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STELLA

Storylines of Socio-Economic and Climatic drivers for Land use and their hydrological impacts in Alpine Catchments

Background

Climate change is coupled with several spatial and societal processes, including the evolution and characteristics of land use. These processes can have significant consequences, e.g. for the water cycle. Hence, the effects of the coupled climate and land use change and their mutual feedback represent an important research question in integrative climate change impact research.

In the research project STELLA, the co-evolution of coupled climate and land use change will be investigated (especially for forest management), and the related impacts for the hydrological cycle of the Alpine catchment Brixental (Kitzbuehel Alps, Austria).

Future land use change and forest management scenarios will be jointly developed by the working group at the Institute of Sociology of the University of Innsbruck together with local stakeholders. Global climate scenarios will be downscaled for the study area by researchers from the Institute of Meteorology from the University of Natural Resources and Live Sciences in Vienna.

Different combinations of future climatic and socio-economic conditions - the so called "storylines" - and hence, possible future land use, will be developed by the working group at the Institute of Geography of the University of Innsbruck. The evolution of potential future changes in climate and land use will be used for the simulation of the future hydrological conditions in the catchment.

STELLA aims at developing a scientific basis for the mutual interplay of climate and land use changes and their hydrological impacts in an Alpine catchment typical for Austria. Results will be provided to stakeholders, i.e. from spatial planning, forest and water management.

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