INT5153 - Assessing the Impact of Climate Change on Land-Water-Ecosystem Quality in Polar and Mountainous Regions

Global Change

The interregional IAEA project aims to improve the understanding of the impact of climate change on fragile polar and mountainous ecosystems on both a local and global scale for their better management and conservation. Seven core and five related benchmark sites have been selected from different global regions for specific assessments of the impact of climate change.

My group is involved in investigating Driver 1 of the project (“impact of climate change on soil and soil organic matter in polar and mountainous regions”), focusing on the questions (i) how the temperature sensitivity of SOM decomposition is modulated by soil moisture, (ii) what type of carbon (age, recalcitrance) is utilized at different temperatures, and (iii) how variations in natural characteristics of the benchmark sites (pH, CEC, and similar) explain temperature response. We are specifically testing this in benchmark sites from King Georg Island (Antarctica), Patagonia, Svalbard and Greenland. In addition, we will focus on the benchmark site in Austria – the Rauris valley in the NP Hohe Tauern.

This project is funded by the IAEA (Interregional Project 5153)

Gerd Dercon, Joint FAO-IAEA Program
Stephanie Kusch / Janet Rethemayer, University of Cologne, Germany
Robert Björk, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Pascal Boeckx, Ghent University, Belgium

Investigated by: