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DOI 10.4461/GFDQ.2014.37.3


First results of the participatory approach for monitoring supraglacial vegetation in Italy

Pages 23-27


The relationship between glacier fluctuations and vegetation dynamics makes the vegetation system a precious archive of data not only for studying climatic trends but also for assessing glacier history and recent movements. The increasing supraglacial debris coverage, that is currently affecting many glaciers, offers new habitats for animals and plants, including trees. On this basis, since 2011 the Italian Glaciological Committee has started a participatory project for annually monitoring the Italian supraglacial vegetation in order to record the progressive debris covered glacier surfaces colonization, in relation with glacier location, altitude, aspect. In the first three years of monitoring, the 27 observed glaciers have allowed to add new information for those glaciers where supraglacial vegetation was already known or studied (Miage, Brenva and Belvedere Glaciers) and to detect new glaciers presenting vegetation colonization.

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