|Biosphere Reserve Information|
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|
|Transition area(s) when given|
|Altitude (metres above sea level)||+1,900 to +3,400|
|Last updated: 10/7/2006|