Autumn Semester 2020 takes place in a mixed form of online and classroom teaching.
Please read the published information on the individual courses carefully.

701-1441-00L  Alpine Ecology and Environments

SemesterAutumn Semester 2016
LecturersS. Dietz, D. Ramseier
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


AbstractThe online course ALPECOLe provides a global overview of the complex ecosystems of mountain regions, and of their great diversity of habitats and organisms. The course is interdisciplinary and the various approaches are designed to help understand the past, present and future of mountain ecosystems.
ObjectiveKnowledge of alpine environments worldwide and their ecology
ContentThe online course is subdivided into
- 5 lessons on abiotic factors: geology, soils and their forming processes, climate, and disturbance factors
- 12 lessons on plants: diversity, patterns and processes, treelines, water & nutrients, carbon cycle, atmospheric influences, sexual and clonal reproduction, and one specific lesson on aquatic environments
- 5 lessons on animals: habitats and adaptations, origin of species, food ecology and impact of domestic livestock
- 3 lessons on landscape evolution: quarternary paleoenvironments, methods like radiocarbon dating, pollen records, dendrochronology, stable isotopes, and historical data
- 1 lesson on global change

Students can also follow a virtual walk through alpine areas where context-based information on alpine environments can be accessed. Moreover, all mayor alpine areas of the world can be selected on a map and then informative pictures of those landscapes and faunistic and floristic inhabitants will be shown.
Online exercises and tests allow to test the learned matter.
Prerequisites / NoticeOnline course and seminar
Students prepare for the seminar by working through particular lessons. Each student has to present some special aspect of one lesson. The seminar contribution is part of the performance assessment.
Course language is English