Consortium > UIBK

Universität Innsbruck

Organization short name: UIBK
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Description of the organization

The Institute of Ecology, University of Innsbruck, is dedicated to the study of ecological effects of land use and climate changes on mountain ecosystems, bridging the scales from plant organ to the ecosystems and landscapes by combining field measurements and modelling, and incorporating links to socioeconomic research.

Expertise and experience of the organization

The organisation has more than 30 years of experience in integrated ecosystem research in mountain areas (including experimental work at different scales of integration and modelling) and has co-ordinated a number of international and national projects, including the EU-projects EcoMont (FP4), SustAlp (FP4), CarboMont (FP5), several EU-Interreg projects as well as FWF (Austrian National Science Fund) and further national projects. Topics studied have included various aspects of biogeochemical cycles (C, N, H2O), with a focus on the ecosystem – atmosphere exchange of CO2 and underlying processes, effects of land-use changes, biodiversity and ecosystem processes, plant-ecosystem interactions, potential risks (incl. surface runoff, avalanches, erosion), interactions between socio-economy and ecology and related landscape processes.

Selected reference projects

  • EcoMont (EU-FP4, CT ENV4-CT95-0179, 1996-1999): Ecological effects of land-use changes on European terrestrial mountain ecosystems
  • CarboMont (EU-FP5, EVK2-CT2001-00125, 2001 – 2004): Effects of land-use changes on sources, sinks and fluxes of carbon in European mountain areas
  • FWF projects ‘Comparative Studies on the gas exchange of hay meadows’ (P17560, 2005-2007)
  • ‘Autotrophic and heterotrophic components of ecosystem respiration in mountain grasslands’ (P18756-B16, 2006-2009)

Key scientific / technical personnel

Dr. Michael Bahn, expertise in plant and ecosystem physiology, focus on C fluxes with a special reference to soils. Work package leader in two EU-projects (FP4/ 5), principal investigator/ co-ordinator of several national projects.
Prof. Dr. Ulrike Tappeiner, Head of Institute; expertise in systems ecology and landscape ecology of mountain regions, interactions between economic and ecological systems. Co-ordinator of EU-FP4- project SustAlp and other international and national projects, work-package leader of two EU projects.
Doz. Dr. Georg Wohlfahrt, expertise in measuring and modelling soil-vegetation-atmosphere-transfer (SVAT) of mass and energy between grassland ecosystems and atmosphere; principal investigator/ co-ordinator of several national projects.

Responsibilities in CARBO-Extreme

  • Network of Ecosystem Manipulation Experiments (WP2)

Selected recent relevant publications

Bahn M, et al., Soil respiration in European grasslands in relation to climate and assimilate supply. Ecosystems 11 (8): 1352-1367, 2008. link to publisher

Bahn M, et al., Does photosynthesis affect grassland soil respired CO2 and its carbon isotope composition on a diurnal timescale? New Phytologist 182: 452-460, 2009. link to publisher

Bahn M, et al., Synthesis: Emerging issues and challenges for an integrated understanding of soil carbon fluxes. In: Kutsch W., Bahn M., Heinemeyer A. (eds) Soil Carbon Dynamics. An Integrated Methodology. Cambridge University Press, 2009 (in press).

Tappeiner U, et al., Effects of historical and likely future scenarios of land use on above- and belowground vegetation carbon stocks of an Alpine valley. Ecosystems 11 (8): 1383-1400, 2008. link to publisher

Tasser E, Tappeiner U, Cernusca A, Ecological effects of land use changes in the European Alps. In: Global Change and Mountain Regions – A State of Knowledge Overview (eds. Huber UM, Bugmann HKM, Reasoner MA). Springer, Dordrecht, 413-425, 2005. link to publisher

Wohlfahrt G, et al., Biotic, abiotic and management controls on the net ecosystem CO2 exchange of European mountain grasslands. Ecosystems 11(8), 1338-1351, 2008. link to publisher

Wohlfahrt G, et al., Seasonal and inter-annual variability of the net ecosystem CO2 exchange of a temperate mountain grassland: Effects of weather and management, Journal of Geophysical Research, 113, D08110, doi:10.1029/2007JD009286, 2008. link to publisher