ALPFOR - Switzerland
Alpine Research and Education Station Furka, ALPFOR, Switzerland The ALPFOR station is unique in Europe by being located at 2440 m a.s.l. directly in the centre of the alpine belt (Swiss central Alps), convenient access by public transport or car. ALPFOR was founded by members of the Institute of Botany of the University of Basel in cooperation with the regional 'Korporation Ursern' (Andermatt) and the Swiss Army in 2009. Three major buildings of the former military camp ‘Furkablick’ have been adapted and renovated in 2009-2011 to serve the new science- and education-oriented needs. Funds were provided by private and public donations. The station is run by the independent, non-profit organisation ALPFOR (affiliated to the University of Basel) that aims at supporting long-term activities in research and education in alpine ecology, fostering sustainable management and use of high mountain ecosystems. The three ALPFOR houses offer space for projects, courses and conferences: dining/lecture room for 80-100 persons, 45 beds in 2- to 7-person rooms, 2 large kitchen facilities, several working rooms and modern sanitary facilities in all 3 houses. The station is open from 1st June to 30th September, please notify there is no access during wintertime. Year-round weather station, total N deposition, multi-site soil temperatures, 300 flowering plant species (biodiversity hotspot), high geo- and topographic diversity. Inventory of flora and fauna on 22 permanent plots (c. 400-600 m2). Research topics (since 1991): - Microclimatology - Influence of elevated CO2 on growth and water regime - Impact of N deposition, warming, sheep trampling on alpine grassland - Population biology, reproductive ecology, molecular genetics of plant populations - Hydrological consequences of land use change - Ecological consequences of N-fixing shrub encroachment - Biodiversity monitoring
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