Impact of climate change in the Alps

Temperatures in the Alps have risen by almost two degrees Celsius over the past 120 years – almost twice the global average. The climatic changes have a significant impact on the very sensitive ecosystem of the Alpine region: climatic changes lead to temporal shifts in plant life rhythms, such as leaf unfolding, flowering, fruit ripening and leaf fall. So-called phenological observations have been carried out in botanical gardens for many years – but only at lower altitudes. Comparable data from mountainous locations are lacking.

Research project in the Alpine Garden on the Schachen

The alpine garden on the Schachen is part of a network of arctic-alpine gardens, which will be used to fill this data gap. An observation key is being developed for ten selected plant species. The indicator plants will be vegetatively propagated and passed on to the participating gardens. Observations on genetically identical plants will ensure direct comparability of the results.
The project is embedded in the KLIMAGRAD project, which is coordinated by the Department of Ecoclimatology at the Technical University of Munich and funded by the Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Public Health. In this context, a climate station was set up in the Alpine Garden on the Schachen, which continuously provides a large number of climate measurements throughout the year.