Abstract

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In Austria and its neighbouring countries, the most dramatic ecological consequences of climate warming can be anticipated in alpine ecosystems, in particular at ecological boundaries (= ecotones) such as around the tree- and timberline. The research project will take advantage from the unique situation of an existing data set that was recorded in 45 Austrian Alpine lakes of the Niedere Tauern Region (1500 – 2300 m a SL.) a decade ago. Five lakes that were identified as sensitive to ultrasensitive will be revisited in the course of this project. By studying the same group of indicator taxa as in the previous investigation, we will be able to analyze changes in the species composition that occurred over the past decade. Secondly, we will apply modern molecular tools to assess biodiversity in highest resolution both on an interspecific and intraspecific level. Beside the publication of the results in scientific journals the results will be made available to a broader audience by a high school project of the HBLA Ursprung.