The Alps under Review: Land use change

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Presentation made by Giacomo Luciani, EURAC


According to the GLOCHAMORE strategy (2005), which is a joint project of the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI), UNESCO/MAB
and IHP, and the EU Framework Programme 6 the ten most pressing issues which need research and monitoring are:
- Climate
- Land Use Change
- The Cryosphere
- Water Systems
- Ecosystem Function and Services
- Biodiversity
- Hazards
- Health
- Mountain Economies
- Society and Global Change


But how to set-up a proper monitoring approach for hot topics like land-use change to “review” mountain regions?

First, we have to understand the Requirements, which might be defined by users like regional or national authorities or trans-national authorities or even by the research community.

Second, we have to select appropriate measures for monitoring. Today, we have a huge range of techniques such as
field work (including natural and social science surveys),
remote sensing and satellite data intepretation, which provides an up-to-date and area wide overwiew,
modelling, which allows us to look into the unknown and to project future developments,
Database surveys, like analysing statistical data or even face-to-face expert interview.

But colleting data and analyisng data is not enough. In the end data need to be integrated, interpreted and assessed with respect to the objectives set for the monitoring task.

EURAC is working in all scales, from pilot scale to mountain ranges.

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The Alps under Review: Land use change

  1. 1. The Alps under Review Land use change Remote Sensing of Mountain Environment – Sate of the Art and Outlook. Rio Earth Summit, Mountain Pavilion, 16 June 2012Technical Workshop : “Mountains under review: human alteration of landscape” Marc Zebisch, Ulrike Tappeiner, Thomas Streifeneder, Giacomo Luciani
  2. 2. Hot topics for mountain regions • Climate • Land Use Change • The Cryosphere • Water Systems • Ecosystem Function and Services • Biodiversity • Hazards • Health • Mountain Economies • Society and Global Change
  3. 3. Integrated Monitoring and Assessment Require- ments User requirements Research requirements Analysis Remote Database Expert Field Work Sensing Modeling surveys InterviewsSynthesis Assessment Reports + User WebGis Consultancy
  4. 4. The Alps are …• a biodiversity hotspot in Europe• the water tower of large parts of Europe• warming twice as fast as the global average• densely populated and cut by transit routes from Northern to Southern Europe• under pressure by land-use change, tourism and transport• socioeconomically strongly interrelated with the non- Alpine regions Strong demand for monitoring natural, social and economic changes
  5. 5. EURAC is …• a center for interdisciplinary mountain research• situated in the heart of the Alps• focusing on monitoring and assessing the interaction of environment and society in mountain regions• working on strategies of sustainability in the Alps and other mountain areas
  6. 6. Research Area EURAC Mountains
  7. 7. Scales of MonitoringPilot scale Landscape scale Mountain range scale Upscaling Downscaling
  8. 8. Tracking land-use changesPast Presence Future Change detection, Scenarios time series analysis
  9. 9. Tracking land-use changes 12% Land abandonment since 1865 34%abandoned 80% 52% agriculturally used
  10. 10. Monitoring Habitats Habitat Habitat Map Satellite Data Conservation Status
  11. 11. Forest damage assessment with Remote Sensing • 27.08.2010 in Mühlwald in Pustertal • 21.06.2011 in Brixen & BruneckFoto: FF Mühlwald Foto: Roland Volgger/STOL(Südtirol News 28.08.2010) (Südtirol Online 22.06.2011)
  12. 12. Windthrow events – satellite data Rapideye 2011 2009
  13. 13. Automatic Change Detection Mask with damaged forest
  14. 14. Field Work: Manipulative experiments to predict Climate Change impactsgrassland transplantation and… … artificial sheltering… 2000m a.s.l. +3.3 K 1500m a.s.l. …to assess future water and energy budget +3.3 K 1000m a.s.l.
  15. 15. Scales of MonitoringPlot scale Landscape scale Mountain range scale Upscaling Downscaling
  16. 16. Tracking land-use change
  17. 17. Climate ChangeSpring SummerAutumn Winter T incrase 2071-2100 (CLM A1B) 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5 5.5 6°C
  18. 18. Snow Cover from Satellite Beginning of May 2012
  19. 19. Snow Cover from Satellite End of May 2012
  20. 20. Sustainability AnalysisEconomy Society Environment
  21. 21. Other Mountains: Italian Mountains
  22. 22. Other Mountains: Carpathians
  23. 23. EURAC outputs: ReportsReports on regional Contribution Atlas Alpsclimate change to international Reports Atlas Carpathians Report Carpathians
  24. 24. EURAC outputs: WebGis
  25. 25. Conclusion: A review of mountains demands for….• Bottom-up approaches (from local to mountain regions)• Interdisciplinary approaches• A demand driven approach and stakeholder involvement• Regular updates• Open access to the results (WebGIS, Reports, …)• Know-How Transfer and platforms for exchange of professional experiences
  26. 26. Thank you for your attention! marc.zebisch@eurac.edu www.eurac.edu

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