C/km at a depth of 1km beneath the valley; high topography, permeability on the order of 10-15 m2 in both the mountains and beneath the valleys to depths of > 1km below the valley floor, and abundant fluid. The high permeability and large topographic driving force leads to abundant meteoric water flowing downward through the mountains, hitting the permeability barrier of the Alpine Fault and being pushed upward into the valleys. The high geothermal gradient of the DFDP-2B borehole implies that the valleys also have a very high permeability which is likely a result of rock damage along the Alpine Fault.

  9. Simulation of wind-induced snow transport in alpine terrain using a fully coupled snowpack/atmosphere model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vionnet, V.; Martin, E.; Masson, V.; Guyomarc'h, G.; Naaim-Bouvet, F.; Prokop, A.; Durand, Y.; Lac, C.

    2013-06-01

    In alpine regions, wind-induced snow transport strongly influences the spatio-temporal evolution of the snow cover throughout the winter season. To gain understanding on the complex processes that drive the redistribution of snow, a new numerical model is developed. It couples directly the detailed snowpack model Crocus with the atmospheric model Meso-NH. Meso-NH/Crocus simulates snow transport in saltation and in turbulent suspension and includes the sublimation of suspended snow particles. A detailed representation of the first meters of the atmosphere allows a fine reproduction of the erosion and deposition process. The coupled model is evaluated against data collected around the experimental site of Col du Lac Blanc (2720 m a.s.l., French Alps). For this purpose, a blowing snow event without concurrent snowfall has been selected and simulated. Results show that the model captures the main structures of atmospheric flow in alpine terrain, the vertical profile of wind speed and the snow particles fluxes near the surface. However, the horizontal resolution of 50 m is found to be insufficient to simulate the location of areas of snow erosion and deposition observed by terrestrial laser scanning. When activated, the sublimation of suspended snow particles causes a reduction in deposition of 5.3%. Total sublimation (surface + blowing snow) is three times higher than surface sublimation in a simulation neglecting blowing snow sublimation.

  10. Simulation of wind-induced snow transport and sublimation in alpine terrain using a fully coupled snowpack/atmosphere model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vionnet, V.; Martin, E.; Masson, V.; Guyomarc'h, G.; Naaim-Bouvet, F.; Prokop, A.; Durand, Y.; Lac, C.

    2014-03-01

    In alpine regions, wind-induced snow transport strongly influences the spatio-temporal evolution of the snow cover throughout the winter season. To gain understanding on the complex processes that drive the redistribution of snow, a new numerical model is developed. It directly couples the detailed snowpack model Crocus with the atmospheric model Meso-NH. Meso-NH/Crocus simulates snow transport in saltation and in turbulent suspension and includes the sublimation of suspended snow particles. The coupled model is evaluated against data collected around the experimental site of Col du Lac Blanc (2720 m a.s.l., French Alps). First, 1-D simulations show that a detailed representation of the first metres of the atmosphere is required to reproduce strong gradients of blowing snow concentration and compute mass exchange between the snowpack and the atmosphere. Secondly, 3-D simulations of a blowing snow event without concurrent snowfall have been carried out. Results show that the model captures the main structures of atmospheric flow in alpine terrain. However, at 50 m grid spacing, the model reproduces only the patterns of snow erosion and deposition at the ridge scale and misses smaller scale patterns observed by terrestrial laser scanning. When activated, the sublimation of suspended snow particles causes a reduction of deposited snow mass of 5.3% over the calculation domain. Total sublimation (surface + blowing snow) is three times higher than surface sublimation in a simulation neglecting blowing snow sublimation.

  11. Iron content and solubility in dust from high-alpine snow along a north-south transect of High Asia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guangjian Wu

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available This study describes the dissolved and insoluble iron fraction of dust (mineral aerosol in high-alpine snow samples collected along a north-south transect across High Asia (Eastern Tien Shan, Qilian Shan, and Southern Tibetan Plateau. This dust provides the basic chemical properties of mid- and high-level tropospheric Asian dust that can supply the limiting iron nutrient for phytoplankton growth in the North Pacific. The iron content in Asian dust averages 4.95% in Eastern Tien Shan, 3.38–5.41% along Qilian Shan and 3.85% in the Southern Tibetan Plateau. The iron fractional solubility averages about 0.25% in Eastern Tien Shan, 0.05–2% along Qilian Shan and 1.5% in the Southern Tibetan Plateau. Among the controlling factors that can affect iron solubility in Asian dust, such as dust composition and particle grain size, acidity seems to be the most significant and can increase the iron solubility by one or two orders of magnitude with acidification of pH=0.66. Our results reveal that iron solubility of dust in the remote downwind sites is higher than that in high-alpine snow, confirming the strong pH-dependence of iron solubility, and indicating that Asian dust shows a large variation in iron solubility on a regional scale.

  12. Influence of climate and regeneration microsites on Pinus contorta invasion into an alpine ecosystem in New Zealand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie A. Harsch

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available In many regions, alien conifers have spread widely at lower elevations and are increasingly found colonizing alpine areas. Although studies have addressed conifer invasions at low elevations, little is known about the rates and constraints on spread into higher elevations. Here, we assess the relative importance of climate and the availability of regeneration microsites on the establishment of the alien species Pinus contorta into a high elevation site in New Zealand. Spread has occurred from two stands planted at the elevation of the native treeline (1347–1388 masl in the 1960s. Most stems established between 1350 and 1450 masl and P. contorta individuals were found up to 270 m above the original plantings. Although the population has increased by 180% in the last 20 years, population growth rate has been declining. Furthermore, comparisons with studies from other mountain ranges around the world and at low elevations in New Zealand suggest this is a relatively limited spread. Our results suggest that climate variation did not have a significant effect on establishment patterns, as opposed to availability of regeneration microsites. Soil and alpine mat microsites favoured establishment of P. contorta and, although these microsites did not appear to be saturated, microsite availability may be an important limiting factor for the spread of P. contorta. Thus management strategies should focus on preventing spread in addition to removing already established stems.

  13. Dense image matching of terrestrial imagery for deriving high-resolution topographic properties of vegetation locations in alpine terrain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niederheiser, R.; Rutzinger, M.; Bremer, M.; Wichmann, V.

    2018-04-01

    The investigation of changes in spatial patterns of vegetation and identification of potential micro-refugia requires detailed topographic and terrain information. However, mapping alpine topography at very detailed scales is challenging due to limited accessibility of sites. Close-range sensing by photogrammetric dense matching approaches based on terrestrial images captured with hand-held cameras offers a light-weight and low-cost solution to retrieve high-resolution measurements even in steep terrain and at locations, which are difficult to access. We propose a novel approach for rapid capturing of terrestrial images and a highly automated processing chain for retrieving detailed dense point clouds for topographic modelling. For this study, we modelled 249 plot locations. For the analysis of vegetation distribution and location properties, topographic parameters, such as slope, aspect, and potential solar irradiation were derived by applying a multi-scale approach utilizing voxel grids and spherical neighbourhoods. The result is a micro-topography archive of 249 alpine locations that includes topographic parameters at multiple scales ready for biogeomorphological analysis. Compared with regional elevation models at larger scales and traditional 2D gridding approaches to create elevation models, we employ analyses in a fully 3D environment that yield much more detailed insights into interrelations between topographic parameters, such as potential solar irradiation, surface area, aspect and roughness.

  14. Differing long term trends for two common amphibian species (Bufo bufo and Rana temporaria in alpine landscapes of Salzburg, Austria.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Kyek

    Full Text Available This study focuses on the population trends of two widespread European anuran species: the common toad (Bufo bufo and the common frog (Rana temporaria. The basis of this study is data gathered over two decades of amphibian fencing alongside roads in the Austrian state of Salzburg. Different statistical approaches were used to analyse the data. Overall average increase or decrease of each species was estimated by calculating a simple average locality index. In addition the statistical software TRIM was used to verify these trends as well as to categorize the data based on the geographic location of each migration site. The results show differing overall trends for the two species: the common toad being stable and the common frog showing a substantial decline over the last two decades. Further analyses based on geographic categorization reveal the strongest decrease in the alpine range of the species. Drainage and agricultural intensification are still ongoing problems within alpine areas, not only in Salzburg. Particularly in respect to micro-climate and the availability of spawning places these changes appear to have a greater impact on the habitats of the common frog than the common toad. Therefore we consider habitat destruction to be the main potential reason behind this dramatic decline. We also conclude that the substantial loss of biomass of a widespread species such as the common frog must have a severe, and often overlooked, ecological impact.

  15. Impact of the Chernobyl fallout in the alpine environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gastberger, M.; Lettner, H.; Hofmann, W.; Pohl-Rueling, J.; Steinhaeusler, N.F.; Hubmer, A.

    1997-01-01

    In Austria the alpine regions received the highest fallout contamination, showing a very inhomogeneous spatial distribution of the surface deposition. About half of the national territory is within alpine regions, which are very different in times of underlying bedrock and soil characteristic. Since this is the controlling factor for the radionuclide uptake of the vegetation, it is crucial for the long-term effects of radioactive fallout. Different studies have been carried out in the Province of Salzburg (area: 7154 km 2 ) over the past ten years, addressing a broad spectrum of issues, such as: measurement of the spatial distribution of the fallout, research in monitoring techniques comparison of theoretical calculations with actual in vivo-measurements of nuclide uptake by man for different population groups, and the investigation of biological effects. When considering the radioecological effects of the Chernobyl fallout a distinction has to be made between the short-term effects immediately following the fallout and the long-term effects. While the short term effects are controlled by the physical characteristics of the fallout, similar for the whole region, the long-term effects are more determined by the radioecological properties of the environments affected which are much more variable than the fallout-characteristics

  16. In Review (Geology): Alpine Landscape Evolution Dominated by Cirque Retreat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oskin, Michael; Burbank, Doug

    2005-01-01

    Despite the abundance in alpine terrain of glacially dissected landscapes, the magnitude and geometry of glacial erosion can rarely be defined. In the eastern Kyrgyz Range, a widespread unconformity exhumed as a geomorphic surface provides a regional datum with which to calibrate erosion. As tectonically driven surface uplift has progressively pushed this surface into the zone of ice accumulation, glacial erosion has overprinted the landscape. With as little as 500 m of incision into rocks underlying the unconformity, distinctive glacial valleys display their deepest incision adjacent to cirque headwalls. The expansion of north-facing glacial cirques at the expense of south-facing valleys has driven the drainage divide southwards at rates up to 2 to 3 times the rate of valley incision. Existing ice-flux-based glacial erosion rules incompletely model expansion of glacial valleys via cirque retreat into the low-gradient unconformity remnants. Local processes that either directly sap cirque headwalls or inhibit erosion down-glacier appear to control, at least initially, alpine landscape evolution.

  17. Treeline proximity alters an alpine plant-herbivore interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Illerbrun, Kurt; Roland, Jens

    2011-05-01

    Rising treeline threatens the size and contiguity of alpine meadows worldwide. As trees encroach into previously open habitat, the movement and population dynamics of above-treeline alpine species may be disrupted. This process is well documented in studies of the Rocky Mountain apollo butterfly (Parnassius smintheus). However, subtler consequences of treeline rise remain poorly understood. In this study, we examine whether treeline proximity affects feeding behaviour of P. smintheus larvae, due to altered habitat affecting the distribution and availability of their host plant, lance-leaved stonecrop (Sedum lanceolatum). Understanding differential larval exploitation of food resources in relation to the treeline is an important step in predicting the consequences of continued treeline rise. Parnassius smintheus larvae feed more intensively on S. lanceolatum away from the treeline despite the relative paucity of hosts in these areas, and despite higher fitness penalties associated with the plant's herbivory-induced chemical defenses. Sedum lanceolatum growing near the treeline is less attractive, and therefore represents a less significant resource for P. smintheus larvae than its abundance might imply. If treeline rise continues, we suggest that this pattern of altered resource exploitation may represent a mechanism by which larvae are adversely affected even while adult movement among and within meadows appears sufficient for maintaining population health, and total host availability seems ample.

  18. Estimation of Alpine Skier Posture Using Machine Learning Techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bojan Nemec

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available High precision Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS measurements are becoming more and more popular in alpine skiing due to the relatively undemanding setup and excellent performance. However, GNSS provides only single-point measurements that are defined with the antenna placed typically behind the skier’s neck. A key issue is how to estimate other more relevant parameters of the skier’s body, like the center of mass (COM and ski trajectories. Previously, these parameters were estimated by modeling the skier’s body with an inverted-pendulum model that oversimplified the skier’s body. In this study, we propose two machine learning methods that overcome this shortcoming and estimate COM and skis trajectories based on a more faithful approximation of the skier’s body with nine degrees-of-freedom. The first method utilizes a well-established approach of artificial neural networks, while the second method is based on a state-of-the-art statistical generalization method. Both methods were evaluated using the reference measurements obtained on a typical giant slalom course and compared with the inverted-pendulum method. Our results outperform the results of commonly used inverted-pendulum methods and demonstrate the applicability of machine learning techniques in biomechanical measurements of alpine skiing.

  19. Statistical significant changes in ground thermal conditions of alpine Austria during the last decade

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellerer-Pirklbauer, Andreas

    2016-04-01

    Longer data series (e.g. >10 a) of ground temperatures in alpine regions are helpful to improve the understanding regarding the effects of present climate change on distribution and thermal characteristics of seasonal frost- and permafrost-affected areas. Beginning in 2004 - and more intensively since 2006 - a permafrost and seasonal frost monitoring network was established in Central and Eastern Austria by the University of Graz. This network consists of c.60 ground temperature (surface and near-surface) monitoring sites which are located at 1922-3002 m a.s.l., at latitude 46°55'-47°22'N and at longitude 12°44'-14°41'E. These data allow conclusions about general ground thermal conditions, potential permafrost occurrence, trend during the observation period, and regional pattern of changes. Calculations and analyses of several different temperature-related parameters were accomplished. At an annual scale a region-wide statistical significant warming during the observation period was revealed by e.g. an increase in mean annual temperature values (mean, maximum) or the significant lowering of the surface frost number (F+). At a seasonal scale no significant trend of any temperature-related parameter was in most cases revealed for spring (MAM) and autumn (SON). Winter (DJF) shows only a weak warming. In contrast, the summer (JJA) season reveals in general a significant warming as confirmed by several different temperature-related parameters such as e.g. mean seasonal temperature, number of thawing degree days, number of freezing degree days, or days without night frost. On a monthly basis August shows the statistically most robust and strongest warming of all months, although regional differences occur. Despite the fact that the general ground temperature warming during the last decade is confirmed by the field data in the study region, complications in trend analyses arise by temperature anomalies (e.g. warm winter 2006/07) or substantial variations in the winter

  20. Assessing the protection function of Alpine forest ecosystems using BGC modelling theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pötzelsberger, E.; Hasenauer, H.; Petritsch, R.; Pietsch, S. A.

    2009-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the protection function of forests in Alpine areas by modelling the flux dynamics (water, carbon, nutrients) within a watershed as they may depend on the vegetation pattern and forest management impacts. The application case for this study was the catchment Schmittenbach, located in the province of Salzburg. Data available covered the hydrology (rainfall measurements from 1981 to 1998 and runoff measurements at the river Schmittenbach from 1981 to 2005), vegetation dynamics (currently 69% forest, predominantly Norway Spruce). The method of simulating the forest growth and water outflow was validated. For simulations of the key ecosystem processes (e.g. photosynthesis, carbon and nitrogen allocation in the different plant parts, litter fall, mineralisation, tree water uptake, transpiration, rainfall interception, evaporation, snow accumulation and snow melt, outflow of spare water) the biogeochemical ecosystem model Biome-BGC was applied. Relevant model extensions were the tree species specific parameter sets and the improved thinning regime. The model is sensitive to site characteristics and needs daily weather data and information on the atmospheric composition, which makes it sensitive to higher CO2-levels and climate change. For model validation 53 plots were selected covering the full range of site quality and stand age. Tree volume and soil was measured and compared with the respective model results. The outflow for the watershed was predicted by combining the simulated forest-outflow (derived from plot-outflow) with the outflow from the non-forest area (calculated with a fixed outflow/rainfall coefficient (OC)). The analysis of production and water related model outputs indicated that mechanistic modelling can be used as a tool to assess the performance of Alpine protection forests. The Water Use Efficiency (WUE), the ratio of Net primary production (NPP) and Transpiration, was found the highest for juvenile stands (

  1. Staying cool: preadaptation to temperate climates required for colonising tropical alpine-like environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Berit Gehrke

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Plant species tend to retain their ancestral ecology, responding to temporal, geographic and climatic changes by tracking suitable habitats rather than adapting to novel conditions. Nevertheless, transitions into different environments or biomes still seem to be common. Especially intriguing are the tropical alpine-like areas found on only the highest mountainous regions surrounded by tropical environments. Tropical mountains are hotspots of biodiversity, often with striking degrees of endemism at higher elevations. On these mountains, steep environmental gradients and high habitat heterogeneity within small spaces coincide with astounding species diversity of great conservation value. The analysis presented here shows that the importance of in situ speciation in tropical alpine-like areas has been underestimated. Additionally and contrary to widely held opinion, the impact of dispersal from other regions with alpine-like environments is relatively minor compared to that of immigration from other biomes with a temperate (but not alpine-like climate. This suggests that establishment in tropical alpine-like regions is favoured by preadaptation to a temperate, especially aseasonal, freezing regime such as the cool temperate climate regions in the Tropics. Furthermore, emigration out of an alpine-like environment is generally rare, suggesting that alpine-like environments – at least tropical ones – are species sinks.

  2. Evolutionary diversification of cryophilic Grylloblatta species (Grylloblattodea: Grylloblattidae in alpine habitats of California

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roderick George K

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Climate in alpine habitats has undergone extreme variation during Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs, resulting in repeated expansion and contraction of alpine glaciers. Many cold-adapted alpine species have responded to these climatic changes with long-distance range shifts. These species typically exhibit shallow genetic differentiation over a large geographical area. In contrast, poorly dispersing organisms often form species complexes within mountain ranges, such as the California endemic ice-crawlers (Grylloblattodea: Grylloblattidae: Grylloblatta. The diversification pattern of poorly dispersing species might provide more information on the localized effects of historical climate change, the importance of particular climatic events, as well as the history of dispersal. Here we use multi-locus genetic data to examine the phylogenetic relationships and geographic pattern of diversification in California Grylloblatta. Results Our analysis reveals a pattern of deep genetic subdivision among geographically isolated populations of Grylloblatta in California. Alpine populations diverged from low elevation populations and subsequently diversified. Using a Bayesian relaxed clock model and both uncalibrated and calibrated measurements of time to most recent common ancestor, we reconstruct the temporal diversification of alpine Grylloblatta populations. Based on calibrated relaxed clock estimates, evolutionary diversification of Grylloblatta occurred during the Pliocene-Pleistocene epochs, with an initial dispersal into California during the Pliocene and species diversification in alpine clades during the middle Pleistocene epoch. Conclusions Grylloblatta species exhibit a high degree of genetic subdivision in California with well defined geographic structure. Distinct glacial refugia can be inferred within the Sierra Nevada, corresponding to major, glaciated drainage basins. Low elevation populations are sister to alpine populations

  3. Environmental impacts of urban snow management - The alpine case study of Innsbruck

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Engelhard, C.; De Toffol, S.; Lek, I.; Rauch, W.; Dallinger, R.

    2007-01-01

    In regions with colder climate, snow at roads can accumulate significant amounts of pollutant chemicals. In northern countries various efforts have been made to face this problem, but for the alpine region little is known about the pollution of urban snow. The present case study was carried out in the city of Innsbruck (Austria). It aimed at measuring pollution of roadside snow and estimating the impact of snow management practises on environmental quality. Concentrations of copper, zinc, lead, cadmium, suspended solids and chloride were determined during a series of sampling events. Various locations with low and high traffic densities and in different distances from a highway have been investigated. The concentrations of copper were generally higher at sites with high traffic density compared to locations with low traffic impact. In contrast to this, the concentrations of zinc and lead remained almost unvaried irrespective of traffic density at the different sampling sites. For cadmium, the picture was more diverse, showing moderately elevated concentrations of this metal also at the urban reference site not polluted by traffic. This indicates that there may be also other important sources for cadmium besides traffic. Suspended solids accumulated in the roadside snow, the highest concentrations were found at the sites with high traffic density. The chloride concentrations were considerable in the snow, especially at the highway. Based on the results of the present measurement campaign, the environmental impact of snow disposal in rivers was also estimated. A negative impact on rivers from snow disposal seems likely to occur, although the discharged loads could only be calculated with substantial uncertainty, considering the high variability of the measured pollutant concentrations. For a more accurate evaluation of this management practise on rivers, further investigations would be necessary

  4. Biomechanical factors influencing the performance of elite Alpine ski racers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hébert-Losier, Kim; Supej, Matej; Holmberg, Hans-Christer

    2014-04-01

    Alpine ski racing is a popular international winter sport that is complex and challenging from physical, technical, and tactical perspectives. Despite the vast amount of scientific literature focusing on this sport, including topical reviews on physiology, ski-snow friction, and injuries, no review has yet addressed the biomechanics of elite alpine ski racers and which factors influence performance. In World Cup events, winning margins are often mere fractions of a second and biomechanics may well be a determining factor in podium place finishes. The aim of this paper was to systematically review the scientific literature to identify the biomechanical factors that influence the performance of elite alpine ski racers, with an emphasis on slalom, giant slalom, super-G, and downhill events. Four electronic databases were searched using relevant medical subject headings and key words, with an additional manual search of reference lists, relevant journals, and key authors in the field. Articles were included if they addressed human biomechanics, elite alpine skiing, and performance. Only original research articles published in peer-reviewed journals and in the English language were reviewed. Articles that focused on skiing disciplines other than the four of primary interest were excluded (e.g., mogul, ski-cross and freestyle skiing). The articles subsequently included for review were quality assessed using a modified version of a validated quality assessment checklist. Data on the study population, design, location, and findings relating biomechanics to performance in alpine ski racers were extracted from each article using a standard data extraction form. A total of 12 articles met the inclusion criteria, were reviewed, and scored an average of 69 ± 13% (range 40-89%) upon quality assessment. Five of the studies focused on giant slalom, four on slalom, and three on downhill disciplines, although these latter three articles were also relevant to super-G events

  5. Alpine Windharvest: development of information base regarding potentials and the necessary technical, legal and socio-economic conditions for expanding wind energy in the Alpine Space - Alpine Space wind map - Modeling approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schaffner, B.; Remund, J. [Meteotest, Berne (Switzerland)

    2005-07-01

    This report presents describes the development work carried out by the Swiss meteorology specialists of the company METEOTEST as part of a project carried out together with the Swiss wind-energy organisation 'Suisse Eole'. The framework for the project is the EU Interreg IIIB Alpine Space Programme, a European Community Initiative Programme funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The project investigated the use of digital relief-analysis. The series of reports describes the development and use of a basic information system to aid the investigation of the technical, legal and socio-economical conditions for the use of wind energy in the alpine area. This report discusses two modelling approaches investigated for use in the definition of a wind map for the alpine area. The method chosen and its application are discussed. The various sources of information for input to the model are listed and discussed.

  6. Temperature signal in suspended sediment export from an Alpine catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Anna; Molnar, Peter; Stutenbecker, Laura; Bakker, Maarten; Silva, Tiago A.; Schlunegger, Fritz; Lane, Stuart N.; Loizeau, Jean-Luc; Girardclos, Stéphanie

    2018-01-01

    Suspended sediment export from large Alpine catchments ( > 1000 km2) over decadal timescales is sensitive to a number of factors, including long-term variations in climate, the activation-deactivation of different sediment sources (proglacial areas, hillslopes, etc.), transport through the fluvial system, and potential anthropogenic impacts on the sediment flux (e.g. through impoundments and flow regulation). Here, we report on a marked increase in suspended sediment concentrations observed near the outlet of the upper Rhône River Basin in the mid-1980s. This increase coincides with a statistically significant step-like increase in basin-wide mean air temperature. We explore the possible explanations of the suspended sediment rise in terms of changes in water discharge (transport capacity), and the activation of different potential sources of fine sediment (sediment supply) in the catchment by hydroclimatic forcing. Time series of precipitation and temperature-driven snowmelt, snow cover, and ice melt simulated with a spatially distributed degree-day model, together with erosive rainfall on snow-free surfaces, are tested to explore possible reasons for the rise in suspended sediment concentration. We show that the abrupt change in air temperature reduced snow cover and the contribution of snowmelt, and enhanced ice melt. The results of statistical tests show that the onset of increased ice melt was likely to play a dominant role in the suspended sediment concentration rise in the mid-1980s. Temperature-driven enhanced melting of glaciers, which cover about 10 % of the catchment surface, can increase suspended sediment yields through an increased contribution of sediment-rich glacial meltwater, increased sediment availability due to glacier recession, and increased runoff from sediment-rich proglacial areas. The reduced extent and duration of snow cover in the catchment are also potential contributors to the rise in suspended sediment concentration through

  7. Cosmogenic radionuclides in the environment: {sup 32}Si in precipitation samples from the Jungfraujoch, production cross sections of {sup 36}Cl in Argon and modeling of the atmospheric {sup 36}Cl production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Parrat, Y. [Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland)

    1997-06-01

    The concentrations of the cosmogenic radionuclide {sup 32}Si were measured in four fresh snow samples from the Jungfraujoch in the Swiss Alps (3450 m asl.) to study the feasibility of measuring this potential dating nuclide with Accelerator Mass Spectrometry. This technique could reduce drastically the amount of material needed for measurements of {sup 32}Si concentrations in environmental samples in contrast to conventional radiometric detection. The measured {sup 32}Si concentrations in the snow samples were between 1.84 and 6.28 {mu}Bql{sup -1}. These values agree with other measurements of precipitation samples. The measured {sup 32}Si/Si{sub tot} ratios ranged from 2.5.10{sup -17} to 2.3.10{sup -15} and were thus below the present detection limit of about 10{sup -14}, showing that at present it is not possible to carry out AMS measurements of {sup 32}Si in precipitation samples. For the first time, experimental cross sections of the reaction {sup 40}Ar(p,X){sup 36}Cl have been determined for the proton energy range 16-590 MeV. These cross sections were measured using a gas target, a novel method which was tested successfully by irradiating nitrogen targets to confirm literature values of the N(p,X){sup 7}Be and N(p,X){sup 10}Be cross sections. In fact, good agreement was found between the obtained cross sections with those using solid targets. Production of several radionuclides in the reaction of proton with nickel were also measured. Comparison of these cross sections with literature data proved that the proton flux measurements carried out with ionization chambers were very accurate. The excitation function of the reaction {sup 40}Ar(p,X){sup 36}Cl exhibits two maxima at proton energies of 20 MeV for the (p,{alpha}n)reaction and 95 MeV for the (p,2p3n) reaction, with maximum cross sections of 105 mb and 53 mb, respectively. (author) figs., tabs., refs.

  8. Alpine Skiing With total knee ArthroPlasty (ASWAP)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Narici, Marco; Conte, M; Salvioli, Stefano

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated features of skeletal muscle ageing in elderly individuals having previously undergone unilateral total knee arthroplasty (TKA) and whether markers of sarcopenia could be mitigated by a 12-week alpine skiing intervention. Novel biomarkers agrin, indicative of neuromuscular...... junction (NMJ) degeneration, tumor suppressor protein p53, associated with muscle atrophy, and a new ultrasound-based muscle architecture biomarker were used to characterize sarcopenia. Participant details and study design are presented by Kösters et al. (2015). The results of this study show that NMJ...... degeneration is widespread among active septuagenarians previously subjected to TKA: all participants showed elevated agrin levels upon recruitment. At least 50% of individuals were identified as sarcopenic based on their muscle architecture, supporting the hypothesis that NMJ alterations precede sarcopenia...

  9. Canalization of freeze tolerance in an alpine grasshopper.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawes, Timothy C

    2015-10-01

    In the Rock and Pillar Range, New Zealand, the alpine grasshopper, Sigaus australis Hutton, survives equilibrium freezing (EF) all-year round. A comparison of freeze tolerance (FT) in grasshoppers over four austral seasons for a 1 year period finds that: (a) the majority (>70%) of the sample population of grasshoppers survive single freeze-stress throughout the year; (b) exposure to increased freeze stress (multiple freeze-stress events) does not lead to a loss of freeze tolerance; and (c) responses to increased freeze stress reveal seasonal tuning of the FT adaptation to environmental temperatures. The Rock and Pillar sample population provides a clear example of the canalization of the FT adaptation. Seasonal variability in the extent of tolerance of multiple freezing events indicates that physiology is modulated to environmental temperatures by phenotypic plasticity - i.e. the FT adaptation is permanent and adjustable. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Goats on alpine grazing: study on metabolic and hematologic profiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Gaviraghi

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Summering on alpine pastures from June to October has long been the traditional management of goat flocks in the mountain areas of Lombardy. At present most of the 50.000 goats farmed in Lombardy are still summered, even though only a few thousands - belonging to local breed - are regularly milked. For these goats summering appears to be fundamental not only to allow milk production but also to restore body reserves. The increasing interest in commercial goat milk production in Lombardy involves mainly intensive farming with zero or minimum grazing. However, semi-extensive goat milk production, including summering, could respond to social and environmental goals (Citterio et al., 2002 being able to exploit some economic opportunities...

  11. Decadal changes of weather types in the alpine region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stefanicki, G.; Talkner, P.; Weber, R.O. [Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland)

    1997-06-01

    The annual occurrence of different weather types of Schuepp`s synoptic classification in the Alpine region has changed since the beginning of its recording 1945. The annual frequency (number of days) of convective types has increased and that of advective types has decreased. In parallel the number of long-lasting convective episodes rose and the number of long-lasting advective episodes lessened. Most of the change took place in winter. The frequencies of different weather types and the annual mean of certain meteorological parameters are significantly correlated. Moreover, there is a strong interdependence between the subclass of high pressure types and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index. (author) 3 figs., 3 refs.

  12. Methods for measuring arctic and alpine shrub growth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Myers-Smith, Isla; Hallinger, Martin; Blok, Daan

    2015-01-01

    Shrubs have increased in abundance and dominance in arctic and alpine regions in recent decades. This often dramatic change, likely due to climate warming, has the potential to alter both the structure and function of tundra ecosystems. The analysis of shrub growth is improving our understanding...... of tundra vegetation dynamics and environmental changes. However, dendrochronological methods developed for trees, need to be adapted for the morphology and growth eccentricity of shrubs. Here, we review current and developing methods to measure radial and axial growth, estimate age, and assess growth...... dynamics in relation to environmental variables. Recent advances in sampling methods, analysis and applications have improved our ability to investigate growth and recruitment dynamics of shrubs. However, to extrapolate findings to the biome scale, future dendroecologicalwork will require improved...

  13. Signatures of Late Pleistocene fluvial incision in an Alpine landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leith, Kerry; Fox, Matthew; Moore, Jeffrey R.

    2018-02-01

    Uncertainty regarding the relative efficacy of fluvial and glacial erosion has hindered attempts to quantitatively analyse the Pleistocene evolution of alpine landscapes. Here we show that the morphology of major tributaries of the Rhone River, Switzerland, is consistent with that predicted for a landscape shaped primarily by multiple phases of fluvial incision following a period of intense glacial erosion after the mid-Pleistocene transition (∼0.7 Ma). This is despite major ice sheets reoccupying the region during cold intervals since the mid-Pleistocene. We use high-resolution LiDAR data to identify a series of convex reaches within the long-profiles of 18 tributary channels. We propose these reaches represent knickpoints, which developed as regional uplift raised tributary bedrock channels above the local fluvial baselevel during glacial intervals, and migrated upstream as the fluvial system was re-established during interglacial periods. Using a combination of integral long-profile analysis and stream-power modelling, we find that the locations of ∼80% of knickpoints in our study region are consistent with that predicted for a fluvial origin, while the mean residual error over ∼100 km of modelled channels is just 26.3 m. Breaks in cross-valley profiles project toward the elevation of former end-of-interglacial channel elevations, supporting our model results. Calculated long-term uplift rates are within ∼15% of present-day measurements, while modelled rates of bedrock incision range from ∼1 mm/yr for low gradient reaches between knickpoints to ∼6-10 mm/yr close to retreating knickpoints, typical of observed rates in alpine settings. Together, our results reveal approximately 800 m of regional uplift, river incision, and hillslope erosion in the lower half of each tributary catchment since 0.7 Ma.

  14. Statistical Downscaling Of Local Climate In The Alpine Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaspar, Severin; Philipp, Andreas; Jacobeit, Jucundus

    2016-04-01

    The impact of climate change on the alpine region was disproportional strong in the past decades compared to the surrounding areas, which becomes manifest in a higher increase in surface air temperature. Beside the thermal changes also implications for the hydrological cycle may be expected, acting as a very important factor not only for the ecosystem but also for mankind, in the form of water security or considering economical aspects like winter tourism etc. Therefore, in climate impact studies, it is necessary to focus on variables with high influence on the hydrological cycle, for example temperature, precipitation, wind, humidity and radiation. The aim of this study is to build statistical downscaling models which are able to reproduce temperature and precipitation at the mountainous alpine weather stations Zugspitze and Sonnblick and to further project these models into the future to identify possible changes in the behavior of these climate variables and with that in the hydrological cycle. Beside facing a in general very complex terrain in this high elevated regions, we have the advantage of a more direct atmospheric influence on the meteorology of the exposed weather stations from the large scale circulation. Two nonlinear statistical methods are developed to model the station-data series on a daily basis: On the one hand a conditional classification approach was used and on the other hand a model based on artificial neural networks (ANNs) was built. The latter is in focus of this presentation. One of the important steps of developing a new model approach is to find a reliable predictor setup with e.g. informative predictor variables or adequate location and size of the spatial domain. The question is: Can we include synoptic background knowledge to identify an optimal domain for an ANN approach? The yet developed ANN setups and configurations show promising results in downscaling both, temperature (up to 80 % of explained variance) and precipitation (up

  15. Close-Range Sensing Techniques in Alpine Terrain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutzinger, M.; Höfle, B.; Lindenbergh, R.; Oude Elberink, S.; Pirotti, F.; Sailer, R.; Scaioni, M.; Stötter, J.; Wujanz, D.

    2016-06-01

    Early career researchers such as PhD students are a main driving force of scientific research and are for a large part responsible for research innovation. They work on specialized topics within focused research groups that have a limited number of members, but might also have limited capacity in terms of lab equipment. This poses a serious challenge for educating such students as it is difficult to group a sufficient number of them to enable efficient knowledge transfer. To overcome this problem, the Innsbruck Summer School of Alpine Research 2015 on close-range sensing techniques in Alpine terrain was organized in Obergurgl, Austria, by an international team from several universities and research centres. Of the applicants a group of 40 early career researchers were selected with interest in about ten types of specialized surveying tools, i.e. laser scanners, a remotely piloted aircraft system, a thermal camera, a backpack mobile mapping system and different grade photogrammetric equipment. During the one-week summer school, students were grouped according to their personal preference to work with one such type of equipment under guidance of an expert lecturer. All students were required to capture and process field data on a mountain-related theme like landslides or rock glaciers. The work on the assignments lasted the whole week but was interspersed with lectures on selected topics by invited experts. The final task of the summer school participants was to present and defend their results to their peers, lecturers and other colleagues in a symposium-like setting. Here we present the framework and content of this summer school which brought together scientists from close-range sensing and environmental and geosciences.

  16. MAPPING ALPINE VEGETATION LOCATION PROPERTIES BY DENSE MATCHING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Niederheiser

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Highly accurate 3D micro topographic mapping in mountain research demands for light equipment and low cost solutions. Recent developments in structure from motion and dense matching techniques provide promising tools for such applications. In the following, the feasibility of terrestrial photogrammetry for mapping topographic location properties of sparsely vegetated areas in selected European mountain regions is investigated. Changes in species composition at alpine vegetation locations are indicators of climate change consequences, such as the pronounced rise of average temperatures in mountains compared to the global average. Better understanding of climate change effects on plants demand for investigations on a micro-topographic scale. We use professional and consumer grade digital single-lens reflex cameras mapping 288 plots each 3 x 3 m on 18 summits in the Alps and Mediterranean Mountains within the GLORIA (GLobal Observation Research Initiative in Alpine environments network. Image matching tests result in accuracies that are in the order of millimetres in the XY-plane and below 0.5 mm in Z-direction at the second image pyramid level. Reconstructing vegetation proves to be a challenge due to its fine and small structured architecture and its permanent movement by wind during image acquisition, which is omnipresent on mountain summits. The produced 3D point clouds are gridded to 6 mm resolution from which topographic parameters such as slope, aspect and roughness are derived. At a later project stage these parameters will be statistically linked to botanical reference data in order to conclude on relations between specific location properties and species compositions.

  17. Land use and surface process domains on alpine hillslopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhn, Nikolaus J.; Caviezel, Chatrina; Hunziker, Matthias

    2015-04-01

    Shrubs and trees are generally considered to protect hillslopes from erosion. As a consequence, shrub encroachment on mountain pastures after abandoning grazing is not considered a threat to soils. However, the abandonment of mown or grazed grasslands causes a shift in vegetation composition and thus a change in landscape ecology and geomorphology. On many alpine slopes, current changes in land use and vegetation cover are accompanied by climate change, potentially generating a new geomorphic regime. Most of the debate focuses on the effect of land abandonment on water erosion rates. Generally, an established perennial vegetation cover improves the mechanical anchoring of the soil and the regulation of the soil water budget, including runoff generation and erosion. However, changing vegetation composition affects many other above- and below-ground properties like root density, -diversity and -geometry, soil structure, pore volume and acidity. Each combination of these properties can lead to a distinct scenario of dominating surface processes, often not reflected by common erosion risk assessment procedures. The study of soil properties along a chronosequence of green alder (alnusviridis) encroachment on the Unteralptal in central Switzerland reveals that shrub encroachment changes soil and vegetation properties towards an increase of resistance to run-off related erosion processes, but a decrease of slope stability against shallow landslides. The latter are a particular threat because of the currently increasing frequency of slide-triggering high magnitude rainfalls. The potential change of process domain on alpine pastures highlights the need for a careful use of erosion models when assessing future land use and climate scenarios. In mountains, but also other intensively managed agricultural landscapes, risk assessment without the appropriate reflection on the shifting relevance of surface processes carries the risk of missing future threats to environmental

  18. EXPLORING THE POTENTIAL OF AERIAL PHOTOGRAMMETRY FOR 3D MODELLING OF HIGH-ALPINE ENVIRONMENTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Legat

    2016-03-01

    Based on the very promising results, some general recommendations for aerial photogrammetry processing in high-alpine areas are made to achieve best possible accuracy of the final 3D-, 2.5D- and 2D products.

  19. SEA in local land use planning - first experience in the Alpine States

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jiricka, Alexandra; Proebstl, Ulrike

    2008-01-01

    In the Alpine area, planning decisions can result in far-reaching consequences because of the high sensitivity of the Alpine ecosystems. This article is based on two hypotheses: (1) The Alpine states/regions were aware of their sensitive environment and therefore recognized the necessity of introducing a comparable instrument to assess local land use planning. (2) By introducing this differentiated assessment tool, namely SEA, an increase in costs may be the consequence. However, better and more transparent planning can contribute to the enhancement of planning standards. To reveal the validity of these assumptions the legal implementation in the Alpine countries Austria, Germany, Italy and France was examined as well as first practical experience resulting from the determined procedures. The results of the implementation process in the four states were compared and discussed on the basis of selected process steps of SEA

  20. Alpine treeline and timberline dynamics during the Holocene in the Northern Romanian Carpathians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anca GEANTĂ

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available High altitude environments (treeline and alpine communities are particularly sensitive to climate changes, disturbances and land-use changes due to their limited tolerance and adaptability range, habitat fragmentation and habitat restriction. The current and future climate warming is anticipated to shift the tree- and timberlines upwards thus affecting alpine plant communities and causing land-cover change and fragmentation of alpine habitats. An upslope movement of some trees, shrubs and cold adapted alpine herbs as a response to the current climate warming has already been noted in many montane and subalpine regions.Four Holocene peat and lacustrine sediment sequences located between 1670 and 1918 m a.s.l. (Fig.1, in the Rodna Mountains (Northern Romania, Eastern Carpathians are used with the aim to determine: i the sensitivity of high mountain habitats to climate, fire and land use changes; ii tree- and timberline shifts: and iii the influence of landscape topography on trees and shrubs.

  1. Effect of altitude and season on microbial activity, abundance and community structure in Alpine forest soils

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Siles, J. A.; Cajthaml, Tomáš; Minerbi, S.; Margesin, R.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 92, č. 3 (2016), fiw008 ISSN 0168-6496 Institutional support: RVO:61388971 Keywords : Alpine soil s * forest * altitude Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology Impact factor: 3.720, year: 2016

  2. Enzymology under global change: organic nitrogen turnover in alpine and sub-Arctic soils

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weedon, J.T.; Aerts, R.; Kowalchuk, G.A.; van Bodegom, P.M.

    2011-01-01

    Understanding global change impacts on the globally important carbon storage in alpine, Arctic and sub-Arctic soils requires knowledge of the mechanisms underlying the balance between plant primary productivity and decomposition. Given that nitrogen availability limits both processes, understanding

  3. Enzymology under global change: organic nitrogen turnover in alpine and sub-Arctic soils.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weedon, J.T.; Aerts, R.; Kowalchuk, G.A.; van Bodegom, P.M.

    2011-01-01

    Understanding global change impacts on the globally important carbon storage in alpine, Arctic and sub-Arctic soils requires knowledge of the mechanisms underlying the balance between plant primary productivity and decomposition. Given that nitrogen availability limits both processes, understanding

  4. Pathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica O:3 isolated from a hunted wild alpine ibex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joutsen, S; Sarno, E; Fredriksson-Ahomaa, M; Cernela, N; Stephan, R

    2013-03-01

    Occurrence of Yersinia spp. in wild ruminants was studied and the strains were characterized to get more information on the epidemiology of enteropathogenic Yersinia in the wildlife. In total, faecal samples of 77 red deer, 60 chamois, 55 roe deer and 27 alpine ibex were collected during 3 months of the hunting season in 2011. The most frequently identified species was Y. enterocolitica found in 13%, 10%, 4% and 2% of roe deer, red deer, alpine ibex and chamois, respectively. Interestingly, one Y. enterocolitica O:3 strain, isolated from an alpine ibex, carried the important virulence genes located on the virulence plasmid (yadA and virF) and in the chromosome (ail, hreP, myfA and ystA). Most of the Y. enterocolitica strains belonged to biotype 1A of which 14 were ystB positive. Further studies are needed to clarify the importance of alpine ibex as a reservoir of pathogenic Y. enterocolitica.

  5. Climatic changes and anthropogenic pollution as evidenced by two Alpine lacustrine records, Switzerland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thevenon, Florian; Poté, John; Guédron, Stéphane; Adatte, Thierry; Chiaradia, Massimo; Loizeau, Jean-Luc; Spangenberg, Jorge; Anselmetti, Flavio S.

    2010-05-01

    This study aims to provide high-resolution records of climatic changes and human impacts on two different Alpine environments: Lake Lucerne is a large (114 km2) lake located at 434 m asl in Central Switzerland, whereas Meidsee is a small (industrial history and the last millennia were sampled with a resolution of 1 cm, and investigated for organic (13δC, 15δN, C/N) and/or inorganic (δ13C, δ18O) matter contents, and elemental composition (REE compositions, trace elements, and heavy metals). Both sites exhibit 1) rapid hydrological changes related to variations in winter precipitations, and 2) increases in atmospheric pollution due to human activities. Lead enrichment factors combined to changes in lead isotopic composition (206Pb/207Pb ratio) are used to distinguish natural from anthropogenic sources. The greatest mercury and lead atmospheric emissions occurred during the twentieth century, resulting from the extensive combustion of fossil coal and petroleum in Europe. Although the highest heavy metals fluxes are synchronous with major anthropogenic changes (e.g. Roman mining, industrial revolution), proxies show that in absence of such events, the heavy metals deposition in the sedimentary records is primarily influenced by sedimentological processes linked to climate variations (i.e. runoff and erosion processes).

  6. Revitalizing traditional ecological knowledge: a study in an Alpine rural community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ianni, Elena; Geneletti, Davide; Ciolli, Marco

    2015-07-01

    This study aims to contribute to the debate on the value and the role of ecological knowledge in modern conservation strategies, with reference to the results of a case study conducted in the community of Montagne, located within a World Heritage site in the Italian Alps. This community is a paradigmatic example of the multiple transformations experienced by cultural landscapes in Alpine areas under the influence of global change. This study seeks to understand whether ecological knowledge is still in place in the community, and what the relationship is between the knowledge transmission and land use and social changes that have occurred in recent decades. To that end, the community is described by identifying the key variables (social, institutional, and ecological) that have historically shaped the landscape and the future priorities of the residents. Forest expansion, the most significant change in land use in the last 60 years, is analyzed using aerial photos; changes in biodiversity-related knowledge in the community are quantified by analyzing the inter-generational differences in plant species recognition. Results are discussed in the context of the current situation of the Montagne community, and the recommendation is made that policies and actions to promote traditional ecological knowledge protection or recovery in Europe be viewed as an important part of the recovery of community sovereignty and vitality. Lastly, concrete actions that can be implemented in our case study are proposed.

  7. Holocene geochemical footprint from Semi-arid alpine wetlands in southern Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Alix, Antonio; Jiménez-Espejo, Francisco J.; Jiménez-Moreno, Gonzalo; Toney, Jaime L.; Ramos-Román, María J.; Camuera, Jon; Anderson, R. Scott; Delgado-Huertas, Antonio; Martínez-Ruiz, Francisca; Queralt, Ignasi

    2018-02-01

    Here we provide the geochemical dataset that our research group has collected after 10 years of investigation in the Sierra Nevada National Park in southern Spain. These data come from Holocene sedimentary records from four alpine sites (ranging from ˜2500 to ˜3000 masl): two peatlands and two shallow lakes. Different kinds of organic and inorganic analyses have been conducted. The organic matter in the bulk sediment was characterised using elemental measurements and isotope-ratio mass spectrometry (EA-IRMS). Leaf waxes in the sediment were investigated by means of chromatography with flame-ionization detection and mass spectrometry (GC-FID, GC-MS). Major, minor and trace elements of the sediments were analysed with atomic absorption (AAS), inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), as well as X-ray scanning fluorescence. These data can be reused by environmental researchers and soil and land managers of the Sierra Nevada National Park and similar regions to identify the effect of natural climate change, overprinted by human impact, as well as to project new management policies in similar protected areas.

  8. Analyzing the major drivers of NEE in a Mediterranean alpine shrubland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. R. Reverter

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Two years of continuous measurements of net ecosystem exchange (NEE using the eddy covariance technique were made over a Mediterranean alpine shrubland. This ecosystem was found to be a net source of CO2 (+ 52 ± 7 g C m−2 and + 48 ± 7 g C m−2 for 2007 and 2008 during the two-year study period. To understand the reasons underlying this net release of CO2 into the atmosphere, we analysed the drivers of seasonal variability in NEE over these two years. We observed that the soil water availability – driven by the precipitation pattern – and the photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD are the key factors for understanding both the carbon sequestration potential and the duration of the photosynthetic period during the growing season. Finally, the effects of the self-heating correction to CO2 and H2O fluxes measured with the open-path infrared gas analyser were evaluated. Applying the correction turned the annual CO2 budget in 2007 from a sink (− 135 ± 7 g C m−2 to a source (+ 52 ± 7 g C m−2. The magnitude of this change is larger than reported previously and is shown to be due to the low air density and cold temperatures at this high elevation study site.

  9. Tracing the origin of pollution in French Alpine snow and aerosols using lead isotopic ratios.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veysseyre, A M; Bollhöfer, A F; Rosman, K J; Ferrari, C P; Boutron, C F

    2001-11-15

    Fresh snow samples collected at 15 remote locations and aerosols collected at one location in the French Alps between November 1998 and April 1999 have been analyzed for Pb concentration and isotopic composition by thermal ionization mass spectrometry. The snow samples contained 19-1300 pg/g of Pb with isotopic ratios 206Pb/207Pb (208Pb/207Pb) of 1.1279-1.1607 (2.3983-2.4302). Airborne Pb concentrations at one sampling site ranged from 0.42 to 6.0 ng/m3 with isotopic ratios of 1.1321-1.1427 (2.4029-2.4160). Air mass trajectory analysis combined with isotopic compositions of potential source regions did not show discernible evidence of the long-range atmospheric transport of pollutants. Isotopic ratios in the Alpine snow samples and thus the free troposphere were generally higher than airborne Pb isotopic ratios in urban France, which coupled with the relatively high Pb concentrations suggested a regional anthropogenic Pb source, probably Italy but possibly Eastern Europe.

  10. Revitalizing Traditional Ecological Knowledge: A Study in an Alpine Rural Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ianni, Elena; Geneletti, Davide; Ciolli, Marco

    2015-07-01

    This study aims to contribute to the debate on the value and the role of ecological knowledge in modern conservation strategies, with reference to the results of a case study conducted in the community of Montagne, located within a World Heritage site in the Italian Alps. This community is a paradigmatic example of the multiple transformations experienced by cultural landscapes in Alpine areas under the influence of global change. This study seeks to understand whether ecological knowledge is still in place in the community, and what the relationship is between the knowledge transmission and land use and social changes that have occurred in recent decades. To that end, the community is described by identifying the key variables (social, institutional, and ecological) that have historically shaped the landscape and the future priorities of the residents. Forest expansion, the most significant change in land use in the last 60 years, is analyzed using aerial photos; changes in biodiversity-related knowledge in the community are quantified by analyzing the inter-generational differences in plant species recognition. Results are discussed in the context of the current situation of the Montagne community, and the recommendation is made that policies and actions to promote traditional ecological knowledge protection or recovery in Europe be viewed as an important part of the recovery of community sovereignty and vitality. Lastly, concrete actions that can be implemented in our case study are proposed.

  11. On the measure of large woody debris in an alpine catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Agostino, V.; Bertoldi, G.; Rigon, E.

    2012-04-01

    The management of large woody debris (LWD) in Alpine torrents is a complex and ambiguous task. On one side the presence of LWD contributes to in-channel and floodplain morphological processes and plays an important role in landscape ecology and biodiversity. On the other side LWD increases considerably flood hazards when some river cross-sections result critical for the human interface (e.g. culverts, bridges, artificial channels). Only few studies provide quantitative data of LWD volumes in Alpine torrents. Research is needed both at basin scale processes (LWD recruiting from hillslopes) and at channel scale processes (feeding from river bank, storage/transport/deposition of LWD along the river bed). Our study proposes an integrate field survey methodology to assess the overall LWD amount which can be entrained by a flood. This knowledge is mandatory for the scientific research, for the implementation of LWD transport models, and for a complete hazard management in mountain basins. The study site is the high-relief basin of the Cordevole torrent (Belluno Province, Central Alps, Italy) whose outlet is located at the Saviner village (basin area of 109 square kilometers). In the November 1966 an extreme flood event occurred and some torrent reaches were heavily congested by LWD enhancing the overall damages due to long-duration overflows. Currently, the LWD recruitment seems to be strictly correlated with bank erosion and hillslope instability and the conditions of forest stand suggest LWD hazard is still high. Previous studies on sub-catchments of the Cordevole torrent have also shown an inverse relation between the drainage area and the LWD storage in the river-bed. Present contribution analyzes and quantifies the presence of LWD in the main valley channel of the Cordevole basin. A new sampling methodology was applied to integrate surveys of riparian vegetation and LWD storage. Data inventory confirms the previous relationship between LWD volumes and drainage area

  12. What are the most crucial soil factors for predicting the distribution of alpine plant species?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buri, A.; Pinto-Figueroa, E.; Yashiro, E.; Guisan, A.

    2017-12-01

    Nowadays the use of species distribution models (SDM) is common to predict in space and time the distribution of organisms living in the critical zone. The realized environmental niche concept behind the development of SDM imply that many environmental factors must be accounted for simultaneously to predict species distributions. Climatic and topographic factors are often primary included, whereas soil factors are frequently neglected, mainly due to the paucity of soil information available spatially and temporally. Furthermore, among existing studies, most included soil pH only, or few other soil parameters. In this study we aimed at identifying what are the most crucial soil factors for explaining alpine plant distributions and, among those identified, which ones further improve the predictive power of plant SDMs. To test the relative importance of the soil factors, we performed plant SDMs using as predictors 52 measured soil properties of various types such as organic/inorganic compounds, chemical/physical properties, water related variables, mineral composition or grain size distribution. We added them separately to a standard set of topo-climatic predictors (temperature, slope, solar radiation and topographic position). We used ensemble forecasting techniques combining together several predictive algorithms to model the distribution of 116 plant species over 250 sites in the Swiss Alps. We recorded the variable importance for each model and compared the quality of the models including different soil proprieties (one at a time) as predictors to models having only topo-climatic variables as predictors. Results show that 46% of the soil proprieties tested become the second most important variable, after air temperature, to explain spatial distribution of alpine plants species. Moreover, we also assessed that addition of certain soil factors, such as bulk soil water density, could improve over 80% the quality of some plant species models. We confirm that soil p

  13. Experimental effects of herbivore density on above-ground plant biomass in an alpine grassland ecosystem

    OpenAIRE

    Austrheim, Gunnar; Speed, James David Mervyn; Martinsen, Vegard; Mulder, Jan; Mysterud, Atle

    2014-01-01

    Herbivores may increase or decrease aboveground plant productivity depending on factors such as herbivore density and habitat productivity. The grazing optimization hypothesis predicts a peak in plant production at intermediate herbivore densities, but has rarely been tested experimentally in an alpine field setting. In an experimental design with three densities of sheep (high, low, and no sheep), we harvested aboveground plant biomass in alpine grasslands prior to treatment and after five y...

  14. Response of alpine vegetation growth dynamics to snow cover phenology on the Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, X.; Wu, C.

    2017-12-01

    Alpine vegetation plays a crucial role in global energy cycles with snow cover, an essential component of alpine land cover showing high sensitivity to climate change. The Tibetan Plateau (TP) has a typical alpine vegetation ecosystem and is rich of snow resources. With global warming, the snow of the TP has undergone significant changes that will inevitably affect the growth of alpine vegetation, but observed evidence of such interaction is limited. In particular, a comprehensive understanding of the responses of alpine vegetation growth to snow cover variability is still not well characterized on TP region. To investigate this, we calculated three indicators, the start (SOS) and length (LOS) of growing season, and the maximum of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVImax) as proxies of vegetation growth dynamics from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data for 2000-2015. Snow cover duration (SCD) and melt (SCM) dates were also extracted during the same time frame from the combination of MODIS and the Interactive Multi-sensor Snow and Ice Mapping System (IMS) data. We found that the snow cover phenology had a strong control on alpine vegetation growth dynamics. Furthermore, the responses of SOS, LOS and NDVImax to snow cover phenology varied among plant functional types, eco-geographical zones, and temperature and precipitation gradients. The alpine steppes showed a much stronger negative correlation between SOS and SCD, and also a more evidently positive relationship between LOS and SCD than other types, indicating a longer SCD would lead to an earlier SOS and longer LOS. Most areas showed positive correlation between SOS and SCM, while a contrary response was also found in the warm but drier areas. Both SCD and SCM showed positive correlations with NDVImax, but the relationship became weaker with the increase of precipitation. Our findings provided strong evidences between vegetation growth and snow cover phenology, and changes in

  15. Carbon sequestration in Himalaya's alpine meadows: Mitigating cropping encroachment on pastures in Northern Pakistan

    OpenAIRE

    Rueff, Henri; Syed Rehman, Aziz; Rahim, Inam; Maselli, Daniel; Nafees, Mohammad; Wiesmann, Urs

    2011-01-01

    Rangelands store about 30% of the world’s carbon and support over 120 million pastoralists globally. Adjusting the management of remote alpine pastures bears a substantial climate change mitigation potential that can provide livelihood support for marginalized pastoralists through carbon payment. Landless pastoralists in Northern Pakistan seek higher income by cropping potatoes and peas over alpine pastures. However, tilling steep slopes without terracing exposes soil to erosion. Moreover, yi...

  16. A kinematic and kinetic study of alpine skiing technique in slalom

    OpenAIRE

    Reid, Robert C.

    2010-01-01

    Avhandling (doktorgrad) - Norges idrettshøgskole, 2010. Despite a large body of lay and professional literature covering numerous aspects of alpine skiing technique, only a limited number of published scientific investigations have examined the relationship between skier technical and tactical characteristics and racing performance. As a consequence, our scientific understanding of how the underlying mechanics of alpine ski racing technique relate to performance is surprisin...

  17. Geochronologic constraints of the uplift and metamorphism along the Alpine Fault, South Island, New Zealand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chamberlain, C.P.; Zeitler, P.K.; Cooper, A.F.

    1995-01-01

    Geochronological studies of pegmatites and Alpine Schist exposed east of the Alpine Fault, South Island, New Zealand, reveal a complex history beginning with magmatism and metamorphism at c. 68 m.y. ago and ending with rapid uplift and exhumation in the last 5 m.y. Pegmatites exposed in the Mataketake Range give conventional U-Pb monazite and SHRIMP ion-probe zircon ages of 68 ± 2.6 Ma and 67.9 ± 2.5 Ma, respectively. Inasmuch as petrologic and isotopic data indicate that the Alpine pegmatites are melts derived from the Alpine Schist, the age of the pegmatites suggests that, at least locally, the high-grade metamorphism is considerably younger than previously assumed. We tentatively suggest that metamorphism, in at least some areas of the Alpine Schist, may be associated with Late Cretaceous transtension rather than resulting from the consequences of collision during the Rangitata Orogeny. 40 Ar/ 39 Ar studies of hornblendes from the Alpine Schist, collected from the Haast River to the Franz Josef Glacier area, reveal highly disturbed spectra. Despite this complexity, these analyses define a systematic decrease in ages both across-strike toward the Alpine Fault (Haast River traverse) and northwards along-strike towards Mt Cook. This pattern of decreasing 40 Ar/ 39 Ar hornblende ages is also observed in lower closure temperature systems such as zircon and apatite fission-track ages. We interpret the decrease in ages toward the fault to be the result of deeper exhumation in the immediate vicinity of the Alpine Fault, whereas we interpret the northward younging of fault-proximal samples to be a result of both more recent and possibly more extensive exhumation than occurred in areas to the south. (author). 55 refs., 4 figs., 2 tabs

  18. Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Resulting From Tourism Travel in an Alpine Setting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rainer Unger

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Tourism—with its social, economic, and ecological dimensions—can be an important driver of sustainable development of alpine communities. Tourism is essential for local people's incomes and livelihoods, but it can also have a major impact on the local environment, landscape aesthetics, and (mainly through tourist transport global climate change. A project currently underway is developing the Austrian mountain municipality of Alpbach into a role model for competitive and sustainable year-round alpine tourism using an integrated and spatially explicit approach that considers energy demand and supply related to housing, infrastructure, and traffic in the settlement and the skiing area. As the first outcome of the project, this article focuses on the development of the Model of Alpine Tourism and Transportation, a geographic information system–based tool for calculating, in detail, energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions resulting from travel to a single alpine holiday destination. Analysis results show that it is crucial to incorporate both direct and indirect energy use and emissions as each contributes significantly to the climate impact of travel. The study fills a research gap in carbon impact appraisal studies of tourism transport in the context of alpine tourism at the destination level. Our findings will serve as a baseline for the development of comprehensive policies and agendas promoting the transformation toward sustainable alpine tourism.

  19. Towards Automation in Landcover Mapping from LiDAR Data in Alpine Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorninger, Peter; Briese, Christian; Nothegger, Clemens; Klauser, Armin

    2010-05-01

    Digital terrain models derived from airborne LiDAR (often referred to as airborne laser scanning) are commonly used for various applications in geomorphology. The ongoing development in sensor technology makes flight campaigns with some 10 points per square meter economically feasible for large areas. Simultaneously, the achievable accuracy of the originally acquired points as well as those of the derived products increases due to improved measurement techniques. Additionally, full-waveform (FWF) laser scanning systems record the time-dependent strength of the backscattered signal. This allows for the determination of numerous points (i.e. echoes) for one emitted laser beam hitting multiple targets within its footprint. Practically, about five echoes may be determined from the digitized signal form. Furthermore, additional attributes can be determined for each echo. These are, for example, a reflectivity measure (amplitude), the widening of the echo (echo width), or the sequence of the echoes of a single shot. By considering the polar measurement range and atmospheric conditions, a physical calibration of such measurements is possible. The application of FWF information to increase the accuracy and the reliability of digital terrain models especially in areas with dense vegetation was shown by Doneus & Briese (2006). However, these additional attributes are rarely used for object or landcover classification. This is still the domain of automated image interpretation (e.g. Zebedin et al., 2006). Nevertheless, image interpretation has well known deficiencies in areas with vegetation or if shadows occur. Therefore, we tested a hybrid approach which uses conventional first echo / last echo (FE/LE) airborne laser scanning data (first and last pulse) and an RGB-orthophoto. The testing site is located in an alpine area in Tyrol, Austria. For the classification, topographic models, a slope map, a local roughness measure and a penetration ratio were determined from the

  20. Interaction between stream temperature, streamflow, and groundwater exchanges in alpine streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Constantz, James E.

    1998-01-01

    Four alpine streams were monitored to continuously collect stream temperature and streamflow for periods ranging from a week to a year. In a small stream in the Colorado Rockies, diurnal variations in both stream temperature and streamflow were significantly greater in losing reaches than in gaining reaches, with minimum streamflow losses occurring early in the day and maximum losses occurring early in the evening. Using measured stream temperature changes, diurnal streambed infiltration rates were predicted to increase as much as 35% during the day (based on a heat and water transport groundwater model), while the measured increase in streamflow loss was 40%. For two large streams in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, annual stream temperature variations ranged from 0° to 25°C. In summer months, diurnal stream temperature variations were 30–40% of annual stream temperature variations, owing to reduced streamflows and increased atmospheric heating. Previous reports document that one Sierra stream site generally gains groundwater during low flows, while the second Sierra stream site may lose water during low flows. For August the diurnal streamflow variation was 11% at the gaining stream site and 30% at the losing stream site. On the basis of measured diurnal stream temperature variations, streambed infiltration rates were predicted to vary diurnally as much as 20% at the losing stream site. Analysis of results suggests that evapotranspiration losses determined diurnal streamflow variations in the gaining reaches, while in the losing reaches, evapotranspiration losses were compounded by diurnal variations in streambed infiltration. Diurnal variations in stream temperature were reduced in the gaining reaches as a result of discharging groundwater of relatively constant temperature. For the Sierra sites, comparison of results with those from a small tributary demonstrated that stream temperature patterns were useful in delineating discharges of bank storage following

  1. Soil respiration in Tibetan alpine grasslands: belowground biomass and soil moisture, but not soil temperature, best explain the large-scale patterns.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Geng

    Full Text Available The Tibetan Plateau is an essential area to study the potential feedback effects of soils to climate change due to the rapid rise in its air temperature in the past several decades and the large amounts of soil organic carbon (SOC stocks, particularly in the permafrost. Yet it is one of the most under-investigated regions in soil respiration (Rs studies. Here, Rs rates were measured at 42 sites in alpine grasslands (including alpine steppes and meadows along a transect across the Tibetan Plateau during the peak growing season of 2006 and 2007 in order to test whether: (1 belowground biomass (BGB is most closely related to spatial variation in Rs due to high root biomass density, and (2 soil temperature significantly influences spatial pattern of Rs owing to metabolic limitation from the low temperature in cold, high-altitude ecosystems. The average daily mean Rs of the alpine grasslands at peak growing season was 3.92 µmol CO(2 m(-2 s(-1, ranging from 0.39 to 12.88 µmol CO(2 m(-2 s(-1, with average daily mean Rs of 2.01 and 5.49 µmol CO(2 m(-2 s(-1 for steppes and meadows, respectively. By regression tree analysis, BGB, aboveground biomass (AGB, SOC, soil moisture (SM, and vegetation type were selected out of 15 variables examined, as the factors influencing large-scale variation in Rs. With a structural equation modelling approach, we found only BGB and SM had direct effects on Rs, while other factors indirectly affecting Rs through BGB or SM. Most (80% of the variation in Rs could be attributed to the difference in BGB among sites. BGB and SM together accounted for the majority (82% of spatial patterns of Rs. Our results only support the first hypothesis, suggesting that models incorporating BGB and SM can improve Rs estimation at regional scale.

  2. Temperature signal in suspended sediment export from an Alpine catchment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Costa

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Suspended sediment export from large Alpine catchments ( >  1000 km2 over decadal timescales is sensitive to a number of factors, including long-term variations in climate, the activation–deactivation of different sediment sources (proglacial areas, hillslopes, etc., transport through the fluvial system, and potential anthropogenic impacts on the sediment flux (e.g. through impoundments and flow regulation. Here, we report on a marked increase in suspended sediment concentrations observed near the outlet of the upper Rhône River Basin in the mid-1980s. This increase coincides with a statistically significant step-like increase in basin-wide mean air temperature. We explore the possible explanations of the suspended sediment rise in terms of changes in water discharge (transport capacity, and the activation of different potential sources of fine sediment (sediment supply in the catchment by hydroclimatic forcing. Time series of precipitation and temperature-driven snowmelt, snow cover, and ice melt simulated with a spatially distributed degree-day model, together with erosive rainfall on snow-free surfaces, are tested to explore possible reasons for the rise in suspended sediment concentration. We show that the abrupt change in air temperature reduced snow cover and the contribution of snowmelt, and enhanced ice melt. The results of statistical tests show that the onset of increased ice melt was likely to play a dominant role in the suspended sediment concentration rise in the mid-1980s. Temperature-driven enhanced melting of glaciers, which cover about 10 % of the catchment surface, can increase suspended sediment yields through an increased contribution of sediment-rich glacial meltwater, increased sediment availability due to glacier recession, and increased runoff from sediment-rich proglacial areas. The reduced extent and duration of snow cover in the catchment are also potential contributors to the rise in suspended sediment

  3. Trade-offs Between Electricity Production from Small Hydropower Plants and Ecosystem Services in Alpine River Basins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, Philipp; Schwemmle, Robin; Viviroli, Daniel

    2015-04-01

    The need for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and the decision to phase out nuclear power plants in Switzerland and Germany increases pressure to develop the remaining hydropower potential in Alpine catchments. Since most of the potential for large reservoirs is already exploited, future development focusses on small run-of-the-river hydropower plants (SHP). Being considered a relatively environment-friendly electricity source, investment in SHP is promoted through subsidies. However, SHP can have a significant impact on riverine ecosystems, especially in the Alpine region where residual flow reaches tend to be long. An increase in hydropower exploitation will therefore increase pressure on ecosystems. While a number of studies assessed the potential for hydropower development in the Alps, two main factors were so far not assessed in detail: (i) ecological impacts within a whole river network, and (ii) economic conditions under which electricity is sold. We present a framework that establishes trade-offs between multiple objectives regarding environmental impacts, electricity production and economic evaluation. While it is inevitable that some ecosystems are compromised by hydropower plants, the context of these impacts within a river network should be considered when selecting suitable sites for SHP. From an ecological point of view, the diversity of habitats, and therefore the diversity of species, should be maintained within a river basin. This asks for objectives that go beyond lumped parameters of hydrological alteration, but also consider habitat diversity and the spatial configuration. Energy production in run-of-the-river power plants depends on available discharge, which can have large fluctuations. In a deregulated electricity market with strong price variations, an economic valuation should therefore be based on the expected market value of energy produced. Trade-off curves between different objectives can help decision makers to define policies

  4. Landscape History of Grosses Moos, NW Swiss Alpine Foreland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joanna Heer, Aleksandra; Adamiec, Grzegorz; Veit, Heinz; May, Jan-Hendrik; Novenko, Elena; Hajdas, Irka

    2017-04-01

    The western Swiss Plateau with Lake Neuchâtel is part of the alpine foreland and among the key areas for the reconstruction of environmental changes since the last postglacial. This study was carried out in a landscape located NE of the lake and called Grosses Moos (The Large Fen) - currently designated the Swiss largest, continuous farming area, after the fen was drained in course of landscape engineering projects performed in Switzerland at the end of the 19th century. The study contributes new results from nine excavations of littoral ridges identified in Grosses Moos, and integrates sedimentology, paleo-environmental analysis and three independent chronological methods. Radiocarbon dating, pollen analysis and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) were applied to the sediments. While pollen and radiocarbon follow the standard procedures, the evaluation of the luminescence age estimates demanded adjustment according to the physical and microdosimetric properties of the alpine quartz, and consideration of the peculiarities of the changing littoral environments of Grosses Moos. The Grosses Moos landscape developed on the temporary surface of the post-Last Glacial sedimentary infill of the over-deepened glacial Aare valley. In this study the landscape history has been fitted into the existing supraregional time scales of NGRIP, the Swiss bio-zones system and the human history based on archaeological and historic records and covers a time span of up to 15'000 yr b2k. The wide-ranging suite of geomorphic features and sedimentary sequences, including littoral lake sediments, beach ridges, dunes, palaeo-channels, peat and colluvial deposits, enable the extensive reconstruction of spatially and temporally variable natural shaping processes. In addition, our results indicate remobilization of soil, colluvium, and sediment due to human settlement activities since the Neolithic - with an important increase in sediment load and spatial variability since the Bronze Age

  5. Tomography images of the Alpine roots and surrounding upper mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plomerova, Jaroslava; Babuska, Vladislav

    2017-04-01

    Teleseismic body-wave tomography represents powerful tool to study regional velocity structure of the upper mantle and to image velocity anomalies, such as subducted lithosphere plates in collisional zones. In this contribution, we recapitulate 3D models of the upper mantle beneath the Alps, which developed at a collision zone of the Eurasian and African plates. Seismic tomography studies indicate a leading role of the rigid mantle lithosphere that functioned as a major stress guide during the plate collisions. Interactions of the European lithosphere with several micro-plates in the south resulted in an arcuate shape of this mountain range on the surface and in a complicated geometry of the Alpine subductions in the mantle. Early models with one bended lithosphere root have been replaced with more advanced models showing two separate lithosphere roots beneath the Western and Eastern Alps (Babuska et al., Tectonophysics 1990; Lippitsch et al., JGR 2003). The standard isotropic velocity tomography, based on pre-AlpArray data (the currently performed passive seismic experiment in the Alps and surroundings) images the south-eastward dipping curved slab of the Eurasian lithosphere in the Western Alps. On the contrary, beneath the Eastern Alps the results indicate a very steep northward dipping root that resulted from the collision of the European plate with the Adriatic microplate. Dando et al. (2011) interpret high-velocity heterogeneities at the bottom of their regional tomographic model as a graveyard of old subducted lithospheres. High density of stations, large amount of rays and dense ray-coverage of the volume studied are not the only essential pre-requisites for reliable tomography results. A compromise between the amount of pre-processed data and the high-quality of the tomography input (travel-time residuals) is of the high importance as well. For the first time, the existence of two separate roots beneath the Alps has been revealed from carefully pre

  6. Alpine Fault, New Zealand, SRTM Shaded Relief and Colored Height

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    The Alpine fault runs parallel to, and just inland of, much of the west coast of New Zealand's South Island. This view was created from the near-global digital elevation model produced by the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) and is almost 500 kilometers (just over 300 miles) wide. Northwest is toward the top. The fault is extremely distinct in the topographic pattern, nearly slicing this scene in half lengthwise. In a regional context, the Alpine fault is part of a system of faults that connects a west dipping subduction zone to the northeast with an east dipping subduction zone to the southwest, both of which occur along the juncture of the Indo-Australian and Pacific tectonic plates. Thus, the fault itself constitutes the major surface manifestation of the plate boundary here. Offsets of streams and ridges evident in the field, and in this view of SRTM data, indicate right-lateral fault motion. But convergence also occurs across the fault, and this causes the continued uplift of the Southern Alps, New Zealand's largest mountain range, along the southeast side of the fault. Two visualization methods were combined to produce this image: shading and color coding of topographic height. The shade image was derived by computing topographic slope in the northwest-southeast (image top to bottom) direction, so that northwest slopes appear bright and southeast slopes appear dark. Color coding is directly related to topographic height, with green at the lower elevations, rising through yellow and tan, to white at the highest elevations. Elevation data used in this image were acquired by the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, launched on Feb. 11, 2000. SRTM used the same radar instrument that comprised the Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) that flew twice on the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1994. SRTM was designed to collect 3-D measurements of the Earth's surface. To collect the 3-D data

  7. Geomorphic controls on Pleistocene knickpoint migration in Alpine valleys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leith, Kerry; Fox, Matt; Moore, Jeffrey R.; Brosda, Julian; Krautblatter, Michael; Loew, Simon

    2014-05-01

    Recent insights into sub-glacial bedrock stress conditions suggest that the erosional efficiency of glaciers may reduce markedly following a major erosional cycle [Leith et al., 2013]. This implies that the formation of large glacial valleys within the Alps is likely to have occurred shortly after the onset of 100 ky glacial-interglacial cycles (at the mid-Pleistocene Revolution (MPR)). The majority of landscape change since this time may have therefore been driven by sub-aerial processes. This hypothesis is supported by observations of hillslope and channel morphology within Canton Valais (Switzerland), where major tributary valleys display a common morphology along their length, hinting at a shared geomorphic history. Glaciers currently occupy the headwaters of many catchments, while the upper reaches of rivers flow across extensive alluvial planes before abruptly transitioning to steep channels consisting of mixed bedrock and talus fan deposits. The rivers then converge to flow out over the alluvial plane of the Rhone Valley. Characteristically rough topographies within the region are suggested to mark the progressive transition from a glacial to fluvially-dominated landscape, and correlate well with steepened river channel sections determined from a 2.5 m resolution LiDAR DEM. We envisage a landscape in which ongoing tectonic uplift drives the emergence of Alpine bedrock through massive sedimentary valley infills (currently concentrated in the Rhone Valley), whose elevation is fixed by the consistent fluvial baselevel at Lake Geneva. As fluvial incision ceases at the onset of glaciation, continued uplift causes the formation of knickpoints at the former transition from bedrock to sedimentary infill. These knickpoints will then propagate upstream during subsequent interglacial periods. By investigating channel morphologies using an approach based on the steady-state form of the stream power equation, we can correlate steepened channel reaches (degraded

  8. Changes in Biomass and Quality of Alpine Steppe in Response to N & P Fertilization in the Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Junfu; Cui, Xiaoyong; Wang, Shuping; Wang, Fang; Pang, Zhe; Xu, Ning; Zhao, Guoqiang; Wang, Shiping

    2016-01-01

    In the alpine steppe zone on the Central Tibetan Plateau, a large amount of area has been degraded due to natural and artificial factors. N & P fertilization is widely accepted to recover degraded pastures in other regions all over the world. However, it is not clear how alpine steppe communities respond to N & P fertilization, and what is the optimal application rate, in the perspective of forage production. To attempt to explore these questions, in July 2013, two fencing sites were designed in Baingoin County with 12 treatments of different levels of nitrogen (N0: 0; N1: 7.5 g m-2 yr-1; N2: 15 g m-2 yr-1) & phosphate (P0: 0; P1: 7.5 gP2O5 m-2 yr-1; P2: 15 gP2O5 m-2 yr-1; P3: 30 gP2O5 m-2 yr-1). The results indicated N&P addition was capable to ameliorate the quality of the two sites in the Tibetan Plateau steppe. Increasing N application level resulted in significant increment in Gramineae and total biomass in the two sites. P addition significantly improved the quantity of Compositae, total biomass and the biomasss of other species in site II, while it only significantly improved the total biomass in site I. Gramineae was much more sensitive to N-induced changes than P-induced changes, and this indicated N addition was better to ameliorate the quality of plateau steppe than P-induced changes. No strong evidence was found for critical threshold within 15 g N m-2 yr-1, and there was decreasing tendency when P addition rate was above 15 g m-2 yr-1. N&P has the potential to accelerate soil acidification, which improved the content of available K, likely as a result of nonsignificant correlation between biomass and soil moisture. This work highlights the the tradeoffs that exist in N and P addition in recovering degraded steppe. PMID:27223104

  9. [Effects of altitudes on soil microbial biomass and enzyme activity in alpine-gorge regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Rui; Wu, Fu Zhong; Yang, Wan Qin; Xu, Zhen Feng; Tani, Bo; Wang, Bin; Li, Jun; Chang, Chen Hui

    2016-04-22

    In order to understand the variations of soil microbial biomass and soil enzyme activities with the change of altitude, a field incubation was conducted in dry valley, ecotone between dry valley and mountain forest, subalpine coniferous forest, alpine forest and alpine meadow from 1563 m to 3994 m of altitude in the alpine-gorge region of western Sichuan. The microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen, and the activities of invertase, urease and acid phosphorus were measured in both soil organic layer and mineral soil layer. Both the soil microbial biomass and soil enzyme activities showed the similar tendency in soil organic layer. They increased from 2158 m to 3028 m, then decreased to the lowest value at 3593 m, and thereafter increased until 3994 m in the alpine-gorge region. In contrast, the soil microbial biomass and soil enzyme activities in mineral soil layer showed the trends as, the subalpine forest at 3028 m > alpine meadow at 3994 m > montane forest ecotone at 2158 m > alpine forest at 3593 m > dry valley at 1563 m. Regardless of altitudes, soil microbial biomass and soil enzyme activities were significantly higher in soil organic layer than in mineral soil layer. The soil microbial biomass was significantly positively correlated with the activities of the measured soil enzymes. Moreover, both the soil microbial biomass and soil enzyme activities were significantly positively correlated with soil water content, organic carbon, and total nitrogen. The activity of soil invertase was significantly positively correlated with soil phosphorus content, and the soil acid phosphatase was so with soil phosphorus content and soil temperature. In brief, changes in vegetation and other environmental factors resulting from altitude change might have strong effects on soil biochemical properties in the alpine-gorge region.

  10. Introgression from domestic goat generated variation at the major histocompatibility complex of Alpine ibex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine Grossen

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The major histocompatibility complex (MHC is a crucial component of the vertebrate immune system and shows extremely high levels of genetic polymorphism. The extraordinary genetic variation is thought to be ancient polymorphisms maintained by balancing selection. However, introgression from related species was recently proposed as an additional mechanism. Here we provide evidence for introgression at the MHC in Alpine ibex (Capra ibex ibex. At a usually very polymorphic MHC exon involved in pathogen recognition (DRB exon 2, Alpine ibex carried only two alleles. We found that one of these DRB alleles is identical to a DRB allele of domestic goats (Capra aegagrus hircus. We sequenced 2489 bp of the coding and non-coding regions of the DRB gene and found that Alpine ibex homozygous for the goat-type DRB exon 2 allele showed nearly identical sequences (99.8% to a breed of domestic goats. Using Sanger and RAD sequencing, microsatellite and SNP chip data, we show that the chromosomal region containing the goat-type DRB allele has a signature of recent introgression in Alpine ibex. A region of approximately 750 kb including the DRB locus showed high rates of heterozygosity in individuals carrying one copy of the goat-type DRB allele. These individuals shared SNP alleles both with domestic goats and other Alpine ibex. In a survey of four Alpine ibex populations, we found that the region surrounding the DRB allele shows strong linkage disequilibria, strong sequence clustering and low diversity among haplotypes carrying the goat-type allele. Introgression at the MHC is likely adaptive and introgression critically increased MHC DRB diversity in the genetically impoverished Alpine ibex. Our finding contradicts the long-standing view that genetic variability at the MHC is solely a consequence of ancient trans-species polymorphism. Introgression is likely an underappreciated source of genetic diversity at the MHC and other loci under balancing selection.

  11. Introgression from Domestic Goat Generated Variation at the Major Histocompatibility Complex of Alpine Ibex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grossen, Christine; Keller, Lukas; Biebach, Iris; Croll, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is a crucial component of the vertebrate immune system and shows extremely high levels of genetic polymorphism. The extraordinary genetic variation is thought to be ancient polymorphisms maintained by balancing selection. However, introgression from related species was recently proposed as an additional mechanism. Here we provide evidence for introgression at the MHC in Alpine ibex (Capra ibex ibex). At a usually very polymorphic MHC exon involved in pathogen recognition (DRB exon 2), Alpine ibex carried only two alleles. We found that one of these DRB alleles is identical to a DRB allele of domestic goats (Capra aegagrus hircus). We sequenced 2489 bp of the coding and non-coding regions of the DRB gene and found that Alpine ibex homozygous for the goat-type DRB exon 2 allele showed nearly identical sequences (99.8%) to a breed of domestic goats. Using Sanger and RAD sequencing, microsatellite and SNP chip data, we show that the chromosomal region containing the goat-type DRB allele has a signature of recent introgression in Alpine ibex. A region of approximately 750 kb including the DRB locus showed high rates of heterozygosity in individuals carrying one copy of the goat-type DRB allele. These individuals shared SNP alleles both with domestic goats and other Alpine ibex. In a survey of four Alpine ibex populations, we found that the region surrounding the DRB allele shows strong linkage disequilibria, strong sequence clustering and low diversity among haplotypes carrying the goat-type allele. Introgression at the MHC is likely adaptive and introgression critically increased MHC DRB diversity in the genetically impoverished Alpine ibex. Our finding contradicts the long-standing view that genetic variability at the MHC is solely a consequence of ancient trans-species polymorphism. Introgression is likely an underappreciated source of genetic diversity at the MHC and other loci under balancing selection. PMID:24945814

  12. Volatile organic compounds in alpine valleys: sources, evolutions and transformations; Les composes organiques volatils dans les vallees alpines: sources, evolutions et transformations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Colomb, A.

    2002-12-01

    Dynamic and chemical specificity in alpine valleys was the principal goal during the POVA project (Pollution des Vallees Alpines). Volatile Organic Compounds emissions in troposphere have important impacts on animal lives and environment. Then, the aim of this work was the improvement of the biogenic or anthropogenic VOC sources determination, of VOC transformation and evolution in mountain areas. During this project, the realisation of a daily continuous measurements campaign of a few chemical compounds allowed the understanding of the seasonal variations of these compounds. The goals of intensive field campaigns, realised in August 2000 and January 2001, were to understand photochemical process in a temporal and geographic small scale and to follow diurnal variation of different pollutants in summer and winter. Moreover, the VOC data would be used to develop and validate coupled atmospheric dynamic/chemical model. Therefore, these VOC measures give answer to two lacks of knowledge in alpine valleys about: - Biogenic and anthropogenic VOC respective part, and their main sources, - VOC photochemical reactions in alpine valleys, according to seasonal and diurnal cycles. Finally, we presented two atypical days results, in Maurienne valley during a Saharan episode in August 2000. This episode permitted to understand mass air transport mechanism in mountain region. (author)

  13. Where to Combat Shrub Encroachment in Alpine Timberline Ecosystems: Combining Remotely-Sensed Vegetation Information with Species Habitat Modelling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veronika Braunisch

    Full Text Available In many cultural landscapes, the abandonment of traditional grazing leads to encroachment of pastures by woody plants, which reduces habitat heterogeneity and impacts biodiversity typical of semi-open habitats. We developed a framework of mutually interacting spatial models to locate areas where shrub encroachment in Alpine treeline ecosystems deteriorates vulnerable species' habitat, using black grouse Tetrao tetrix (L. in the Swiss Alps as a study model. Combining field observations and remote-sensing information we 1 identified and located the six predominant treeline vegetation types; 2 modelled current black grouse breeding habitat as a function thereof so as to derive optimal habitat profiles; 3 simulated from these profiles the theoretical spatial extension of breeding habitat when assuming optimal vegetation conditions throughout; and used the discrepancy between (2 and (3 to 4 locate major aggregations of homogeneous shrub vegetation in otherwise suitable breeding habitat as priority sites for habitat restoration. All six vegetation types (alpine pasture, coniferous forest, Alnus viridis (Chaix, Rhododendron-dominated, Juniperus-dominated and mixed heathland were predicted with high accuracy (AUC >0.9. Breeding black grouse preferred a heterogeneous mosaic of vegetation types, with none exceeding 50% cover. While 15% of the timberline belt currently offered suitable breeding habitat, twice that fraction (29% would potentially be suitable when assuming optimal shrub and ground vegetation conditions throughout the study area. Yet, only 10% of this difference was attributed to habitat deterioration by shrub-encroachment of dense heathland (all types 5.2% and Alnus viridis (4.8%. The presented method provides both a general, large-scale assessment of areas covered by dense shrub vegetation as well as specific target values and priority areas for habitat restoration related to a selected target organism. This facilitates optimizing the

  14. Where to Combat Shrub Encroachment in Alpine Timberline Ecosystems: Combining Remotely-Sensed Vegetation Information with Species Habitat Modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braunisch, Veronika; Patthey, Patrick; Arlettaz, Raphaël

    2016-01-01

    In many cultural landscapes, the abandonment of traditional grazing leads to encroachment of pastures by woody plants, which reduces habitat heterogeneity and impacts biodiversity typical of semi-open habitats. We developed a framework of mutually interacting spatial models to locate areas where shrub encroachment in Alpine treeline ecosystems deteriorates vulnerable species' habitat, using black grouse Tetrao tetrix (L.) in the Swiss Alps as a study model. Combining field observations and remote-sensing information we 1) identified and located the six predominant treeline vegetation types; 2) modelled current black grouse breeding habitat as a function thereof so as to derive optimal habitat profiles; 3) simulated from these profiles the theoretical spatial extension of breeding habitat when assuming optimal vegetation conditions throughout; and used the discrepancy between (2) and (3) to 4) locate major aggregations of homogeneous shrub vegetation in otherwise suitable breeding habitat as priority sites for habitat restoration. All six vegetation types (alpine pasture, coniferous forest, Alnus viridis (Chaix), Rhododendron-dominated, Juniperus-dominated and mixed heathland) were predicted with high accuracy (AUC >0.9). Breeding black grouse preferred a heterogeneous mosaic of vegetation types, with none exceeding 50% cover. While 15% of the timberline belt currently offered suitable breeding habitat, twice that fraction (29%) would potentially be suitable when assuming optimal shrub and ground vegetation conditions throughout the study area. Yet, only 10% of this difference was attributed to habitat deterioration by shrub-encroachment of dense heathland (all types 5.2%) and Alnus viridis (4.8%). The presented method provides both a general, large-scale assessment of areas covered by dense shrub vegetation as well as specific target values and priority areas for habitat restoration related to a selected target organism. This facilitates optimizing the spatial

  15. Time-lapse ERT and DTS for seasonal and short-term monitoring of an alpine river hyporheic zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boaga, Jacopo; Laura, Busato; Mariateresa, Perri; Giorgio, Cassiani

    2016-04-01

    The hyporheic zone (HZ) is the area located beneath and adjacent to rivers and streams, where the interactions between surface water and groundwater take place. This complex physical domain allows the transport of several substances from a stream to the unconfined aquifer below, and vice versa, thus playing a fundamental role in the river ecosystem. The importance of the hyporheic zone makes its characterization a goal shared by several disciplines, which range from applied geophysics to biogeochemistry, from hydraulics to ecology. The frontier field of HZ characterization stays in applied non-invasive methodologies as Electrical Resistivity Tomography - ERT - and Distributed Temperature Sensing - DTS. ERT is commonly applied in cross-well configuration or with a superficial electrodes deployment while DTS is used in hydro-geophysics in the last decade, revealing a wide applicability to the typical issues of this field of study. DTS for hydro-geophysics studies is based on Raman scattering and employs heat as tracer and uses a fiber-optic cable to acquire temperature values. We applied both techniques for an alpine river case studies located in Val di Sole, TN, Italy. The collected measurements allow high-resolution characterization of the hyporheic zone, overcoming the critical problem of invasive measurements under riverbeds. In this work, we present the preliminary results regarding the characterization of the hyporheic zone of the alpine river obtained combining ERT and DTS time-lapse measurements. The data collection benefits from an innovative instrumentation deployment, which consists of both an ERT multicore cable and a DTS fiber-optic located in two separated boreholes drilled 5m under the watercourse and perpendicular to it. In particular we present the first year monitoring results and a short time-lapse monitoring experiment conducted during summer 2015. The site and the results here described are part of the EU FP7 CLIMB (Climate Induced Changes on the

  16. Optimization of the thermal performances of the Alpine Pixel Detector

    CERN Document Server

    Zhang, Zhan; Di Ciaccio, Lucia

    The ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC ApparatuS) detector is the largest detector of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). One of the most important goals of ATLAS was to search for the missing piece of the Standard Model, the Higgs boson that had been found in 2012. In order to keep looking for the unknowns, it is planned to upgrade the LHC. The High Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC) is a novel configuration of the accelerator, aiming at increasing the luminosity by a factor five or more above the nominal LHC design. In parallel with the accelerator upgrade also the ATLAS will be upgraded to cope with detector aging and to achieve the same or better performance under increased event rate and radiation dose expected at the HL-LHC. This thesis discusses a novel design for the ATLAS Pixel Detector called the "Alpine" layout for the HL-LHC. To support this design, a local support structure is proposed, optimized and tested with an advanced CO2 evaporative cooling system. A numerical program called “CoBra” simulating the twophase heat ...

  17. Carnivore fecal chemicals suppress feeding by Alpine goats (Capra hircus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weldon, P J; Graham, D P; Mears, L P

    1993-12-01

    The efficacy of carnivore and ungulate fecal chemicals in suppressing the feeding behavior of Alpine goats (Capra hircus) was examined. In the first four experiments, goats were offered food covered with paper strips treated with fecal extracts of the Bengal tiger, Siberian tiger, African lion, and brown bear, respectively; food covered with solvent-treated and untreated (plain) papers served as controls in each experiment. Goats made fewer head entries into, and ate less food from, buckets containing fecal extracts. In the fifth experiment, goats were offered food covered with paper strips treated with fecal extracts of the puma, Dorcas gazelle, white-bearded gnu, and conspecifics; food covered with solvent-treated and plain papers again served as controls. The amounts of food consumed from buckets containing puma, gazelle, gnu, and solvent treatments were statistically indistinguishable, but less food was consumed from them than from buckets containing the goat-scented or plain papers. No significant differences among treatments were detected with respect to head entries. Field experiments are needed on the use of predator-derived chemicals to reduce damage by goats to vegetation.

  18. CHANGES IN QUADRICEPS MUSCLE ACTIVITY DURING SUSTAINED RECREATIONAL ALPINE SKIING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josef Kröll

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available During a day of skiing thousands of repeated contractions take place. Previous research on prolonged recreational alpine skiing show that physiological changes occur and hence some level of fatigue is inevitable. In the present paper the effect of prolonged skiing on the recruitment and coordination of the muscle activity was investigated. Six subjects performed 24 standardized runs. Muscle activity during the first two (PREskiing and the last two (POSTskiing runs was measured from the vastus lateralis (VL and rectus femoris (RF using EMG and quantified using wavelet and principal component analysis. The frequency content of the EMG signal shifted in seven out of eight cases significantly towards lower frequencies with highest effects observed for RF on outside leg. A significant pronounced outside leg loading occurred during POSTskiing and the timing of muscle activity peaks occurred more towards turn completion. Specific EMG frequency changes were observed at certain time points throughout the time windows and not over the whole double turn. It is suggested that general muscular fatigue, where additional specific muscle fibers have to be recruited due to the reduced power output of other fibers did not occur. The EMG frequency decrease and intensity changes for RF and VL are caused by altered timing (coordination within the turn towards a most likely more uncontrolled skiing technique. Hence, these data provide evidence to suggest recreational skiers alter their skiing technique before a potential change in muscle fiber recruitment occurs

  19. Can We Model the Scenic Beauty of an Alpine Landscape?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erich Tasser

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available During the last decade, agriculture has lost its importance in many European mountain regions and tourism, which benefits from attractive landscapes, has become a major source of income. Changes in landscape patterns and elements might affect scenic beauty and therefore the socio-economic welfare of a region. Our study aimed at modeling scenic beauty by quantifying the influence of landscape elements and patterns in relationship to distance. Focusing on Alpine landscapes in South and North Tyrol, we used a photographic questionnaire showing different landscape compositions. As mountain landscapes offer long vistas, we related scenic beauty to different distance zones. Our results indicate that the near zone contributes by 64% to the valuation of scenic beauty, the middle zone by 22%, and the far zone by 14%. In contrast to artificial elements, naturalness and diversity increased scenic beauty. Significant differences between different social groups (origin, age, gender, cultural background occurred only between the local population and tourists regarding great landscape changes. Changes towards more homogenous landscapes were perceived negatively, thus political decision makers should support the conservation of the cultural landscape.

  20. HEMATOLOGICAL PARAMETERS IN THE ALPINE GOATS DURING LACTATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zvonko Antunović

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this paper is to present haematological parameters in the Alpine goats during lactation. The study included 15 goats average age of 5 years in the 4th lactation. The blood sampling of goats was conducted on the 30th, 60th, 90th and 120th days of lactation. In the blood of goats, significant decrease in the number of red blood cells was determined, as lactation progressed, and their growth in the latter measure, but with no significant difference. Also, a significant decrease was found in the number of leukocytes as lactation progressed, whereas the 120th day of lactation showed their increase compared to the 90th day. A similar trend was found out for the content of hemoglobin and hematocrit. The mean volume of red blood cells and a significant proportion of monocytes were declining as lactation advance, while the mean concentration of hemoglobin significantly increased, and in the end of the study significantly decreased, compared to the measurement of 90th day. The above mentioned changes in hematological parameters indicate the quality of recovery and adjustment of goats in lactation.

  1. Estimating the snowfall limit in alpine and pre-alpine valleys: A local evaluation of operational approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fehlmann, Michael; Gascón, Estíbaliz; Rohrer, Mario; Schwarb, Manfred; Stoffel, Markus

    2018-05-01

    The snowfall limit has important implications for different hazardous processes associated with prolonged or heavy precipitation such as flash floods, rain-on-snow events and freezing precipitation. To increase preparedness and to reduce risk in such situations, early warning systems are frequently used to monitor and predict precipitation events at different temporal and spatial scales. However, in alpine and pre-alpine valleys, the estimation of the snowfall limit remains rather challenging. In this study, we characterize uncertainties related to snowfall limit for different lead times based on local measurements of a vertically pointing micro rain radar (MRR) and a disdrometer in the Zulg valley, Switzerland. Regarding the monitoring, we show that the interpolation of surface temperatures tends to overestimate the altitude of the snowfall limit and can thus lead to highly uncertain estimates of liquid precipitation in the catchment. This bias is much smaller in the Integrated Nowcasting through Comprehensive Analysis (INCA) system, which integrates surface station and remotely sensed data as well as outputs of a numerical weather prediction model. To reduce systematic error, we perform a bias correction based on local MRR measurements and thereby demonstrate the added value of such measurements for the estimation of liquid precipitation in the catchment. Regarding the nowcasting, we show that the INCA system provides good estimates up to 6 h ahead and is thus considered promising for operational hydrological applications. Finally, we explore the medium-range forecasting of precipitation type, especially with respect to rain-on-snow events. We show for a selected case study that the probability for a certain precipitation type in an ensemble-based forecast is more persistent than the respective type in the high-resolution forecast (HRES) of the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts Integrated Forecasting System (ECMWF IFS). In this case study, the

  2. Coincidence of the alpine-nival ecotone with the summer snowline

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gottfried, M; Toechterle, R; Grabherr, G; Hantel, M; Maurer, C; Pauli, H

    2011-01-01

    The alpine-nival ecotone is the transition between the lower located alpine grassland/tundra zone and the upper located sparsely vegetated nival zone in the mountains. Its characteristics are qualitatively known. Here we study the dynamics of the ecotone through a quantitative approach based on plant data (from Mt Schrankogel, 3497 m, observations 1994 and 2004) and snow data (from 268 routine climate stations in the Alps, observations 1975-2004). We introduce the nivality index as the area ratio of nival and alpine plants, and the snow duration as the length of the summer snow cover. We fit a nonlinear probabilistic model to our field data; it yields state functions of both quantities. The nivality index curve comprises the entire information of the plant data in one analytical function; the snow duration curve represents the equivalent for the full snow data set. Thus all relevant parameters of both quantities follow from the respective state function. We find that the analytical profile of the alpine-nival ecotone at Mt Schrankogel (based on nivality index observations from the altitude interval 2910-3090 m) happens to sit right in the center of the independently determined summer snow profile across the entire Alps; specifically, the central altitude of the Schrankogel ecotone coincides almost perfectly with the central altitude of Alpine snow duration. Both state functions show extreme temperature sensitivity at 2967 m (vegetation) and 2897 m (snow), and both altitudes exhibit a positive trend during the measurement period.

  3. Biomechanical aspects of new techniques in alpine skiing and ski-jumping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Erich; Schwameder, Hermann

    2003-09-01

    There have been considerable changes in equipment design and movement patterns in the past few years both in alpine skiing and ski-jumping. These developments have been matched by methods of analysing movements in field conditions. They have yielded new insights into the skills of these specific winter sports. Analytical techniques have included electromyography, kinetic and kinematic methods and computer simulations. Our aim here is to review biomechanical research in alpine skiing and ski-jumping. We present in detail the techniques currently used in alpine skiing (carving technique) and ski-jumping (V-technique), primarily using data from the authors' own research. Finally, we present a summary of the most important results in biomechanical research both in alpine skiing and ski-jumping. This includes an analysis of specific conditions in alpine skiing (type of turn, terrain, snow, speed, etc.) and the effects of equipment, materials and individual-specific abilities on performance, safety and joint loading in ski-jumping.

  4. Relation between extinction and assisted colonization of plants in the arctic-alpine and boreal regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pykälä, Juha

    2017-06-01

    Assisted colonization of vascular plants is considered by many ecologists an important tool to preserve biodiversity threatened by climate change. I argue that assisted colonization may have negative consequences in arctic-alpine and boreal regions. The observed slow movement of plants toward the north has been an argument for assisted colonization. However, these range shifts may be slow because for many plants microclimatic warming (ignored by advocates of assisted colonization) has been smaller than macroclimatic warming. Arctic-alpine and boreal plants may have limited possibilities to disperse farther north or to higher elevations. I suggest that arctic-alpine species are more likely to be driven to extinction because of competitive exclusion by southern species than by increasing temperatures. If so, the future existence of arctic-alpine and boreal flora may depend on delaying or preventing the migration of plants toward the north to allow northern species to evolve to survive in a warmer climate. In the arctic-alpine region, preventing the dispersal of trees and shrubs may be the most important method to mitigate the negative effects of climate change. The purported conservation benefits of assisted colonization should not be used to promote the migration of invasive species by forestry. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  5. Coincidence of the alpine-nival ecotone with the summer snowline

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gottfried, M; Toechterle, R; Grabherr, G [Research Platform Mountain Limits, University of Vienna, Faculty Center of Biodiversity, Rennweg 14, Wien 1030 (Austria); Hantel, M; Maurer, C [Research Platform Mountain Limits, University of Vienna, Theoretical Meteorology Research Forum, Berggasse 11, Wien 1090 (Austria); Pauli, H, E-mail: michael.hantel@univie.ac.at [Institute of Mountain Research (IGF), Austrian Academy of Sciences, c/o Faculty Center of Biodiversity, University of Vienna, Rennweg 14, 1030 Wien (Austria)

    2011-01-15

    The alpine-nival ecotone is the transition between the lower located alpine grassland/tundra zone and the upper located sparsely vegetated nival zone in the mountains. Its characteristics are qualitatively known. Here we study the dynamics of the ecotone through a quantitative approach based on plant data (from Mt Schrankogel, 3497 m, observations 1994 and 2004) and snow data (from 268 routine climate stations in the Alps, observations 1975-2004). We introduce the nivality index as the area ratio of nival and alpine plants, and the snow duration as the length of the summer snow cover. We fit a nonlinear probabilistic model to our field data; it yields state functions of both quantities. The nivality index curve comprises the entire information of the plant data in one analytical function; the snow duration curve represents the equivalent for the full snow data set. Thus all relevant parameters of both quantities follow from the respective state function. We find that the analytical profile of the alpine-nival ecotone at Mt Schrankogel (based on nivality index observations from the altitude interval 2910-3090 m) happens to sit right in the center of the independently determined summer snow profile across the entire Alps; specifically, the central altitude of the Schrankogel ecotone coincides almost perfectly with the central altitude of Alpine snow duration. Both state functions show extreme temperature sensitivity at 2967 m (vegetation) and 2897 m (snow), and both altitudes exhibit a positive trend during the measurement period.

  6. Seedling recruitment of forb species under experimental microhabitats in alpine grassland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, S. S.; Yu, L.; Lin, W. G.; Pingi, T. F.

    2015-01-01

    Which factors limit plant seedling recruitment in alpine meadow of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP), China? This study examined the relative influence of seed mass and microsites (resulted from grazing disturbance) on field seedling emergence and survival of nineteen alpine herbaceous species with a range of traits in QTP. Seed mass had significant effects on seedling emergence and survival eliminating influence of light and nutrient variances among these species. The larger-seed species had more advantageous than the smaller-seed species in seedling survival, but it was disadvatage for seedling emergence, especially under high nutrient availability and low light intensity conditions. Light had obvious effects on seedling survival, but less effects on seedling emergence for these species. Moreover, nutrient and light treatments altered the regression relationships of seed mass and seedling emergence and survival and the order of significances was L25>L50>L100>L10>L4. These results suggested that seed mass may restrict seedling recruitment processes, however, light and nutrient availability all have significant effects on seedling emergence and survival for these alpine species. Moderate light intensity was propitious to seedling emergence and survival in alpine grassland. This suggests that ecological factors in alpine grassland provide a stochastic influence on different seed-mass species. These trends may help to explain why many small-seeded species of Asteraceae and Gramineae tend to be more abundant in disturbed habitats. (author)

  7. Cooccurrence patterns of plants and soil bacteria in the high-alpine subnival zone track environmental harshness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J. King

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Plants and soil microorganisms interact to play a central role in ecosystem functioning. To determine the potential importance of biotic interactions in shaping the distributions of these organisms in a high-alpine subnival landscape, we examine cooccurrence patterns between plant species and bulk-soil bacteria abundances. In this context, a cooccurrence relationship reflects a combination of several assembly processes: that both parties can disperse to the site, that they can survive the abiotic environmental conditions, and that interactions between the biota either facilitate survival or allow for coexistence. Across the entire landscape, 31% of the bacterial sequences in this dataset were significantly correlated to the abundance distribution of one or more plant species. These sequences fell into 14 clades, 6 of which are related to bacteria that are known to form symbioses with plants in other systems. Abundant plant species were more likely to have significant as well as stronger correlations with bacteria and these patterns were more prevalent in lower altitude sites. Conversely, correlations between plant species abundances and bacterial relative abundances were less frequent in sites near the snowline. Thus, plant-bacteria associations became more common as environmental conditions became less harsh and plants became more abundant. This pattern in cooccurrence strength and frequency across the subnival landscape suggests that plant-bacteria interactions are important for the success of life, both below- and above-ground, in an extreme environment.

  8. Is the alpine divide becoming more permeable to biological invasions? - Insights on the invasion and establishment of the Walnut Husk Fly, Rhagoletis completa (Diptera: Tephritidae) in Switzerland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aluja, M; Guillén, L; Rull, J; Höhn, H; Frey, J; Graf, B; Samietz, J

    2011-08-01

    The Walnut Husk Fly, Rhagoletis completa Cresson (Diptera: Tephritidae), is native to North America (Midwestern US and north-eastern Mexico) and has invaded several European countries in the past decades by likely crossing the alpine divide separating most parts of Switzerland from Italy. Here, we determined its current distribution in Switzerland by sampling walnuts (Juglans regia L.) in ecologically and climatically distinct regions along potential invasion corridors. R. completa was found to be firmly established in most low altitude areas of Switzerland where walnuts thrive, but notably not a single parasitoid was recovered from any of the samples. Infested fruit was recovered in 42 of the 71 localities that were surveyed, with mean fruit infestation rate varying greatly among sites. The incidence of R. completa in Switzerland is closely related to meteorological mean spring temperature patterns influencing growing season length, but not to winter temperatures, reflecting survival potential during hibernation. Importantly, areas in which the fly is absent correspond with localities where the mean spring temperatures fall below 7°C. Historical data records show that the natural cold barrier around the Alpine divide in the central Swiss Alps corresponding to such minimal temperatures has shrunk significantly from a width of more than 40 km before 1990 to around 20 km after 2000. We hypothesize on possible invasion/expansion routes along alpine valleys, dwell on distribution patterns in relation to climate, and outline future research needs as the incursion of R. completa into Switzerland; and, more recently, other European countries, such as Germany, Austria, France and Slovenia, represent an example of alien species that settle first in the Mediterranean Basin and from there become invasive by crossing the Alps.

  9. Subsurface architecture of two tropical alpine desert cinder cones that hold water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leopold, Matthias; Morelli, Amanda; Schorghofer, Norbert

    2016-06-01

    Basaltic lava is generally porous and cannot hold water to form lakes. Here we investigate two impermeable cinder cones in the alpine desert of Maunakea volcano, Hawaii. We present the results of the first ever geophysical survey of the area around Lake Waiau, the highest lake on the Hawaiian Islands, and establish the existence of a second body of standing water in a nearby cinder cone, Pu`upōhaku (~4000 m above sea level), which has a sporadic pond of water. Based on unpublished field notes from Alfred Woodcock (*1905-†2005) spanning the years 1966-1977, more recent observations, and our own geophysical survey using electric resistivity tomography, we find that perched groundwater resides in the crater perennially to a depth of 2.5 m below the surface. Hence, Pu`upōhaku crater hosts a previously unrecognized permanent body of water, the highest on the Hawaiian Islands. Nearby Lake Waiau is also perched within a cinder cone known as Pu`uwaiau. Among other hypotheses, permafrost or a massive block of lava were discussed as a possible cause for perching the water table. Based on our results, ground temperatures are too high and specific electric resistivity values too low to be consistent with either ice-rich permafrost or massive rock. Fine-grained material such as ash and its clay-rich weathering products are likely the impermeable material that explains the perched water table at both study sites. At Pu`uwaiau we discovered a layer of high conductivity that may constitute a significant water reservoir outside of the lake and further be responsible for perching the water toward the lake.

  10. Responses of Tree Seedlings near the Alpine Treeline to Delayed Snowmelt and Reduced Sky Exposure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maaike Y. Bader

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Earlier snowmelt changes spring stress exposure and growing-season length, possibly causing shifts in plant species dominance. If such shifts involve trees, this may lead to changes in treeline position. We hypothesized that earlier snowmelt would negatively affect the performance of tree seedlings near the treeline due to higher spring stress levels, but less so if seedlings were protected from the main stress factors of night frosts and excess solar radiation. We exposed seedlings of five European treeline tree species: Larix decidua, Picea abies, Pinus cembra, Pinus uncinata, and Sorbus aucuparia to two snow-cover treatments (early and late melting, with about two weeks difference combined with reduced sky exposure during the day (shading or night (night warming, repeated in two years, at a site about 200 m below the regional treeline elevation. Physiological stress levels (as indicated by lower Fv/Fm in the first weeks after emergence from snow were higher in early-emerging seedlings. As expected, shade reduced stress, but contrary to expectation, night warming did not. However, early- and late-emerging seedlings did not differ overall in their growth or survival, and the interaction with shading was inconsistent between years. Overall, shading had the strongest effect, decreasing stress levels and mortality (in the early-emerging seedlings only, but also growth. A two-week difference in snow-cover duration did not strongly affect the seedlings, although even smaller differences have been shown to affect productivity in alpine and arctic tundra vegetation. Still, snowmelt timing cannot be discarded as important for regeneration in subalpine conditions, because (1 it is likely more critical in very snow-rich or snow-poor mountains or landscape positions; and (2 it can change (subalpine vegetation phenology and productivity, thereby affecting plant interactions, an aspect that should be considered in future studies.

  11. Soil microbial responses to climate warming in Northern Andean alpine ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallery, R. E.; Lasso, E.

    2017-12-01

    The historically cooler temperatures and waterlogged soils of tropical alpine grasslands (páramo) have resulted in low decomposition rates and a large buildup of organic matter, making páramo one of the most important carbon sinks in tropical biomes. The climatic factors that favored the carbon accumulation are changing, and as a result páramo could play a disproportionate role in driving climate feedbacks through increased carbon released from these large soil carbon stores. Open top chamber warming experiments were established in the Colombian Andes in 2016 to quantify the magnitude of climate change on carbon balance and identify microbial and plant traits that regulate these impacts. Two focal sites differ in mean annual temperature, precipitation, and plant community richness. Heterotrophic respiration (RH,) was measured from soil cores incubated at temperatures representing current and projected warming. The warming effect on RH was sensitive to soil moisture, which could reflect shifts in microbial community composition and/or extracellular enzyme production or efficiency as soils dry. Bacterial, archaeal, and fungal communities in ambient and warmed plots were measured through high-throughput amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA and ITS1 rRNA gene regions. Communities showed strong spatial structuring both within and among páramo, reflecting the topographic heterogeneity of these ecosystems. Significant differences in relative abundance of dominant microbial taxa between páramo could be largely explained by soil bulk density, water holding capacity, and non-vascular plant cover. Phototrophs common to anoxic soils (e.g., Rhodospirillaceae, Hyphomicrobiaceae) were abundant. Taxa within Euryarchaeota were recovered, suggesting methanogenesis potential. Exploration of the magnitude and temperature sensitivity of methane flux is needed in these seasonally anoxic soils whose dynamics could have significant implications for the global climate system.

  12. Climate Change in Alpine Regions - Regional Characteristics of a Global Phenomenon by the Example of Air Temperature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang, Erich; Stary, Ulrike

    2017-04-01

    For nearly 50 years the Austrian Research Centre for Forests (BFW) has been engaged in research in the Alpine region recording measuring data at extreme sites. Data series of this duration provide already a good insight into the evolution of climate parameters. Extrapolations derived from it are suitable for comparison with results from climate change models or supplement them with regard to their informative value. This is useful because climate change models describe a simplified picture of reality based on the size of the data grid they use. Analysis of time series of two air temperature measuring stations in different torrent catchment areas indicate that 1) predictions of temperature rise for the Alpine region in Austria will have to be revised upwards, and 2) only looking at the data of seasons (or shorter time periods), reveals the real dramatic effect of climate change. Considering e.g. the annual average data of air temperature of the years 1969-2016 at the climate station "Fleissner" (altitude 1210m a.s.l; Upper Mölltal, Carinthia) a significant upward trend is visible. Using a linear smoothing function an increase of the average annual air temperature of about 2.2°C within 50 years emerges. The calculated temperature rise thus confirms the general fear of an increase of more than 2.0°C till the middle of the 21st century. Looking at the seasonal change of air temperature, significant positive trends are shown in all four seasons. But the level of the respective temperature increase varies considerably and indicates the highest increase in spring (+3.3°C), and the lowest one in autumn (+1.3°C, extrapolated for a time period of 50 years). The maximum increase of air temperature at the measuring station "Pumpenhaus" (altitude 980m a.s.l), which is situated in the "Karnische Alpen" in the south of Austria, is even stronger. From a time series of 28 years (with data recording starting in 1989) the maximum rise of temperature was 5.4°C detected for the

  13. Alpine hydropower schemes and their 'remote influence' on lakes and rivers downstream

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wuest, A.

    2003-01-01

    This article discusses the effect that alpine dams and reservoirs have on lakes and rivers in the lowlands. Not only the contribution of Swiss alpine hydropower installations to Switzerland's electricity generation capacity is mentioned, but also the way they 'export' ecological deficits to lower-lying regions. Examples of this are quoted, including, for example, the filtering-out of around 50% of water-borne particles in the river Rhone by the dams in its catchment area. The consequences of such effects for the ecology of lakes and rivers are discussed. Further examples of how the alpine dams hold back nutrients and regulate the flow and temperature of rivers are given and the resulting ecological effects are commented on

  14. Exploring the patterns of alpine vegetation of Eastern Bhutan: a case study from the Merak Himalaya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jamtsho, Karma; Sridith, Kitichate

    2015-01-01

    A survey was conducted from March to September 2012 along the altitudinal gradient of the Jomokungkhar trail in the Merak Himalaya of Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary to study the floristic compositions and the patterns of alpine vegetation of Eastern Bhutan. The vegetation of the sampled plots is classified into five types of communities based on the hierarchical cluster analysis at similarity index 63% viz., (1) Riverine Community; (2) Abies-Rhododendron Woodland Community; (3) Juniperus Scrub Community; (4) Rhododendron Krummholz and (5) Alpine Meadow, based on the floristic compositions. In addition, it was noticed that the fragile alpine environment of the Merak Himalaya has high plant diversity and important plants that are susceptible to the anthropogenic pressures.

  15. Spatially Distributed, Coupled Modeling of Plant Growth, Nitrogen and Water Fluxes in an Alpine Catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, K.

    2001-12-01

    Carbon, water and nitrogen fluxes are closely coupled. They interact and have many feedbacks. Human interference, in particular through land use management and global change strongly modifies these fluxes. Increasing demands and conflicting interests result in an increasing need for regulation targeting different aspects of the system. Without being their main target, many of these measures directly affect water quantity, quality and availability. Improved management and planning of our water resources requires the development of integrated tools, in particular since interactions of the involved environmental and social systems often lead to unexpected or adverse results. To investigate the effect of plant growth, land use management and global change on water fluxes and quality, the PROcess oriented Modular EnvironmenT and Vegetation Model (PROMET-V) was developed. PROMET-V models the spatial patterns and temporal course of water, carbon and nitrogen fluxes using process oriented and mechanistic model components. The hydrological model is based on the Penman-Monteith approach, it uses a plant-physiological model to calculate the canopy conductance, and a multi-layer soil water model. Plant growth for different vegetation is modelled by calculating canopy photosynthesis, respiration, phenology and allocation. Plant growth and water fluxes are coupled directly through photosynthesis and transpiration. Many indirect feedbacks and interactions occur due to their mutual dependency upon leaf area, root distribution, water and nutrient availability for instance. PROMET-V calculates nitrogen fluxes and transformations. The time step used depends upon the modelled process and varies from 1 hour to 1 day. The kernel model is integrated in a raster GIS system for spatially distributed modelling. PROMET-V was tested in a pre-alpine landscape (Ammer river, 709 km**2, located in Southern Germany) which is characterized by small scale spatial heterogeneities of climate, soil and

  16. Semen quality and concentration of soluble proteins in the seminal plasma of Alpine bucks Semen quality and concentration of soluble proteins in the seminal plasma of Alpine bucks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simone Eliza Facione Guimarães

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available It was aimed to study the in vitro seminal quality analyzed by complementary tests and to compare them with physical, morphological and biochemical aspects of male goat semen of the Alpine breed. This experiment took place at the Federal University of Viçosa, situated at 20º45’ S latitude and 42º51’ W longitude, Southwest of Brazil. It was done during the summer months of January and February, and three adult male goats of the Alpine breed were used in intensive conditions. The semen was collected by artificial vagina method. In all semen samples (45 ejaculates, after the physical and morphological analysis, the hiposmotic test was done. In 24 ejaculates, it were done thermo-resistance test, and in 21 ejaculates it were determined the concentration of total soluble proteins in seminal plasma. The male goats presented difference in the semen physical and morphological aspects, in the hiposmotic test and thermo-resistance test, but they did not presented difference in total soluble proteins concentration in seminal plasma. Results of the slow thermo-resistance test and hiposmotic test were positively correlated (r = 0.60. It was concluded, according to our results, that the concentration of total soluble proteins in seminal plasma can not be used as a parameter to predict the seminal quality of Alpine bucks.It was aimed to study the in vitro seminal quality analyzed by complementary tests and to compare them with physical, morphological and biochemical aspects of male goat semen of the Alpine breed. This experiment took place at the Federal University of Viçosa, situated at 20º45’ S latitude and 42º51’ W longitude, Southwest of Brazil. It was done during the summer months of January and February, and three adult male goats of the Alpine breed were used in intensive conditions. The semen was collected by artificial vagina method. In all semen samples (45 ejaculates, after the physical and morphological analysis, the hiposmotic test

  17. Sex-specific selection for MHC variability in Alpine chamois

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schaschl Helmut

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In mammals, males typically have shorter lives than females. This difference is thought to be due to behavioural traits which enhance competitive abilities, and hence male reproductive success, but impair survival. Furthermore, in many species males usually show higher parasite burden than females. Consequently, the intensity of selection for genetic factors which reduce susceptibility to pathogens may differ between sexes. High variability at the major histocompatibility complex (MHC genes is believed to be advantageous for detecting and combating the range of infectious agents present in the environment. Increased heterozygosity at these immune genes is expected to be important for individual longevity. However, whether males in natural populations benefit more from MHC heterozygosity than females has rarely been investigated. We investigated this question in a long-term study of free-living Alpine chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra, a polygynous mountain ungulate. Results Here we show that male chamois survive significantly (P = 0.022 longer if heterozygous at the MHC class II DRB locus, whereas females do not. Improved survival of males was not a result of heterozygote advantage per se, as background heterozygosity (estimated across twelve microsatellite loci did not change significantly with age. Furthermore, reproductively active males depleted their body fat reserves earlier than females leading to significantly impaired survival rates in this sex (P Conclusions Increased MHC class II DRB heterozygosity with age in males, suggests that MHC heterozygous males survive longer than homozygotes. Reproductively active males appear to be less likely to survive than females most likely because of the energetic challenge of the winter rut, accompanied by earlier depletion of their body fat stores, and a generally higher parasite burden. This scenario renders the MHC-mediated immune response more important for males than for females

  18. Flash floods in small Alpine catchments in a changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breinl, Korbinian; Di Baldassarre, Giuliano

    2017-04-01

    Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and intensity of hazardous meteorological and hydrological events in numerous mountainous areas. The mountain environment is becoming more and more important for urbanization and the tourism-based economy. Here we show new and innovative methodologies for assessing intensity and frequency of flash floods in small Alpine catchments, in South Tyrol (Italy), under climate change. This research is done within the STEEP STREAMS project, whereby we work closely with decision makers in Italian authorities, and the final goal is to provide them with clear guidelines on how to adapt current structural solutions for mitigating hazardous events under future climate conditions. To this end, we develop a coupled framework of weather generation (i.e. extrapolation of observations and trained with climate projections), time series disaggregation and hydrological modelling using the conceptual HBV model. One of the key challenges is the transfer of comparatively coarse RCM projections to small catchments, whose sizes range from only about 10km2 to 100km2. We examine different strategies to downscale the RCM data from e.g. the EURO-CORDEX dataset using our weather generator. The selected projections represent combinations of warmer, milder, drier and wetter conditions. In general, our main focus is to develop an improved understanding of the impact of the multiple sources of uncertainty in this modelling framework, and make these uncertainties tangible. The output of this study (i.e. discharge with a return period and associated uncertainty) will allow hydraulic and sediment transport modelling of flash floods and debris flows.

  19. Water erosion and climate change in a small alpine catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berteni, Francesca; Grossi, Giovanna

    2017-04-01

    WATER EROSION AND CLIMATE CHANGE IN A SMALL ALPINE CATCHMENT Francesca Berteni, Giovanna Grossi A change in the mean and variability of some variables of the climate system is expected to affect the sediment yield of mountainous areas in several ways: for example through soil temperature and precipitation peak intensity change, permafrost thawing, snow- and ice-melt time shifting. Water erosion, sediment transport and yield and the effects of climate change on these physical phenomena are the focus of this work. The study area is a small mountainous basin, the Guerna creek watershed, located in the Central Southern Alps. The sensitivity of sediment yield estimates to a change of condition of the climate system may be investigated through the application of different models, each characterized by its own features and limits. In this preliminary analysis two different empirical mathematical models are considered: RUSLE (Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation; Renard et al., 1991) and EPM (Erosion Potential Method; Gavrilovic, 1988). These models are implemented in a Geographical Information System (GIS) supporting the management of the territorial database used to estimate relevant geomorphological parameters and to create different thematic maps. From one side the geographical and geomorphological information is required (land use, slope and hydrogeological instability, resistance to erosion, lithological characterization and granulometric composition). On the other side the knowledge of the weather-climate parameters (precipitation and temperature data) is fundamental as well to evaluate the intensity and variability of the erosive processes and estimate the sediment yield at the basin outlet. Therefore different climate change scenarios were considered in order to tentatively assess the impact on the water erosion and sediment yield at the small basin scale. Keywords: water erosion, sediment yield, climate change, empirical mathematical models, EPM, RUSLE, GIS

  20. Changes in Quadriceps Muscle Activity During Sustained Recreational Alpine Skiing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kröll, Josef; Müller, Erich; Seifert, John G.; Wakeling, James M.

    2011-01-01

    During a day of skiing thousands of repeated contractions take place. Previous research on prolonged recreational alpine skiing show that physiological changes occur and hence some level of fatigue is inevitable. In the present paper the effect of prolonged skiing on the recruitment and coordination of the muscle activity was investigated. Six subjects performed 24 standardized runs. Muscle activity during the first two (PREskiing) and the last two (POSTskiing) runs was measured from the vastus lateralis (VL) and rectus femoris (RF) using EMG and quantified using wavelet and principal component analysis. The frequency content of the EMG signal shifted in seven out of eight cases significantly towards lower frequencies with highest effects observed for RF on outside leg. A significant pronounced outside leg loading occurred during POSTskiing and the timing of muscle activity peaks occurred more towards turn completion. Specific EMG frequency changes were observed at certain time points throughout the time windows and not over the whole double turn. It is suggested that general muscular fatigue, where additional specific muscle fibers have to be recruited due to the reduced power output of other fibers did not occur. The EMG frequency decrease and intensity changes for RF and VL are caused by altered timing (coordination) within the turn towards a most likely more uncontrolled skiing technique. Hence, these data provide evidence to suggest recreational skiers alter their skiing technique before a potential change in muscle fiber recruitment occurs. Key points The frequency content of the EMG signal shifted in seven out of eight cases significantly towards lower frequencies with highest effects observed for RF. General muscular fatigue, where additional specific fibers have to be recruited due to the reduced power output of other fibers, did not occur. A modified skiing style towards a less functional and hence more uncontrolled skiing technique seems to be a key

  1. The role of solar UV radiation in the ecology of alpine lakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sommaruga, R

    2001-09-01

    Solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR, 290-400 nm) is a crucial environmental factor in alpine lakes because of the natural increase of the UVR flux with elevation and the high water transparency of these ecosystems. The ecological importance of UVR, however, has only recently been recognized. This review, examines the general features of alpine lakes regarding UVR, summarizes what is known about the role of solar UVR in the ecology of alpine lakes, and identifies future research directions. Unlike the pattern observed in most lowland lakes, variability of UV attenuation in alpine lakes is poorly explained by differences in dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations, and depends mainly on optical characteristics (absorption) of the chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM). Within the water column of lakes with low DOC concentrations (0.2-0.4 mg l(-1)), UV attenuation is influenced by phytoplankton whose development at depth (i.e. the deep chlorophyll maximum) causes important changes in UV attenuation. Alpine aquatic organisms have developed a number of strategies to minimize UV damage. The widespread synthesis or bioaccumulation of different compounds that directly or indirectly absorb UV energy is one such strategy. Although most benthic and planktonic primary producers and crustacean zooplankton are well adapted to high intensities of solar radiation, heterotrophic protists, bacteria, and viruses seem to be particularly sensitive to UVR. Understanding the overall impact of UVR on alpine lakes would need to consider synergistic and antagonistic processes resulting from the pronounced climatic warming, which have the potential to modify the UV underwater climate and consequently the stress on aquatic organisms.

  2. Facilitation among plants in alpine environments in the face of climate change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabien eAnthelme

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available While there is a large consensus that plant–plant interactions are a crucial component of the response of plant communities to the effects of climate change, available data remain scarce, particularly in alpine systems. This represents an important obstacle to making consistent predictions about the future of plant communities. Here, we review current knowledge on the effects of climate change on facilitation among alpine plant communities and propose directions for future research. In established alpine communities, while warming seemingly generates a net facilitation release, earlier snowmelt may increase facilitation. Some nurse plants are able to buffer microenvironmental changes in the long term and may ensure the persistence of other alpine plants through local migration events. For communities migrating to higher elevations, facilitation should play an important role in their reorganization because of the harsher environmental conditions. In particular, the absence of efficient nurse plants might slow down upward migration, possibly generating chains of extinction. Facilitation–climate change relationships are expected to shift along latitudinal gradients because (1 the magnitude of warming is predicted to vary along these gradients, and (2 alpine environments are significantly different at low vs. high latitudes. Data on these expected patterns are preliminary and thus need to be tested with further studies on facilitation among plants in alpine environments that have thus far not been considered. From a methodological standpoint, future studies will benefit from the spatial representation of the microclimatic environment of plants to predict their response to climate change. Moreover, the acquisition of long-term data on the dynamics of plant–plant interactions, either through permanent plots or chronosequences of glacial recession, may represent powerful approaches to clarify the relationship between plant interactions and

  3. Facilitation among plants in alpine environments in the face of climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anthelme, Fabien; Cavieres, Lohengrin A; Dangles, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    While there is a large consensus that plant-plant interactions are a crucial component of the response of plant communities to the effects of climate change, available data remain scarce, particularly in alpine systems. This represents an important obstacle to making consistent predictions about the future of plant communities. Here, we review current knowledge on the effects of climate change on facilitation among alpine plant communities and propose directions for future research. In established alpine communities, while warming seemingly generates a net facilitation release, earlier snowmelt may increase facilitation. Some nurse plants are able to buffer microenvironmental changes in the long term and may ensure the persistence of other alpine plants through local migration events. For communities migrating to higher elevations, facilitation should play an important role in their reorganization because of the harsher environmental conditions. In particular, the absence of efficient nurse plants might slow down upward migration, possibly generating chains of extinction. Facilitation-climate change relationships are expected to shift along latitudinal gradients because (1) the magnitude of warming is predicted to vary along these gradients, and (2) alpine environments are significantly different at low vs. high latitudes. Data on these expected patterns are preliminary and thus need to be tested with further studies on facilitation among plants in alpine environments that have thus far not been considered. From a methodological standpoint, future studies will benefit from the spatial representation of the microclimatic environment of plants to predict their response to climate change. Moreover, the acquisition of long-term data on the dynamics of plant-plant interactions, either through permanent plots or chronosequences of glacial recession, may represent powerful approaches to clarify the relationship between plant interactions and climate change.

  4. Anterior cruciate ligament injury/reinjury in alpine ski racing: a narrative review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, Matthew J; Aagaard, Per; Herzog, Walter

    2017-01-01

    The purpose of the present review was to: 1) provide an overview of the current understanding on the epidemiology, etiology, risk factors, and prevention methods for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in alpine ski racing; and 2) provide an overview of what is known pertaining to ACL reinjury and return to sport after ACL injury in alpine ski racing. Given that most of the scientific studies on ACL injuries in alpine ski racing have been descriptive, and that very few studies contributed higher level scientific evidence, a nonsystematic narrative review was employed. Three scholarly databases were searched for articles on ACL injury or knee injury in alpine ski racing. Studies were classified according to their relevance in relation to epidemiology, etiology, risk factors, and return to sport/reinjury prevention. Alpine ski racers (skiers) were found to be at high risk for knee injuries, and ACL tears were the most frequent diagnosis. Three primary ACL injury mechanism were identified that involved tibial internal rotation and anteriorly directed shear forces from ski equipment and the environment. While trunk muscle strength imbalance and genetics were found to be predictive of ACL injuries in development-level skiers, there was limited scientific data on ACL injury risk factors among elite skiers. Based on expert opinion, research on injury risk factors should focus on equipment design, course settings/speed, and athlete factors (eg, fitness). While skiers seem to make a successful recovery following ACL injury, there may be persistent neuromuscular deficits. Future research efforts should be directed toward prospective studies on ACL injury/reinjury prevention in both male and female skiers and toward the effects of knee injury on long-term health outcomes, such as the early development of osteoarthritis. International collaborations may be necessary to generate sufficient statistical power for ACL injury/reinjury prevention research in alpine ski racing

  5. Climate control on sulphate and nitrate concentrations in alpine streams of Northern Italy along a nitrogen saturation gradient

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Rogora

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available The role of meteorology, hydrology and atmospheric deposition on the temporal pattern of SO4 and NO3 concentrations was investigated for three streams draining alpine catchments in Northern Italy.

    The study sites lie on a gradient of atmospheric fluxes of SO4 and NO3 (from about 50 to 80 meq m−2 y−1, and from 40 to 90 meq m−2 y−1, respectively. As a consequence of the increasing N input, the three catchments are also representative of aggrading levels of N saturation. Different methods of statistical analysis were applied to monthly data for the period 1997–2005 to identify which variables (temperature, precipitation, hydrology, SO4 and NO3 deposition were the main predictors of water chemistry and its change in time. Hydrological changes and snow cover proved to be the main confounding factors in the response to atmospheric deposition in the River Masino catchment. Its particular characteristics (small catchment area, rapid flushing during runoff and thin soil cover meant that this site responded without a significant delay to SO4 deposition decrease. It also showed a clear seasonal pattern of NO3 concentration, in response to hydrology and biological uptake in the growing season.

    The selected driving variables failed to model the water chemistry at the other study sites. Nevertheless, temperature, especially extreme values, turned out to be important in both SO4 and NO3 export from the catchments. This result might be largely explained by the effect of warm periods on temperature-dependent processes such as mineralization, nitrification and S desorption.

    Our findings suggest that surface waters in the alpine area will be extremely sensitive to a climate warming scenario: higher temperatures and increasing frequency of drought could exacerbate the effects

  6. Les Nouvelles Traversées Alpines : la “cité-Europe” à l’épreuve de l’acceptabilité alpine ? The New alpine crossings : The “city-Europe” faces up to the alpine acceptability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin Sutton

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available La pensée des traversées alpines est indissociable de celle des réseaux urbains alpins et, au-delà, européens. La nouvelle phase de percée des tunnels de base le réaffirme : les “Nouvelles Traversées Alpines” se retrouvent au coeur de l’enjeu de connexion des réseaux ferroviaires européens à grande vitesse. L’invention de la “cité-Europe” passe ainsi par la réinvention d’un pacte alpin autour du dessein de franchissement entre les villes de piedmonts et les communautés montagnardes traversées. Ces dernières ont, en effet, la capacité de bloquer un projet par leur refus. L’exemple du projet Lyon-Turin l’illustre, en contre-point de la réussite du tunnel de base du Lötschberg. La réussite suisse semble tenir à la capacité de conjuguer les inventions technique et sociale du tunnel, ne niant pas la dimension territoriale de cet objet réticulaire.It is impossible to think about the alpine crossings without thinking about the alpine and European urban nets. The construction of the basis tunnels recalls it: the “New Alpine Crossings” are the kernel of the connection issue between the European high-speed railways nets. The invention of a “city-Europe” needs a reinvented pact, between the cities of the plains and the alpine communities, based on the reaffirmation of a common crossing destiny. The alpine communities can thwart the project by refusing it, as the example of the Lyon-Turin project shows, in contrast to the successful Lötschberg basis tunnel. The Swiss success seems to come from the capacity to mix technical and social inventions, replacing the territorial dimension in the reticular fundament.

  7. A Retrospective Analysis of Concurrent Pathology in ACL-Reconstructed Knees of Elite Alpine Ski Racers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jordan, Matthew J; Doyle-Baker, Patricia; Heard, Mark

    2017-01-01

    /chondral surgery, 60% of meniscal tears and 80% of chondral lesions had worsened since the time of primary ACLR. CONCLUSION: Concurrent injury was common in this group of elite ski racers. Primary ACL tears were typically accompanied by lateral compartment chondral lesions and complex meniscal tears that worsened...... over time. ACL/MCL tears were the most common multiligament injury pattern.......BACKGROUND: Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear is the most frequent injury in alpine ski racing, and there is a high prevalence of ACL reinjury. Limited data exist on the concurrent pathology with primary ACL tears in elite alpine ski racers and the magnitude of injury progression after primary...

  8. Potential of cold-adapted microorganisms for bioremediation of oil-polluted Alpine soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Margesin, R.

    2000-01-01

    The environmental contamination by organic pollutants is a widespread problem in all climates. The most widely distributed pollution can be attributed to oil contamination. Bioremediation methods can provide efficient, inexpensive and environmentally safe cleanup tools. The role of cold-adapted microorganisms for the bioremediation of experimentally and chronically oil-contaminated Alpine soils was evaluated in the studies described. The results demonstrated that there is a considerable potential for oil bioremediation in Alpine soils. Oil biodegradation can be significantly enhanced by biostimulation (inorganic nutrient supply), but a complete oil elimination is not possible by employing biological decontamination alone. (Author)

  9. Hydrologic and Isotopic Sensitivity of Alpine Lakes to Climate Change in the Medicine Bow Mountains, Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liefert, D. T.; Shuman, B. N.; Mercer, J.; Parsekian, A.; Williams, D. G.

    2017-12-01

    Climate reconstructions show that global average temperatures were 0.5°C higher than today during the mid-Holocene, falling well within projections for increases in global average temperature presented in the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. Despite the consensus for the prediction of a warmer climate, however, it is unclear how snowmelt from high-elevation watersheds will be affected by such a change. Snowmelt contributes substantially to major rivers in the western United States, and much of the water flows through lakes in the highest-elevation watersheds. Our water balance models show that modern alpine lakes with seasonably unstable water levels can desiccate primarily through groundwater outflow, resulting in increased groundwater storage that likely sustains baseflow in mountain streams once snowmelt has subsided in late summer. However, contribution of freshwater from alpine lakes to streams may vary over time as changes in climate alters snowpack, rates of evaporation, and the abundance of snowmelt-fed lakes. As such, alpine lakes with seasonally unstable water levels today may have dried out entirely during the mid-Holocene warm period and may dry out in the future as temperatures increase. To investigate the response of alpine lakes to temperatures of the mid-Holocene, we collected 9 sediment cores from closed-basin alpine lakes in the Medicine Bow Mountains of southern Wyoming that lose most their volumes each summer. We use radiocarbon-dating of charcoal in basal sediments to determine lake formation age, abundance of conifer needles to infer relative forest cover, and a δ18O carbonate record to determine changes in the ratio of evaporation to precipitation in an alpine lake that existed throughout the Holocene. Warming likely changed watershed hydrology through a) decreased snowpack and earlier snowmelt, b) increased evaporation, and c) increased transpiration associated with expanded forest cover and longer growing seasons

  10. The consequences of elevated CO² and land use in alpine ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Inauen, Nicole

    2014-01-01

    The consequences of elevated CO2 and land use in alpine ecosystems This PhD thesis addresses two main aspects of Global Change and their impacts on alpine vegetation and eco-hydrology, (1) the steadily increasing concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere as well as (2) land use and its current decline across the Alps. Current and future rises of atmospheric CO2 concentration are commonly expected to stimulate photosynthesis and to reduce carbon limitation of plant growth. Whether this hypoth...

  11. Comparison of energy fluxes at the land surface-atmosphere interface in an Alpine valley as simulated with different models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Grossi

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Within the framework of a research project coupling meteorological and hydrological models in mountainous areas a distributed Snow-Soil-Vegetation-Atmosphere Transfer model was developed and applied to simulate the energy fluxes at the land surface – atmosphere interface in an Alpine valley (Toce Valley - North Italy during selected flood events in the last decade. Energy fluxes simulated by the distributed energy transfer model were compared with those simulated by a limited area meteorological model for the event of June 1997 and the differences in the spatial and temporal distribution. The Snow/Soil-Vegetation-Atmosphere Transfer model was also applied to simulate the energy fluxes at the land surface-atmosphere interface for a single cell, assumed to be representative of the Siberia site (Toce Valley, where a micro-meteorological station was installed and operated for 2.5 months in autumn 1999. The Siberia site is very close to the Nosere site, where a standard meteorological station was measuring precipitation, air temperature and humidity, global and net radiation and wind speed during the same special observing period. Data recorded by the standard meteorological station were used to force the energy transfer model and simulate the point energy fluxes at the Siberia site, while turbulent fluxes observed at the Siberia site were used to derive the latent heat flux from the energy balance equation. Finally, the hourly evapotranspiration flux computed by this procedure was compared to the evapotranspiration flux simulated by the energy transfer model. Keywords: energy exchange processes, land surface-atmosphere interactions, turbulent fluxes

  12. Reconstruction of Holocene changes in alpine vegetation and climate in the Maligne Range, Jasper National Park, Alberta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luckman, B. H.; Kearney, M. S.

    1986-09-01

    Pollen, macrofossil (logs and needles), and oxygen-isotope data from tree rings are presented for three alpine bog sites in the Maligne Range of the Canadian Rockies. Organic sedimentation at the Watchtower site began prior to ca. 9500 14C yr B.P. and by 8770 yr B.P. timberlines were at least 100 m above present levels. The two pollen records are dominated by Pinus and subsequent changes in timberlines are inferred from pollen-ratio data ( Abies/Pinus) and from macrofossils. The recovered records indicate two periods of high Hypsithermal timberlines ca. 8800-7500 and 7200-5200 yr B.P. separated by a short interval ca. 7300-7400 yr B.P. when timberline approached modern levels. After ca. 4500 yr B.P. timberlines have been similar to or lower than present, reaching minimum values in the last 500 yr. δ 18O determinations from the α-cellulose of samples of 5 or 10 annual rings cut from contemporary Picea englemannii at timberline show strong correlations with mean annual temperatures at Jasper. Isotopic determinations from Hypsithermal-age logs recovered from sites above present timberline indicate mean annual temperatures were at least 0.5°C warmer ca. 8060 and 8770 yr B.P. than at present at the Watchtower site. Data from logs at the Maligne Pass site suggest that temperatures were about 1.2° and 1.6°C warmer ca. 6000 and 5300 yr B.P. Estimates of temperature from the pollen-ratio data are more conservative and suggest maximum differences of ca. 1.0°C in July temperatures over the last 8000 yr.

  13. Enzymatic milk clotting activity in artichoke (Cynara scolymus) leaves and alpine thistle (Carduus defloratus) flowers. Immobilization of alpine thistle aspartic protease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esposito, Marilena; Di Pierro, Prospero; Dejonghe, Winnie; Mariniello, Loredana; Porta, Raffaele

    2016-08-01

    Two different milk clotting enzymes, belonging to the aspartic protease family, were extracted from both artichoke leaves and alpine thistle flowers, and the latter was covalently immobilized by using a polyacrylic support containing polar epoxy groups. Our findings showed that the alpine thistle aspartic protease was successfully immobilized at pH 7.0 on Immobeads IB-150P beads and that, under these experimental conditions, an immobilization yield of about 68% and a recovery of about 54% were obtained. Since the enzyme showed an optimal pH of 5.0, a value very similar to the one generally used for milk clotting during cheese making, and exhibited a satisfactory stability over time, the use of such immobilized vegetable rennet for the production of novel dairy products is suggested. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  14. Clonal Re-Introduction of Endangered Plant Species: The Case of German False Tamarisk in Pre-Alpine Rivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Christiane; Kollmann, Johannes

    2012-08-01

    The scope of re-introduction as a measure for plant species protection is increasing, but as long as no standardized methods are available, species-specific assessments are necessary to determine whether seeds, adult plants or plant fragments should be used. The endangered German False Tamarisk ( Myricaria germanica), which occurs on gravel bars along pre-alpine rivers, is difficult to grow from seeds. Thus, propagation of stem cuttings was investigated as an alternative method. Experiments were conducted in a greenhouse and a field site with three treatments: cutting length 5 or 10 cm, vertical burial 5 or 10 cm, and water level low or high. Plants grown in the greenhouse were transplanted to the River Isar to test establishment of rooted cuttings on gravel bars. The cuttings in the greenhouse showed high survival (34-96 %). Survival and biomass production were greatest for 10-cm cuttings buried at 10-cm depth, while only one of the 5-cm cuttings survived at this depth, and no significant effect of variation in water level was observed. None of the cuttings transplanted to field sites survived, most likely because of drought stress and competition. We conclude that for re-introduction of Myricaria germanica rooted cuttings can be easily produced in large quantities, while transplantation to near-natural environments has to be improved to reduce mortality.

  15. Inventory of the Alpine Flora of Haramosh and Bagrote Valleys (Karakoram Range) District Gilgit, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khan, S. W.; Abbas, Q.; Khatoon, S.; Raza, G.; Hussain, A.

    2016-01-01

    Inventorying of plant biodiversity of Haramosh and Bugrote valleys (District Gilgit, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan) was done for fourteen years from 2001- 2014. The fourteen years inventorying revealed a rich plant biodiversity consisting of 232 species belonging to 106 genera and 34 families of flowering plants. The Alpine zone had 18 genera with 4 or more species; Pedicularis with 10 species was the largest genus of this zone, followed by Potentilla and Carex (each with 9 species) and Draba (8 species). Genera containing 9 or 10 species occurred only in Alpine zone. In the Alpine zone, 15 of the larger families were represented by 189 species, forming 81.46 percent of the Alpine flora. Although the highest number of species belonging to these larger families was present in the subalpine zone, but in terms of percentage their contribution was the highest in the Alpine flora. Percentage-wise the contribution of these families gradually increased from Desert zone to Alpine zone, because of their particular distribution patterns. Although the total number of species was the highest in the Subalpine zone, but in the species specific to any one zone, the Alpine zone had the highest number, that is, 96 of the total 232 species of Alpine zone were exclusively found in this zone only. Out of these 96 species specific to the Alpine zone, 53 belonged to such 22 genera that were exclusively found in the Alpine zone only. The Alpine zone was characterized by herbs and low shrubs, with Potentilla species as the dominants. A clear trend of migration of certain species both from lower to higher latitudes and altitudes was observed. The species richness index of Alpine zone however showed increasing trend probably due to species migrations towards the alpine zone. The major threats to the plant biodiversity were recognized as the deforestation and habitat loss due to over-exploitation of species, over-grazing by livestock, and climate changes due to global warming, which were

  16. Assessing and comparing climatic control on distribution and reproduction of alpine and lowland species in the subalpine habitat of western Norway

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meineri, Eric

    2012-02-15

    Aims and background: Species range shift is among the most well-documented responses to climate change. As a result, a growing number of studies model species climatic niches to predict how species ranges may displace in space and time (SDM studies). These studies are criticised because they do not include reproduction in their predictions. Other studies use empirical data to assess climatic control on reproductive life-stages. However, the climatic niche of reproductive life-stages may not determine the climatic niche of species, limiting the ability of both types of studies to assess the effect of climate change. In this synthesis, I compare the results of a SDM study (Paper I) with the results of two empirical studies focussing on flowering performance (Paper II) and seedling emergence (Paper III). The research focuses on the leading and rear altitudinal edges of lowland and alpine species ranges, respectively, as those are the two delimiting fronts that are expected to be specifically vulnerable to climate change. Reproduction response to climate is a complex process because it involves several sub-stages that can be affected by climate in several ways. Therefore, the results included in this synthesis integrate several direct and size-dependent climatic effects on flowering performance and report on the importance of both the climate conditions occurring at the recruitment sites and those experienced by the source populations for seedling emergence. Study area and species: This thesis makes use of the sub-alpine and alpine landscapes of western Norway to investigate climatic control on species occurrence and reproduction. This study area was chosen because it includes the leading altitudinal edge of lowland species ranges and the rear altitudinal edge of alpine species ranges. The research uses Viola biflora (alpine), Viola palustris (lowland), Veronica alpina (alpine), and Veronica officinalis (lowland) as study cases because these species are common in the

  17. Argon and fission track dating of Alpine metamorphism and basement exhumation in the Sopron Mts. (Eastern Alps, Hungary): thermochronology or mineral growth?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Balogh, K.; Dunkl, I.

    2005-01-01

    The crystalline basement rocks of the Sopron Mountains are the easternmost and most isolated outcrops of the Austroalpine basement of the Eastern Alps. Ar/Ar and K/Ar dating of phengitic mica indicates that the Eoalpine high-pressure metamorphism of the area occurred between 76 and 71 Ma. Short-lived metamorphism is characterized by fluid-poor conditions. Fluid circulation was mostly restricted to shear zones, thus the degree of Alpine overprint has an extreme spatial variation. In several metamorphic slices Variscan mineral assemblages have been preserved and biotite yielded Variscan and Permo-Triassic Ar ages. Different mineral and isotope thermometers (literature data) yielded temperatures of 500-600 o C for the peak of Alpine metamorphism in the Sopron Mountains, but muscovite and biotite do not show complete argon resetting. Thus, we consider this crystalline area as a well constrained natural test site, which either indicates considerably high closure temperatures (around 550 o C) for Ar in muscovite and biotite in a dry metamorphic environment, or which is suitable for testing the widely applied methods of temperature estimations under disequilibrium conditions. Apatite fission track results and their thermal modeling, together with structural, mineralogical and sedimentological observations, allows the identification of a post-metamorphic, Eocene hydrothermal event and Late Miocene-Pliocene sediment burial of the crystalline rocks of the Sopron Mountains. (author)

  18. Molecular phylogeography of the Andean alpine plant, Gunnera magellanica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimizu, M.; Fujii, N.; Ito, M.; Asakawa, T.; Nishida, H.; Suyama, C.; Ueda, K.

    2015-12-01

    To clarify the evolutionary history of Gunnera magellanica (Gunneraceae), an alpine plant of the Andes mountains, we performed molecular phylogeographic analyses based on the sequences of an internal transcribed spacer (ITS) of nuclear ribosomal DNA and four non-coding regions (trnH-psbA, trnL-trnF, atpB-rbcL, rpl16 intron) of chloroplast DNA. We investigated 3, 4, 4 and 11 populations in, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile, respectively, and detected six ITS genotypes (Types A-F) in G. magellanica. Five genotypes (Types A-E) were observed in the northern Andes population (Ecuador and Bolivia); only one ITS genotype (Type F) was observed in the southern Andes population (Chile and Argentina). Phylogenetic analyses showed that the ITS genotypes of the northern and southern Andes populations form different clades with high bootstrap probability. Furthermore, network analysis, analysis of molecular variance, and spatial analysis of molecular variance showed that there were two major clusters (the northern and southern Andes populations) in this species. Furthermore, in chloroplast DNA analysis, three major clades (northern Andes, Chillan, and southern Andes) were inferred from phylogenetic analyses using four non-coding regions, a finding that was supported by the above three types of analysis. The Chillan clade is the northernmost population in the southern Andes populations. With the exception of the Chillan clade (Chillan population), results of nuclear DNA and chloroplast DNA analyses were consistent. Both markers showed that the northern and southern Andes populations of G. magellanica were genetically different from each other. This type of clear phylogeographical structure was supported by PERMUT analysis according to Pons & Petit (1995, 1996). Moreover, based on our preliminary estimation that is based on the ITS sequences, the northern and southern Andes clades diverged ~0.63-3 million years ago, during a period of upheaval in the Andes. This suggests

  19. Epilithonimonas psychrotolerans sp. nov., isolated from alpine permafrost.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ge, Liang; Zhao, Qi; Sheng, Hongmei; Wu, Jianmin; An, Lizhe

    2015-11-01

    A bacterial strain, designated TSBY 57T, was isolated during a study on the phylogenetic diversity of culturable bacteria from alpine permafrost in Tianshan Mountains, China, and was classified by means of a polyphasic taxonomic approach. The novel strain was found to belong to the genus Epilithonimonas and was distinguished from recognized species of this genus. Strain TSBY 57T grew aerobically, at 0-30 °C, with 0-1.5% (w/v) NaCl and at pH 6-8.Cells were Gram-stain-negative, non-motile, non-spore-forming rods. Compared with the reference strains, the novel strain was psychrotolerant. The predominant fatty acids were summed feature 3 (consisting of C16:1ω7c and/or C16:1ω6c), anteiso-C15:0 and iso-C15:0.The sole respiratory quinone was MK-6.Phosphatidylethanolamine was predominant in the polar lipid profile of strain TSBY 57T. These chemotaxonomic traits were in good agreement with the characteristics of the genus Epilithonimonas. On the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity, strain TSBY 57T was a member of the genus Epilithonimonas and was closely related to Epilithonimonas tenax DSM 16811T (99.0%), Epilithonimonas ginsengisoli DCY78T (98.6%) and Epilithonimonas lactis H1T (98.5%). However, DNA-DNA reassociation values between strain TSBY 57T and E. tenax DSM 16811T, E. ginsengisoli DCY78T and E. lactis H1T were 39.5 ± 2.6, 37.7 ± 1.0 and 37.3 ± 1.1%, respectively. The G+C content of the DNA was 34.4 ± 0.2  mol%. Based on data from this polyphasic taxonomic study, strain TSBY 57T represents a novel species of the genus Epilithonimonas, for which the name Epilithonimonas psychrotolerans sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is TSBY 57T ( = NRRL B-51307T=CCTCC AB 207182T).

  20. Reconstructing geomorphic patterns and forcing factors from Alpine Lake Sediment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnaud, Fabien; Poulenard, Jérôme; Giguet-Covex, Charline; Wilhelm, Bruno; Révillon, Sidonie; Jenny, Jean-Philippe; Revel, Marie; Enters, Dirk; Bajard, Manon; Fouinat, Laurent; Doyen, Elise; Simonneau, Anaëlle; Pignol, Cécile; Chapron, Emmanuel; Vannière, Boris; Sabatier, Pierre

    2017-04-01

    In this paper we review the scientific efforts that were led over the last decades to reconstruct geomorphic patterns from continuous alpine lake sediment records. Whereas our results point a growing importance of humans as erosion forcing factors, we will focus here on climate-related processes. Our main dataset is made of a regional approach which was led without any a priori regarding erosion forcing factors. We hence integrated a set of sediment sequences from various environment along an altitudinal gradient from 200 up to 2400m asl in Northern French Alps. Altogether our data point climate change as one of the main factor of erosion variability. In particular, the last two cold spells that occurred during the early middle age (Dark Age) and between the 14th and the 20th century AD (Little Ice Age) appear to be outstanding compared to any other periods of enhanced erosion along the Holocene. The climatic forcing of those erosion phases is supported by an increase in the contribution of glacier-eroded material at a regional scale. At local scales, our data also point the growing importance, since at least the mid Bronze Age (ca. 3500 cal. BP) of human activities as a major erosion factor. This influence peaked during the late Iron Age and Antiquity periods (200 BC - 400 AD) when we record a regional generalised period of enhanced erosion in response to the development of pasturing activities. Thanks to provenance and weathering markers, we evidenced a strong relationship between the changes in ecosystems, soil development and erosion patterns. We hence showed the vegetal colonisation of bared soil led to a period of intense weathering while new soils were under formation between 11,000 and 8,000 cal. BP. Soils then knew an optimum until the onset of the Neoglacial at ca. 4,500 cal. BP prior to decline under both climate and human pressures. Altogether our data point the complexity of processes that affected the Earth critical zone along the Holocene. However

  1. A first attempt to derive soil erosion rates from 137Cs airborne gamma measurements in two Alpine valleys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arata, Laura; Meusburger, Katrin; Bucher, Benno; Mabit, Lionel; Alewell, Christine

    2016-04-01

    The application of fallout radionuclides (FRNs) as soil tracers is currently one of the most promising and effective approach for evaluating soil erosion magnitudes in mountainous grasslands. Conventional assessment or measurement methods are laborious and constrained by the topographic and climatic conditions of the Alps. The 137Cs (half-life = 30.2 years) is the most frequently used FRN to study soil redistribution. However the application of 137Cs in alpine grasslands is compromised by the high heterogeneity of the fallout due to the origin of 137Cs fallout in the Alps, which is linked to single rain events occurring just after the Chernobyl accident when most of the Alpine soils were still covered by snow. The aim of this study was to improve our understanding of the 137Cs distribution in two study areas in the Central Swiss Alps: the Ursern valley (Canton Uri), and the Piora valley (Canton Ticino). In June 2015, a helicopter equipped with a NaI gamma detector flew over the two study sites and screened the 137Cs activity of the top soil. The use of airborne gamma measurements is particularly efficient in case of higher 137Cs concentration in the soil. Due to their high altitude and high precipitation rates, the Swiss Alps are expected to be more contaminated by 137Cs fallout than other parts of Switzerland. The airborne gamma measurements have been related to several key parameters which characterize the areas, such as soil properties, slopes, expositions and land uses. The ground truthing of the airborne measurements (i.e. the 137Cs laboratory measurements of the soil samples collected at the same points) returned a good fit. The obtained results offer an overview of the 137Cs concentration in the study areas, which allowed us to identify suitable reference sites, and to analyse the relationship between the 137Cs distribution and the above cited parameters. The authors also derived a preliminary qualitative and a quantitative assessment of soil redistribution

  2. Linking sheep density and grazing frequency to persistence of herb species in an alpine environment

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lanta, V.; Austrheim, G.; Evju, M.; Klimešová, Jitka; Mysterud, A.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 29, č. 3 (2014), s. 411-420 ISSN 0912-3814 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA526/09/0963 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : sheep grazing * alpine pastures * Norway Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.296, year: 2014

  3. Generic Regional Development Strategies from Local Stakeholders' Scenarios - an Alpine Village Experience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolfgang Loibl

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available The article discusses the participatory elaboration of strategies for sustainable regional development in an Alpine tourist region in Austria to cope with global change effects evolving locally, considering climate change, economic change as well as (local societal change. Local stakeholders in an Alpine village in the Montafon region contributed in workshops to achieve the final results: participant teams conducted system analyses of the regional system to explore key elements of the region. Narrative scenarios described possible positive and negative development trends and indicated the critical issues controlling future development; 3D-images of landscape transition simulations show the consequences of certain development directions. Alternative development directions supported the local stakeholders to elaborate regional development strategies. In the end, the scientist team derived generic strategies for Alpine regions based on the locally developed strategy bundle. The article presents the intention, progress and outcome of the participatory approach and elaborates the potential to derive generic strategies from local ones and discusses the possibly occurring conflicts regarding cross-scale transfers of these local strategies. Overall, tourism was seen as a key element for future regional development, which can on the one hand derogate Alpine regions and is on the other hand threatened by climate change and diminution of landscape attractiveness. The suggested development strategies will help to cope with global change issues mitigating the negative consequences on the local society and environment.

  4. Modelling channel incision and alpine hillslope development using laser altimetry data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Anders, N.S.; Seijmonsbergen, A.C.; Bouten, W.

    2009-01-01

    This paper presents a new approach to simulate drainage basin evolution and demonstrates that high resolution elevation data can be used as useful tool for a dynamic simulation of Alpine landscape development, in which channel incision is incorporated in high spatial detail. A vector channel

  5. Alien roadside species more easily invade alpine than lowland plant communities in a subarctic mountain ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonas J Lembrechts

    Full Text Available Effects of roads on plant communities are not well known in cold-climate mountain ecosystems, where road building and development are expected to increase in future decades. Knowledge of the sensitivity of mountain plant communities to disturbance by roads is however important for future conservation purposes. We investigate the effects of roads on species richness and composition, including the plant strategies that are most affected, along three elevational gradients in a subarctic mountain ecosystem. We also examine whether mountain roads promote the introduction and invasion of alien plant species from the lowlands to the alpine zone. Observations of plant community composition were made together with abiotic, biotic and anthropogenic factors in 60 T-shaped transects. Alpine plant communities reacted differently to road disturbances than their lowland counterparts. On high elevations, the roadside species composition was more similar to that of the local natural communities. Less competitive and ruderal species were present at high compared with lower elevation roadsides. While the effects of roads thus seem to be mitigated in the alpine environment for plant species in general, mountain plant communities are more invasible than lowland communities. More precisely, relatively more alien species present in the roadside were found to invade into the surrounding natural community at high compared to low elevations. We conclude that effects of roads and introduction of alien species in lowlands cannot simply be extrapolated to the alpine and subarctic environment.

  6. Alien roadside species more easily invade alpine than lowland plant communities in a subarctic mountain ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lembrechts, Jonas J; Milbau, Ann; Nijs, Ivan

    2014-01-01

    Effects of roads on plant communities are not well known in cold-climate mountain ecosystems, where road building and development are expected to increase in future decades. Knowledge of the sensitivity of mountain plant communities to disturbance by roads is however important for future conservation purposes. We investigate the effects of roads on species richness and composition, including the plant strategies that are most affected, along three elevational gradients in a subarctic mountain ecosystem. We also examine whether mountain roads promote the introduction and invasion of alien plant species from the lowlands to the alpine zone. Observations of plant community composition were made together with abiotic, biotic and anthropogenic factors in 60 T-shaped transects. Alpine plant communities reacted differently to road disturbances than their lowland counterparts. On high elevations, the roadside species composition was more similar to that of the local natural communities. Less competitive and ruderal species were present at high compared with lower elevation roadsides. While the effects of roads thus seem to be mitigated in the alpine environment for plant species in general, mountain plant communities are more invasible than lowland communities. More precisely, relatively more alien species present in the roadside were found to invade into the surrounding natural community at high compared to low elevations. We conclude that effects of roads and introduction of alien species in lowlands cannot simply be extrapolated to the alpine and subarctic environment.

  7. A deposition record of inorganic ions from a high-alpine glacier

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huber, T. [Bern Univ. (Switzerland); Bruetsch, S.; Gaeggeler, H.W.; Schotterer, U.; Schwikowski, M. [Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland)

    1997-09-01

    The lowest five metres of an ice core from a high-alpine glacier (Colle Gnifetti, Monte Rosa massif, 4450m a.s.l., Switzerland) were analysed for ammonium, calcium, chloride, magnesium, nitrate, potassium, sodium, and sulphate by ion chromatography. (author) 1 fig., 3 refs.

  8. Lack of sex-biased dispersal promotes fine-scale genetic structure in alpine ungulates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gretchen H. Roffler; Sandra L. Talbot; Gordon Luikart; George K. Sage; Kristy L. Pilgrim; Layne G. Adams; Michael K. Schwartz

    2014-01-01

    Identifying patterns of fine-scale genetic structure in natural populations can advance understanding of critical ecological processes such as dispersal and gene flow across heterogeneous landscapes. Alpine ungulates generally exhibit high levels of genetic structure due to female philopatry and patchy configuration of mountain habitats. We assessed the spatial scale...

  9. Alpine treeline of western North America: linking organism-to-landscape dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    George P. Malanson; David R. Butler; Daniel B. Fagre; Stephen J. Walsh; Diana F. Tomback; Lori D. Daniels; Lynn M. Resler; William K. Smith; Daniel J. Weiss; David L. Peterson; Andrew G. Bunn; Christopher A. Hiemstra; Daniel Liptzin; Patrick S. Bourgeron; Zehao Shen; Constance I. Millar

    2007-01-01

    Although the ecological dynamics of the alpine treeline ecotone are influenced by climate, it is an imperfect indicator of climate change. Mechanistic processes that shape the ecotone—seed rain, seed germination, seedling establishment and subsequent tree growth form, or, conversely tree diebackdepend on microsite patterns. Growth forms affect wind...

  10. Soil nematodes in alpine meadows of the Tatra National Park (Slovak Republic)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Háněl, Ladislav

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 54, č. 1 (2017), s. 48-67 ISSN 0440-6605 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA14-09231S Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : soil nematodes * diversity * maturity * soil food web * alpine meadow Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 0.472, year: 2016

  11. Seedling regeneration in the alpine treeline ecotone: Comparison of wood microsites and adjacent soil substrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adelaide Chapman Johnson; J. Alan Yeakley

    2016-01-01

    Although climate warming is generally expected to facilitate upward advance of forests, conifer seedling regeneration and survival may be hindered by low substrate moisture, high radiation, and both low and high snow accumulation. To better understand substrate-related factors promoting regeneration in the alpine treeline ecotone, this study compared 2 substrates...

  12. Fragile areas in the Alpine region: a reading between innovation and marginality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Federica Corrado

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available The paper proposes a reading and description of fragile Alpine areas that overturns the conventional standpoint, according to which marginality is often synonymous with handicap. The paper starts form a different point of view, able to recognize specific local potentialities that can still be activated with a specific creative effort. The reading regards fragile Alpine areas in the Provinces of Turin and Cuneo and is based on an empirical analysis of the actions underlying current micro-territorial innovative development trends.Cet article propose une lecture et une description des territoires alpins fragiles, en jetant un autre regard, où le concept de fragilité est associé à celui de handicap, c’est-à-dire un autre regard sur l’identification des potentiels locaux spécifiques qui peuvent être encore activés à travers une force créatrice propre aux Alpes. La lecture est effectuée en fonction des territoires alpins fragiles qui font partie des provinces de Turin et Coni et se base sur une analyse empirique des initiatives qui enclenchent en quelque façon des dynamiques micro-territoriales de développement innovant.

  13. Geomorphic determinants of species composition of alpine tundra, Glacier National Park, U.S.A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    George P. Malanson,; Bengtson, Lindsey E.; Fagre, Daniel B.

    2012-01-01

    Because the distribution of alpine tundra is associated with spatially limited cold climates, global warming may threaten its local extent or existence. This notion has been challenged, however, based on observations of the diversity of alpine tundra in small areas primarily due to topographic variation. The importance of diversity in temperature or moisture conditions caused by topographic variation is an open question, and we extend this to geomorphology more generally. The extent to which geomorphic variation per se, based on relatively easily assessed indicators, can account for the variation in alpine tundra community composition is analyzed versus the inclusion of broad indicators of regional climate variation. Visual assessments of topography are quantified and reduced using principal components analysis (PCA). Observations of species cover are reduced using detrended correspondence analysis (DCA). A “best subsets” regression approach using the Akaike Information Criterion for selection of variables is compared to a simple stepwise regression with DCA scores as the dependent variable and scores on significant PCA axes plus more direct measures of topography as independent variables. Models with geographic coordinates (representing regional climate gradients) excluded explain almost as much variation in community composition as models with them included, although they are important contributors to the latter. The geomorphic variables in the model are those associated with local moisture differences such as snowbeds. The potential local variability of alpine tundra can be a buffer against climate change, but change in precipitation may be as important as change in temperature.

  14. Climate change links fate of glaciers and an endemic alpine invertebrate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muhlfeld, Clint C.; Giersch, J. Joseph; Hauer, F. Richard; Pederson, Gregory T.; Luikart, Gordon; Peterson, Douglas P.; Downs, Christopher C.; Fagre, Daniel B.

    2011-01-01

    Climate warming in the mid- to high-latitudes and high-elevation mountainous regions is occurring more rapidly than anywhere else on Earth, causing extensive loss of glaciers and snowpack. However, little is known about the effects of climate change on alpine stream biota, especially invertebrates. Here, we show a strong linkage between regional climate change and the fundamental niche of a rare aquatic invertebrate—themeltwater stonefly Lednia tumana—endemic toWaterton- Glacier International Peace Park, Canada and USA. L. tumana has been petitioned for listing under the U.S. Endangered Species Act due to climate-change-induced glacier loss, yet little is known on specifically how climate impacts may threaten this rare species and many other enigmatic alpine aquatic species worldwide. During 14 years of research, we documented that L. tumana inhabits a narrow distribution, restricted to short sections (∼500 m) of cold, alpine streams directly below glaciers, permanent snowfields, and springs. Our simulation models suggest that climate change threatens the potential future distribution of these sensitive habitats and persistence of L. tumana through the loss of glaciers and snowfields. Mountaintop aquatic invertebrates are ideal early warning indicators of climate warming in mountain ecosystems. Research on alpine invertebrates is urgently needed to avoid extinctions and ecosystem change.

  15. Relationship between alpine tourism demand and hot summer air temperatures associated with climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rebetez, M.; Serquet, G.

    2010-09-01

    We quantified the impacts of hot summer air temperatures on tourism in the Swiss Alps by analyzing the relationship between temperature and overnight stays in 40 Alpine resorts. Several temperature and insolation thresholds were tested to detect their relationship to summer tourism. Our results reveal significant correlations between the number of nights spent in mountain resorts and hot temperatures at lower elevations. Alpine resorts nearest to cities are most sensitive to hot temperatures. This is probably because reactions to hot episodes take place on a short-term basis as heat waves remain relatively rare. The correlation in June is stronger compared to the other months, probably because school holidays and the peak domestic tourist demand in summer usually takes place in July and August. Our results suggest that alpine tourist resorts could benefit from hotter temperatures at lower elevations under future climates. Tourists already react on a short-term basis to hot days and spend more nights in hotels in mountain resorts. If heat waves become more regular, it seems likely that tourists choose to stay at alpine resorts more frequently and for longer periods.

  16. Geochemistry and petrography of the MacAlpine Hills lunar meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, Marilyn M.; Mckay, David S.; Wentworth, Susan J.; Martinez, Rene R.; Mittlefehldt, David W.; Wang, Ming-Sheng; Lipschutz, Michael E.

    1991-01-01

    MacAlpine Hills 88104 and 88105, anorthositic lunar meteorites recovered form the same area in Antartica, are characterized. Petrographic studies show that MAC88104/5 is a polymict breccia dominated by impact melt clasts. It is better classified as a fragmental breccia than a regolith breccia. The bulk composition is ferroan and highly aluminous (Al2O3-28 percent).

  17. Distribution and diversity of Arctic-Alpine species in the Balkans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stevanovic, Vladimir; Vukojicic, Snezana; Sinzar-Sekulic, Jasmina

    2009-01-01

    The distributions of 77 Arctic-Alpine species in the Balkans are mapped and the centers of their richness and diversity presented. Within the Dinaric Alps these are Mts Vranica, Durmitor, and Prokletije; in the Scardo-Pindhic mountains, Šarplanina-Rudoka-Korab form a continuous chain...

  18. INTERACT Management planning for arctic and northern alpine stations - Examples of good practices

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    of visitors, outreach, science plans, data management and education. The target audience for the book is mainly managers of research stations in arctic and alpine areas, but it is our hope that it will also be a useful tool for others being involved in science coordination and logistics....

  19. The Alpine-Carpathian-Dinaridic orogenic system: correlation and evolution of tectonic units

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schmid, S.M.; Bernoulli, D.; Fügenschuh, B.; Matenco, L.C.; Schefer, S.; Schuster, R.; Tischler, M.; Ustaszewski, K.

    2008-01-01

    A correlation of tectonic units of the Alpine-Carpathian-Dinaridic system of orogens, including the substrate of the Pannonian and Transylvanian basins, is presented in the form of a map. Combined with a series of crustal-scale cross sections this correlation of tectonic units yields a clearer

  20. The Relationship among Leg Strength, Leg Power and Alpine Skiing Success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gettman, Larry R.; Huckel, Jack R.

    The purpose of this study was to relate leg strength and power to alpine skiing success as measured by FIS points. Isometric leg strength was represented by the knee extension test described by Clarke. Leg power was measured by the vertical jump test and the Margaria-Kalamen stair run. Results in the strength and power tests were correlated with…

  1. The importance of nitrogen and carbohydrate storage for plant growth of the alpine herb Veratrum album

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kleijn, D.; Treier, U.A.; Müller-Schärer, H.

    2005-01-01

    We examined whether nitrogen (N) and carbohydrates reserves allow Veratrum album, an alpine forb, to start spring growth earlier than the neighbouring vegetation and to survive unpredictable disturbances resulting in loss of above-ground biomass. Seasonal dynamics of plant reserves, soil N

  2. Alpins and thibos vectorial astigmatism analyses: proposal of a linear regression model between methods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuliano de Oliveira Freitas

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available PURPOSE: To determine linear regression models between Alpins descriptive indices and Thibos astigmatic power vectors (APV, assessing the validity and strength of such correlations. METHODS: This case series prospectively assessed 62 eyes of 31 consecutive cataract patients with preoperative corneal astigmatism between 0.75 and 2.50 diopters in both eyes. Patients were randomly assorted among two phacoemulsification groups: one assigned to receive AcrySof®Toric intraocular lens (IOL in both eyes and another assigned to have AcrySof Natural IOL associated with limbal relaxing incisions, also in both eyes. All patients were reevaluated postoperatively at 6 months, when refractive astigmatism analysis was performed using both Alpins and Thibos methods. The ratio between Thibos postoperative APV and preoperative APV (APVratio and its linear regression to Alpins percentage of success of astigmatic surgery, percentage of astigmatism corrected and percentage of astigmatism reduction at the intended axis were assessed. RESULTS: Significant negative correlation between the ratio of post- and preoperative Thibos APVratio and Alpins percentage of success (%Success was found (Spearman's ρ=-0.93; linear regression is given by the following equation: %Success = (-APVratio + 1.00x100. CONCLUSION: The linear regression we found between APVratio and %Success permits a validated mathematical inference concerning the overall success of astigmatic surgery.

  3. Climatic warming strengthens a positive feedback between alpine shrubs and fire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camac, James S; Williams, Richard J; Wahren, Carl-Henrik; Hoffmann, Ary A; Vesk, Peter A

    2017-08-01

    Climate change is expected to increase fire activity and woody plant encroachment in arctic and alpine landscapes. However, the extent to which these increases interact to affect the structure, function and composition of alpine ecosystems is largely unknown. Here we use field surveys and experimental manipulations to examine how warming and fire affect recruitment, seedling growth and seedling survival in four dominant Australian alpine shrubs. We found that fire increased establishment of shrub seedlings by as much as 33-fold. Experimental warming also doubled growth rates of tall shrub seedlings and could potentially increase their survival. By contrast, warming had no effect on shrub recruitment, postfire tussock regeneration, or how tussock grass affected shrub seedling growth and survival. These findings indicate that warming, coupled with more frequent or severe fires, will likely result in an increase in the cover and abundance of evergreen shrubs. Given that shrubs are one of the most flammable components in alpine and tundra environments, warming is likely to strengthen an existing feedback between woody species abundance and fire in these ecosystems. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Growth responses of low-alpine dwarf-shrub heath species to nitrogen deposition and management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Britton, Andrea J.; Fisher, Julia M.

    2008-01-01

    Nitrogen deposition is a continuing problem in European alpine regions. We hypothesised that, despite climatic limitations, low-alpine Calluna heathland would respond to nitrogen addition with increased shoot growth and flowering and that fire and grazing would modify responses. In a five-year study, 0-50 kg N ha -1 y -1 were added, combined with burning (+/-) and clipping (+/-). Calluna vulgaris responded with increased shoot extension, but effects on flowering were variable. Burning enhanced the positive effect of nitrogen addition and negative effects of clipping. Sub-dominant shrubs generally did not respond to nitrogen. C. vulgaris shoot extension was stimulated by nitrogen addition of 10 kg N ha -1 y -1 (above background) supporting suggestions that alpine heathlands are sensitive to low levels of nitrogen deposition. Increased C. vulgaris growth could negatively impact on important lichen components of this vegetation through increased shading and competition. Climatic factors constrain productivity in this community, but do not prevent rapid responses to nitrogen deposition by some species. - Low levels of N deposition increase productivity in alpine dwarf-shrub heath despite strong climatic constraints

  5. A tale of two single mountain alpine endemics: Packera franciscana and Erigeron mancus

    Science.gov (United States)

    James F. Fowler; Carolyn H. Sieg; Brian M. Casavant; Addie E. Hite

    2012-01-01

    Both the San Francisco Peaks ragwort, Packera franciscana and the La Sal daisy, Erigeron mancus are endemic to treeline/alpine habitats of the single mountain they inhabit. There is little habitat available for these plant species to migrate upward in a warming climate scenario. For P. franciscana, 2008 estimates indicate over 18,000 ramets in a 4 m band along a...

  6. Evaluating the Contributions of Atmospheric Deposition of Carbon and Other Nutrients to Nitrification in Alpine Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldani, K. M.; Mladenov, N.; Williams, M. W.

    2013-12-01

    The Colorado Front Range of the Rocky Mountains contains undeveloped, barren soils, yet in this environment there is strong evidence for a microbial role in increased nitrogen (N) export. Barren soils in alpine environments are severely carbon-limited, which is the main energy source for microbial activity and sustenance of life. It has been shown that atmospheric deposition can contain high amounts of organic carbon (C). Atmospheric pollutants, dust events, and biological aerosols, such as bacteria, may be important contributors to the atmospheric organic C load. In this stage of the research we evaluated seasonal trends in the chemical composition and optical spectroscopic (fluorescence and UV-vis absorbance) signatures of snow, wet deposition, and dry deposition in an alpine environment at Niwot Ridge in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to obtain a better understanding of the sources and chemical character of atmospheric deposition. Our results reveal a positive trend between dissolved organic carbon concentrations and calcium, nitrate and sulfate concentrations in wet and dry deposition, which may be derived from such sources as dust and urban air pollution. We also observed the presence of seasonally-variable fluorescent components that may be attributed to fluorescent pigments in bacteria. These results are relevant because atmospheric inputs of carbon and other nutrients may influence nitrification in barren, alpine soils and, ultimately, the export of nitrate to alpine watersheds.

  7. Hydrologic linkages drive spatial structuring of bacterial assemblages and functioning in alpine floodplains

    OpenAIRE

    Freimann, Remo; Bürgmann, Helmut; Findlay, Stuart E.G.; Robinson, Christopher T.

    2015-01-01

    Microbial community assembly and microbial functions are affected by a number of different but coupled drivers such as local habitat characteristics, dispersal rates, and species interactions. In groundwater systems, hydrological flow can introduce spatial structure and directional dependencies among these drivers. We examined the importance of hydrology in structuring bacterial communities and their function within two alpine floodplains during different hydrological states. Piezometers were...

  8. Recent crustal movements and geophysical interpretation of geodynamic processes in the Alpine mountain belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gubler, E.; Kahle, H. G.

    It is a well-known fact that the surface phenomena of global plate tectonics are most convincingly seen and felt along the boundaries of the moving lithospheric plates. These boundaries are morphologically expressed as mild-ocean ridges or as subduction zones such as deep sea trenches or Himalayan/Alpine fold belts, the latter of which are the subject of this paper. On a global scale, there are kinematic models giving an idea of what kind of rates can be expected. This is due to the fact that magnetic sea floor spreading anomalies are missing in the Alpine environment. On the other hand, the structure and kinematics of the Apulian microplate are of major interest to Switzerland because its northern boundary seems to be formed by the Alpine chain. In Switzerland there are some 14 special study groups actively working in this field of geodynamics. This paper is restricted to the geodetic and gravity studies. With emphasis on the assumed northern boundary of the Apulian microplate, the kinematics of relative plate movements in the Alpine area were investigated. A simplified tectonic map of this region is shown.

  9. Bacteria and pelagic food webs in Pristine alpine lakes (Retezat Mountains, Romania)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Straškrábová, Viera; Cogalniceanu, D.; Nedoma, Jiří; Parpala, L.; Postolache, C.; Tudorancea, C.; Vadineanu, A.; Valcu, C. M.; Zinevici, V.

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 3, - (2006), s. 1-10 ISSN 1841-7051 Grant - others:EC(XE) EVK1-CT-1999-00032; EC(XE) GOCE-CT-2003-505298 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60170517 Keywords : alpine lakes * pelagic bacteria * chlorophyll * zooplankton Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour

  10. Exploring the Potential of Aerial Photogrammetry for 3d Modelling of High-Alpine Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legat, K.; Moe, K.; Poli, D.; Bollmannb, E.

    2016-03-01

    High-alpine areas are subject to rapid topographic changes, mainly caused by natural processes like glacial retreat and other geomorphological processes, and also due to anthropogenic interventions like construction of slopes and infrastructure in skiing resorts. Consequently, the demand for highly accurate digital terrain models (DTMs) in alpine environments has arisen. Public administrations often have dedicated resources for the regular monitoring of glaciers and natural hazard processes. In case of glaciers, traditional monitoring encompasses in-situ measurements of area and length and the estimation of volume and mass changes. Next to field measurements, data for such monitoring programs can be derived from DTMs and digital ortho photos (DOPs). Skiing resorts, on the other hand, require DTMs as input for planning and - more recently - for RTK-GNSS supported ski-slope grooming. Although different in scope, the demand of both user groups is similar: high-quality and up-to-date terrain data for extended areas often characterised by difficult accessibility and large elevation ranges. Over the last two decades, airborne laser scanning (ALS) has replaced photogrammetric approaches as state-of-the-art technology for the acquisition of high-resolution DTMs also in alpine environments. Reasons include the higher productivity compared to (manual) stereo-photogrammetric measurements, canopy-penetration capability, and limitations of photo measurements on sparsely textured surfaces like snow or ice. Nevertheless, the last few years have shown strong technological advances in the field of aerial camera technology, image processing and photogrammetric software which led to new possibilities for image-based DTM generation even in alpine terrain. At Vermessung AVT, an Austrian-based surveying company, and its subsidiary Terra Messflug, very promising results have been achieved for various projects in high-alpine environments, using images acquired by large-format digital

  11. Coupled cryoconite ecosystem structure-function relationships are revealed by comparing bacterial communities in alpine and Arctic glaciers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Edwards, Arwyn; Mur, Luis A. J.; Girdwood, Susan E.

    2014-01-01

    Cryoconite holes are known as foci of microbial diversity and activity on polar glacier surfaces, but are virtually unexplored microbial habitats in alpine regions. In addition, whether cryoconite community structure reflects ecosystem functionality is poorly understood. Terminal restriction...... revealed Proteobacteria were particularly abundant, with Cyanobacteria likely acting as ecosystem engineers in both alpine and Arctic cryoconite communities. However, despite these generalities, significant differences in bacterial community structures, compositions and metabolomes are found between alpine...... fragment length polymorphism and Fourier transform infrared metabolite fingerprinting of cryoconite from glaciers in Austria, Greenland and Svalbard demonstrated cryoconite bacterial communities are closely correlated with cognate metabolite fingerprints. The influence of bacterial-associated fatty acids...

  12. Dendrochronological potential of the alpine shrub Rhododendron nivale on the south-eastern Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Eryuan; Eckstein, Dieter

    2009-09-01

    Shrubs and dwarf shrubs are wider spread on the Tibetan Plateau than trees and hence offer a unique opportunity to expand the present dendrochronological network into extreme environments beyond the survival limit of trees. Alpine shrublands on the Tibetan Plateau are characterized by rhododendron species. The dendrochronological potential of one alpine rhododendron species and its growth response to the extreme environment on the south-east Tibetan Plateau were investigated. Twenty stem discs of the alpine snowy rhododendron (Rhododendron nivale) were collected close to the tongue of the Zuoqiupu Glacier in south-east Tibet, China. The skeleton plot technique was used for inter-comparison between samples to detect the growth pattern of each stem section. The ring-width chronology was developed by fitting a negative exponential function or a straight line of any slope. Bootstrapping correlations were calculated between the standard chronology and monthly climate data. The wood of snowy rhododendron is diffuse-porous with evenly distributed small-diameter vessels. It has well-defined growth rings. Most stem sections can be visually and statistically cross-dated. The resulting 75-year-long standard ring-width chronology is highly correlated with a timberline fir chronology about 200 km apart, providing a high degree of confidence in the cross-dating. The climate/growth association of alpine snowy rhododendron and of this timberline fir is similar, reflecting an impact of monthly mean minimum temperatures in November of the previous year and in July during the year of ring formation. The alpine snowy rhododendron offers new research directions to investigate the environmental history of the Tibetan Plateau in those regions where up to now there was no chance of applying dendrochronology.

  13. A comparative phylogeographic study reveals discordant evolutionary histories of alpine ground beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weng, Yi-Ming; Yang, Man-Miao; Yeh, Wen-Bin

    2016-04-01

    Taiwan, an island with three major mountain ranges, provides an ideal topography to study mountain-island effect on organisms that would be diversified in the isolation areas. Glaciations, however, might drive these organisms to lower elevations, causing gene flow among previously isolated populations. Two hypotheses have been proposed to depict the possible refugia for alpine organisms during glaciations. Nunatak hypothesis suggests that alpine species might have stayed in situ in high mountain areas during glaciations. Massif de refuge, on the other hand, proposes that alpine species might have migrated to lower ice-free areas. By sampling five sympatric carabid species of Nebria and Leistus, and using two mitochondrial genes and two nuclear genes, we evaluated the mountain-island effect on alpine carabids and tested the two proposed hypotheses with comparative phylogeographic method. Results from the phylogenetic relationships, network analysis, lineage calibration, and genetic structure indicate that the deep divergence among populations in all L. smetanai, N. formosana, and N. niitakana was subjected to long-term isolation, a phenomenon in agreement with the nunatak hypothesis. However, genetic admixture among populations of N. uenoiana and some populations of L. nokoensis complex suggests that gene flow occurred during glaciations, as a massif de refuge depicts. The speciation event in N. niitakana is estimated to have occurred before 1.89 million years ago (Mya), while differentiation among isolated populations in N. niitakana, N. formosana, L. smetanai, and L. nokoensis complex might have taken place during 0.65-1.65 Mya. While each of the alpine carabids arriving in Taiwan during different glaciation events acquired its evolutionary history, all of them had confronted the existing mountain ranges.

  14. Snowmelt runoff from northern alpine tundra hillslopes: major processes and methods of simulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. L. Quinton

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available In northern alpine tundra, large slope gradients, late-lying snow drifts and shallow soils overlying impermeable substrates all contribute to large hillslope runoff volumes during the spring freshet. Understanding the processes and pathways of hillslope runoff in this environment is, therefore, critical to understanding the water cycle within northern alpine tundra ecosystems. This study: (a presents the results of a field study on runoff from a sub-alpine tundra hillslope with a large snow drift during the spring melt period; (b identifies the major runoff processes that must be represented in simulations of snowmelt runoff from sub-alpine tundra hillslopes; (c describes how these processes can be represented in a numerical simulation model; and d compares field measurements with modelled output to validate or refute the conceptual understanding of runoff generation embodied in the process simulations. The study was conducted at Granger Creek catchment, 15 km south of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada, on a north-facing slope below a late-lying snow drift. For the freshet period, the major processes to be represented in a runoff model include the rate of meltwater release from the late-lying snowdrift, the elevation and thickness of the saturated layer, the magnitude of the soil permeability and its variation with depth. The daily cycle of net all-wave radiation was observed to drive the diurnal pulses of melt water from the drift; this, in turn, was found to control the daily pulses of flow through the hillslope subsurface and in the stream channel. The computed rate of frost table lowering fell within the observed values; however, there was wide variation among the measured frost table depths. Spatial variability in frost table depth would result in spatial variabilities in saturated layer depth and thickness, which would, in turn, produce variations in subsurface flow rates over the slope, including preferential flowpaths. Keywords

  15. The challenge of monitoring the cryosphere in alpine environments: Prepare the present for the future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Andrea; Helfricht, Kay; Seiser, Bernd; Stocker-Waldhuber, Martin; Hartl, Lea; Wiesenegger, Hans

    2017-04-01

    Understanding the interaction of mountain glaciers and permafrost with weather and climate is essential for the interpretation of past states of the cryosphere in terms of climate change. Most of the glaciers and rock glaciers in Eastern Alpine terrain are subject to strong gradients in climatic forcing, and the persistence of these gradients under past climatic conditions is, more or less, unknown. Thus a key challenge of monitoring the cryosphere is to define the demands on a monitoring strategy for capturing essential processes and their potential changes. For example, the effects of orographic precipitation and local shading vary with general circulation patterns and the amount of solar radiation during the melt(ing) season. Recent investigations based on the Austrian glacier inventories have shown that glacier distribution is closely linked to topography and climatic situation, and that these two parameters imply also different sensitivities of the specific glaciers to progressing climate change. This leads to the need to develop a monitoring system capturing past, but also fairly unknown future ensembles of climatic state and sensitivities. As a first step, the Austrian glacier monitoring network has been analyzed from the beginning of the records onwards. Today's monitoring network bears the imprints of past research interests, but also past funding policies and personal/institutional engagements. As a limitation for long term monitoring in general, today's monitoring strategies have to cope with being restricted to these historical commitments to preserve the length of the time series, but at the same time expanding the measurements to fulfil present and future scientific and societal demands. The decision on cryospheric benchmark sites has an additional uncertainty: the ongoing disintegration of glaciers, their increasing debris cover as well as the potential low ice content and relatively unknown reaction of rock glaciers in the course of climate change

  16. Abundance and potential metabolic activity of methanogens in well-aerated forest and grassland soils of an alpine region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmann, Katrin; Praeg, Nadine; Mutschlechner, Mira; Wagner, Andreas O; Illmer, Paul

    2016-02-01

    Although methanogens were recently discovered to occur in aerated soils, alpine regions have not been extensively studied for their presence so far. Here, the abundance of archaea and the methanogenic guilds Methanosarcinales, Methanococcales, Methanobacteriales, Methanomicrobiales and Methanocella spp. was studied at 16 coniferous forest and 14 grassland sites located at the montane and subalpine belts of the Northern Limestone Alps (calcareous) and the Austrian Central Alps (siliceous) using quantitative real-time PCR. Abundance of archaea, methanogens and the methanogenic potentials were significantly higher in grasslands than in forests. Furthermore, methanogenic potentials of calcareous soils were higher due to pH. Methanococcales, Methanomicrobiales and Methanocella spp. were detected in all collected samples, which indicates that they are autochthonous, while Methanobacteriales were absent from 4 out of 16 forest soils. Methanosarcinales were absent from 10 out of 16 forest soils and 2 out of 14 grassland soils. Nevertheless, together with Methanococcales they represented the majority of the 16S rRNA gene copies quantified from the grassland soils. Contrarily, forest soils were clearly dominated by Methanococcales. Our results indicate a higher diversity of methanogens in well-aerated soils than previously believed and that pH mainly influences their abundances and activities. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Investigation of climate change impact on water resources for an Alpine basin in northern Italy: implications for evapotranspiration modeling complexity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giovanni Ravazzani

    Full Text Available Assessing the future effects of climate change on water availability requires an understanding of how precipitation and evapotranspiration rates will respond to changes in atmospheric forcing. Use of simplified hydrological models is required because of lack of meteorological forcings with the high space and time resolutions required to model hydrological processes in mountains river basins, and the necessity of reducing the computational costs. The main objective of this study was to quantify the differences between a simplified hydrological model, which uses only precipitation and temperature to compute the hydrological balance when simulating the impact of climate change, and an enhanced version of the model, which solves the energy balance to compute the actual evapotranspiration. For the meteorological forcing of future scenario, at-site bias-corrected time series based on two regional climate models were used. A quantile-based error-correction approach was used to downscale the regional climate model simulations to a point scale and to reduce its error characteristics. The study shows that a simple temperature-based approach for computing the evapotranspiration is sufficiently accurate for performing hydrological impact investigations of climate change for the Alpine river basin which was studied.

  18. Investigation of climate change impact on water resources for an Alpine basin in northern Italy: implications for evapotranspiration modeling complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravazzani, Giovanni; Ghilardi, Matteo; Mendlik, Thomas; Gobiet, Andreas; Corbari, Chiara; Mancini, Marco

    2014-01-01

    Assessing the future effects of climate change on water availability requires an understanding of how precipitation and evapotranspiration rates will respond to changes in atmospheric forcing. Use of simplified hydrological models is required because of lack of meteorological forcings with the high space and time resolutions required to model hydrological processes in mountains river basins, and the necessity of reducing the computational costs. The main objective of this study was to quantify the differences between a simplified hydrological model, which uses only precipitation and temperature to compute the hydrological balance when simulating the impact of climate change, and an enhanced version of the model, which solves the energy balance to compute the actual evapotranspiration. For the meteorological forcing of future scenario, at-site bias-corrected time series based on two regional climate models were used. A quantile-based error-correction approach was used to downscale the regional climate model simulations to a point scale and to reduce its error characteristics. The study shows that a simple temperature-based approach for computing the evapotranspiration is sufficiently accurate for performing hydrological impact investigations of climate change for the Alpine river basin which was studied.

  19. Atmospheric pollutants in alpine peat bogs record a detailed chronology of industrial and agricultural development on the Australian continent

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marx, Samuel K.; Kamber, Balz S.; McGowan, Hamish A.; Zawadzki, Atun

    2010-01-01

    Two peat bogs from remote alpine sites in Australia were found to contain detailed and coherent histories of atmospheric metal pollution for Pb, Zn, Cu, Mo, Ag, As, Cd, Sb, Zn, In, Cr, Ni, Tl and V. Dramatic increases in metal deposition in the post-1850 AD portion of the cores coincide with the onset of mining in Australia. Using both Pb isotopes and metals, pollutants were ascribed to the main atmospheric pollution emitting sources in Australia, namely mining and smelting, coal combustion and agriculture. Results imply mining and metal production are the major source of atmospheric metal pollution, although coal combustion may account for up to 30% of metal pollutants. A novel finding of this study is the increase in the otherwise near-constant Y/Ho ratio after 1900 AD. We link this change to widespread and increased application of marine phosphate fertiliser in Australia's main agricultural area (the Murray Darling Basin). - Detailed records of atmospheric metal pollution accumulation in Australia are presented and are shown to trace the industrial and agricultural development of the continent.

  20. The influence of fine-scale habitat features on regional variation in population performance of alpine White-tailed Ptarmigan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedy, B.; Martin, K.

    2011-01-01

    It is often assumed (explicitly or implicitly) that animals select habitat features to maximize fitness. However, there is often a mismatch between preferred habitats and indices of individual and population measures of performance. We examined the influence of fine-scale habitat selection on the overall population performance of the White-tailed Ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura), an alpine specialist, in two subdivided populations whose habitat patches are configured differently. The central region of Vancouver Island, Canada, has more continuous and larger habitat patches than the southern region. In 2003 and 2004, using paired logistic regression between used (n = 176) and available (n = 324) sites, we identified food availability, distance to standing water, and predator cover as preferred habitat components . We then quantified variation in population performance in the two regions in terms of sex ratio, age structure (n = 182 adults and yearlings), and reproductive success (n = 98 females) on the basis of 8 years of data (1995-1999, 2002-2004). Region strongly influenced females' breeding success, which, unsuccessful hens included, was consistently higher in the central region (n = 77 females) of the island than in the south (n = 21 females, P = 0.01). The central region also had a much higher proportion of successful hens (87%) than did the south (55%, P < 0.001). In light of our findings, we suggest that population performance is influenced by a combination of fine-scale habitat features and coarse-scale habitat configuration. ?? The Cooper Ornithological Society 2011.

  1. Comparative seed germination traits in alpine and subalpine grasslands: higher elevations are associated with warmer germination temperatures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Pascual, E; Jiménez-Alfaro, B; Bueno, Á

    2017-01-01

    Seed germination traits in alpine grasslands are poorly understood, despite the sensitivity of these communities to climate change. We hypothesise that germination traits predict species occurrence along the alpine-subalpine elevation gradient. Phylogenetic comparative analyses were performed using fresh seeds of 22 species from alpine and subalpine grasslands (1600-2400 m) of the Cantabrian Mountains, Spain (43° N, 5° W). Laboratory experiments were conducted to characterise germinability, optimum germination temperature and effect of cold and warm stratification on dormancy breaking. Variability in these traits was reduced by phylogenetic principal component analysis (phyl.PCA). Phylogenetic generalised least squares regression (PGLS) was used to fit a model in which species average elevation was predicted from their position on the PCA axes. Most subalpine species germinated in snow-like conditions, whereas most alpine species needed accumulation of warm temperatures. Phylogenetic signal was low. PCA1 ordered species according to overall germinability, whilst PCA2 ordered them according to preference for warm or cold germination. PCA2 significantly predicted species occurrence in the alpine-subalpine gradient, as higher elevation species tended to have warmer germination preferences. Our results show that germination traits in high-mountain grasslands are closely linked to the alpine-subalpine gradient. Alpine species, especially those from stripped and wind-edge communities, prefer warmer germination niches, suggesting that summer emergence prevents frost damage during seedling establishment. In contrast, alpine snowfield and subalpine grassland plants have cold germination niches, indicating that winter emergence may occur under snow to avoid drought stress. © 2016 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  2. Seasonal variations in carbon dioxide exchange in an alpine wetland meadow on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Zhao

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Alpine wetland meadow could functions as a carbon sink due to it high soil organic content and low decomposition. However, the magnitude and dynamics of carbon stock in alpine wetland ecosystems are not well quantified. Therefore, understanding how environmental variables affect the processes that regulate carbon fluxes in alpine wetland meadow on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau is critical. To address this issue, Gross Primary Production (GPP, Ecosystem Respiration (Reco, and Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE were examined in an alpine wetland meadow using the eddy covariance method from October 2003 to December 2006 at the Haibei Research Station of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Seasonal patterns of GPP and Reco were closely associated with leaf area index (LAI. The Reco showed a positive exponential to soil temperature and relatively low Reco occurred during the non-growing season after a rain event. This result is inconsistent with the result observed in alpine shrubland meadow. In total, annual GPP were estimated at 575.7, 682.9, and 630.97 g C m−2 in 2004, 2005, and 2006, respectively. Meanwhile, the Reco were equal to 676.8, 726.4, 808.2 g C m−2, and thus the NEE were 101.1, 44.0 and 173.2 g C m−2. These results indicated that the alpine wetland meadow was a moderately source of carbon dioxide (CO2. The observed carbon dioxide fluxes in the alpine wetland meadow were higher than other alpine meadow such as Kobresia humilis meadow and shrubland meadow.

  3. Population Spatial Dynamics of Larix potaninii in Alpine Treeline Ecotone in the Eastern Margin of the Tibetan Plateau, China

    OpenAIRE

    Jia’nan Cui; Jihong Qin; Hui Sun

    2017-01-01

    The high-altitude treeline is known to be sensitive to climate variability, and is thus considered as a bio-monitoring indicator of climate change. However, our understanding of the population dynamics and the cumulative climate-change effects on the alpine treeline ecotone in recent decades is limited. Here, we investigated the population dynamics of Larix potainii on the south- and north-facing slopes in the alpine treeline ecotone in the eastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau, China, includ...

  4. Strong Regionality and Dominance of Anaerobic Bacterial Taxa Characterize Diazotrophic Bacterial Communities of the Arcto-Alpine Plant Species Oxyria digyna and Saxifraga oppositifolia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Manoj; van Elsas, Jan Dirk; Nissinen, Riitta

    2017-01-01

    Arctic and alpine biomes are most often strongly nitrogen-limited, and hence biological nitrogen fixation is a strong driver of these ecosystems. Both biomes are characterized by low temperatures and short growing seasons, but they differ in seasonality of solar radiation and in soil water balance due to underlying permafrost in the Arctic. Arcto-alpine plant species are well-adapted to the low temperatures that prevail in their habitats, and plant growth is mainly limited by the availability of nutrients, in particular nitrogen, due to slow mineralization. Nitrogen fixing bacteria are likely important for plant growth in these habitats, but very little is known of these bacteria or forces shaping their communities. In this study, we characterized the potential nitrogen fixing bacterial (PNFB) communities associated with two arcto-alpine pioneer plant species, Oxyria digyna (mountain sorrel) and Saxifraga oppositifolia (blue saxifrage), in three climate regions. Both of these plants readily colonize low nutrient mineral soils. Our goal was to investigate how climate (region) and, on the other hand, host plant and plant species shape these communities. To our knowledge, this is the first comprehensive study describing PNFB communities associated with pioneer plants in different arcto-alpine biomes. Replicate samples were taken from two arctic regions, Kilpisjärvi and Ny-Ålesund, and one alpine region, Mayrhofen. In these, the PNFB communities in the bulk and rhizosphere soils and the plant endospheres were characterized by nifH -targeted PCR and massive parallel sequencing. The data revealed strong effects of climatic region on the dominating nitrogen fixers. Specifically, nifH sequences related to Geobacter (δ- Proteobacteria ) were present in high relative abundances in the nitrogen-fixing communities in the Mayrhofen and Kilpisjärvi regions, while members of the Clostridiales prevailed in the Kilpisjärvi and Ny-Ålesund regions. The bulk and rhizosphere soil

  5. Strong Regionality and Dominance of Anaerobic Bacterial Taxa Characterize Diazotrophic Bacterial Communities of the Arcto-Alpine Plant Species Oxyria digyna and Saxifraga oppositifolia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manoj Kumar

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Arctic and alpine biomes are most often strongly nitrogen-limited, and hence biological nitrogen fixation is a strong driver of these ecosystems. Both biomes are characterized by low temperatures and short growing seasons, but they differ in seasonality of solar radiation and in soil water balance due to underlying permafrost in the Arctic. Arcto-alpine plant species are well-adapted to the low temperatures that prevail in their habitats, and plant growth is mainly limited by the availability of nutrients, in particular nitrogen, due to slow mineralization. Nitrogen fixing bacteria are likely important for plant growth in these habitats, but very little is known of these bacteria or forces shaping their communities. In this study, we characterized the potential nitrogen fixing bacterial (PNFB communities associated with two arcto-alpine pioneer plant species, Oxyria digyna (mountain sorrel and Saxifraga oppositifolia (blue saxifrage, in three climate regions. Both of these plants readily colonize low nutrient mineral soils. Our goal was to investigate how climate (region and, on the other hand, host plant and plant species shape these communities. To our knowledge, this is the first comprehensive study describing PNFB communities associated with pioneer plants in different arcto-alpine biomes. Replicate samples were taken from two arctic regions, Kilpisjärvi and Ny-Ålesund, and one alpine region, Mayrhofen. In these, the PNFB communities in the bulk and rhizosphere soils and the plant endospheres were characterized by nifH-targeted PCR and massive parallel sequencing. The data revealed strong effects of climatic region on the dominating nitrogen fixers. Specifically, nifH sequences related to Geobacter (δ-Proteobacteria were present in high relative abundances in the nitrogen-fixing communities in the Mayrhofen and Kilpisjärvi regions, while members of the Clostridiales prevailed in the Kilpisjärvi and Ny-Ålesund regions. The bulk and

  6. Identification and climatology of Alpine pumping from a regional climate simulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maximilian eGraf

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The thermally driven circulation between the European Alps and the alpine foreland - named Alpine pumping – occurs regularly under clear and calm weather conditions. While previous studies focused on the impact of Alpine pumping on moist convection and transport of air pollutants, this study was motivated by its ventilation effect for Munich, located about 50 km north of the Alps in undulating and only slightly inclined terrain, where local thermal circulations are weak. Hourly data from a reanalysis driven regional climate simulation with COSMO-CLM model for the period 1989 to 2008 were analysed to identify days with Alpine pumping and to determine the mean diurnal characteristics of this regional thermal circulation. Four literature derived combinations of meteorological criteria were tested to identify days favorable for Alpine pumping from COSMO-CLM results. The first criterion selects days with a daily sum of solar radiation ≥20 MJ/m2 and has been used in an earlier observational study. On average 60 d/y are fulfilling the criterion in the model simulation, which compares well to the 67 d/y determined from observations. The other three criteria combinations consider a maximum wind velocity at 850 hPa, a maximum daily precipitation sum, and/or a maximum mean cloud cover. The mean annual number of selected days is lower for these criteria combinations and ranges between 20 and 52. Diurnal wind reversals occur on 77 to 81% of the selected days, depending on the criteria combinationThe daily solar radiation sum of 20 MJ/m2 is only exceeded during April to September, while days satisfying the criteria combinations without the radiation threshold occur all year round. In agreement with observations, the simulated regional thermally driven wind field extends up to ~100 km north of the Alps with average near-surface wind speeds of 0.5-1.5 m/s in the Munich area. With increasing distance from the Alps, the diurnal cycle of Alpine pumping is

  7. The relative age effect and the influence on performance in youth alpine ski racing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Lisa; Hildebrandt, Carolin; Raschner, Christian

    2015-03-01

    The relative age effect (RAE), which refers to an over representation of athletes born early in a selection year, recently was proven to be present in alpine skiing. However, it was not made apparent whether the RAE exists as early as at the youngest level of youth ski racing at national level, nor whether the relative age influences racing performance. As a consequence, the purpose of the present study was twofold: first, to examine the extent of the RAE and second, to assess the influence the relative age has on the overall performance at the youngest levels of youth ski racing. The study included the investigation of 1,438 participants of the Austrian Kids Cup and 1,004 participants of the Teenager Cup at the provincial level, as well as 250 finalists of the Kids Cup and 150 finalists of the Teenager Cup at the national level. Chi²-tests revealed a highly significant RAE already at the youngest level of youth ski racing (Kids Cup) at both the provincial and national levels. There are not again favorably selected the relatively older athletes from the first into the second level of youth ski racing (Teenager Cup). Among the athletes of the Kids Cup, the relative age quarter distribution differed highly significantly from the distribution of the total sample with an over representation of relatively older athletes by comparison taking the top three positions. The data revealed that relative age had a highly significant influence on performance. This study demonstrated that the RAE poses a problem as early as the youngest level of youth ski racing, thereby indicating that many young talented kids are discriminated against, diminishing any chance they might have of becoming elite athletes despite their talents and efforts. The RAE influences not only the participation rate in alpine skiing, but also the performances. As a result, changes in the talent development system are imperative. Key pointsThe relative age influences not only the participation in youth ski

  8. L’innovation au pluriel des cré-acteurs alpins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andréa Finger-Stich

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available La capacité d’innovation pour un développement durable des territoires alpins ne peut dépendre uniquement de conditions économiques, légales et politiques définies par les Etats aux échelles nationale et internationale. Elle dépend aussi de conditions locales, qui situent historiquement et géographiquement les acteurs dans une continuité de relations sociales et écologiques. Cette perspective accentue l’importance de la dimension collective, donc organisationnelle, du processus d’innovation, allant de l’imagination, puis au développement, à la réalisation – voire la diffusion – d’une nouvelle pratique. Le point de vue de cet article est qu’une innovation, pour contribuer au développement durable des Alpes, doit changer les relations écologique, politique, sociale et culturelle, qui engagent les acteurs du territoire. Ce changement affecte tant l’objet territoire que le sujet acteur du territoire. C’est pourquoi, innover dans les Alpes revient aussi à innover les Alpes et les acteurs alpins(Cosalp, 2008. Sur la base d’une recherche sur la participation des populations locales dans la gestion de forêts communales alpines, l’article relève l’importance des interactions locales impliquant les acteurs d’occupations, genres, âges et origines divers1.The capacity to innovate for a sustainable development of alpine territories cannot depend only on economic, legal and political conditions defined by the State at national and international levels. It depends also on local conditions that situate historically and geographically the actors in a continuity of social and ecological relationships. This approach highlights the collective - thus organisational - dimensions of the innovation process, including the imagination, the development, the implementation and even the diffusion of a new practice. Our point of view is that for contributing to the sustainable development of the Alps, innovations need to

  9. Anterior cruciate ligament injury/reinjury in alpine ski racing: a narrative review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordan MJ

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Matthew J Jordan,1 Per Aagaard,2 Walter Herzog1 1Human Performance Laboratory, The University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada; 2Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, SDU Muscle Research Cluster (SMRC, University of Southern Denmark, Odense M, Denmark Abstract: The purpose of the present review was to: 1 provide an overview of the current understanding on the epidemiology, etiology, risk factors, and prevention methods for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL injury in alpine ski racing; and 2 provide an overview of what is known pertaining to ACL reinjury and return to sport after ACL injury in alpine ski racing. Given that most of the scientific studies on ACL injuries in alpine ski racing have been descriptive, and that very few studies contributed higher level scientific evidence, a nonsystematic narrative review was employed. Three scholarly databases were searched for articles on ACL injury or knee injury in alpine ski racing. Studies were classified according to their relevance in relation to epidemiology, etiology, risk factors, and return to sport/reinjury prevention. Alpine ski racers (skiers were found to be at high risk for knee injuries, and ACL tears were the most frequent diagnosis. Three primary ACL injury mechanism were identified that involved tibial internal rotation and anteriorly directed shear forces from ski equipment and the environment. While trunk muscle strength imbalance and genetics were found to be predictive of ACL injuries in development-level skiers, there was limited scientific data on ACL injury risk factors among elite skiers. Based on expert opinion, research on injury risk factors should focus on equipment design, course settings/speed, and athlete factors (eg, fitness. While skiers seem to make a successful recovery following ACL injury, there may be persistent neuromuscular deficits. Future research efforts should be directed toward prospective studies on ACL injury/reinjury prevention in both

  10. To Which Extent can Aerosols Affect Alpine Mixed-Phase Clouds?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henneberg, O.; Lohmann, U.

    2017-12-01

    Aerosol-cloud interactions constitute a high uncertainty in regional climate and changing weather patterns. Such uncertainties are due to the multiple processes that can be triggered by aerosol especially in mixed-phase clouds. Mixed-phase clouds most likely result in precipitation due to the formation of ice crystals, which can grow to precipitation size. Ice nucleating particles (INPs) determine how fast these clouds glaciate and form precipitation. The potential for INP to transfer supercooled liquid clouds to precipitating clouds depends on the available humidity and supercooled liquid. Those conditions are determined by dynamics. Moderately high updraft velocities result in persistent mixed-phase clouds in the Swiss Alps [1], which provide an ideal testbed to investigate the effect of aerosol on precipitation in mixed-phase clouds. To address the effect of aerosols in orographic winter clouds under different dynamic conditions, we run a number of real case ensembles with the regional climate model COSMO on a horizontal resolution of 1.1 km. Simulations with different INP concentrations within the range observed at the GAW research station Jungfraujoch in the Swiss Alps are conducted and repeated within the ensemble. Microphysical processes are described with a two-moment scheme. Enhanced INP concentrations enhance the precipitation rate of a single precipitation event up to 20%. Other precipitation events of similar strength are less affected by the INP concentration. The effect of CCNs is negligible for precipitation from orographic winter clouds in our case study. There is evidence for INP to change precipitation rate and location more effectively in stronger dynamic regimes due to the enhanced potential to transfer supercooled liquid to ice. The classification of the ensemble members according to their dynamics will quantify the interaction of aerosol effects and dynamics. Reference [1] Lohmann et al, 2016: Persistence of orographic mixed-phase clouds, GRL

  11. Analysis of organic compounds in industrial and preindustrial ice samples from an Alpine glacier in Switzerland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holzinger, R.; Schwikowski, M.; Saris, L.

    2013-12-01

    With a newly developed method based on Proton-Transfer-Reaction Mass-Spectrometry (PTR-TOF 8000, Ionicon Inc., Austria) we measured organic compounds in ice samples. We analyzed 8 pre-industrial samples (1738-1747) and 10 post-industrial samples (winter 1975-1976) from the Fiescherhorn Glacier, Switzerland, and 5 firn samples from the Jungfraujoch, Switzerland. Ice cubes made from deionized water (Millipore, 18.2 MΩ.cm @ 25 °C) were used as blank samples. We detected 450 and 138 organic ions that were enhanced in the post-industrial and preindustrial samples, and their total concentration summed up to 24×12 and 3.5×1.8 μgL-1, respectively. The most abundant species in the post-industrial samples were detected at m/z ratios above 200 Da and many of these ions contained nitrogen, while the pre-industrial samples contained lower molecular weight ions (typically below 100 Da) and only a few of them contained nitrogen atoms. If this case study can be extrapolated, our results suggest that human influence significantly enhanced the organic fraction of aerosols since the onset of industrialization (by a factor of ~7). The different chemical composition suggests that the additional organic mass must be due to new sources and chemical pathways. The presented method is a strong tool to constrain organics in the preindustrial atmosphere which may have been very different from conditions prevailing in the remote contemporary atmosphere.Four major ions detected in post-industrial samples (1975/1976) Four major ions detected in pre-industrial samples (1738-1747)

  12. Luminescence properties of glaciofluvial sediments from the Bavarian Alpine Foreland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Klasen, N.; Fiebig, M.; Preusser, F.; Radtke, U.

    2006-01-01

    Dose recovery tests highlight the variation of luminescence properties for samples from different sites and sediment sources within a region. It is hence necessary to adjust parameters of the single-aliquot regenerative dose protocol for different samples to ensure complete dose recovery. Bleaching experiments demonstrate an initially faster bleaching of the quartz optical signal compared to feldspar. However, complete resetting of the optical signal of both quartz and feldspar minerals occurred within approximately the same time. Moreover, samples from different sites show significant differences in bleaching characteristics. Investigations on thermal transfer point out that potential age overestimation due to charge transfer can apparently be neglected for the samples under consideration

  13. Development of wind turbines for safe operation in alpine environments - Annual report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barber, S.; Abhari, R.

    2009-08-15

    Many favourable sites for wind farms, particularly in the Swiss Alps, are located in cold, wet regions where the build-up of ice is a risk and therefore limits the installation of wind turbines. The aim of this work is to quantify and understand in detail the effects of blade icing on wind turbine performance and to propose mitigation strategies. The project is unique in that it is carried out using a multi-disciplinary approach that combines (1) analysis of field data, (2) controlled experiments on a sub-scale wind turbine model and (3) 3D Computational Fluid Dynamics. In part (1) the wind data and full-scale wind turbine power and icing measurements from the Alpine Test Site Guetsch over one year are analysed. Icing on the blades is estimated to cause approximately a 2% loss in Annual Energy Production (AEP). Other losses due to the particular location of the turbine in complex terrain are found to reduce the expected AEP by up to 23%. These major losses must be further investigated in controlled experiments. The analysis of photographs of ice on the blades, alongside numerical simulations, enables five ice geometries to be defined for Guetsch atmospheric conditions (altitude: 2331 m above sea level). One further 'extreme' ice shape is also defined, which is representative of ice formed on wind turbines installed at lower altitude sites such as the Berne Jura (altitude: 800 to 1500 m). In part (2), experiments are undertaken in the new sub-scale wind turbine test facility at ETH Zuerich using a novel method to quantify performance. The defined ice shapes are attached to the blades and the performance compared. The five shapes representative of the ice formed at Guetsch are found to reduce the Annual Energy Production by up to 2%. However, the 'extreme' ice shape could result in a loss in Annual Energy Production of up to 17%. Furthermore, the presence of ice on the most outboard 5% of the blade is found to be key to performance. Ice removal or

  14. Alpine ski and snowboarding traumatic injuries: incidence, injury patterns, and risk factors for 10 years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McBeth, Paul B; Ball, Chad G; Mulloy, Robert H; Kirkpatrick, Andrew W

    2009-05-01

    Alpine skiing and snowboarding are popular winter sports in Canada. Every year participation in these activities results in traumatic injury. The purpose of this study was to identify the incidence and injury patterns, as well as risk factors associated with ski and snowboarding injuries. A comprehensive 10-year retrospective review of Alpine ski and snowboarding injuries from 1996 to 2006 was conducted. The Alberta Trauma Registry was used as the primary source of data. A total of 196 patients (56.6% skiers, 43.4% snowboarders) were identified as having major traumatic injuries (Injury Severity Score, >or=12). Forty-three patients required intensive care unit support. The majority of injuries were related to falls and collisions with natural objects. Head injuries were most common, followed by chest, spinal, and extremity trauma. Seventy-nine patients required emergency surgery. Skiing and snowboarding represent activities with high potential for traumatic injury. Safety initiatives should be developed to target this population.

  15. Hemiparasite abundance in an alpine treeline ecotone increases in response to atmospheric CO(2) enrichment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hättenschwiler, Stephan; Zumbrunn, Thomas

    2006-02-01

    Populations of the annual hemiparasites Melampyrum pratense L. and Melampyrum sylvaticum L. were studied at the treeline in the Swiss Alps after 3 years of in situ CO(2) enrichment. The total density of Melampyrum doubled to an average of 44 individuals per square meter at elevated CO(2) compared to ambient CO(2). In response to elevated CO(2), the height of the more abundant and more evenly distributed M. pratense increased by 20%, the number of seeds per fruit by 21%, and the total seed dry mass per fruit by 27%, but the individual seed size did not change. These results suggest that rising atmospheric CO(2) may stimulate the reproductive output and increase the abundance of Melampyrum in the alpine treeline ecotone. Because hemiparasites can have important effects on community dynamics and ecosystem processes, notably the N cycle, changing Melampyrum abundance may potentially influence the functioning of alpine ecosystems in a future CO(2)-rich atmosphere.

  16. Dating the past 7000 years of major earthquakes on the Alpine Fault, New Zealand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clark, KJ.; Biasi, G.

    2009-01-01

    The Alpine Fault, New Zealand, is a major plate boundary fault that accommodates two thirds of the motion between the Australian and Pacific plates. The Hokuri Stream locality at the southern end of the Alpine Fault has the potential to contain a long record of earthquakes. The field component of this study involved the description, measurement and sampling of multiple river bank outcrops of the Hokuri sedimentary sequence. Sampling was undertaken by two approaches: discrete sediment sampling and continuous push-core sampling. Radiocarbon samples were processed at the Rafter Radiocarbon Laboratory, New Zealand. 123 samples were dated and the most commonly dated organic fractions were individual leaves, reeds, and seeds. 15 refs., 6 figs.

  17. PV plants for Alpine huts: Installation and operating experience at seven ENEL plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Belli, G.; Iliceto, A.; Previ, A.

    1988-01-01

    The problem of supplying electric power to isolated users far from the electricity distribution grid is one of general interest. Such consumers are nowadays generally supplied with electricity produced by small diesel generator-sets, and only recently have photovoltaic arrays and wind-turbines offered an alternative to the internal combustion engine. ENEL, as a State-owned electricity utility, is interested in the development of this particular application of renewable energy sources. Enlarging a low-voltage distribution network to connect consumers whose power requirements are extremely low (about 1000 kWh/year) may, in certain conditions, be uneconomical, both for the utility, which has to absorb most of the expense involved in construction and maintenance, and for the consumer himself. The paper reports the design criteria, the tests and the problems encountered in electrifying seven alpine huts belonging to CAI (Italian Alpine Club)

  18. Global warming in the context of 2000 years of Australian alpine temperature and snow cover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGowan, Hamish; Callow, John Nikolaus; Soderholm, Joshua; McGrath, Gavan; Campbell, Micheline; Zhao, Jian-Xin

    2018-03-13

    Annual resolution reconstructions of alpine temperatures are rare, particularly for the Southern Hemisphere, while no snow cover reconstructions exist. These records are essential to place in context the impact of anthropogenic global warming against historical major natural climate events such as the Roman Warm Period (RWP), Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) and Little Ice Age (LIA). Here we show for a marginal alpine region of Australia using a carbon isotope speleothem reconstruction, warming over the past five decades has experienced equivalent magnitude of temperature change and snow cover decline to the RWP and MCA. The current rate of warming is unmatched for the past 2000 years and seasonal snow cover is at a minimum. On scales of several decades, mean maximum temperatures have undergone considerable change ≈ ± 0.8 °C highlighting local scale susceptibility to rapid temperature change, evidence of which is often masked in regional to hemisphere scale temperature reconstructions.

  19. Preserved organic matter in the Serpentinized Ocean-Continent Transition of Alpine Tethys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mateeva, T.; Wolff, G. A.; Kusznir, N.; Manatschal, G.; Wheeler, J.

    2017-12-01

    Serpentinization occurs at slow-spreading ocean ridges and magma-poor rifted continental margins. At modern hydrothermal vents, serpentinization has been observed to support hydrogen-driven microbial environments including methanotrophic biosystems. An important question is: "Are such bio-systems locally restricted to hydrothermal vents or are they more pervasive, being linked with the exhumation of serpentinized mantle at the seafloor?" Fieldwork sampling of km scale exposures of orogenically exhumed serpentinized mantle in the Alps allows 3D mantle sampling that is not possible at ocean ridges and provides an opportunity to investigate the organic matter in an ophiolite sequence relative to the seafloor. Samples from the fossil Tethyan OCT, exhumed during Alpine collisional orogeny, have been examined for the presence or absence of biomarkers typical of methanotrophy within serpentinized exhumed mantle. Samples from the Totalp unit, Tasna nappe and Platta unit of the Eastern Swiss Alps and Chenaillet in the Western Alps from the Tethyan magma-poor OCT were selected for analysis because they have little Alpine deformation and underwent only low-grade Alpine metamorphism. Hand specimens and cores taken from these locations have been analysed to search for the presence or absence of biomarkers in the serpentinite and its overlying lithologies. Thin sections of samples from these OCT locations reveal multiple serpentinization events and calcification phases. All the lithologies sampled show the presence of hydrocarbons such as n-alkanes, low molecular weight polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs, of mixed petrogenic and pyrogenic source), hopanes, steranes (of marine origin), and branched alkanes (pristane and phytane, non-specific marine origin). The identifiable biomarkers and the isotopic data are consistent with organic matter of a marine origin and do not provide any evidence for a methanotrophic bio-system. It is noteworthy that basement mantle rocks still

  20. Geothermal state of the deep Western Alpine Molasse Basin, France-Switzerland

    OpenAIRE

    Chelle-Michou, C; Do Couto, D; Moscariello, A; Renard, Philippe; Rusillon, E

    2018-01-01

    Over the last few years the Western Alpine Molasse Basin (WAMB) has been attracting large institutional, industrial and scientific interest to evaluate the feasibility of geothermal energy production. However, the thermal state of the basin, which is instrumental to the development of such geothermal projects, has remained to date poorly known. Here, we compile and correct temperature measurements (mostly bottom hole temperature) from 26 existing well data mostly acquired during former hydroc...

  1. Course Setting as a Prevention Measure for Overuse Injuries of the Back in Alpine Ski Racing

    OpenAIRE

    Sp?rri, J?rg; Kr?ll, Josef; Fasel, Benedikt; Aminian, Kamiar; M?ller, Erich

    2016-01-01

    Background: A combination of frontal bending, lateral bending, and torsion in the loaded trunk has been suggested to be a mechanism leading to overuse injuries of the back in Alpine ski racing. However, there is limited knowledge about the effect of course setting on the aforementioned back-loading patterns. Purpose: To investigate the effect of increased gate offset on the skier?s overall trunk kinematics and the occurring ground-reaction forces and to compare these variables between the com...

  2. Anterior cruciate ligament injury/reinjury in alpine ski racing: a narrative review

    OpenAIRE

    Jordan, Matthew J; Aagaard, Per; Herzog, Walter

    2017-01-01

    Matthew J Jordan,1 Per Aagaard,2 Walter Herzog1 1Human Performance Laboratory, The University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada; 2Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, SDU Muscle Research Cluster (SMRC), University of Southern Denmark, Odense M, Denmark Abstract: The purpose of the present review was to: 1) provide an overview of the current understanding on the epidemiology, etiology, risk factors, and prevention methods for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in alpine ...

  3. Geochemistry of the triassic-Jurassic alpine continental deposits: origin and geodynamic implications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Poinssot, Ch.; Goffe, B.; Toulhoat, P.

    1997-01-01

    Mid-Triassic to mid-Jurassic Alpine continental deposits are known all along the former Brianconnais peninsula. They constitutes small karstic pockets on the thick Triassic calcareous series and their chemistry evolves between bauxites s.s. and aluminous argilites. Most of them were deeply buried during the Alpine orogenesis as recorded by HP-LT metamorphism. Only the deposits of the Pre-Alps were submitted to lower PT conditions (diagenesis-anchizone boundary) during their incorporation in the thrust wedge of the 'Prealpes Medianes'. These formations are known for containing traces of light elements (Li, F) and heavy elements (Zn, REE...). In order to understand the possible origin of these elements, we studied the geochemistry (major and trace elements) of two representative deposits, one in Vanoise which underwent a HP-LT metamorphism, the other one in the Pre-Alps, which was only submitted to diagenesis. Trace elements patterns allow us to preclude an autochthonous origin for these formations as well as the intervention of metasomatism, and demonstrate a granitic origin. Moreover, discrimination diagrams for granites indicate an obvious alkaline granitic origin for these deposits. In the framework of the Alpine palaeogeography, we then discuss the possible granitic sources. Two main sources can be invoked: either a Brianconnais s.s. formation (crystalline or sediments), which supposes a more intense erosion as classically admitted, or more distant sources such as the Corso-Sardinian alkaline acid-rocks, which supposes a complex palaeo-hydrography. This confirms the sedimentary origin of the light elements in these rocks and precludes the intervention of light elements-rich hydrothermal fluids migrating through Alpine metamorphic units. (author)

  4. POPs and other persistent organic compounds in fish from remote alpine lakes in the Grisons, Switzerland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schmid, P.; Gujer, E.; Zennegg, M. [Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (EMPA), Duebendorf (Switzerland); Lanfranchi, M. [Agency for Nature and Environment of the Canton Grisons, Chur (Switzerland)

    2004-09-15

    Global transfer of persistent semivolatile organic compounds, such as persistent organic pollutants (POPs), is effected by long-range atmospheric transport in combination with condensation and volatilization processes. Within the global atmosphere, evaporation in warm latitudes and deposition in cold latitudes leads to a transfer of contaminants towards the poles. The phenomenon of atmospheric migration of semivolatile chemicals, such as PCB and DDT, has been predicted and associated with the term ''global distillation'' by Goldberg, and the model has been extensively reviewed by Mackay and Wania. For comparatively less volatile components such as PCDD/F and PBDE, particle-bound deposition is the dominating transfer mechanism. Therefore, the input of these compounds in remote alpine regions without point sources is controlled by atmospheric deposition (dry and wet) and condensation. For organochlorine compounds, such as pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), it has been shown that accumulation is enhanced by temperaturecontrolled condensation also in alpine regions with low average temperatures. The hydrology of remote alpine lakes is determined by direct atmospheric deposition feeding and feeding with water from the surrounding catchment area, without significant inputs from tributaries or from nearby anthropogenic activities. Fish dwelling in these ecosystems represents an excellent indicator for the long-term input of bioaccumulating contaminants, such as POPs and other persistent organic compounds. In the present study, fish from 7 alpine lakes from the Grisons (Switzerland) situated between 2062 and 2637 m above sea level were investigated. With the exception of Laghetto Moesola which is situated adjacent to a mountain pass road, input from local anthropogenic emissions can be excluded for these lakes.

  5. Variability of Cenococcum colonization and its ecophysiological significance for young conifers at alpine-treeline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasselquist, Niles; Germino, Matthew J; McGonigle, Terence; Smith, William K

    2005-03-01

    * Plants establishing in environments that are marginal for growth could be particularly sensitive to mycorrhizal associations. We investigated ectomycorrhizal colonization and its significance for young conifers growing at, or above, their normal limits for growth, in the alpine-treeline ecotone. * Colonization of seedlings (treeline may include a below-ground, mycorrhizal component that complements previously reported effects of trees on the microclimate and ecophysiology of seedlings.

  6. Active summer carbon storage for winter persistence in trees at the cold alpine treeline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Mai-He; Jiang, Yong; Wang, Ao; Li, Xiaobin; Zhu, Wanze; Yan, Cai-Feng; Du, Zhong; Shi, Zheng; Lei, Jingpin; Schönbeck, Leonie; He, Peng; Yu, Fei-Hai; Wang, Xue

    2018-03-12

    The low-temperature limited alpine treeline is one of the most obvious boundaries in mountain landscapes. The question of whether resource limitation is the physiological mechanism for the formation of the alpine treeline is still waiting for conclusive evidence and answers. We therefore examined non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) and nitrogen (N) in treeline trees (TATs) and low-elevation trees (LETs) in both summer and winter in 11 alpine treeline cases ranging from subtropical monsoon to temperate continental climates across Eurasia. We found that tissue N concentration did not decrease with increasing elevation at the individual treeline level, but the mean root N concentration was lower in TATs than in LETs across treelines in summer. The TATs did not have lower tissue NSC concentrations than LETs in summer. However, the present study with multiple tree species across a large geographical scale, for the first time, revealed a common phenomenon that TATs had significantly lower NSC concentration in roots but not in the aboveground tissues than LETs in winter. Compared with LETs, TATs exhibited both a passive NSC storage in aboveground tissues in excess of carbon demand and an active starch storage in roots at the expense of growth reduction during the growing season. This starch accumulation disappeared in winter. Our results highlight some important aspects of the N and carbon physiology in relation to season in trees at their upper limits. Whether or to what extent the disadvantages of winter root NSC and summer root N level of TATs affect the growth of treeline trees and the alpine treeline formation needs to be further studied.

  7. Alpine crossroads or origin of genetic diversity? Comparative phylogeography of two sympatric microgastropod species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander M Weigand

    Full Text Available The Alpine Region, constituting the Alps and the Dinaric Alps, has played a major role in the formation of current patterns of biodiversity either as a contact zone of postglacial expanding lineages or as the origin of genetic diversity. In our study, we tested these hypotheses for two widespread, sympatric microgastropod taxa--Carychium minimum O.F. Müller, 1774 and Carychium tridentatum (Risso, 1826 (Gastropoda, Eupulmonata, Carychiidae--by using COI sequence data and species potential distribution models analyzed in a statistical phylogeographical framework. Additionally, we examined disjunct transatlantic populations of those taxa from the Azores and North America. In general, both Carychium taxa demonstrate a genetic structure composed of several differentiated haplotype lineages most likely resulting from allopatric diversification in isolated refugial areas during the Pleistocene glacial periods. However, the genetic structure of Carychium minimum is more pronounced, which can be attributed to ecological constraints relating to habitat proximity to permanent bodies of water. For most of the Carychium lineages, the broader Alpine Region was identified as the likely origin of genetic diversity. Several lineages are endemic to the broader Alpine Region whereas a single lineage per species underwent a postglacial expansion to (recolonize previously unsuitable habitats, e.g. in Northern Europe. The source populations of those expanding lineages can be traced back to the Eastern and Western Alps. Consequently, we identify the Alpine Region as a significant 'hot-spot' for the formation of genetic diversity within European Carychium lineages. Passive dispersal via anthropogenic means best explains the presence of transatlantic European Carychium populations on the Azores and in North America. We conclude that passive (anthropogenic transport could mislead the interpretation of observed phylogeographical patterns in general.

  8. Glacial refugia, recolonization patterns and diversification forces in Alpine-endemic Megabunus harvestmen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wachter, Gregor A; Papadopoulou, Anna; Muster, Christoph; Arthofer, Wolfgang; Knowles, L Lacey; Steiner, Florian M; Schlick-Steiner, Birgit C

    2016-06-01

    The Pleistocene climatic fluctuations had a huge impact on all life forms, and various hypotheses regarding the survival of organisms during glacial periods have been postulated. In the European Alps, evidence has been found in support of refugia outside the ice shield (massifs de refuge) acting as sources for postglacial recolonization of inner-Alpine areas. In contrast, evidence for survival on nunataks, ice-free areas above the glacier, remains scarce. Here, we combine multivariate genetic analyses with ecological niche models (ENMs) through multiple timescales to elucidate the history of Alpine Megabunus harvestmen throughout the ice ages, a genus that comprises eight high-altitude endemics. ENMs suggest two types of refugia throughout the last glacial maximum, inner-Alpine survival on nunataks for four species and peripheral refugia for further four species. In some geographic regions, the patterns of genetic variation are consistent with long-distance dispersal out of massifs de refuge, repeatedly coupled with geographic parthenogenesis. In other regions, long-term persistence in nunataks may dominate the patterns of genetic divergence. Overall, our results suggest that glacial cycles contributed to allopatric diversification in Alpine Megabunus, both within and at the margins of the ice shield. These findings exemplify the power of ENM projections coupled with genetic analyses to identify hypotheses about the position and the number of glacial refugia and thus to evaluate the role of Pleistocene glaciations in driving species-specific responses of recolonization or persistence that may have contributed to observed patterns of biodiversity. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. What Factors Encourage Intrafamily Farm Succession in Mountain Areas? Evidence From an Alpine Valley in Italy

    OpenAIRE

    Cavicchioli, D.; Bertoni, D.; Tesser, F.; Frisio, D.G.

    2015-01-01

    Family farming plays a vital role in mountain areas. Its survival is related to multiple factors, including intrafamily farm succession. This study examined data on apple-producing family farms in an Italian Alpine valley, trying to identify which factors foster or discourage intrafamily succession and to what extent they do this, both at the farm level and from the potential successor's viewpoint. To do so, various farm, farmer, and individual characteristics were analyzed using probabilisti...

  10. Regional climate models downscaling in the Alpine area with multimodel superensemble

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Cane

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The climatic scenarios show a strong signal of warming in the Alpine area already for the mid-XXI century. The climate simulations, however, even when obtained with regional climate models (RCMs, are affected by strong errors when compared with observations, due both to their difficulties in representing the complex orography of the Alps and to limitations in their physical parametrization. Therefore, the aim of this work is to reduce these model biases by using a specific post processing statistic technique, in order to obtain a more suitable projection of climate change scenarios in the Alpine area. For our purposes we used a selection of regional climate models (RCMs runs which were developed in the framework of the ENSEMBLES project. They were carefully chosen with the aim to maximise the variety of leading global climate models and of the RCMs themselves, calculated on the SRES scenario A1B. The reference observations for the greater Alpine area were extracted from the European dataset E-OBS (produced by the ENSEMBLES project, which have an available resolution of 25 km. For the study area of Piedmont daily temperature and precipitation observations (covering the period from 1957 to the present were carefully gridded on a 14 km grid over Piedmont region through the use of an optimal interpolation technique. Hence, we applied the multimodel superensemble technique to temperature fields, reducing the high biases of RCMs temperature field compared to observations in the control period. We also proposed the application of a brand new probabilistic multimodel superensemble dressing technique, already applied to weather forecast models successfully, to RCMS: the aim was to estimate precipitation fields, with careful description of precipitation probability density functions conditioned to the model outputs. This technique allowed for reducing the strong precipitation overestimation, arising from the use of RCMs, over the Alpine chain and to

  11. A probabilistic method for streamflow projection and associated uncertainty analysis in a data sparse alpine region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Weiwei; Yang, Tao; Shi, Pengfei; Xu, Chong-yu; Zhang, Ke; Zhou, Xudong; Shao, Quanxi; Ciais, Philippe

    2018-06-01

    Climate change imposes profound influence on regional hydrological cycle and water security in many alpine regions worldwide. Investigating regional climate impacts using watershed scale hydrological models requires a large number of input data such as topography, meteorological and hydrological data. However, data scarcity in alpine regions seriously restricts evaluation of climate change impacts on water cycle using conventional approaches based on global or regional climate models, statistical downscaling methods and hydrological models. Therefore, this study is dedicated to development of a probabilistic model to replace the conventional approaches for streamflow projection. The probabilistic model was built upon an advanced Bayesian Neural Network (BNN) approach directly fed by the large-scale climate predictor variables and tested in a typical data sparse alpine region, the Kaidu River basin in Central Asia. Results show that BNN model performs better than the general methods across a number of statistical measures. The BNN method with flexible model structures by active indicator functions, which reduce the dependence on the initial specification for the input variables and the number of hidden units, can work well in a data limited region. Moreover, it can provide more reliable streamflow projections with a robust generalization ability. Forced by the latest bias-corrected GCM scenarios, streamflow projections for the 21st century under three RCP emission pathways were constructed and analyzed. Briefly, the proposed probabilistic projection approach could improve runoff predictive ability over conventional methods and provide better support to water resources planning and management under data limited conditions as well as enable a facilitated climate change impact analysis on runoff and water resources in alpine regions worldwide.

  12. Long-distance dispersal connects Dinaric-Balkan and Alpine grey wolf (Canis lupus) populations

    OpenAIRE

    Ražen, Nina; Kljun, Franc; Kos, Ivan; Krofel, Miha; Luštrik, Roman; Majić Skrbinšek, Aleksandra; Potočnik, Hubert

    2017-01-01

    In the last two centuries, persecution and deforestation caused grey wolf Canis lupus populations in Europe to decline. Recently, their numbers started to recover although most populations still remain isolated from one another. This study presents the first documented evidence of the successful reconnection of the Dinaric-Balkan and the Alpine wolf populations via long distance dispersal and subsequent reproduction. A young male wolf radiocollared in the Dinaric Mountains in July...

  13. Seasonal Dynamics of Water Use Strategy of Two Salix Shrubs in Alpine Sandy Land, Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Yajuan; Wang, Guojie; Li, Renqiang

    2016-01-01

    Water is a limiting factor for plant growth and vegetation dynamics in alpine sandy land of the Tibetan Plateau, especially with the increasing frequency of extreme precipitation events and drought caused by climate change. Therefore, a relatively stable water source from either deeper soil profiles or ground water is necessary for plant growth. Understanding the water use strategy of dominant species in the alpine sandy land ecosystem is important for vegetative rehabilitation and ecological restoration. The stable isotope methodology of δD, δ18O, and δ13C was used to determine main water source and long-term water use efficiency of Salix psammophila and S. cheilophila, two dominant shrubs on interdune of alpine sandy land in northeastern Tibetan Plateau. The root systems of two Salix shrubs were investigated to determine their distribution pattern. The results showed that S. psammophila and S. cheilophila absorbed soil water at different soil depths or ground water in different seasons, depending on water availability and water use strategy. Salix psammophila used ground water during the growing season and relied on shallow soil water recharged by rain in summer. Salix cheilophila used ground water in spring and summer, but relied on shallow soil water recharged by rain in spring and deep soil water recharged by ground water in fall. The two shrubs had dimorphic root systems, which is coincident with their water use strategy. Higher biomass of fine roots in S. psammophila and longer fine roots in S. cheilophila facilitated to absorb water in deeper soil layers. The long-term water use efficiency of two Salix shrubs increased during the dry season in spring. The long-term water use efficiency was higher in S. psammophila than in S. cheilophila, as the former species is better adapted to semiarid climate of alpine sandy land.

  14. The evolution of dwarf shrubs in alpine environments: a case study of Alchemilla in Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gehrke, Berit; Kandziora, Martha; Pirie, Michael D

    2016-01-01

    Alpine and arctic environments worldwide, including high mountains, are dominated by short-stature woody plants (dwarf shrubs). This conspicuous life form asserts considerable influence on local environmental conditions above the treeline, creating its own microhabitat. This study reconstructs the evolution of dwarf shrubs in Alchemilla in the African tropical alpine environment, where they represent one of the largest clades and are among the most common and abundant plants. Different phylogenetic inference methods were used with plastid and nuclear DNA sequence markers, molecular dating (BEAST and RelTime), analyses of diversification rate shifts (MEDUSA and BAMM) and ancestral character and area reconstructions (Mesquite). It is inferred that African Alchemilla species originated following long-distance dispersal to tropical East Africa, but that the evolution of dwarf shrubs occurred in Ethiopia and in tropical East Africa independently. Establishing a timeframe is challenging given inconsistencies in age estimates, but it seems likely that they originated in the Pleistocene, or at the earliest in the late Miocene. The adaptation to alpine-like environments in the form of dwarf shrubs has apparently not led to enhanced diversification rates. Ancestral reconstructions indicate reversals in Alchemilla from plants with a woody base to entirely herbaceous forms, a transition that is rarely reported in angiosperms. Alchemilla is a clear example of in situ tropical alpine speciation. The dwarf shrub life form typical of African Alchemilla has evolved twice independently, further indicating its selective advantage in these harsh environments. However, it has not influenced diversification, which, although recent, was not rapid. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Regional climate models downscaling in the Alpine area with multimodel superensemble

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cane, D.; Barbarino, S.; Renier, L. A.; Ronchi, C.

    2013-05-01

    The climatic scenarios show a strong signal of warming in the Alpine area already for the mid-XXI century. The climate simulations, however, even when obtained with regional climate models (RCMs), are affected by strong errors when compared with observations, due both to their difficulties in representing the complex orography of the Alps and to limitations in their physical parametrization. Therefore, the aim of this work is to reduce these model biases by using a specific post processing statistic technique, in order to obtain a more suitable projection of climate change scenarios in the Alpine area. For our purposes we used a selection of regional climate models (RCMs) runs which were developed in the framework of the ENSEMBLES project. They were carefully chosen with the aim to maximise the variety of leading global climate models and of the RCMs themselves, calculated on the SRES scenario A1B. The reference observations for the greater Alpine area were extracted from the European dataset E-OBS (produced by the ENSEMBLES project), which have an available resolution of 25 km. For the study area of Piedmont daily temperature and precipitation observations (covering the period from 1957 to the present) were carefully gridded on a 14 km grid over Piedmont region through the use of an optimal interpolation technique. Hence, we applied the multimodel superensemble technique to temperature fields, reducing the high biases of RCMs temperature field compared to observations in the control period. We also proposed the application of a brand new probabilistic multimodel superensemble dressing technique, already applied to weather forecast models successfully, to RCMS: the aim was to estimate precipitation fields, with careful description of precipitation probability density functions conditioned to the model outputs. This technique allowed for reducing the strong precipitation overestimation, arising from the use of RCMs, over the Alpine chain and to reproduce well the

  16. Modelling and simulation of floods in alpine catchments equipped with complex hydropower schemes

    OpenAIRE

    Bieri, Martin; Schleiss, Anton; Frankhauser, A.

    2010-01-01

    The simulation of run-off in an alpine catchment area equipped with complex hydropower schemes is presented by the help of an especially developed tool, called Routing System, which can combine hydrological modelling and operation of hydraulic elements. In the hydrological forecasting tool tridimensional rainfall, temperature and evapotranspiration distributions are taken into account for simulating the dominant hydrological processes, as glacier melt, snow pack constitution and melt, soil in...

  17. Seasonality in the alpine water logistic system on a regional basis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanham, D.; Fleischhacker, E.; Rauch, W.

    2007-08-01

    In this study the water logistic system is defined as the interaction of the subsystems water resources, water supply and water demand in terms of water flow. The analysis of a water balance in alpine regions is strongly influenced by both temporal and spatial seasonal fluctuations within these elements, the latter due to the vertical dimension of mountainous areas. Therefore the determination of different seasons plays a key role within the assessment of alpine water logistic systems. In most studies a water balance for a certain region is generated on an annual, monthly or classic 4-seasonal basis. This paper presents a GIS-based multi criteria method to determine an optimal winter and summer period, taking into account different water demand stakeholders, alpine hydrology and the characteristic present day water supply infrastructure of the Alps. Technical snow-making and (winter) tourism were identified as the two major seasonal water demand stakeholders in the study area, which is the Kitzbueheler region in the Austrian Alps. Based upon the geographical datasets mean snow cover start and end date, winter was defined as the period from December to March, and summer as the period from April to November.

  18. Water and Sediment Output Evaluation Using Cellular Automata on Alpine Catchment: Soana, Italy - Test Case

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasculli, Antonio; Audisio, Chiara; Sciarra, Nicola

    2017-12-01

    In the alpine contest, the estimation of the rainfall (inflow) and the discharge (outflow) data are very important in order to, at least, analyse historical time series at catchment scale; determine the hydrological maximum and minimum estimate flood and drought frequency. Hydrological researches become a precious source of information for various human activities, in particular for land use management and planning. Many rainfall- runoff models have been proposed to reflect steady, gradually-varied flow condition inside a catchment. In these last years, the application of Reduced Complexity Models (RCM) has been representing an excellent alternative resource for evaluating the hydrological response of catchments, within a period of time up to decades. Hence, this paper is aimed at the discussion of the application of the research code CAESAR, based on cellular automaton (CA) approach, in order to evaluate the water and the sediment outputs from an alpine catchment (Soana, Italy), selected as test case. The comparison between the predicted numerical results, developed through parametric analysis, and the available measured data are discussed. Finally, the analysis of a numerical estimate of the sediment budget over ten years is presented. The necessity of a fast, but reliable numerical support when the measured data are not so easily accessible, as in Alpine catchments, is highlighted.

  19. Photosynthesis and photosynthetic electron flow in the alpine evergreen species Quercus guyavifolia in winter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Huang

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Alpine evergreen broadleaf tree species must regularly cope with low night temperatures in winter. However, the effects of low night temperatures on photosynthesis in alpine evergreen broadleaf tree species are unclear. We measured the diurnal photosynthetic parameters before and after cold snap for leaves of Quercus guyavifolia growing in its native habitat at 3290 m. On 11 and 12 December 2013 (before cold snap, stomatal and mesophyll conductances (gs and gm, CO2 assimilation rate (An, and total electron flow through PSII (JPSII at daytime were maintained at high levels. The major action of alternative electron flow was to provide extra ATP for primary metabolisms. On 20 December 2013 (after cold snap, the diurnal values of gs, gm, An and JPSII at daytime largely decreased, mainly due to the large decrease in night air temperature. Meanwhile, the ratio of photorespiration and alternative electron flow to JPSII largely increased on 20 December. Furthermore, the high levels of alternative electron flow were accompanied with low rates of extra ATP production. A quantitative limitation analysis reveals that the gm limitation increased on 20 December with decreased night air temperature. Therefore, the night air temperature was an important determinant of stomatal/mesophyll conductance and photosynthesis. When photosynthesis is inhibited following freezing night temperatures, photorespiration and alternative electron flow are important electron sinks, which support the role of photorespiration and alternative electron flow in photoportection for alpine plants under low temperatures.

  20. Prevalence and Molecular Identification of Nematode and Dipteran Parasites in an Australian Alpine Grasshopper (Kosciuscola tristis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umbers, Kate D. L.; Byatt, Lachlan J.; Hill, Nichola J.; Bartolini, Remo J.; Hose, Grant C.; Herberstein, Marie E.; Power, Michelle L

    2015-01-01

    In alpine Australia, Orthoptera are abundant, dominant herbivores, important prey species, and hosts for parasites and parasitoids. Despite the central role of orthopterans in alpine ecosystems, the impact of parasites on orthopteran populations is under-explored. In this study we describe the relationship between parasite prevalence and host sex, body size and year of collection. We accessed an existing, preserved collection of 640 Kosciuscola tristis collected from across its range between 2007 and 2011. Upon dissection we collected juvenile parasites and used molecular tools to identify them to three families (Nematoda; Mermithidae, and Arthropoda: Diptera: Tachinidae and Sarcophagidae). The prevalence of nematodes ranged from 3.5% to 25.0% and dipterans from 2.4% to 20.0%. Contrary to predictions, we found no associations between parasite prevalence and grasshopper sex or size. Although there was an association between prevalence of both nematodes and dipterans with year of collection, this is likely driven by a small sample size in the first year. Our results provide a foundation for future studies into parasite prevalence within the alpine environment and the abiotic factors that might influence these associations. PMID:25919745

  1. Within-season variability of fighting behaviour in an Australian alpine grasshopper.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muschett, Giselle; Umbers, Kate D L; Herberstein, Marie E

    2017-01-01

    Throughout the breeding season, changing environmental and biological conditions can lead to variation in the reproductive landscape of many species. In alpine environments temperature is a key driver of behaviour for small ectotherms such as insects, but variable biotic factors such as mate quality and availability can also influence behaviour. Kosicuscola tristis is a small semelparous grasshopper of the Australian alpine region. In a rare behaviour among grasshoppers, K. tristis males engage in vigorous fights over access to females, involving mandible displays, kicking, biting and grappling. In this study we describe the variation in fighting behaviour of K. tristis throughout the breeding season and test several hypotheses related to temperature, body size, mating behaviour, and female quality. We show that K. tristis males are more aggressive toward each other at the end of the breeding season than at the beginning. This increased aggression is associated with decreased daily average temperatures (from ~20°C to ~9°C), decreased mating activity, increased female fecundity, and an unexpected trend toward an increase in female-to-male aggression. These results suggest that K. tristis is likely under increased selective pressure to time key life cycle events with favourable biological and climatic conditions. The stochastic nature of alpine environments combined with a relatively short life span and breeding season, as well as limited mating opportunities toward the end of the season may have contributed to the evolution of this extraordinary mating system.

  2. Alpine forest-tundra ecotone response to temperature change,Sayan Mountains, Siberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranson, K Jon; Kharuk, Vyetcheslav I.

    2007-01-01

    Models of climate change predict shifts of vegetation zones. Tree response to climate trends is most likely observable in the forest-tundra ecotone, where temperature mainly limits tree growth. There is evidence of vegetation change on the northern treeline However, observations on alpine tree line response are controversial. In this NEESPI related study we show that during the past three decades in the forest-tundra ecotone of the Sayan Mountains, Siberia, there was an increase in forest stand crown closure, regeneration propagation into the alpine tundra, and transformation of prostrate Siberian pine and fir into arboreal forms. We found that these changes occurred since the mid 1980s, and strongly correlates with positive temperature (and to a lesser extent, precipitation) trends. Improving climate for forest growth( i.e., warmer temperatures and increased precipitation) provides competitive advantages to Siberian pine in the alpine forest-tundra ecotone, as well as in areas typically dominated by larch, where it has been found to be forming a secondary canopy layer. Substitution of deciduous conifer, larch, for evergreen conifers, decreases albedo and provides positive feedback for temperature increase.

  3. ALPINE VEGETATION ECOTONE DYNAMICS IN GANGOTRI CATCHMENT USING REMOTE SENSING TECHNIQUES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. P. Singh

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Analysis of the satellite imagery reveals two different perspectives of the vegetation ecotone dynamics in Gangotri catchment. On one hand, there is evidence of upward shift in the alpine tree and vegetation ecotone over three decades. On the other hand, there has been densification happening at the past treeline. The time series fAPAR data of two decades from NOAA-AVHRR confirms the greening trend in the area. The density of trees in Chirbasa has gone up whereas in Bhojbasa there is no significant change in NDVI but the number of groves has increased. Near Gaumukh the vegetal activity has not shown any significant change. We found that the treeline extracted from satellite imagery has moved up about 327±80m and other vegetation line has moved up about 401±77m in three decades. The vertical rate of treeline shift is found to be 11m/yr with reference to 1976 treeline; however, this can be 5m/yr if past toposheet records (1924 – 45 are considered as reliable reference. However, the future IPCC scenario based bioclimatic fundamental niche modelling of the Betula utilis (a surrogate to alpine treeline suggests that treeline could be moving upward with an average rate of 3m/yr. This study not only confirms that there is an upward shift of vegetation in the alpine zone of Himalayas, but also indicate that old vegetation ecotones have grown denser

  4. Estimation of Biomass Dynamics in Alpine Treeline Ecotone using Airborne Lidar and Repeat Photography

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCaffrey, D. R.; Hopkinson, C.

    2016-12-01

    Historic photographs provide visual records of landscapes which pre-date aerial and satellite observations, but analysis of these photographs has largely been qualitative due to varying spatial scale within an oblique image. Recent technological advances, such as the WSL monoplotting tool, provide the ability to georeference single oblique images, allowing for quantitative spatial analysis of land cover change between historic photographs and contemporary repeat photographs. The WSL monoplotting tool was used to compare alpine land cover change between 12 photographs from a 1914 survey of the West Castle valley (Alberta, Canada; 49.3° N, 114.4° W) and 12 repeat photographs, collected in 2006 by the Mountain Legacy Project. We tested for correlations between land cover shifts over the 92 year observation period and geomorphic controls (e.g. elevation, slope, aspect), with a focus on vegetative change in the alpine treeline ecotone (ATE). A model of above ground biomass was generated using an airborne lidar observation of the valley (2014) and ground validated measurements of tree height, diameter at breast height, and leaf area index from 25 plots (400 m2). By creating a high resolution map of ATE dynamics over a 92 year interval and incorporating a model of above ground biomass, the relative magnitude of anthropogenic, orographic, and climatic controls on ATE can be explored. This research provides a unique opportunity to understand the impact that continued atmospheric warming could have on vegetative boundaries in sensitive alpine systems, such as the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains.

  5. Warming-induced upward migration of the alpine treeline in the Changbai Mountains, northeast China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Haibo; Liu, Jie; Li, Mai-He; Büntgen, Ulf; Yang, Yue; Wang, Lei; Wu, Zhengfang; He, Hong S

    2018-03-01

    Treeline responses to environmental changes describe an important phenomenon in global change research. Often conflicting results and generally too short observations are, however, still challenging our understanding of climate-induced treeline dynamics. Here, we use a state-of-the-art dendroecological approach to reconstruct long-term changes in the position of the alpine treeline in relation to air temperature at two sides in the Changbai Mountains in northeast China. Over the past 160 years, the treeline increased by around 80 m, a process that can be divided into three phases of different rates and drives. The first phase was mainly influenced by vegetation recovery after an eruption of the Tianchi volcano in 1702. The slowly upward shift in the second phase was consistent with the slowly increasing temperature. The last phase coincided with rapid warming since 1985, and shows with 33 m per 1°C, the most intense upward shift. The spatial distribution and age structure of trees beyond the current treeline confirm the latest, warming-induced upward shift. Our results suggest that the alpine treeline will continue to rise, and that the alpine tundra may disappear if temperatures will increase further. This study not only enhances mechanistic understanding of long-term treeline dynamics, but also highlights the effects of rising temperatures on high-elevation vegetation dynamics. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. A new approach for surveying the Alpine Salamander (Salamandra atra in Austria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ursula Reinthaler-Lottermoser

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available The Alpine Salamander is a small pitch black amphibian which is endemic to the European Alps and the Dinarides. It is strictly protected according to the European FFH guidelines. Despite its central role in the alpine ecosystem our actual published record in Austria is small. In order to resolve this shortcoming our project explores its distribution in Austria. It uses a participatory and community based approach to gather data. Everybody can enter and look at Alpine Salamander observations on our website www.alpensalamander.eu. This approach also allows us to establish an “oral history” of Salamander observations in the past 50 years by conducting interviews in the local community. Since July 2009 the website and salamander report database are online. From the actual data (more than 5600 records we already obtained an overview about the present distribution and data quality. The data are an excellent basis for detailed scientific studies on these remarkable amphibians. With this new and highly interactive approach science and education are combined to initiate protection measures with the public.

  7. Characterization of the shallow groundwater system in an alpine watershed: Handcart Gulch, Colorado, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahn, Katherine G.; Ge, Shemin; Caine, Jonathan S.; Manning, A.

    2008-01-01

    Water-table elevation measurements and aquifer parameter estimates are rare in alpine settings because few wells exist in these environments. Alpine groundwater systems may be a primary source of recharge to regional groundwater flow systems. Handcart Gulch is an alpine watershed in Colorado, USA comprised of highly fractured Proterozoic metamorphic and igneous rocks with wells completed to various depths. Primary study objectives include determining hydrologic properties of shallow bedrock and surficial materials, developing a watershed water budget, and testing the consistency of measured hydrologic properties and water budget by constructing a simple model incorporating groundwater and surface water for water year 2005. Water enters the study area as precipitation and exits as discharge in the trunk stream or potential recharge for the deeper aquifer. Surficial infiltration rates ranged from 0.1-6.2??0-5 m/s. Discharge was estimated at 1.28??10-3 km3. Numerical modeling analysis of single-well aquifer tests predicted lower specific storage in crystalline bedrock than in ferricrete and colluvial material (6.7??10-5-2.10??0-3 l/m). Hydraulic conductivity in crystalline bedrock was significantly lower than in colluvial and alluvial material (4.3??10-9 -2.0??10-4 m/s). Water budget results suggest that during normal precipitation and temperatures water is available to recharge the deeper groundwater flow system. ?? Springer-Verlag 2007.

  8. Technical Note: Seasonality in alpine water resources management - a regional assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanham, D.; Fleischhacker, E.; Rauch, W.

    2008-01-01

    Alpine regions are particularly affected by seasonal variations in water demand and water availability. Especially the winter period is critical from an operational point of view, as being characterised by high water demands due to tourism and low water availability due to the temporal storage of precipitation as snow and ice. The clear definition of summer and winter periods is thus an essential prerequisite for water resource management in alpine regions. This paper presents a GIS-based multi criteria method to determine the winter season. A snow cover duration dataset serves as basis for this analysis. Different water demand stakeholders, the alpine hydrology and the present day water supply infrastructure are taken into account. Technical snow-making and (winter) tourism were identified as the two major seasonal water demand stakeholders in the study area, which is the Kitzbueheler region in the Austrian Alps. Based upon different geographical datasets winter was defined as the period from December to March, and summer as the period from April to November. By determining potential regional water balance deficits or surpluses in the present day situation and in future, important management decisions such as water storage and allocation can be made and transposed to the local level.

  9. Seasonal inorganic nitrogen release in alpine lakes on the Colorado western slope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inyan, B.I.; Williams, M.W.; Tonnessen, K.; Turk, J.T.; Campbell, D.H.

    1998-01-01

    In the Rocky Mountains, the association of increases in acidic deposition with increased atmospheric loading of sulfate and direct changes in surface water chemistry has been well established. The importance, though, of increased nitrogen (N) deposition in the episodic acidification of alpine lakes and N saturation in alpine ecosystems is only beginning to be documented. In alpine areas of the Colorado Front Range, modest loadings of N in deposition have been associated with leakage of N to surface waters. On the Colorado western slope, however, no leakage of N to surface waters has been reported. A 1995 study that included early season under-ice water samples that were not available in earlier studies showed that there is, in fact, N leakage to surface waters in some western slope basins. Under-ice nitrate (NO3-) concentrations were as high as 10.5 ??q L-1, and only decreased to detection limits in September. Landscape type appears to be important in leakage of N to surface waters, which is associated with basins having steep slopes, thin soils, and large amounts of exposed bedrock. NO3- leakage compounds the existing sensitivity to episodic acidification from low acid neutralizing capacity (ANC), which is less than 40 ??eq L-1 in those basins.

  10. Stress field sensitivity analysis within Mesozoic successions in the Swiss Alpine foreland using 3-D-geomechanical-numerical models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiter, Karsten; Hergert, Tobias; Heidbach, Oliver

    2016-04-01

    The in situ stress conditions are of key importance for the evaluation of radioactive waste repositories. In stage two of the Swiss site selection program, the three siting areas of high-level radioactive waste are located in the Alpine foreland in northern Switzerland. The sedimentary succession overlays the basement, consisting of variscan crystalline rocks as well as partly preserved Permo-Carboniferous deposits in graben structures. The Mesozoic sequence represents nearly the complete era and is covered by Cenozoic Molasse deposits as well as Quaternary sediments, mainly in the valleys. The target horizon (designated host rock) is an >100 m thick argillaceous Jurassic deposit (Opalinus Clay). To enlighten the impact of site-specific features on the state of stress within the sedimentary succession, 3-D-geomechanical-numerical models with elasto-plastic rock properties are set up for three potential siting areas. The lateral extent of the models ranges between 12 and 20 km, the vertical extent is up to a depth of 2.5 or 5 km below sea level. The sedimentary sequence plus the basement are separated into 10 to 14 rock mechanical units. The Mesozoic succession is intersected by regional fault zones; two or three of them are present in each model. The numerical problem is solved with the finite element method with a resolution of 100-150 m laterally and 10-30 m vertically. An initial stress state is established for all models taking into account the depth-dependent overconsolidation ratio in Opalinus Clay in northern Switzerland. The influence of topography, rock properties, friction on the faults as well as the impact of tectonic shortening on the state of stress is investigated. The tectonic stress is implemented with lateral displacement boundary conditions, calibrated on stress data that are compiled in Northern Switzerland. The model results indicate that the stress perturbation by the topography is significant to depths greater than the relief contrast. The

  11. Soil bacterial and fungal diversity differently correlated with soil biochemistry in alpine grassland ecosystems in response to environmental changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yong; Dong, Shikui; Gao, Qingzhu; Liu, Shiliang; Ganjurjav, Hasbagan; Wang, Xuexia; Su, Xukun; Wu, Xiaoyu

    2017-03-01

    To understand effects of soil microbes on soil biochemistry in alpine grassland ecosystems under environmental changes, we explored relationships between soil microbial diversity and soil total nitrogen, organic carbon, available nitrogen and phosphorus, soil microbial biomass and soil enzyme activities in alpine meadow, alpine steppe and cultivated grassland on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau under three-year warming, enhanced precipitation and yak overgrazing. Soil total nitrogen, organic carbon and NH4-N were little affected by overgrazing, warming or enhanced precipitation in three types of alpine grasslands. Soil microbial biomass carbon and phosphorus along with the sucrase and phosphatase activities were generally stable under different treatments. Soil NO3-N, available phosphorus, urease activity and microbial biomass nitrogen were increased by overgrazing in the cultivated grassland. Soil bacterial diversity was positively correlated with, while soil fungal diversity negatively with soil microbial biomass and enzyme activities. Soil bacterial diversity was negatively correlated with, while soil fungal diversity positively with soil available nutrients. Our findings indicated soil bacteria and fungi played different roles in affecting soil nutrients and microbiological activities that might provide an important implication to understand why soil biochemistry was generally stable under environmental changes in alpine grassland ecosystems.

  12. Experimental Warming Aggravates Degradation-Induced Topsoil Drought in Alpine Meadows of The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, X.

    2017-12-01

    Climatic warming is presumed to cause topsoil drought by increasing evapotranspiration and water infiltration, and by progressively inducing land degradation in alpine meadows of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. However, how soil moisture and temperature patterns of degraded alpine meadows respond to climate warming remains unclear. A six-year continuous warming experiment was carried out in both degraded and undegraded alpine meadows in the source region of the Yangtze River. The goal was to identify the effects of climatic warming and land degradation on soil moisture (θ), soil surface temperature (Tsfc), and soil temperature (Ts). In the present study, land degradation significantly reduced θ by 4.5-6.1% at a depth of 0-100 cm (P soil surface. Experimental warming aggravated topsoil drought caused by land degradation, intensified the magnitude of degradation, and caused a positive feedback in the degraded alpine meadow ecosystem. Therefore, an immediate need exists to restore degraded alpine meadow grasslands in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau in anticipation of a warmer future.

  13. [Nitrogen bio-cycle in the alpine tundra ecosystem of Changbai Mountain and its comparison with arctic tundra].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Jing; Zhao, Jing-zhu; Deng, Hong-bing; Wu, Gang; Hao, Ying-jie; Shang, Wen-yan

    2005-03-01

    The nitrogen bio-cycle was discussed in the alpine tundra ecosystem of Changbai Mountain through compartment model. The alpine tundra of Changbai Mountain was compared with Arctic tundra by the common ratio of genus and species in this paper. It was found that the 89.3% of genus and 58.6% of species was the common between Changbai alpine tundra and Arctic tundra while 95.5% of lichen genus and 58.7% lichen species, 82.1% of moss genus and 76.3% of moss species, 93.1% of vascular bundle genus and 40.5% of vascular bundle species were the common, respectively, which made vegetation type or community to be similar between Changbai alpine tundra and Arctic tundra. The total storage of nitrogen was 65220.6 t in the vegetation-plant system of Changbai Mountain, of which soil pool amounted to 99.3%. The nitrogen storage of each compartment was as follows: the vegetation pool, litterfall pool and soil pool were 237.4 t, 145.3 t and 64837.9 t respectively. The transferable amounts of nitrogen were 131.7 t x a(-1), 58 t/a and 73.7 t x a(-1) in the aboveground plant, belowground root system and litterfall of alpine tundra ecosystem of Changbai Mountain.

  14. The relative role of dispersal and local interactions for alpine plant community diversity under simulated climate warming

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Klanderud, K.; Totland, Oe. [Norwegian Univ. of Life Science, Dept. of Ecology and Natural Resource Management, Aas (Norway)

    2007-08-15

    Most studies on factors determining diversity are conducted in temperate or warm regions, whereas studies in climatically harsh and low productivity areas, such as alpine regions, are rare. We examined the relative roles of seed availability and different biotic and abiotic factors for the diversity of an alpine plant community in southern Norway. Furthermore, because climate warming is predicted to be an important driver of alpine species diversity, we assessed how the relative impacts of dispersal and local interactions on diversity might change under experimental warming (open top chambers, OTCs). Addition of seeds from 27 regional species increased community diversity. The establishment of the species was negatively related both to the diversity of the existing system and the cover of the abundant dwarf shrub Dryas octopetala. These results show that both species dispersal limitation and local biotic interactions are important factors for alpine plant community diversity. Despite relatively harsh environmental conditions and low productivity, competition from the resident vegetation appeared to have a greater role for species establishment and diversity than facilitation and experimental warming. Higher temperature appeared to increase the negative relationship between resident species diversity and species establishment. This may suggest that climate warming can increase the role of interspecific competition for alpine plant community structure, and thus alter the long-term effects of biotic interactions on diversity. (au)

  15. Development of a spatial analysis method using ground-based repeat photography to detect changes in the alpine treeline ecotone, Glacier National Park, Montana, U.S.A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roush, W.; Munroe, Jeffrey S.; Fagre, D.B.

    2007-01-01

    Repeat photography is a powerful tool for detection of landscape change over decadal timescales. Here a novel method is presented that applies spatial analysis software to digital photo-pairs, allowing vegetation change to be categorized and quantified. This method is applied to 12 sites within the alpine treeline ecotone of Glacier National Park, Montana, and is used to examine vegetation changes over timescales ranging from 71 to 93 years. Tree cover at the treeline ecotone increased in 10 out of the 12 photo-pairs (mean increase of 60%). Establishment occurred at all sites, infilling occurred at 11 sites. To demonstrate the utility of this method, patterns of tree establishment at treeline are described and the possible causes of changes within the treeline ecotone are discussed. Local factors undoubtedly affect the magnitude and type of the observed changes, however the ubiquity of the increase in tree cover implies a common forcing mechanism. Mean minimum summer temperatures have increased by 1.5??C over the past century and, coupled with variations in the amount of early spring snow water equivalent, likely account for much of the increase in tree cover at the treeline ecotone. Lastly, shortcomings of this method are presented along with possible solutions and areas for future research. ?? 2007 Regents of the University of Colorado.

  16. Integrating the EMPD with an Alpine altitudinal training set to reconstruct climate variables in Holocene pollen records from high-altitude peat bogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furlanetto, Giulia; Badino, Federica; Brunetti, Michele; Champvillair, Elena; De Amicis, Mattia; Maggi, Valter; Pini, Roberta; Ravazzi, Cesare; Vallé, Francesca

    2016-04-01

    Temperatures and precipitation are the main environmental factors influencing vegetation and pollen production. Knowing the modern climate optima and tolerances of those plants represented in fossil assemblages and assuming that the relationships between plants and climate in the past are not dissimilar from the modern ones, fossil pollen records offer many descriptors to reconstruct past climate variables. The aim of our work is to investigate the potential of high-altitude pollen records from an Alpine peat bog (TBValter, close to the Ruitor Glacier, Western Italian Alps) for quantitative paleoclimate estimates. The idea behind is that high-altitude ecosystems are more sensitive to climate changes, especially to changes in July temperatures that severely affect the timberline ecotone. Meantime, we met with difficulties when considering the factors involved in pollen dispersal over a complex altitudinal mountain pattern, such as the Alps. We used the EMPD-European Modern Pollen Database (Davis et al., 2013) as modern training set to be compared with our high-altitude fossil site. The EMPD dataset is valuable in that it provides a large geographic coverage of main ecological and climate gradients (at sub-continental scale) but lacks in sampling of altitudinal gradients and high-altitude sites in the Alps. We therefore designed an independent altitudinal training set for the alpine valley hosting our fossil site. 27 sampling plots were selected along a 1700m-elevational transect. In a first step, each plot was provided with (i) 3 moss polsters collected following the guidelines provided by Cañellas-Boltà et al. (2009) and analyzed separately to account for differences in pollen deposition at small scale, (ii) morphometrical parameters obtained through a high-resolution DEM, and (iii) temperature and precipitation were estimated by means of weighted linear regression of the meteorological variable versus elevation, locally evaluated for each site (Brunetti et al

  17. Site Features

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — This dataset consists of various site features from multiple Superfund sites in U.S. EPA Region 8. These data were acquired from multiple sources at different times...

  18. Alpine Windharvest: development of information base regarding potentials and the necessary technical, legal and socio-economic conditions for expanding wind energy in the Alpine Space - Digital relief analysis - Abstract of work package 7

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schaffner, B.; Cattin, R. [Meteotest, Berne (Switzerland)

    2005-07-01

    This report presents an abstract of the development work carried out by the Swiss meteorology specialists METEOTEST as part of a project carried out together with the Swiss wind-energy organisation 'Suisse Eole'. The framework for the project is the EU Interreg IIIB Alpine Space Programme, a European Community Initiative Programme funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The project investigated the use of digital relief-analysis. The series of reports describes the development and use of a basic information system to aid the investigation of the technical, legal and socio-economical conditions for the use of wind energy in the alpine area. This report presents an abstract of the work done as part of the Work Package 7 of the Alpine Windharvest project.

  19. A fast semi-quantitative method for Plutonium determination in an alpine firn/ice core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabrieli, J.; Cozzi, G.; Vallelonga, P.; Schwikowski, M.; Sigl, M.; Boutron, C.; Barbante, C.

    2009-04-01

    Plutonium is present in the environment as a consequence of atmospheric nuclear tests carried out in the 1960s, nuclear weapons production and releases by the nuclear industry over the past 50 years. Plutonium, unlike uranium, is essentially anthropogenic and it was first produced and isolated in 1940 by deuteron bombardment of uranium in the cyclotron of Berkeley University. It exists in five main isotopes, 238Pu, 239Pu, 240Pu, 241Pu, 242Pu, derived from civilian and military sources (weapons production and detonation, nuclear reactors, nuclear accidents). In the environment, 239Pu is the most abundant isotope. Approximately 6 tons of 239Pu have been released into the environment as a result of 541 atmospheric weapon tests Nuclear Pu fallout has been studied in various environmental archives, such as sediments, soil and herbarium grass. Mid-latitude ice cores have been studied as well, on Mont Blanc, the Western Alps and on Belukha Glacier, Siberian Altai. We present a Pu record obtained by analyzing 52 discrete samples of an alpine firn/ice core from Colle Gnifetti (M. Rosa, 4450 m a.s.l.), dating from 1945 to 1991. The239Pu signal was recorded directly, without preliminary cleaning or preconcentration steps, using an ICP-SFMS (Thermo Element2) equipped with a desolvation system (APEX). 238UH+ interferences were negligible for U concentrations lower than 50 ppt as verified both in spiked fresh snow and pre-1940 ice samples. The shape of 239Pu profile reflects the three main periods of atmospheric nuclear weapons testing: the earliest peak starts in 1954/55 to 1958 and includes the first testing period which reached a maximum in 1958. Despite a temporary halt in testing in 1959/60, the Pu concentration decreased only by half with respect to the 1958 peak. In 1961/62 Pu concentrations rapidly increased reaching a maximum in 1963, which was about 40% more intense than the 1958 peak. After the sign of the "Limited Test Ban Treaty" between USA and URSS in 1964, Pu

  20. UAV-based Natural Hazard Management in High-Alpine Terrain - Case Studies from Austria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sotier, Bernadette; Adams, Marc; Lechner, Veronika

    2015-04-01

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) have become a standard tool for geodata collection, as they allow conducting on-demand mapping missions in a flexible, cost-effective manner at an unprecedented level of detail. Easy-to-use, high-performance image matching software make it possible to process the collected aerial images to orthophotos and 3D-terrain models. Such up-to-date geodata have proven to be an important asset in natural hazard management: Processes like debris flows, avalanches, landslides, fluvial erosion and rock-fall can be detected and quantified; damages can be documented and evaluated. In the Alps, these processes mostly originate in remote areas, which are difficult and hazardous to access, thus presenting a challenging task for RPAS data collection. In particular, the problems include finding suitable landing and piloting-places, dealing with bad or no GPS-signals and the installation of ground control points (GCP) for georeferencing. At the BFW, RPAS have been used since 2012 to aid natural hazard management of various processes, of which three case studies are presented below. The first case study deals with the results from an attempt to employ UAV-based multi-spectral remote sensing to monitor the state of natural hazard protection forests. Images in the visible and near-infrared (NIR) band were collected using modified low-cost cameras, combined with different optical filters. Several UAV-flights were performed in the 72 ha large study site in 2014, which lies in the Wattental, Tyrol (Austria) between 1700 and 2050 m a.s.l., where the main tree species are stone pine and mountain pine. The matched aerial images were analysed using different UAV-specific vitality indices, evaluating both single- and dual-camera UAV-missions. To calculate the mass balance of a debris flow in the Tyrolean Halltal (Austria), an RPAS flight was conducted in autumn 2012. The extreme alpine environment was challenging for both the mission and the evaluation of the aerial

  1. Historic records of organic compounds from a high Alpine glacier: influences of biomass burning, anthropogenic emissions, and dust transport

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Müller-Tautges

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Historic records of α-dicarbonyls (glyoxal, methylglyoxal, carboxylic acids (C6–C12 dicarboxylic acids, pinic acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, phthalic acid, 4-methylphthalic acid, and ions (oxalate, formate, calcium were determined with annual resolution in an ice core from Grenzgletscher in the southern Swiss Alps, covering the time period from 1942 to 1993. Chemical analysis of the organic compounds was conducted using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC coupled to electrospray ionization high-resolution mass spectrometry (ESI-HRMS for dicarbonyls and long-chain carboxylic acids and ion chromatography for short-chain carboxylates. Long-term records of the carboxylic acids and dicarbonyls, as well as their source apportionment, are reported for western Europe. This is the first study comprising long-term trends of dicarbonyls and long-chain dicarboxylic acids (C6–C12 in Alpine precipitation. Source assignment of the organic species present in the ice core was performed using principal component analysis. Our results suggest biomass burning, anthropogenic emissions, and transport of mineral dust to be the main parameters influencing the concentration of organic compounds. Ice core records of several highly correlated compounds (e.g., p-hydroxybenzoic acid, pinic acid, pimelic, and suberic acids can be related to the forest fire history in southern Switzerland. P-hydroxybenzoic acid was found to be the best organic fire tracer in the study area, revealing the highest correlation with the burned area from fires. Historical records of methylglyoxal, phthalic acid, and dicarboxylic acids adipic acid, sebacic acid, and dodecanedioic acid are comparable with that of anthropogenic emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs. The small organic acids, oxalic acid and formic acid, are both highly correlated with calcium, suggesting their records to be affected by changing mineral dust transport to the drilling site.

  2. Spatial and temporal functional changes in alpine summit vegetation are driven by increases in shrubs and graminoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venn, Susanna; Pickering, Catherine; Green, Ken

    2014-01-01

    Classical approaches to investigating temporal and spatial changes in community composition offer only partial insight into the ecology that drives species distribution, community patterns and processes, whereas a functional approach can help to determine many of the underlying mechanisms that drive such patterns. Here, we aim to bring these two approaches together to understand such drivers, using an elevation gradient of sites, a repeat species survey and species functional traits. We used data from a repeat vegetation survey on five alpine summits and measured plant height, leaf area, leaf dry matter content and specific leaf area (SLA) for every species recorded in the surveys. We combined species abundances with trait values to produce a community trait-weighted mean (CTWM) for each trait, and then combined survey results with the CTWMs. Across the gradient of summits, more favourable conditions for plant growth (warmer, longer growing season) occurred at the lower elevations. Vegetation composition changes between 2004 and 2011 (according to non-metric multi-dimensional scaling ordination) were strongly affected by the high and increasing abundance of species with high SLA at high elevations. Species life-form categories strongly affected compositional changes and functional composition, with increasing dominance of tall shrubs and graminoids at the lower-elevation summits, and an overall increase in graminoids across the gradient. The CTWM for plant height and leaf dry matter content significantly decreased with elevation, whereas for leaf area and SLA it significantly increased. The significant relationships between CTWM and elevation may suggest specific ecological processes, namely plant competition and local productivity, influencing vegetation preferentially across the elevation gradient, with the dominance of shrubs and graminoids driving the patterns in the CTWMs.

  3. Site decontamination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bicker, A.E.

    1981-01-01

    Among the several DOE sites that have been radiologically decontaminated under the auspices of the Nevada Operations Office are three whose physical characteristics are unique. These are the Tatum Dome Test Site (TDTS) near Hattiesburg, Mississippi; a location of mountainous terrain (Pahute Mesa) on the Nevada Test Site; and the GNOME site near Carlsbad, New Mexico. In each case the contamination, the terrain, and the climate conditions were different. This presentation includes a brief description of each site, the methods used to perform radiological surveys, the logistics required to support the decontamination (including health physics and sample analysis), and the specific techniques used to reduce or remove the contamination

  4. Effects of Climate Change on Habitat Availability and Configuration for an Endemic Coastal Alpine Bird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle M Jackson

    Full Text Available North America's coastal mountains are particularly vulnerable to climate change, yet harbour a number of endemic species. With little room "at the top" to track shifting climate envelopes, alpine species may be especially negatively affected by climate-induced habitat fragmentation. We ask how climate change will affect the total amount, mean patch size, and number of patches of suitable habitat for Vancouver Island White-tailed Ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura saxatilis; VIWTP, a threatened, endemic alpine bird. Using a Random Forest model and a unique dataset consisting of citizen science observations combined with field surveys, we predict the distribution and configuration of potential suitable summer habitat for VIWTP under baseline and future (2020s, 2050s, and 2080s climates using three general circulation models and two greenhouse gas scenarios. VIWTP summer habitat is predicted to decline by an average of 25%, 44%, and 56% by the 2020s, 2050s, and 2080s, respectively, under the low greenhouse gas scenario and 27%, 59%, and 74% under the high scenario. Habitat patches are predicted to become fragmented, with a 52-79% reduction in mean patch size. The average elevation of suitable habitat patches is expected to increase, reflecting a loss of patches at lower elevations. Thus ptarmigan are in danger of being "squeezed off the mountain", as their remaining suitable habitat will be increasingly confined to mountaintops in the center of the island. The extent to which ptarmigan will be able to persist in increasingly fragmented habitat is unclear. Much will depend on their ability to move throughout a more heterogeneous landscape, utilize smaller breeding areas, and survive increasingly variable climate extremes. Our results emphasize the importance of continued monitoring and protection for high elevation specialist species, and suggest that White-tailed Ptarmigan should be considered an indicator species for alpine ecosystems in the face of

  5. Analysis of streamflow variability in Alpine catchments at multiple spatial and temporal scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez Ciria, T.; Chiogna, G.

    2017-12-01

    Alpine watersheds play a pivotal role in Europe for water provisioning and for hydropower production. In these catchments, temporal fluctuations of river discharge occur at multiple temporal scales due to natural as well as anthropogenic driving forces. In the last decades, modifications of the flow regime have been observed and their origin lies in the complex interplay between construction of dams for hydro power production, changes in water management policies and climatic changes. The alteration of the natural flow has negative impacts on the freshwater biodiversity and threatens the ecosystem integrity of the Alpine region. Therefore, understanding the temporal and spatial variability of river discharge has recently become a particular concern for environmental protection and represents a crucial contribution to achieve sustainable water resources management in the Alps. In this work, time series analysis is conducted for selected gauging stations in the Inn and the Adige catchments, which cover a large part of the central and eastern region of the Alps. We analyze the available time series using the continuous wavelet transform and change-point analyses for determining how and where changes have taken place. Although both catchments belong to different climatic zones of the Greater Alpine Region, streamflow properties share some similar characteristics. The comparison of the collected streamflow time series in the two catchments permits detecting gradients in the hydrological system dynamics that depend on station elevation, longitudinal location in the Alps and catchment area. This work evidences that human activities (e.g., water management practices and flood protection measures, changes in legislation and market regulation) have major impacts on streamflow and should be rigorously considered in hydrological models.

  6. Early establishment of trees at the alpine treeline: idiosyncratic species responses to temperature-moisture interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loranger, Hannah; Zotz, Gerhard; Bader, Maaike Y

    2016-01-01

    On a global scale, temperature is the main determinant of arctic and alpine treeline position. However on a local scale, treeline form and position vary considerably due to other climatic factors, tree species ecology and life-stage-dependent responses. For treelines to advance poleward or uphill, the first steps are germination and seedling establishment. These earliest life stages may be major bottlenecks for treeline tree populations and will depend differently on climatic conditions than adult trees. We investigated the effect of soil temperature and moisture on germination and early seedling survival in a field experiment in the French Alps near the local treeline (2100 m a.s.l.) using passive temperature manipulations and two watering regimes. Five European treeline tree species were studied: Larix decidua, Picea abies, Pinus cembra, Pinus uncinata and Sorbus aucuparia In addition, we monitored the germination response of three of these species to low temperatures under controlled conditions in growth chambers. The early establishment of these trees at the alpine treeline was limited either by temperature or by moisture, the sensitivity to one factor often depending on the intensity of the other. The results showed that the relative importance of the two factors and the direction of the effects are highly species-specific, while both factors tend to have consistent effects on both germination and early seedling survival within each species. We show that temperature and water availability are both important contributors to establishment patterns of treeline trees and hence to species-specific forms and positions of alpine treelines. The observed idiosyncratic species responses highlight the need for studies including several species and life-stages to create predictive power concerning future treeline dynamics. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company.

  7. A free tool integrating GIS features and workflows to evaluate sediment connectivity in alpine catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crema, Stefano; Schenato, Luca; Goldin, Beatrice; Marchi, Lorenzo; Cavalli, Marco

    2014-05-01

    The increased interest in sediment connectivity has brought the geomorphologists' community to focus on sediment fluxes as a key process (Cavalli et al., 2013; Heckmann and Schwanghart, 2013). The challenge of dealing with erosion-related processes in alpine catchments is of primary relevance for different fields of investigations and applications, including, but not limited to natural hazards, hydraulic structures design, ecology and stream restoration. The present work focuses on the development of a free tool for sediment connectivity assessment as described in Cavalli et al. (2013), introducing some novel improvements. The choice of going for a free software is motivated by the need of widening the access and improving participation beyond the restrictions on algorithms customization, typical of commercial software. A couple of features further enhance the tool: being completely free and adopting a user-friendly interface, its target audience includes researchers and stakeholders (e.g., local managers and civil protection authorities in charge of planning the priorities of intervention in the territory), being written in Python programming language, it can benefit from optimized algorithms for high-resolution DEMs (Digital Elevation Models) handling and for propagation workflows implementation; these two factors make the tool computationally competitive with the most recent commercial GIS products. The overall goal of this tool is supporting the analysis of sediment connectivity, facing the challenge of widening, as much as possible, the users' community among scientists and stakeholders. This aspect is crucial, as future improvement of this tool will benefit of feedbacks from users in order to improve the quantitative assessment of sediment connectivity as a major input information for the optimal management of mountain areas. References: Cavalli, M., Trevisani, S., Comiti, F., Marchi, L., 2013. Geomorphometric assessment of spatial sediment connectivity in

  8. Observed long-term greening of alpine vegetation—a case study in the French Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Bradley Z.; Corona, Monica C.; Dentant, Cédric; Bonet, Richard; Thuiller, Wilfried; Choler, Philippe

    2017-11-01

    We combined imagery from multiple sources (MODIS, Landsat-5, 7, 8) with land cover data to test for long-term (1984-2015) greening or browning trends of vegetation in a temperate alpine area, the Ecrins National Park, in the context of recent climate change and domestic grazing practices. We showed that over half (56%) of the Ecrins National Park displayed significant increases in peak normalized difference vegetation index (NDVImax) over the last 16 years (2000-2015). Importantly, the highest proportional increases in NDVImax occurred in rocky habitats at high elevations (> 2500 m a.s.l.). While spatial agreement in the direction of change in NDVImax as detected by MODIS and Landsat was high (76% overlap), correlations between log-response ratio values were of moderate strength (approx. 0.3). In the context of above treeline habitats, we found that proportional increases in NDVImax were higher between 1984 and 2000 than between 2000 and 2015, suggesting a slowing of greening dynamics during the recent decade. The timing of accelerated greening prior to 2000 coincided with a pronounced increase in the amount of snow-free growing degree-days that occurred during the 1980s and 1990s. In the case of grasslands and low-shrub habitats, we did not find evidence for a negative effect of grazing on greening trends, possibly due to the low grazing intensity typically found in the study area. We propose that the emergence of a longer and warmer growing season enabled high-elevation plant communities to produce more biomass, and also allowed for plant colonization of habitats previously characterized by long-lasting snow cover. Increasing plant productivity in an alpine context has potential implications for biodiversity trajectories and for ecosystem services in mountain landscapes. The presented evidence for long-term greening trends in a representative region of the European Alps provides the basis for further research on mechanisms of greening in alpine landscapes.

  9. Alpine deformations in Donbass: Periodicity, character of stresses, and their probable sources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kopp, M. L.; Korchemagin, V. A.; Kolesnichenko, A. A.

    2010-09-01

    The periodicity, dynamics, and kinematics of the insufficiently studied Cenozoic (Alpine) movements in the Donets Fold Edifice and its framework are considered. The synthesis of the available data on the Donets Basin (Donbass) and the adjacent territories of the Russian and Scythian plates shows that the Early Alpine, or Laramian epoch of deformation in the Paleocene and the Late Alpine, or recent epoch of deformation in the early Miocene-Quaternary were divided by a tectonic pause in the Eocene and Oligocene. Judging from macrostructural pattern and results of mesotectonic observations, both epochs were characterized by meridional compression and latitudinal extension but substantially differed in the scope of deformation and the style of structure. The former developed to the west of the Donbass and resulted in compression of diapirs in the Dnieper-Donets Aulacogen, whereas the latter created the recent Donets-Azov Swell and brought about right-lateral strike-slip faulting along the North Donets and Persianovsky faults bounding the Donbass. The recent movements and related deformation in the eastern area, including the substantial role of right-lateral strike-slip faulting, more intense deformation in comparison with Laramian movements, and the mobilization of the basement not only in the Dnieper-Donets Aulacogen but also far beyond its limits allow us to connect these phenomena with coeval orogeny in the Greater Caucasus. The nature of the moderate Laramian movements confined to the axial zone of the aulacogen is more questionable; however, it can be explained in terms of within-plate reactivation of western and part of eastern Europe as a response to plate collision in the Alps, Dinarides, and Pontides in combination with coeval onset of spreading in the North Atlantic and Arctic, which created counter-pressure from the north. The eventual result of both processes was inversion and compression of some European aulacogens, including the Dnieper-Donets Aulacogen.

  10. Evaluation of the anaerobic ability of alpine skiing skiers through the slalom simulator

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vasilios Giovanis

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: The purpose of the research was the evaluation of efficiency of anaerobic ability (power, anaerobic endurance, anaerobic fatigue and the restitution of the pulse rate of alpine skiing students through the slalom simulator. In addition, the aim of the research was the correlation of the special tests of alpine skiing on dry ground (octagon test and in snow (triangle test and slalom test with the target of determining ability levels. Methods: The 20 people sample was composed by two teams of male and female who took the course for advanced (n = 7 aged 23±1.40 years and for beginners course (n = 13 aged 20±1.49 years. For the evaluation process two special tests were used, on the ground and in snow. The ground test was completed in the slalom simulator for 40 seconds. The second ground test was the octagon bouncing (40cm each side x 3. The snow test was the Haczkiewicz test (triangle test and the slalom (7 gates, where the time of a try was measured. Results: The best efficiency in anaerobic power was made by the advanced males and females, while in the anaerobic endurance by the beginners males and females. The best performance in the dexterity tests in snow on the triangle and slalom test was made by the advanced males and beginners females respectively. Conclusions: The significant correlation between the results of anaerobic performance in the slalom simulator and the triangle test in snow confirms the means of diagnosing skill and fitness on dry ground and snow respectively. There is a significant correlation between snow test results and there is no correlation with the octagon test. The aforementioned results can be used in the talent selection process of alpine skiing.

  11. Global Warming and the Summertime Evapotranspiration Regime of the Alpine Region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Calanca, P.; Jasper, K. [Agroscope FAL Reckenholz, Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture, CH-8046 Zuerich (Switzerland); Roesch, A.; Wild, M. [Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, CH-8092 Zuerich (Switzerland)

    2006-11-15

    Changes of the summer evapotranspiration regime under increased levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases are discussed for three Alpine river basins on the basis of a new set of simulations carried out with a high-resolution hydrological model. The climate change signal was inferred from the output of two simulations with a state-of-the-art global climate model (GCM), a reference run valid for 1961-1990 and a time-slice simulation valid for 2071-2100 under forcing from the A2 IPCC emission scenario. In this particular GCM experiment and with respect to the Alpine region summer temperature was found to increase by 3 to 4C, whereas precipitation was found to decrease by 10 to 20%. Global radiation and water vapor pressure deficit were found to increase by about 5% and 2 hPa, respectively. On this background, an overall increase of potential evapotranspiration of about 20% relative to the baseline was predicted by the hydrological model, with important variations between but also within individual basins. The results of the hydrological simulations also revealed a reduction in the evapotranspiration efficiency that depends on altitude. Accordingly, actual evapotranspiration was found to increase at high altitudes and to the south of the Alps, but to decrease in low elevation areas of the northern forelands and in the inner-Alpine domain. Such a differentiation does not appear in the GCM scenario, which predicts an overall increase in evapotranspiration over the Alps. This underlines the importance of detailed simulations for the quantitative assessment of the regional impact of climate change on the hydrological cycle.

  12. Temporal variations of perfluoroalkyl substances and polybrominated diphenyl ethers in alpine snow

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kirchgeorg, Torben; Dreyer, Annekatrin; Gabrieli, Jacopo; Kehrwald, Natalie; Sigl, Michael; Schwikowski, Margit

    2013-01-01

    The occurrence and temporal variation of 18 perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) and 8 polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in the European Alps was investigated in a 10 m shallow firn core from Colle Gnifetti in the Monte Rosa Massif (4455 m above sea level). The firn core encompasses the years 1997–2007. Firn core sections were analyzed by liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (PFASs) and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (PBDEs). We detected 12 PFASs and 8 PBDEs in the firn samples. Perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA; 0.3–1.8 ng L −1 ) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA; 0.2–0.6 ng L −1 ) were the major PFASs while BDE 99 ( −1 ) and BDE 47 (n.d.–2.6 ng L −1 ) were the major PBDEs. This study demonstrates the occurrence of PFASs and PBDEs in the European Alps and provides the first evidence that PFASs compositions may be changing to PFBA-dominated compositions. -- Highlights: •PFASs and PBDEs were detected in low ng L −1 concentrations in an Alpine firn core. •BDE 47, BDE 99 and BDE 209 are the dominating PBDEs. •PFOA, PFNA and PFBA are the major PFASs. •We demonstrate a change in the PFASs composition. •Atmospheric degradation of volatile precursor might be the main source for >C8 PFCAs. -- PFAS and PBDE concentrations in European Alpine snow provide information about the occurrence, accumulation and recent changes of these persistent organic pollutants in Alpine regions

  13. Whole-Body Vibrations Associated With Alpine Skiing: A Risk Factor for Low Back Pain?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matej Supej

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Alpine skiing, both recreational and competitive, is associated with high rates of injury. Numerous studies have shown that occupational exposure to whole-body vibrations is strongly related to lower back pain and some suggest that, in particular, vibrations of lower frequencies could lead to overuse injuries of the back in connection with alpine ski racing. However, it is not yet known which forms of skiing involve stronger vibrations and whether these exceed safety thresholds set by existing standards and directives. Therefore, this study was designed to examine whole-body vibrations connected with different types of skiing and the associated potential risk of developing low back pain. Eight highly skilled ski instructors, all former competitive ski racers and equipped with five accelerometers and a Global Satellite Navigation System to measure vibrations and speed, respectively, performed six different forms of skiing: straight running, plowing, snow-plow swinging, basic swinging, short swinging, and carved turns. To estimate exposure to periodic, random and transient vibrations the power spectrum density (PSD and standard ISO 2631-1:1997 parameters [i.e., the weighted root-mean-square acceleration (RMS, crest factor, maximum transient vibration value and the fourth-power vibration dose value (VDV] were calculated. Ground reaction forces were estimated from data provided by accelerometers attached to the pelvis. The major novel findings were that all of the forms of skiing tested produced whole-body vibrations, with highest PSD values of 1.5–8 Hz. Intensified PSD between 8.5 and 35 Hz was observed only when skidding was involved. The RMS values for 10 min of short swinging or carved turns, as well as all 10-min equivalent VDV values exceeded the limits set by European Directive 2002/44/EC for health and safety. Thus, whole-body vibrations, particularly in connection with high ground reaction forces, contribute to a high risk for low back

  14. Root reinforcement and its implications in shallow landsliding susceptibility on a small alpine catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morandi, M. C.; Farabegoli, E.; Onorevoli, G.

    2012-04-01

    Roots shear resistance offers a considerable contribution to hill-slope stability on vegetated terrains. Through the pseudo-cohesion of shrubs, trees and turf's roots, the geomechanical properties of soils can be drastically increased, exerting a positive influence on the hillslope stability. We analysed the shallow landsliding susceptibility of a small alpine catchment (Duron valley, Central Dolomites, Italy) that we consider representative of a wide altitude belt of the Dolomites (1800 - 2400 m a.s.l). The catchment is mostly mantled by grass (Nardetum strictae s.l.), with clustered shrubs (Rhododendron hirsutum and Juniperus nana), and trees (Pinus cembra, Larix decidua and Picea abies). The soil depth, investigated with direct and indirect methods, ranges from 0 to 180 cm, with its peak at the hollow axes. Locally, the bedrock, made of Triassic volcanic rocks, is deeply incised by the Holocene drainage network. Intensive grazing of cows and horses pervades the catchment area and cattle-trails occupy ca 20% of the grass cover. We used laboratory and field tests to characterize the geotechnical properties of these alpine soils; moreover we designed and tested an experimental device that measures, in situ, the shear strengths of the grass mantle. In the study area we mapped 18 shallow landslides, mostly related to road cuts and periodically reactivated as retrogressive landslides. The triggering mechanisms of these shallow landslides were qualitatively analysed at large scale and modelled at smaller scale. We used SHALSTAB to model the shallow landsliding susceptibility of the catchment at the basin scale and SLIDE (RocScience) to compute the Safety Factor at the versant scale. Qualitative management solutions are provided, in order to reduce the shallow landsliding susceptibility risk in this alpine context.

  15. Site organization and site arrangement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boissonnet, B.; Macqueron, J.F.

    1976-01-01

    The present paper deals with criteria for the choice of a production unit or power plant site, the organization and development of a site in terms of its particular characteristics and takes into account personnel considerations in site organizations as well as the problem of integrating the architecture into the environment. (RW) [de

  16. The snow vole (Chionomys nivalis) as an appropriate environmental bioindicator in alpine ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Metcheva, Roumiana; Beltcheva, Michaela; Chassovnikarova, Tsenka

    2008-01-01

    The snow vole (Chionomys nivalis, Martins, 1842) is a common species in the Bulgarian high mountains. Its populations are distributed in different altitudes, regions, and keep stable population density. This is the reason the species has been tested as a bioindicator for environmental quality in alpine ecosystems. The cumulative environmental impact in snow vole populations was evaluated using cytogenetical, hematological, ecotoxicological, radiometrical, ecophysiological, and morphophysiological indices. Standard karyotype, chromosomal aberrations, and other diversions have been observed. These investigations reveal that the snow vole is one of the most appropriate species that can be used as a biomonitor for environmental assessment in mountain areas

  17. Variability and Changes in Climate, Phenology, and Gross Primary Production of an Alpine Wetland Ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoming Kang

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Quantifying the variability and changes in phenology and gross primary production (GPP of alpine wetlands in the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau under climate change is essential for assessing carbon (C balance dynamics at regional and global scales. In this study, in situ eddy covariance (EC flux tower observations and remote sensing data were integrated with a modified, satellite-based vegetation photosynthesis model (VPM to investigate the variability in climate change, phenology, and GPP of an alpine wetland ecosystem, located in Zoige, southwestern China. Two-year EC data and remote sensing vegetation indices showed that warmer temperatures corresponded to an earlier start date of the growing season, increased GPP, and ecosystem respiration, and hence increased the C sink strength of the alpine wetlands. Twelve-year long-term simulations (2000–2011 showed that: (1 there were significantly increasing trends for the mean annual enhanced vegetation index (EVI, land surface water index (LSWI, and growing season GPP (R2 ≥ 0.59, p < 0.01 at rates of 0.002, 0.11 year−1 and 16.32 g·C·m−2·year−1, respectively, which was in line with the observed warming trend (R2 = 0.54, p = 0.006; (2 the start and end of the vegetation growing season (SOS and EOS experienced a continuous advancing trend at a rate of 1.61 days·year−1 and a delaying trend at a rate of 1.57 days·year−1 from 2000 to 2011 (p ≤ 0.04, respectively; and (3 with increasing temperature, the advanced SOS and delayed EOS prolonged the wetland’s phenological and photosynthetically active period and, thereby, increased wetland productivity by about 3.7–4.2 g·C·m−2·year−1 per day. Furthermore, our results indicated that warming and the extension of the growing season had positive effects on carbon uptake in this alpine wetland ecosystem.

  18. High resolution climate scenarios for snowmelt modelling in small alpine catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schirmer, M.; Peleg, N.; Burlando, P.; Jonas, T.

    2017-12-01

    Snow in the Alps is affected by climate change with regard to duration, timing and amount. This has implications with respect to important societal issues as drinking water supply or hydropower generation. In Switzerland, the latter received a lot of attention following the political decision to phase out of nuclear electricity production. An increasing number of authorization requests for small hydropower plants located in small alpine catchments was observed in the recent years. This situation generates ecological conflicts, while the expected climate change poses a threat to water availability thus putting at risk investments in such hydropower plants. Reliable high-resolution climate scenarios are thus required, which account for small-scale processes to achieve realistic predictions of snowmelt runoff and its variability in small alpine catchments. We therefore used a novel model chain by coupling a stochastic 2-dimensional weather generator (AWE-GEN-2d) with a state-of-the-art energy balance snow cover model (FSM). AWE-GEN-2d was applied to generate ensembles of climate variables at very fine temporal and spatial resolution, thus providing all climatic input variables required for the energy balance modelling. The land-surface model FSM was used to describe spatially variable snow cover accumulation and melt processes. The FSM was refined to allow applications at very high spatial resolution by specifically accounting for small-scale processes, such as a subgrid-parametrization of snow covered area or an improved representation of forest-snow processes. For the present study, the model chain was tested for current climate conditions using extensive observational dataset of different spatial and temporal coverage. Small-scale spatial processes such as elevation gradients or aspect differences in the snow distribution were evaluated using airborne LiDAR data. 40-year of monitoring data for snow water equivalent, snowmelt and snow-covered area for entire

  19. Training in Innovative Technologies for Close-Range Sensing in Alpine Terrain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutzinger, M.; Bremer, M.; Höfle, B.; Hämmerle, M.; Lindenbergh, R.; Oude Elberink, S.; Pirotti, F.; Scaioni, M.; Wujanz, D.; Zieher, T.

    2018-05-01

    The 2nd international summer school "Close-range sensing techniques in Alpine terrain" was held in July 2017 in Obergurgl, Austria. Participants were trained in selected close-range sensing methods, such as photogrammetry, laser scanning and thermography. The program included keynotes, lectures and hands-on assignments combining field project planning, data acquisition, processing, quality assessment and interpretation. Close-range sensing was applied for different research questions of environmental monitoring in high mountain environments, such as geomorphologic process quantification, natural hazard management and vegetation mapping. The participants completed an online questionnaire evaluating the summer school, its content and organisation, which helps to improve future summer schools.

  20. Explaining plant-soil diversity in Alpine ecosystems: more than just time since ecosystem succession started

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lane, Stuart; Baetz, Nico; Borgeaud, Laure; Verrecchia, Eric; Vittoz, Pascal

    2014-05-01

    Ecosystem succession in Alpine environments has been a focus of research for many decades. Following from the classic ideas of Jenny (1941, 1961), following perturbation, an ecosystem (flora, fauna and soil) should evolve as a function of time at a rate conditioned by external variables (relief, climate, geology). More recently, biogeomorphologists have focused upon the notion of co-evolution of geomorphic processes with ecosystems over very short through to very long (evolutionary) time-scales. Alpine environments have been a particular focus of models of co-evolution, as a means of understanding the rate of plant colonization of previously glaciated terrain. However, work in this field has tended to adopt an over simplified view of the relationship between perturbation and succession, including: how the landform and ecosystem itself conditions the impact of a perturbation to create a complex spatial impact; and how perturbations are not simply ecosystem destroyers but can be a significant source of ecosystem resources. What this means is that at the within landform scale, there may well be a complex and dynamic topographic and sedimentological template that co-evolves with the development of soil, flora and fauna. In this paper, we present and test conceptual models for such co-evolution for an Alpine alluvial fan and an Alpine piedmont braided river. We combine detailed floristic inventory with soil inventory, survey of edaphic variables above and below ground (e.g. vertical and lateral sedimentological structure, using electrical resistance tomography) and the analysis of historical aerial imagery. The floristic inventory shows the existence of a suite of distinct plant communities within each landform. Time since last perturbation is not a useful explanatory variable of the spatial distribution of these communities because: (1) perturbation impacts are spatially variable, as conditioned by the extent distribution of topographic, edaphic and ecological