Focus Group: Mountain Biology
Mountain ecosystems are characterised by rich biodiversity and endemism with large environmental gradients on small spatial scales. Analyzing these gradients in mountain regions offers a great opportunity to understand wide-ranging changes since mountain ecosystems are particularly affected by ongoing global change. Life forms, ranging from microscopic organisms to highly developed members of flora and fauna, are faced with new environmental conditions. Therefore, mountain regions can serve as outdoor laboratories to deduce impacts onto a broader ecological context.
Here, we elaborate impacts of global change on mountain ecosystems to reveal a coherent picture of ongoing change and future challenges. Our focus group will host various workshops on particular topics, where we will gain detailed insights into the inter-relationship between the biosphere and the other components of the climate system. Additionally, a joint field excursion exploring the mountains around the alpine village Obergurgl will provide a hands-on experience for participating students, also offering the unique opportunity to get to know some scientific devices in the field. During this excursion, we will study global change impacts at different scales and ecosystems from different scientific perspectives.
We specifically focus on promising methods, experiments and actions. An innovative, pioneering, productive and exciting scientific adventure awaits.