Colonization on the rock glacier Hochebenkar (Obergurgl, Tyrol, Austria) (2010-2011)

Hochebenkar (Obergurgl, Tyrol, Austria)Hochebenkar is an active rock glacier about 4.3 km south of Obergurgl covering an area of about 0.4 km². The flow velocity of this rock glacier has been recorded since 1938. Recently it became a research area for different disciplines (geology, meteorology, limnology, and botany). The front of the rock glacier is rather steep and without vegetation, the same holds for the side flanks.  Central parts with fine substrate are colonized by mosses and vascular plants. By means of transects the colonization on the rock glacier will be sampled and compared to the adjacent snow bed and alpine grassland sites.

Research Questions

  • Does colonization depend on the grain size of the substrate?
  • Does soil temperature influence the colonization?
  • What are the differences between rock glacier species composition and adjacent snow bed and alpine grassland vegetation?

Funding
-

Cooperation
Karl Krainer, Institute of Geology and Paleontology, University of Innsbruck  

Personnel involved
Rene Grassmair (Master thesis)
Brigitta Erschbamer

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