Nationalparks Austria NPA
Eintrag Nr. 34259
Protected areas and climate change impact research: roles, challenges, needs
GLORIA (GLobal Observation Research Initiative in Alpine Environments)
Fachbereich Naturschutz & Forschung
Pauli H., Gottfried M., Lamprecht A., Nie▀ner S., Grabherr G.
SN 002.3, FBN 368
Protected areas were originally designated to deal with regionally caused threats. Yet, they increasingly encounter potentially detrimental influences from distant sources and of globally area-covering climate change effects. By forcing organisms to shift in latitude and elevation, anthropogenic climate change may deprive nature reserves of their threatened biotic goods. The long-lived nature of many mountain species may counter their rapid disappearance and topographically determined habitat and micro-climatic diversity may buffer against climate warming impacts. An ongoing large-scale thermophilisation of alpine vegetation and a decline of narrow-range species in fragmented cold habitats, however, call for joint efforts in observing and studying the changes as well as in developing and implementing suitable conservation measures. Both protected area managers and researchers will mutually depend on and benefit from each other in such an endeavour. High mountains hold an unsurpassed potential for large-scale comparative studies, due to their virtually global distribution and their rather natural environments. Taking advantage of this situation, the Global Observation Research Initiative in Alpine Environments (GLORIA) has started already at the turn of the millennium to build a global research programme and observation network. Rapidly expanding, it is now represented on six continents. The majority of the currently 115 study regions lie within protected areas and, thus, provide a unique opportunity for tracing human-induced impacts on the shrinking natural biosphere.