The four LTER sites are well-suited for investigating:
1) The impact of changing climate (especially drought) on alpine ecosystems
2) Ecosystem services and socio-economic consequences of land use change
3) Biodiversity along an altitudinal gradient ranging from the colline zone to the nival zone
Research on global change necessitates increasingly multifactoral and interdisciplinary approaches. This is especially true for alpine environments and agricultural regions that are heavily cultivated by humans. The four sites in Matschertal combine different ecological methods ( long-term observations, experimental tests, transect comparisons), socioeconomic methods ( historical land use analyses, stakeholder questionnaires, etc.) and modelling for a holistic and comprehensive approach to the main themes of global change.