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Research


Ecology of the Alpine Region
is an interdisciplinary research centre within the research area „Alpine Space – Man and Environment“ at the University of Innsbruck. The focus is on analyzing the interaction between man and environment in alpine regions.

 

 Objectives

Mountain ecosystems are characterized by extreme living conditions, causing a slow recovery of organisms and ecosystems after disturbance. They are therefore particularly sensitive to any kind of changes. Climate change scenarios predict notably effects on these mountain regions and rapid shifts of economic and social systems already resulted in large-scale land use changes. As a consequence, landscape functions and ecosystem services in mountain regions are obviously and seriously altered today and are subject to further changes.

 Aims

The main research within the Ecology of the Alpine Region investigates the impact of global changes on the function, stability, and vulnerability of alpine ecosystems and landscapes. The aim is to analyze historic and present man-made and natural ecosystem changes and to predict future developments in order to provide the economy and the civil society with applicable scientific results. Methodologically, experiments are combined with models and scenarios in order to derive these interactions. The incorporation of aspects of the economics offers the linkage of ecological results with the socio-economic forces that are driving these changes.

 Structure

The core of the research centre is a network of scientists from the biological Institutes of Botany, Microbiology, and Ecology. The centre is complemented by well-established interdisciplinary co-operations with other faculties of the University of Innsbruck, including the Geo- and Atmospheric Sciences, and Economics and Statistics, and other institutions outside the University of Innsbruck.

 

Currently, the research centre covers more than 20 projects funded by EU-programs or the FWF-Austrian Science Fund, and a number of research activities which are financially supported by local institutions.

 

Please find detailed information about the projects at Team