Permanent research sites on mountain peaks

On the permanent sites in Switzerland belonging to the international network of research sites participating in the GLORIA project, and on other mountain peaks as well, we are researching how the flora on mountain summits changes over time.


The high alpine flora has undergone significant change in recent decades. The effects are especially evident on mountain peaks for which historical photographs of plants exist. In order to explore the changes in vegetation, we are mapping the plants on various mountain peaks in the Pyrenees, and in the Scottish and Scandinavian mountains, and comparing the findings with a one-hundred-year data set spanning the same sites.

Within the framework of GLORIA (GLobal Observation Research Initiative in Alpine environments), researchers from various countries worldwide have established permanent sites in alpine regions – including in the Swiss National Park. Here, at intervals of five to seven years, we are recording the plant species and their populations, as well as temperature data, in order to monitor climate-related changes in the vegetation.