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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   Situated at the border to Italy in the southeastern part of the Ötztaler Alpen, this biosphere reserve represents a transect from the high montane to the nival zone (1,900 to 3,400 meters above sea level). It comprises ravines, ridges and slopes with boulders, siliceous screes, rocks and permanent glaciers in the higher alpine and nival zone. In the low alpine and high montane zone, siliceous alpine grassland and dwarf shrubs predominate.
The alpine grassland has for more than five centuries been used as pastures for sheep and cattle. Some parts of the area are influenced by overgrazing. Today, the main impact on the biosphere reserve arises from tourism and the construction of ski lifts and ski slopes.
Since 1951, mineralogists, geologists and biologists of the University of Innsbruck have intensively investigated the area.
About 90 % of the biosphere reserve area is under national protection status as ’Ruhegebiet Ötztaler Alpen’ since 1981. The same area was in 1995 proposed as Site of Community Importance (pSCI) according to the Habitats Directive and as Special Protected Area (SPA) according to the Birds Directive. It will be a part of the Community List for the network Natura 2000.
  Major ecosystem type   Mixed mountain and highland systems
  Major habitats & land cover types   Mixed forests (about 2,000 m a.s.l.) with Pinus cembra, Larix decidua and Alnus viridis; dwarf shrub vegetation with Rhododendron ferrugineum, Vaccinium myrtillus and Loiseleuria procumbens; alpine grassland with Carex curvula, Elyna myosuroides etc.; lichen heath
  Location   46°51'N; 11°04'E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   1,500
  Core area(s)  
  Buffer zone(s)  
  Transition area(s) when given  
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +1,900 to +3,400
  Year designated   1977
  Administrative authorities  
  Brief description   Geology
Biological investigations
Mountain systems
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Geology.
  Biodiversity   Biology, mountain and highland systems.
  Socio-economic   n.a.
  Integrated monitoring   n.a.
  Contact address    
Abteilung Umweltschutz
Sillgasse 8
A-6020 Innsbruck
  Telephone   (43.512) 576 377
  Fax   (43.512) 576 377 200

Last updated: 07/10/2006

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