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International research project in Elmitz - burgenland.ORF.at

International research project in Elmitz – burgenland.ORF.at

environment

The biological station in Elmitz is the site of an international research project. A measuring station at the University of Vienna has been collecting data on the exchange of greenhouse gases in wetlands since 2019 in order to measure the effects of climate change on the environment.

The inconspicuous measurement station is located in the middle of the dense reed belt near the biological station at Elmitz. It is a narrow white mast that emits a continuous beeping sound. Thus the metering station filters the air content of carbon dioxide, methane and water vapor. These three most important greenhouse gases are indicative of how climate change will affect sensitive ecosystems such as the reed belt around Lake Neusiedl.

Photo series with 6 photos

Glatzel: a measuring station of global importance

Stefan Glatzel of the University of Vienna is one of the initiators of the long-term project and has been dealing with gas flows between the ecosystem and the atmosphere for many years. Glatzel says he is not exaggerating when he says that this measuring station in Elmitz has global significance. Because such steppe lakes are not uncommon in relatively rich countries where you have the opportunity to examine them in detail.

Zechmeister: Arm yourself against climate change

For Thomas Zechmeister, head of the biological station, Burgenland has played an important role in researching climate change with the measurement station. The better one understands these systems, the better they can prepare for climate change — whether it’s with greenhouse gases, whether it’s now with invasive species. You have to be “up-to-date” so to speak. Data from the measurement station so far shows that the reed belt has been able to bind more CO2 in the past three years. Naturalist Pamela Bauer explained that this is due to the fact that there was more plant growth in the reed belt in terms of area and biomass.

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Lake Neusiedl

However, the expansion of the reed belt is not only positive, because important water areas and therefore habitats for animals are displaced. In the coming years, the complex interaction between soil and atmosphere will be explored. The measurement data should then form the basis for targeted climate protection measures.