Our research programs

In addition to the individual research interests of CREA Mont-Blanc’s team members, the organization focuses its work on several large research programs seeking to understand the changes that mountain ecosystems undergo in response to various environmental disruptions, and specifically to climate change. Through its research, CREA Mont-Blanc strives to bring together partners from a wide variety of different specialties and disciplines to address specific environmental and social questions.

 

The Mont Blanc Massif is the subject of a wide variety of multidisciplinary scientific studies, all found on the Mont Blanc Atlas. © A. Delestrade

logo_phenoclim.jpg

 

Phenology

The Phenoclim program seeks to measure and understand the impact of climatic changes on the phenology (seasonal rhythms) of different species found in mountain environments. In spring and fall, ten common tree and plant speicies as well as eleven bird species are monitored by CREA Mont-Blanc’s researchers and volunteers across the Alps.

Phenoclim is a participatory science program, and since 2004 has received contributions from over 5,000 citizen scientists, including several hundred who participate every year.

To learn more about the program, visit our Citizen Science page in English or Phenoclim.

phenoclim.org

 

Long-term monitoring of an entire massif

The goal of the Mont Blanc Atlas program is to create an interactive and participatory online laboratory, bringing together scientific data and results in ecology, climatology and glaciology. Created thanks to the expertise of researchers and help of volunteers, the studies found on the Mont Blanc Atlas allow for long-term monitoring of the evolution of ecosystems in this emblematic mountain range. By making these resources available to the public, they can act as a tool for creating land management strategies and for raising awareness in the general public.

Phenological protocols

Green up monitoring (automated with cameras and satellites)
Coal tit reproduction monitoring
Common frog reproduction monitoring

Protocols for monitoring the evolution of alpine species

A variety of different protocols have been put in place in order to evaluate the distribution and population dynamics of plant and animal species in the Mont Blanc massif. Using the data collected, researchers are able to model the influence of environmental change on ecosystems in the future.

Habitat mapping
Species distribution (through Espèces en live module)
Mammal monitoring
-    Ungulates and hares (scat)
-    Micromammals: snow voles and shrews (tracks)
Bird Abundance (birdsong)
Monitoring of the Alpine chough dynamics
Tree-line monitoring

The Mont Blanc Atlas is a website not only dedicated to allowing users to explore the data and results from these protocols, but also to creating a space for discovering information from a variety of different disciplines including ecology, climatology and glaciology. A variety of “live” applications, a selection of interactive visuals and explanatory articles allow users to achieve a deeper understanding of current environmental issues.

atlasmontblanc.org

 

Climatology

Climatology is a fundamental underlying discipline behind all of CREA Mont-Blanc’s various research programs. With the goal of precisely monitoring climate change, CREA Mont-Blanc has installed over 60 automated temperature monitoring stations across the Alps. This unique monitoring network allows researchers to compare climate data (temperature and snowpack) with flora and fauna observation data.

CREA Mont-Blanc’s temperature monitoring stations were designed through a collaboration with the Charles Poncet Tech high school in Cluses, and engineers from SOMFY.

To learn more about our temperature monitoring stations, you can consult the technical specifications sheet, and explore our online interactives:

  • Temperature monitoring (from automated temperature stations): Climat en live.
  • Snowpack monitoring (from automated stations and volunteer observations): Snowpack.

Climat en live

 

To learn about our research collaborations, visit our collaborations page.