Welcome to GMBA

The Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment (GMBA) is a cross-cutting network of DIVERSITAS with the task to explore and explain the great biological richness of the mountains of the world.

2014-03-24New paper: A climate-based model to predict potential treeline position around the globe

In situ temperature measurements revealed that the position of the high-elevation treeline is associated with a minimum seasonal mean air temperature within a tempera- ture-defined minimum season length across latitudes. Here, we build upon this experience and present the results of a global statistical analysis and a predictive model for low temperature treeline positions. We identified 376 natural treelines from satellite images across the globe, and searched for their closest climatic proxies using a climate database. The analysis included a snow and a water balance submodel to account for season length constraints by snow pack and drought. We arrive at thermal treeline criteria almost identical to those that emerged from the earlier in situ measurements: tree growth requires a minimum length of the growing season of 94 days. The model yields best fit when the season is defined as all days with a daily mean temper- ature [0.9 °C, and a mean of 6.4 °C across all these days. The resultant treeline model ‘TREELIM’ offers a robust estimation of potential treeline elevation based on climate data only. Error terms include imprecise treeline position in satellite images and climate approximations in mountainous terrain. The algorithm permits constraining low temperature limits of forest growth worldwide (including polar treelines) and also permits a bioclimatic stratification of mountain biota, for instance, for biodiversity assessments. As a side product, the model yields the global potentially forested area. The results support the isotherm theory for natural treeline formation. This completely independent statistical assessment of the climatic drivers of the global treeline phenomenon confirmed the results of a multi-year mea- surement campaign.

Jens Paulsen and Christian Körner (2014) A climate-based model to predict potential treeline position around the globe. Alpine Botany DOI 10.1007/s00035-014-0124-0

You can access the article at Springer..

2014-01-13Workshop: Ecology of Glacier Forelands

September 17 - 21, 2014, in Obergurgl, Austria

Over the last years people working on glacier forelands and on pro- or periglacial environments have brought forward highly interesting new aspects from a variety of geographic regions. Among them are really astonishing and unexpected results which raise the question what are local specifics and what are common traits and mechanisms in such environments. This calls for common approaches and joint actions on a super-regional scale. This workshop aims to bring together people working on any organisms with their interactions and their abiotic environment in the terrestrial and aquatic habitats of deglaciated terrain of any kind including debris covered glaciers, rock glaciers, and nunataks.

Location: University Centre in Obergurgl
Organisation: Sessions with brief talks; Workgroups to discuss specific matters such as methodology, particular organism groups, theories and models, etc.; Synthesizing the outcome into a plan for joint actions; Half-day excursion to a local glacier foreland, and optional full-day excursion in the region on the last day.
Conference fee: none
Deadlines: Preliminary titles 16 February 2014, Final titles and abstracts 13 April 2014

Please use the official form for registration and to submit contributions. Download the form here, fill it in and send it to the contact address below.

Contact: Ruediger Kaufmann ruediger.kaufman[at]uibk.ac.at

2013-11-14Call for Abstracts: Global Fair and Workshop on Mountain Observatories

Reno, Nevada, USA, 16-19 July 2014

MRI and the University of Nevada at Reno are pleased to announce the opening of Abstract Submissions to the Global Fair and Workshop on Long-Term Observatories of Mountain Social-Ecological Systems. They are seeking abstracts for any and all of the following:
- Sessions Propose a topic related to the themes of the Workshop that can be used to organize Presentations. Deadline: January 14 2014
- Presentations Address the themes of the Workshop through a focussed short talk. Deadline: February 20 2014
- Ateliers Propose a roundtable discussion with your colleagues about a particular monitoring problem or possibility. Deadline: February 20 2014 - Expositions Show others what you do through a poster or other exhibit of your mountain monitoring program. Be at the Fair to explain your work, meet your colleagues and perhaps develop collaborations with them. Deadline: April 16 2014

In order to encourage participation from outside Canada and the USA, the MRI will be entertaining requests for partial travel support. Details on application criteria are listed on the conference website. As the budget is limited, it is highly likely that MRI will not be able to meet all requests. The Fair and Workshop organizers will make final decisions regarding what, if any, travel support it will offer.

For more information see the Conference website.

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