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Poster Glasgow

Response of grassland seasonal patterns to climate change in Gran Paradiso National Park

The effects of climate change appear to be especially pronounced in mountain areas. In the Alps, winter is getting warmer and snow-cover duration is decreasing, with sensible effects on plants, which are advancing the beginning of their growing season and speeding up their maturation. These alterations can affect the population dynamics of herbivores, such as the Alpine ibex (Capra ibex). In particular, ibex females give birth in early summer, taking advantage from the entire season during lactation: a shift of plant phenology is expected to affect this coupled dynamics.

The aim of this study is to test if the observed trends of grassland seasonal patterns and, possibly, grass nutritional content of the last decades are linked to the strong decrease of ibex populations during the last 20 years in Gran Paradiso National Park (Italian Western Alps).

The first step is to test if remotely sensed data are good estimators of the nutritional content of grass (digestibility, neutral detergent fiber, nitrogen content, biomass, water content and leaf area index), which will be assessed from field samples collected from 19 plots, with 6-9 repetitions, during spring and summer 2012.

Then, remotely sensed data will be used to model the variations of grassland in the last three decades considering all the important environmental covariates. Model outputs will be used to understand how the timings of vegetation stages (beginning of the growing season, plant maturity and start of senescence) have changed and if considering these changes we can enhance our understanding of the population dynamics of ibex.


Dimensione 5.01 MB
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Lingua English
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Sito Web
Creato 2013-12-27 19:46:10
Creato da luigi.ranghetti
Modificato il 2013-12-27 20:07:15
Modificato da luigi.ranghetti


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