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  • Forest fires in the Northern Alps and their impact on landscape development Prof. Dr. A. Friedmann Prof. Dr. K.-F. Wetzel ()
    In the last centuries, numerous forest fires devastated considerable parts of the subalpine krummholz and forest areas in the vicinity of Innsbruck. Because of the downwash of the exposed soil, some of the affected slopes are still bare of vegetation today. Intensified slope processes, a changed water balance and an increased probability of avalanches lead to a disturbed equilibrium and thus, to an enhanced risk of natural hazards in the vicinity of the slopes. The aim of the applied project is to investigate the location, the temporal distribution and the recurrence interval of the fires. We currently try to work out the ecosystem's regeneration potential under varying topographical and geological settings. Furthermore, the consequences for the alpine timberline, slope hydrology, denudation processes and thus, for the long-term landscape development are investigated.