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Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences

Graduate Program (M.Sc.) - Global Change Ecology

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Exercise course: Field Course Methods in Vegetation Science (Alps) (GCE:M18) (24075)

SS 2024
2024-08-04-2024-08-11 (several days)

Carl Beierkuhnlein, Anke Jentsch

Exercise, 5 ECTS

Dates: 4 August to 11 August 2024

Learning Objectives: The module’s aim is an advanced practical experience in methods in vegetation science, vegetation mapping, and vegetation monitoring. Students are trained in the field across a variety of ecosystems and will understand the effort and the skills needed for ecological assessments. The field work will be affected at the scale of plant communities and ecosystems ranging from the inner-alpine arid valley slopes to the alpine zone and from bogs and mires to forests and natural grasslands. As all ecosystems require a specific scale of investigation and research questions need to be tackled with appropriate approaches, the methods learned beforehand in theory are applied under field conditions. The recorded data will be analysed and compiled in written protocols. The final product will be an individual textbook of vegetation methods based on own work and experience.

Course Content: Based on theoretical knowledge about different approaches and schools in vegetation science, different ways of data recording are applied in the complex terrain of the Alps, which offers a large diversity of habitats and vegetation structures. Site conditions and ecosystem processes are related to key traits of vegetation including floristic and phytosociological relevés, transects, systematic data recording, biometry, biomass, and spatial assessments (mapping, remote sensing).

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