Institutes & Centers

Institute for Alpine Environment - Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functions

Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functions

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Biodiversity and its loss, together with climate change, is one of the most burning issues of our time. South Tyrol lies in the center of the Alps and brings together species from the Central European and the Mediterranean region. By combining a large range of man-made and natural habitats, the province poses an excellent area to study biodiversity, its changes, and functions in ecosystems. Animals, microorganisms, and plants do not act independently, but are connected by an extremely complex network of interactions. Also, they are drivers of many ecosystem processes such as litter decomposition, nutrient cycling, and pollination. The living world in turn is shaped by many abiotic factors, as for example climate, geology, soil, and water. Monitoring biodiversity and understanding influencing factors is a main goal of our institute. Particularly important is the question how different land use practices and changes in land use and climate affect biodiversity. To answer these questions, we rely on a network of internal and external experts who study the biotic diversity and its driving forces on-site. There are several projects focusing on Biodiversity and Ecosystem functions, dealing with all biotic spheres, i.e. vegetation, soil and water, and in all main types of habitats in the Alps, ranging from low-elevation sites such as vineyards, apple orchards and urban areas over various forest types up to high mountain habitats.

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Soil Survey© Eurac Research - Ivo Corrà
Water Survey© Eurac Research - Ivo Corrà
© Eurac Research - Martina Jaider
© Eurac Research - Martina Jaider
© Eurac Research - Martina Jaider
Matteo Anderle© Eurac Research - Martina Jaider
© Eurac Research - Martina Jaider
© Eurac Research - Martina Jaider


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Biodiversity Monitoring South Tyrol

Biodiversity Monitoring South Tyrol

Duration: - Funding: Internal funding EURAC (Project)

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Institute's Projects