The timing and magnitude of cyclic events in the terrestrial biosphere are strongly related to climate variability, thus phenology can be considered as an important indicator of climate change, as stated in the IPCC TAR (2007). On the other hand phenology controls numerous land surface feedbacks to the climate systems and ecological interactions through regulation of exchanges of carbon, water and energy between biosphere and atmosphere. Thus, biosphere’s phenological response to climate change is an outstanding scientific question.
Overall results and lessons learned in the framework of the EU co-funded Interreg PhenoALP Project will be presented in the final meeting of the project. The event will be a great opportunity to bring together scientists, government agencies, local administrations, personnel of protected areas, educators and students to discuss the impacts of climate change on plant and animal phenology in the Alps.
The meeting will be held over three days: the first day will be dedicated to a workshop for researchers, post-docs, PhD and graduate students interested in a broad overview about relationship between phenology and climate, new insights from continental-scale phenological monitoring networks and relationship between phenology and ecosystem processes in the alpine environment. Lectures will be given by scientists who have made important contribution to phenology and carbon modeling, leading to significant progress in these fields:
Annette Menzel - Professor at the Department of Ecology, Technische Universität München, expert in bioclimatology, lead author for the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Working Group II Fourth Assessment Report.
Andrew D. Richardson - Professor at Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, expert in phenology, forest ecology, carbon cycle analysis and impacts of global change on terrestrial ecosystems.
Georg Wohlfahrt - Professor at the Institute of Ecology, University of Innsbruck, expert in measurement and modelling carbon and water fluxes exchange of mountain ecosystems.
The second day is focused on the presentation of the main results of the PhenoALP Project, encompassing scientific results but also the outcomes of the educational program and citizen science activities. In the afternoon, a discussion group on sensor-based phenological monitoring is foreseen with the aim of discussing the standardization of data collection (e.g. digital repeated photography, webcam, spectroradiometers) and data analysis methods for inferring vegetation phenological cycle.
Finally, a half day visit to PhenoALP carbon fluxes and phenology monitoring sites in Torgnon alpine grassland and larch forest is foreseen the third day