GLORIA (Global Observation Research Initiative in Alpine Environments)

Project leader: Pau Carnicero Campmany

Project members: Clara Bertel, Andreas Hilpold, Martin Mallaun, Lena Nicklas, Simon Stifter, Peter Unterluggauer, Peter Schönswetter, Brigitta Erschbamer


  • GLORIA-EU-Project no. EVK2-CT-2000-00056 (2001-2003)
  • Amt für Naturparke der Autonomen Provinz Bozen-Südtirol (2003-2004; 2017)
  • Abteilung Forstwirtschaft der Autonomen Provinz Bozen-Südtirol (2006)
  • Tiroler Wissenschaftsfonds (2006)
  • GLORIA co-ordination group Vienna (2008)
  • Südtiroler Landesregierung (2008)
  • Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung der Autonomen Provinz Bozen-Südtirol (2011) * MICROCLIM, ERC no. 883669 (, 2022)

Duration: 2001-present (long term ecological research)

Alpine species and environments are expected to react highly sensitive to climate change. The GLORIA programme operates a world-wide long-term observation network with permanent plot sites in alpine environments. Vegetation and temperature data collected at the GLORIA sites will be used to discern trends in species diversity, composition, abundance, and temperature, and to assess and predict losses in biodiversity in these fragile alpine ecosystems which are under accelerating climate change pressures.

The GLORIA programme aims at building globally applicable indicators for comparing magnitudes and velocities of changes of different biodiversity components across the major terrestrial biomes and climate zones on Earth.

As partners in the network, we are responsible for two target regions in South Tyrol, Northern Italy: the Southern Alps — Dolomites and the Central Alps — Texelgruppe. In each region, four summits along an altitudinal gradient from the treeline ecotone to the subnival-nival zone have been regularly monitored for more than 20 years following a standardized protocol.

Research Questions

  • How does vegetation change throughout the years?
  • Do observed changes respond to climatic changes or to biotic interactions?
  • Is there any evidence for immigration of species from lower elevations?
  • Are endemic and high-alpine species threatened by climate warming?

Additional informations:

GLORIA, Texelgruppe, Arbeiten im Gelände

Texelgruppe, working in the field

GLORIA, views from a monitoring site

Views from a monitoring site

GLORIA, vegetation plots in the dolomites

Vegetation plots in the dolomites

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