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fig1 res mr map min Temperature data are fundamental measurements to study the phenology of biocoenosis; the temperature, in fact, is the primary factor that controls bio-geochemical cycles and therefore the speed with which fauna and flora develop. This can be observed in particular in Alpine ecosystems, due to the snowfall and cold, which reduce the period of vegetation. The species present in these contexts are particularly sensitive to the temperature, so that they have sufficient time to complete their cycle of reproduction, which is essential for the survival of the populations. The network of temperature  stations in the PhenoAlp project will enable scientists to study the phenology of Alpine flora and fauna, as a function of climatic variations.

The network is currently made up of 41 autonomous stations, which measure air and soil temperatureevery 15 minutes (4 sensors). Most of the stations transmit the data through GPRS systems. You can directly consult the unprocessed temperature data on the CREA website or the average daily temperatures here. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 fig2 res mr v3

 

Temperature data

Temperature data enable us to understand the variations in the climate throughout the year, but also to compare different years with each other. In the three years of readings, we have been able to note particularly high temperatures in the spring and autumn of 2011, as compared to 2009 and 2010 (see figure 1). Thus, it will be possible to visualize the evolution of temperatures through the various decades, follow the impact of these variations on the development of Alpine biocoenosis and to understand the relationship between the phenology and climatic change.

fig3 res mr interan min

Figure 1: daily mean temperature (2 m) , recorded in Loriaz (1,921 m asl) from 2009 to 2011. 

The network of PhenoAlp stations enables recording of the air temperature at different altitudes, but also the temperature in the first horizons of the soil. The latter measurement also enables us to indirectly calculate the duration of the snow season in the observation sites. In effect, when present,snow protects the ground from freezing and creates a buffer effect, whereby the temperature remains stable at around 0° C (see figure 2). The ground remained covered in snow for 131 days during the winter of 2009-2010 and for 95 days during the winter of 2010-2011.

fig4 res mr snow min

 

 

Figure 2:  daily soil temperature recorded in Loriaz (1,921 m asl) from 2009 to 2011

Elevation gradient

The decrease of temperature with altitude is an important process to be taken into consideration during phenological studies in mountainous areas. With six degrees less on the average, every 1,000 malpine ecosystems have little time, with respect to plains areas, to carry out their annual phenological cycle, due to the lower temperature throughout the year, but also due to more consistent and long lasting snow. These two phenomena are visible on the gradient situated in the Mt. Avic Regional Natural Park (see figure 3). The four stations record the temperature on an altitude gradient of 850 m asl. The difference in temperature between the highest and lowest station, in 2011, was 3° C on the average, in the springtime (2.4° C on the average during the period without snow). Additionally, the snow melted 10 days earlier at the lowest station.fig5 res mr grad min

Figure 3: Average daily temperatures at 2 m above the ground, recorded by the 4 stations in the Mt. Avic regional natural park (1,921 m asl) in 2011.


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NEWS

Jan 2013

NEW PAPER! "Phenology and carbon dioxide source/sink strength of a subalpine grassland in response to an exceptionally short snow season" was published on Environmental Research Letters

May 2013

Watch PhenoALP presentation video!

Jun 2014

NDVI database now available

Aug 2013

Do you want to start phenological observations in your classes? Here is the experience from Torgnon primary school.

Dec 2013

Midterm Meeting took place: have a look at the contents

Jan 2013

NEW PAPER! "Phenology and carbon dioxide source/sink strength of a subalpine grassland in response to an exceptionally short snow season" was published on Environmental Research Letters

May 2013

Watch PhenoALP presentation video!

Jun 2014

NDVI database now available

Aug 2013

Do you want to start phenological observations in your classes? Here is the experience from Torgnon primary school.

Dec 2013

Midterm Meeting took place: have a look at the contents

Jan 2013

NEW PAPER! "Phenology and carbon dioxide source/sink strength of a subalpine grassland in response to an exceptionally short snow season" was published on Environmental Research Letters

May 2013

Watch PhenoALP presentation video!

Jun 2014

NDVI database now available

Aug 2013

Do you want to start phenological observations in your classes? Here is the experience from Torgnon primary school.

Dec 2013

Midterm Meeting took place: have a look at the contents

Jan 2013

NEW PAPER! "Phenology and carbon dioxide source/sink strength of a subalpine grassland in response to an exceptionally short snow season" was published on Environmental Research Letters

May 2013

Watch PhenoALP presentation video!

Jun 2014

NDVI database now available

Aug 2013

Do you want to start phenological observations in your classes? Here is the experience from Torgnon primary school.

Dec 2013

Midterm Meeting took place: have a look at the contents

Jan 2013

NEW PAPER! "Phenology and carbon dioxide source/sink strength of a subalpine grassland in response to an exceptionally short snow season" was published on Environmental Research Letters

May 2013

Watch PhenoALP presentation video!

Jun 2014

NDVI database now available

Aug 2013

Do you want to start phenological observations in your classes? Here is the experience from Torgnon primary school.

Dec 2013

Midterm Meeting took place: have a look at the contents

Jan 2013

NEW PAPER! "Phenology and carbon dioxide source/sink strength of a subalpine grassland in response to an exceptionally short snow season" was published on Environmental Research Letters

May 2013

Watch PhenoALP presentation video!

Jun 2014

NDVI database now available

Aug 2013

Do you want to start phenological observations in your classes? Here is the experience from Torgnon primary school.

Dec 2013

Midterm Meeting took place: have a look at the contents

Jan 2013

NEW PAPER! "Phenology and carbon dioxide source/sink strength of a subalpine grassland in response to an exceptionally short snow season" was published on Environmental Research Letters

May 2013

Watch PhenoALP presentation video!

Jun 2014

NDVI database now available

Aug 2013

Do you want to start phenological observations in your classes? Here is the experience from Torgnon primary school.

Dec 2013

Midterm Meeting took place: have a look at the contents

Jan 2013

NEW PAPER! "Phenology and carbon dioxide source/sink strength of a subalpine grassland in response to an exceptionally short snow season" was published on Environmental Research Letters

May 2013

Watch PhenoALP presentation video!

Jun 2014

NDVI database now available

Aug 2013

Do you want to start phenological observations in your classes? Here is the experience from Torgnon primary school.

Dec 2013

Midterm Meeting took place: have a look at the contents