Workpackage I: Comparison of data and correlative models on the European scale

We will expand data from the global mountaintop flora monitoring network GLORIA (Global Observation Research Initiative in Alpine Environments, Pauli et al. 2012) by a new resurvey of 71 European summits to provide, for the first time, systematic observations of change in the continental mountaintop flora over a period of > 20 years (Task 1). We will use these data to validate model predictions (Task 2) and explore the possible contribution of special scale to possible deviations between observations and models (Task 3).

Workpackage II: Comparison of data and dynamic models at the landscape scale

For an exemplary mountain landscape of the Austrian Alps we will develop fine-scale maps of the major environmental variables affecting alpine plant distribution (Task 4), and analyse the relationship between these variables and current fine-scale patterns of plant occurrence and abundance (Task 5). We will establish interaction experiments (Task 6) and monitor demographic rates of plant individuals in the fields to explore relationships of these rates with climatic gradients (Task 7). We will expand the existing monitoring timeline of alpine plant distribution in the model landscape to approximately 30 years (Task 8). We will develop a novel dynamic multi-species simulation model to simulate the future of the landscape’s (alpine) plant diversity until the end of the century according to IPCC scenarios (IPCC 2013) (Task 9).

Workpackage III: Synthesis and extrapolation from landscape to continental scale

In the final work package we will use results from WP II in combination with fine-scale Digital Terrain Models (DTM) and remote sensing data to assess the importance of microclimatic variation for the future perspective of the alpine flora across all the European summits sampled in WP I.