Subproject 6


Detection of altitudinal limits of tree species by hikers

Mountain forests of the Bavarian Alps are subject to above-average climate warming. Are upper limits of beech, fir, spruce et al. moving upwards? Due to insufficient monitoring schemes, science cannot currently answer this seemingly simple question. On the other hand, tens of thousands of hikers frequent the summits, walk the treeline and increasingly use smartphones for navigation and fotos. Our project raises makes hikers aware of connections between mountain forests and climate change, trains them in identifying frequent tree species and offers to share their observations with a large community through the BAYSICS app. Based on mass media of the German Alpine Club (DAV) and the Bavarian State Forest Enterprise (BaySF) we make use of citizen science, crowdsourcing and gamification. Results are visualized and compared to historical data from the mid-19th century (the end of the Small Ice Age with almost 2° colder temperatures).

Principal investigator: 

Prof. Dr. Jörg Ewald

Botany, vegetation science

University of Weihenstephan-Triesdorf

Hans-Carl-von-Carlowitz-Platz 3

85354 Freising

Tel: +49 8161 715909