Innsbruck, Austria
Innsbruck, Austria

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Fernandez-Delgado Juarez M.,University of Innsbruck | Waldhuber S.,University of Innsbruck | Knapp A.,University of Innsbruck | Partl C.,Amt der Tiroler Landesregierung | And 2 more authors.
Biology and Fertility of Soils | Year: 2013

A field study was carried out to evaluate the potential of wood ash as a fertilizer in grassland systems in combination with enriched N organic wastes. Six treatments including manure or digestate, each combined with wood ash at 0, 1, and 3 t ha-1 were spread onto the soil to an amount equivalent to 120 kg N ha-1. Three soil samplings and one cutting was carried out within one growing season (3 months). A higher pH value was found in manure-treated plots, the pH rise being proportional to the amount of wood ash added. Those plots amended with digestate were characterized by a larger content of total C, NH4 +, and total P (TP) regardless of the amount of ashes. Microbial activity, assessed by basal respiration and microbial biomass carbon of the differently treated soils, was not affected neither by the nature of the organic waste nor by the amount of wood ash added. However, amending soil with digestate resulted in a more efficient soil microbial community, as shown by the lower values of the metabolic quotient. Such effects were accompanied by a higher percentage of plant cover, particularly of leguminous plants in digestate-treated plots. The time of sampling (seasonal effects) was found to influence the soil pH and electrical conductivity (EC), as well as the nutrient content (total N, NH4 +, and NO3 -). Overall, the combined use of wood ash and biogas digestate can constitute an efficient way for the disposal and recycling of both products and additionally, it may constitute an environmentally friendly alternative to mineral fertilizers for acid soils. © 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Fernandez-Delgado Juarez M.,University of Innsbruck | Fernandez-Delgado Juarez M.,Alpnter for Climate Change Adaptation | Gomez-Brandon M.,University of Innsbruck | Knapp A.,Alpnter for Climate Change Adaptation | And 2 more authors.
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2015

The application of wood ash to forest soils has been used to compensate nutrient loss and avoid soil and water acidification. Using ashes in a non-stabilized form might negatively affect forest ecosystems. Bearing this in mind, together with landscape restrictions and socio-economic parameters, it underlines the importance of using pelletized ashes as soil additives in alpine areas. Therefore, in this study we evaluated the effects of pelletized ashes on the chemical and microbiological properties of four soils representative for the central Alps [rendzic Leptosol (L), fibric Histosol (H), haplic Podzol (P), and dystric Cambisol (Cm)] in a microcosm trial during 22weeks. The following ash-pellet treatments were at a ratio equivalent to 2 Mgha-1: pellets without any additive (A); or in combination with bark, compost, and digestate (B-D). A control without ashes (Ct) was also included. Weekly measurements of pH and electrical conductivity (EC) from the soil leachates were performed. A higher pH, relative to Ct, was found in treatment A for Podsol. Additionally, treatments B and C led to a pH rise in Leptosol. Electrical conductivity, total C and N, and inorganic N forms were not significantly affected by the pelletized treatments regardless the soil type. A similar trend was recorded for pH and EC levels from the leachate samples. A lower metabolic quotient (qCO2), relative to Ct, was recorded in Podsol following treatment A. However, when pellet ashes were applied in combination with digestate, a higher qCO2 than that in Ct was found for this type of soil, which might indicate a lower microbial C utilization efficiency and/or microbial stress. This latter treatment also resulted in a lower dehydrogenase activity in Podsol, whilst soil protease activity and N mineralization were not affected in any of the studied soils. We conclude that ash amendment in pellets form on certain soils improves their acidity levels without causing extreme effects. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


Muller-Derungs M.,Furnerschhus 1 | Lentner R.,Amt der Tiroler Landesregierung | Albegger E.,Klosterwiesgasse 42 | Knaus P.,Schweizerische Vogelwarte
Ornithologische Beobachter | Year: 2014

The Dotterel is threatened of extinction in the Alps due to its small population size. The main breeding area lies in Austria with a maximum of ten breeding pairs since 2003. In Switzerland, only two breeding records in the Grisons in 1965 and 1998 were known until recently. In 2012 and 2013, three more broods in the Grisons at an altitude between 2600 and 2770 m a.s.l. were recorded. The late timing of two broods was remarkable. The chicks, which were just a few days old, were discovered on 1 and 10 August, respectively. Therefore the eggs were laid in the first ten days of July. This is almost a month later than in 1965 and 1998, when eggs were laid in the first half of June. In the other breeding record a juvenile, just or almost fledged, was discovered on 18 July. Egg laying started thus around the end of May. With the advice to find the Dotterel given at the end, it is hopefully possible to discover more broods in future. It is recommended to check potential areas twice around 20 June and 10 July.


Dorsch J.,Landesamt fur Vermessung und Geoinformation Bayern | Kistler E.,Landesamt fur Vermessung und Geoinformation Bayern | Attwenger M.,Amt der Tiroler Landesregierung
Zeitschrift der Deutschen Gesellschaft fur Geowissenschaften | Year: 2010

Computer models that are as precise as possible are required to predict natural hazards in the Alps, such as floods, mudflows, slides, rockfalls and avalanches. An important foundation for this is the Digital Terrain Model (DTM). The quality of the DTM depends significantly on point density, the position and height accuracy and the actuality. Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) has proven to be a method with high precision and a large point density. The Bavarian Office for Surveying and Geographic Information uses the technique of airborne laser scanning since 1996. By the year 2011 a DTM derived from airborne laser scanning will be available in Bavaria (70 551 km2). The risk of alpine natural hazards often extends across national borders. For the generation of transnational computer models a homogeneous DTM with high precision and actuality is required. Bavaria and Tyrol cooperated in a common project and created a DTM with high accuracy in the Alps. In alpine areas airborne laser scanning is significant complex in comparison to laser scanning in lowland. The technical specifications of the laser scanning campaign are a point density of 1 point per m2 in the Bava rian Alps and a height accuracyof 0.08 m (rms). Therefore the DTM is also appropriate for different geoscientific tasks. Some examples are shown. In the last decades the mass loss of glaciers has increased. ALS data provide a current 3-dimensional mapping of the terrain; in relation to older geodetic or cartographic data mass balances get obvious. An example in the Tyrolean Alps (Ötztaler Alpen) is shown where the slide of ice and rock mass endangers a water reservoir underneath. For the monitoring of the hazard zone several airborne laser scanning flight campaigns took place. © 2010 E. Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Stuttgart, Germany.


We conducted an analysis of 45 reléves in the two forest nature reserves in the Bavarian Northern Limestone Alps designated for long-term research. The Totengraben reserve is located in the Fauna-Flora-Habitat (FFH)-area of the Mangfall Mts., and the Wettersteinwald reserve in the FFHarea of the Wetterstein Mts. The aim of the study was to develop a management-focused, cross-border forest typology grounded in geobotany, conservation, and site-specific ecological principles. We made use of the recently implemented Bavarian Forest Reserve Research programme to survey six permanent 314 m2 circular vegetation plots within the core areas of the reserves. The newly collected data were combined with existing data. The two reserves include the following forest types: upper montane, closed mixed coniferous forest; lowermost semiclosed subalpine spruce forest; and uppermost semi-open subalpine Swiss stone pine forest. The forests near the alpine timberline have been heavily disturbed by centuries of cattle grazing, allowing a massive expansion of secondary rhododendron-mountain pine shrubs. Our findings make possible the conceptualization of a distinction between areas dedicated to conservation and management in the surrounding FFH areas. The mixed coniferous and the subalpine coniferous forest types on sites with higher soil water storage capacity show lower ecological sensitivities for wood biomass utilization. Outside of the reserves, a sustainable forest management plan allowing for multiple forest functions is feasible, provided that some small stands of these types remain unused and may serve as crucial refugia and habitat stepping stones to harbour core populations of relict species. Mixed coniferous and subalpine coniferous forests on shallow, well-drained calcareous sites, in contrast, show high ecological sensitivities for wood biomass utilization and require an especially careful minimum intervention or even a non-intervention management. The geographical information system WINALP can be used to elucidate type-related priorities.


Krautzer B.,Institute for Plant Production and Cultural Landscape | Graiss W.,Institute for Plant Production and Cultural Landscape | Peratoner G.,Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry Laimburg | Partl C.,Amt der Tiroler Landesregierung | And 2 more authors.
Natural Hazards | Year: 2011

Control of erosion, and all of its after effects, from increased surface drainage and erosion to the formation of karst, is one of the essential problems when undertaking recultivation following necessary interventions in the sub-alpine and alpine vegetation stage (high zones). Average slope inclinations of 30-45% in the vicinity of ski runs, and far above in areas of natural erosion and avalanche zones, make restoration processes with sufficient erosion protection the prerequisite for success. Only a sufficient vegetation development of more than 70% ground cover stabilises the topsoil in the long term and reduces soil erosion to an acceptable degree. From 1999 to 2002, an international EU project with the participation of research groups and private firms from Austria, Italy and Germany was carried out under the direction of the Agricultural Research and Education Centre Raumberg-Gumpenstein (AREC) on five different Alpine sites at altitudes from 1,245 to 2,350 m above sea level. The aim of the work was the formulation of practice-relevant requirements for recultivation following intervention in high zones, especially following constructional measures in the vicinity of ski runs and lifts, torrent- and avalanche barriers. In a statistical comparison, the relationship between restoration techniques, seed mixtures of differing ecological value and vegetation cover was observed. The influence of application technique on erosion processes after restoration was obvious for the first two vegetation periods. Only with the additional use of mulch covers could increase surface drainage and noticeable soil loss be avoided. At high altitudes, the choice of seed mixture, irrespective of whether rapid or slow growing and independent of the extent of accompanying fertilisation, had no significance in the first two vegetation periods following sowing. In the following growing seasons, however, higher cover values were obtained with site-specific seed mixtures at three of the five experimental sites. While few species of the commercial seed mixture showed satisfactory persistency, most of the grasses and in particular the alpine leguminosae of site-specific seed mixtures increased their share during the observation period. In the long-term, sufficient protection against erosion is only guaranteed by the use of stable, enduring and ecologically adapted species. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Kropsch M.,Hohere Bundeslehr und Forschungsanstalt fur Landwirtschaft Raumberg Gumpenstein | Lechner C.,Amt der Tiroler Landesregierung
Larmbekampfung | Year: 2013

Farms in Austria are increasingly focused as potential sources of sounds and noise. Not only livestock husbandry is involved, but also technical equipment and traffic related to agriculture. One essential aim during developing the manual - apart from collecting sound emission data related to agricultural traffic and rural technical equipment - was to generate noise emission data from livestock husbandry. In cooperation with the Forum Schall and Division V/5 of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, the Manual for the assessment of farm noise was developed. It represents a new, solid and wide base for acoustical assessments of farms. The guideline was completed in spring 2013 and can be downloaded free of charge from the homepage of the Austrian Federal Environment Agency[1].


This article presents the site management of protected areas in Austria, taking the representative cases of the provinces (Bundesländer) of Salzburg and Tyrol. For Salzburg the organisation, tasks and procedures of site management are explained. Both the role of site management as a link between stakeholders and nature administration and the benefits for conservation work are highlighted. For Tyrol the article describes the site management approach that has been in place for several years, identifying its strengths and weaknesses. One special feature of that approach is the excellent networking between all the protected areas under the coordination of the provincial government.


A visible sign of recent climate change and the rise in global temperatures over the past decades is the, in places, dramatic retreat of the snow and ice cover in many parts of the polar regions. Likely the only exceptions are the high-polar arid zones of the Antarctic continent and specifically of the inner plateau of East Antarctica. However, recent local indications point to a decrease in glaciation and snow cover along the East Antarctic coastal zone. This finding in turn may call into question whether the transition zone between the low coastal regions and the high polar plateau is affected as well. Mountain ranges encountered within this incline area of the polar plateau, for example the mountain ranges of Neuschwabenland (within the Antarctic sector Dronning Maud Land), present a good opportunity to examine this question. The observation of climate-related changes in Neuschwabenland is made possible because of the aerial photography first conducted in 1939. Within the mountains of Orvinfjella oblique aerial photographs using similar perspectives were again made in November 2009. The grouping of individual aerial photographs into image pairs provided the basis for a comparative interpretation for this report. For additional confirmation, stereo aerial photographs, taken during survey flights in January 1996 (GeoMaud-Expedition), were examined as well. Initially, as an introduction to the special geographical situation in the wider study area, the geomorphologic-glaciological and the climatological conditions are described. Using satellite image interpretation and the study of the stereo aerial photographs reveals how strongly the glaciation and the conditions of its surface were and are determined by climatic factors as well as geomorphological circumstances. The specific conditions of Orvinfjella and its surrounding areas have caused a remarkably low reduction in the ice level of only a few decametres since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Observing the local glaciation and snow cover of the mountains, the close interaction between topography and prevailing wind directions, in addition to other large scale factors, becomes obvious. Related windward, leeward, jet and foehn effects determine the distribution of snowdrift as well as the extent of blue-ice fields, snow-free moraines and rocky areas. Through the comparison of five selected pairs of aerial photographs differences in snow cover are observed, which to a large degree, are contingent upon seasonal and/or weather-related influences. In looking for differences in the degree of glaciation and snow cover in the central part of Orvinfjella during the past seven decades, however, no discernible evidence of changes was found. This conclusion applies to the outlet glaciers as well as to the alpine glaciers and the extension of the snowfields at elevations between 1500 and 2500 meters above sea level. Due to the prevailing high-polar arid climate, rather an increase in snowfall can be expected due to climate-related temperature increases, which is supported by single indications in the southern part of Orvinfjella.


The Austrian Technical Guideline for the estimation of fugitive dust emissions 2013 describes the estimation of particle emissions by handling bulk materials. Estimated emissions according to the Austrian Technical Guideline for fugitive dust emissions 1999 or the guideline VDI 3790 Part 3 in comparison to emission measurements usually show significant higher results. The development of the new determination method is based on comprehensive measurements and the primary approach of Pieper. One goal of this new determination method is to reduce the deviations of the results by simplifying parameters. Secondly the estimation should be more accurate in relation to emission measurements available. The new method is printed in the Austrian Technical Guideline for estimation of fugitive dust emissions 2013. The chapter "Particle Emissions by Handling Bulk Materials" in context to the new determination method will be introduced in detail in this article.

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