GLORIA Coordination

GLORIA’s international headquarter is based at a joint office of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU), Austria. The key tasks of the GLORIA coordination are:

  1. Scientific coordination and guidance for establishing new sites;
  2. Advice and capacity building for fieldwork, species identification and data analysis;
  3. Data checks and compilation into the international database;
  4. Administration and technical communication with network members;
  5. Maintenance and development of the central GLORIA database and communication infrastructures;
  6. Coordination of and/or participation at GLORIA-related research projects;
  7. Building and consolidating interfaces to other networks and programmes in the areas of global change research, long-term ecological research and to inter-governmental research bodies;
  8. Raising the level of public awareness of the ecological implications of climate change.


MICROCLIM: A micro-scale perspective on alpine floras under climate change

  Funded by: European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant; duration 2021-2025.

Project Coordination: University of Vienna; partner: ÖAW and University of Innsbruck, collaborators University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, GLORIA-Europe partner of target regions implemented in 2001 and 2002.

MICROCLIM aims to assess the evidence for these contradictory expectations by linking so far separated research strands of monitoring and predictive modelling of alpine plant distribution. In particular, we will, first, provide a comprehensive evaluation of standard modelling approaches by comparing their predictions with Europe-wide monitoring of mountain top floras and analyse the role of spatial scale for possible mismatches between models and observations of change. Second, we will develop a novel modelling framework that simulates the simultaneous range dynamics of many interacting species. We will parameterise this model by means of experiments and observational data and evaluate it against monitoring data on an exemplary mountain. We will then apply the model to simulate the dynamics of the flora of this mountain over the 21st century at a very fine spatial resolution to evaluate the proposed rescue effect of microclimatic variation in alpine terrain. We will finally generalize the results achieved in these dynamic simulations to all summits included in the European mountaintop monitoring network GLORIA.

Link to project website:

MEDIALPS - Disentangling anthropogenic drivers of climate change impacts on alpine plant species: Alps versus Mediterranean mountains

  Funded by: Austrian Academy of Sciences, Earth System Sciences (ESS); duration 2015-2018.

Combining GLORIA data from selected sites in the Alps and the Mediterranean mountains, measurements of atmospheric nitrogen deposition, soil water potential as well as land use history data and remote sensing approaches, the project attempts to elucidate the contribution of climate change in relation to other anthropogenic drivers of biodiversity change and to identify potential future refugia for high mountain plants. Further, the project supported the resurvey of GLORIA permanent plots in five study regions in 2015.

SCHRANKOGEL-20-years - Warming in the cold: vascular plant and soil biota responses in the high Alps during the past 20 years

  Funded by: Austria Climate and Energy Funds, ACPR 6: KR13AC6K11076; duration 2014-2016.

The project included the third permanent plot vegetation survey at the GLORIA mastersite Schrankogel, the largest alpine-nival observation site in the Alps. It further included baseline surveys of soil and surface-dwelling meso fauna and soil microbial activity, abundance and diversity. Striking results of the analysis of vegetation data series include increases in the number of disappearing species and an amplified pace of thermophilisation. Two publications on vegetation changes in preparation; one further on comparing patterns of vegetation with microbial and soil fauna distributions and one soil fauna at their temperature limits.

Strengthening biodiversity monitoring in alpine protected areas and the public awareness on ecological impacts of climate change

  Funded by: MAVA Foundation for Nature Conservation, Switzerland; duration: 2010-2014.

This project should help to build suitable structures for the long-term operation of the GLORIA programme and site-based network and foster public awareness on the ecological implications of climate change and supported the publication of the GLORIA-Europe 2001/2008 results and the new GLORIA field manual.

Support for a project on ‘Streamlining European Biodiversity Indicators for 2010 (SEBI 2010)’: Developing a Europe-wide indicator of impacts of climate change on alpine plant species

  Funded by: European Environment Agency, in cooperation with the European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity (only small financial support); duration: 2008-2010.

Using the Schrankogel case study of climate change-induced species changes (Pauli et al. 2007) as a conceptual model, the project was dealing with developing a readily understandable indicator for biodiversity changes caused by climate change. The work was based on preliminary analysis of GLORIA-Europe 2001 and 2008 data sets and contributed to the publication of the European GLORIA results.

Sensitive Mountain Limits of Snow and Vegetation

  Funded by: University of Vienna (Research Plattform); duration: 2008-2010.

This interdisciplinary research effort (climatology and vegetation ecology) was focusing on the dynamics of vegetation and snow patterns and introduced the nivality index as the area ratio of nival and alpine plants, and the snow duration as the length of the summer snow cover.

GLORIA - Climate change impacts in protected areas of the Alps and high mountains of Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean region

  Funded by: MAVA Foundation for Nature Conservation, Switzerland; duration: 2005-2009.

This project, focusing on the European GLORIA network, supported a major part of the first resurvey and the development and adjustment of field methods.

ALARM - Assessing large-scale risks for biodiversity with tested methods

  Funded by: EU, FP-6 (Integrated Project GOCE-CT-2003-506675); duration: 2004-2009.

The GLORIA coordination participated in this large-consortium interdisciplinary project in the role of evaluating climate impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem processes in high mountains. In addition, the project supported the implementation of GLORIA in the tropical Andes.

Climate impacts in Biosphere Reserves – Implementation of the GLORIA concept

  Funded by: BMLFUW and co-funded by Land Tirol; duration: 2004-2006.

This project supported the setup of the GLORIA summit sites in UNESCO Biosphere Reserves (BRs) within the frame of a broader research and monitoring initiative to be realised in BRs as a follow-up process to the GLOCHMORE project (see below) and supported data analyses following the resurvey of permanent plots on Schrankogel (Tyrol, Austria).

GLOCHAMORE - Global Change in Mountain Regions: An Integrated Assessment of Causes and Consequences

  Funded by: EU, FP-6 (506679), duration: 2003-2005

This  FP-6 Specific Support Action project was running in the Activity Area: Sustainable Development, Global Change and Ecosystems. The project was coordinated by the GLORIA coordination in close cooperation with the core partner  Mountain Research Initiative. The project aimed at the development of a state-of-the art integrated and implementable research strategy to gain a better understanding of the causes and consequences of global change in 28 selected UNESCO Mountain Biosphere Reserves (BRs) around the world. GLORIA sites could be established in many of these BRs. A main result of the project was the GLOCHAMORE Research Strategy, published in 2005, which should serve as a basis for BR managers and other stakeholders to develop sustainable development policies for their respective BRs.

Climate change in high mountains: 10 years vegetation monitoring at the limits of plant life

  Funded by: ÖAW/International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme; duration: 2002 to 2005.

This project contained the whole preparation and fieldwork tasks of the first resurvey of the Schrankogel plots and a part of the data analysis.

GLORIA-Europe - The European dimension of the Global Observation Research Initiative in Alpine Environments - a contribution to GTOS (Global Terrestrial Observing System)

  Funded by: EU, FP-5 (EVK2-CT-2000-00056), duration: 2001-2003.

The  GLORIA-Europe research project with 22 partner groups marked the start of the international implementation of GLORIA. The standardised field method was further developed, tested and applied in 18 mountain regions across the continent from Mediterranean to subarctic biomes. In addition to research teams, several potential ‘user groups’ such as NGOs and networks dealing with development in mountain regions were involved.

Effekte globaler Umweltveränderungen auf die Biodiversität (Effects of global environmental change on biodiversity)

  Funded by ÖAW/International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme and by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research (BMWF); duration: 1994-1995.

This project enabled to establish the alpine-nival long-term monitoring and Research site Schrankogel, Stubaier Alps, Tyrol and supported the data analysis and species/vegetation modelling approaches, based on a high-resolution digital elevation model and the collected permanent plot data.