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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Scientific reports, 2021-05-27, Vol.11 (1), p.11128-11128
    Description: AbstractHigh elevation temperate mountains have long been considered species poor owing to high extinction or low speciation rates during the Pleistocene. We performed a phylogenetic and population genomic investigation of an emblematic high-elevation plant clade (Androsace sect. Aretia, 31 currently recognized species), based on plant surveys conducted during alpinism expeditions. We inferred that this clade originated in the Miocene and continued diversifying through Pleistocene glaciations, and discovered three novel species of Androsace dwelling on different bedrock types on the rooftops of the Alps. This highlights that temperate high mountains have been cradles of plant diversity even during the Pleistocene, with in-situ speciation driven by the combined action of geography and geology. Our findings have an unexpected historical relevance: H.-B. de Saussure likely observed one of these species during his 1788 expedition to the Mont Blanc and we describe it here, over two hundred years after its first sighting.
    Subject(s): Life Sciences ; Biodiversity ; Systematics, Phylogenetics and taxonomy
    ISSN: 2045-2322
    E-ISSN: 2045-2322
    Source: Nature Open Access
    Source: Academic Search Ultimate
    Source: PubMed Central
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Scientific reports, 2019-07-30, Vol.9 (1), p.1-15
    Description: Quantifications of in-situ denudation rates on vertical headwalls, averaged over millennia, have been thwarted because of inaccessibility. Here, we benefit from a tunnel crossing a large and vertical headwall in the European Alps (Eiger), where we measured concentrations of in-situ cosmogenic 36Cl along five depth profiles linking the tunnel with the headwall surface. Isotopic concentrations of 36Cl are low in surface samples, but high at depth relative to expectance for their position. The results of Monte-Carlo modelling attribute this pattern to inherited nuclides, young minimum exposure ages and to fast average denudation rates during the last exposure. These rates are consistently high across the Eiger and range from 45 ± 9 cm kyr−1 to 356 ± 137 cm kyr−1 (1σ) for the last centuries to millennia. These high rates together with the large inheritance point to a mechanism where denudation has been accomplished by frequent, cm-scale rock fall paired with chemical dissolution of limestone.
    Subject(s): Heredity
    ISSN: 2045-2322
    E-ISSN: 2045-2322
    Source: Nature Open Access
    Source: Academic Search Ultimate
    Source: PubMed Central
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Scientific reports, 2021-05-27, Vol.11 (1), p.11246-11246
    Description: AbstractPlant rooting strongly affects most hydrological, biogeochemical and ecological processes in terrestrial ecosystems, as it presents the main pathway for carbon, water and nutrient transfer from soil to the atmosphere and is a key factor in stabilizing the soil layer. Few studies have actually investigated the link between phytosociological and structural vegetation composition and diversity in soil rooting parameters. Our study provides a comprehensive evaluation of plant cover and diversity effects on rooting parameters dependent on different land-use types along a north–south transect in the Eastern Alps. We conducted field studies of root biomass, rooting density and rooting depth for the six main land-use types: intensively and lightly used hay meadows, pastures, arable land, agriculturally unused grasslands and forests. The variation in rooting parameters was explained by different aspects of species and functional richness, species and functional composition, functional traits, abundance of key species and site variables depending on the land-use types. Our results showed that different characteristics of biodiversity explained the variance in root parameters (mass, density and depth) to a high degree (determination coefficient R2 values varied between 0.621 and 0.891). All rooting parameters increased with increasing plant species richness, as well as with a higher diversity of plant functional traits. The inclusion of site parameters significantly increased the explained variance, while we could not find evidence for key species and their abundance to provide additional explanatory power. Allowing the effects to vary depending on land-use types turned out to be a necessity supporting the importance of considering land-use types for rooting. The findings indicate that vegetation composition has a clear relationship with rooting parameters across different habitats in the European Alps. As the effect of plant composition differs with respect to the land-use type, rooting can be monitored by land management to achieve the desired benefits. For example, intensified rooting through extensive management decreases erosion risk and increases carbon uptake.
    ISSN: 2045-2322
    E-ISSN: 2045-2322
    Source: Nature Open Access
    Source: Academic Search Ultimate
    Source: PubMed Central
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Journal of physics. Condensed matter, 2021-04-23, Vol.33 (17)
    Description: Atomic structure of plate-shaped nanodiamonds synthesized from chloroadamantane was identified with application of large- powder diffraction data. Both reciprocal and real space methods of experimental data analysis were applied. Theoretical atomistic models of nanodiamonds were obtained with application of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. It was found that examined nanodiamond samples with average grain size from 1.2 up to 2.5 nm are plates build from only six hexagonal carbon layers and they are terminated by (111)B surfaces with three dangling bonds. MD simulations showed that as a result of relaxation of surface stresses there appears a complex system of compressive and tensile strains across and parallel to the surface of the plate-nanodiamonds. Identification of the internal structure of nanodiamond was performed based on the analysis of differential interatomic distance diagrams derived from pair distribution functions ( ). Based on MD simulations an atomic model of plate-grains of diamond was elaborated. Usefulness of lattice parameters determined in a routine diffraction data analysis for characterization of nanodiamonds is questioned. As an alternative the application of the apparent lattice parameter is recommended. A dependence of the overall apparent lattice parameter 〈alp〉 on the size and shape of nanodiamond grains terminated by low index crystal faces is presented.
    ISSN: 0953-8984
    E-ISSN: 1361-648X
    Source: IOPscience extra
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  • 5
    Conference Proceeding
    Conference Proceeding
    2020
    ISSN: 1757-8981  ISSN: 1757-899X 
    Language: English
    In: IOP conference series. Materials Science and Engineering, 2020-08-01, Vol.913 (5), p.52040
    Description: The article presents the data on ice avalanche in the mountains of the Caucasus and the Alps, obtained as a result of the satellite images' interpretation in different years. Ice avalanche of hanging glaciers, end parts of glaciers, sections of glaciers on the steep steps of the primary relief, and sections of icefalls were recorded. The activity of ice avalanche in the summer period was revealed. The ejection range of the ice blocks of the Trift glacier in Switzerland in 2017 reached 1,050 m. Ice glaciers were noted on the icefall sections on the Irik, Terskol, Garabashi glaciers (Elbrus city) with an ejection range of up to 330 m. The most active were the rock-stone caving of the hanging glaciers and underlying bedrock in the Kolka glacier comb in 2002 and 2003 and the ice collapses of the advancing glacier on the slope of Kazbek in 2015-2019. Annual ice avalanche from the Bezengi wall marked.
    ISSN: 1757-8981
    ISSN: 1757-899X
    E-ISSN: 1757-899X
    Source: IOPscience extra
    Source: Alma/SFX Local Collection
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: Scientific reports, 2019-04-30, Vol.9 (1), p.6678-6678
    Description: The spatial relationships of ecosystem services are complex and poorly understood due to spatial mismatches between areas of provision and the areas that benefit. In this study, we assess the spatial flows of six key ecosystem services from and to mountain regions at the regional and global level. We identify major directions of spatial flow and illustrate different types and transfer mechanisms with detailed examples focusing on the European Alps and surrounding lowlands. Our results demonstrate that the spatial flows of ecosystem services range from local to global interactions and extend far beyond the regional level for most of the ecosystem services assessed. Transportation processes encompass passive biophysical processes and the active transportation of goods, distribution of information and traveling of people. Decision and policy-making can use this enhanced understanding to influence ecosystem service transfer and consequently manage natural resources in a sustainable way.
    Subject(s): Science & Technology - Other Topics ; Multidisciplinary Sciences ; Science & Technology ; Ecosystem assessment ; Ecosystems ; Decision making ; Ecosystem management
    ISSN: 2045-2322
    E-ISSN: 2045-2322
    Source: Nature Open Access
    Source: Academic Search Ultimate
    Source: Web of Science - Science Citation Index Expanded - 2019〈img src="http://exlibris-pub.s3.amazonaws.com/fromwos-v2.jpg" /〉
    Source: PubMed Central
    Source: Web of Science - Social Sciences Citation Index – 2019〈img src="http://exlibris-pub.s3.amazonaws.com/fromwos-v2.jpg" /〉
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: Scientific reports, 2018-01-09, Vol.8 (1), p.183-183
    Description: Large sediment fluxes from mountain belts have the potential to cause megafans to prograde into the neighbouring sedimentary basins. These mechanisms have been documented based from numerical modelling and stratigraphic records. However, little attention has been focused on inferring temporal changes in the concentrations of supplied sediment from coarse-grained deposits. Here, we extract changes of this variable in the field from a Late Oligocene, c. 4 km-thick suite of fluvial conglomerates situated in the North Alpine foreland basin, which evolved in response to the tectonic and erosional history of the Alps. We measure a decrease in channel depths from 〉2 m to 〈1 m and an increase in the largest grain sizes from 〈15 cm to 〉20 cm from the base to the top of the suite. These constraints are used to calculate an increase in fan surface slopes from 〈0.3° to 〉1.0° based on the Shields criteria for sediment entrainment. We combine slope and bulk grain size data with the Bagnold equation for sediment transport to infer higher concentrations of the supplied sediment. We use these shifts to propose a change towards faster erosion and a steeper landscape in the Alpine hinterland, driven by mantle-scale processes beneath the Alps.
    Subject(s): Entrainment ; Sediments ; Basins
    ISSN: 2045-2322
    E-ISSN: 2045-2322
    Source: Nature Open Access
    Source: Academic Search Ultimate
    Source: PubMed Central
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: Scientific reports, 2019-10-21, Vol.9 (1), p.15026-14
    Description: To prepare for upcoming extreme events, decision makers, scientists and other stakeholders require a thorough understanding of the vulnerability of the built environment to natural hazards. A vulnerability index based on building characteristics (indicators) rather than empirical data may be an alternative approach to a comprehensive physical vulnerability assessment of the building stock. The present paper focuses on the making of such an index for dynamic flooding in mountain areas demonstrating the transferability of vulnerability assessment approaches between hazard types, reducing the amount of required data and offering a tool that can be used in areas were empirical data are not available. We use data from systematically documented torrential events in the European Alps to select and weight the important indicators using an all-relevant feature selection algorithm based on random forests. The permutation-based feature selection reduced the initial number of indicators from 22 to seven, decreasing in this way the amount of required data for assessing physical vulnerability and ensuring that only relevant indicators are considered. The new Physical Vulnerability Index (PVI) may be used in the mountain areas of Europe and beyond where only few empirical data are available supporting decision-making in reducing risk to dynamic flooding.
    Subject(s): Science & Technology - Other Topics ; Multidisciplinary Sciences ; Science & Technology ; Flooding ; Decision making
    ISSN: 2045-2322
    E-ISSN: 2045-2322
    Source: Nature Open Access
    Source: Academic Search Ultimate
    Source: Web of Science - Science Citation Index Expanded - 2019〈img src="http://exlibris-pub.s3.amazonaws.com/fromwos-v2.jpg" /〉
    Source: PubMed Central
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: Nature (London), 2018-05, Vol.557 (7707), p.706-709
    Description: Modern squamates (lizards, snakes and amphisbaenians) are the world's most diverse group of tetrapods along with birds and have a long evolutionary history, with the oldest known fossils dating from the Middle Jurassic period-168 million years ago . The evolutionary origin of squamates is contentious because of several issues: (1) a fossil gap of approximately 70 million years exists between the oldest known fossils and their estimated origin ; (2) limited sampling of squamates in reptile phylogenies; and (3) conflicts between morphological and molecular hypotheses regarding the origin of crown squamates . Here we shed light on these problems by using high-resolution microfocus X-ray computed tomography data from the articulated fossil reptile Megachirella wachtleri (Middle Triassic period, Italian Alps ). We also present a phylogenetic dataset, combining fossils and extant taxa, and morphological and molecular data. We analysed this dataset under different optimality criteria to assess diapsid reptile relationships and the origins of squamates. Our results re-shape the diapsid phylogeny and present evidence that M. wachtleri is the oldest known stem squamate. Megachirella is 75 million years older than the previously known oldest squamate fossils, partially filling the fossil gap in the origin of lizards, and indicates a more gradual acquisition of squamatan features in diapsid evolution than previously thought. For the first time, to our knowledge, morphological and molecular data are in agreement regarding early squamate evolution, with geckoes-and not iguanians-as the earliest crown clade squamates. Divergence time estimates using relaxed combined morphological and molecular clocks show that lepidosaurs and most other diapsids originated before the Permian/Triassic extinction event, indicating that the Triassic was a period of radiation, not origin, for several diapsid lineages.
    Subject(s): Lizards - classification ; Animals ; Lizards - anatomy & histology ; Bayes Theorem ; Italy ; Phylogeny ; Altitude ; Fossils ; Lizards ; Natural history
    ISSN: 0028-0836
    E-ISSN: 1476-4687
    Source: Alma/SFX Local Collection
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: Scientific reports, 2020-08-20, Vol.10 (1), p.14024-14024
    Description: Debris flows can grow greatly in size and hazardous potential by eroding bed and bank material, but effective hazard assessment and mitigation is currently hampered by limited understanding of erosion and deposition dynamics. We have collected high-resolution pre- and post-flow topography for 6 debris flows over a 3 km long unconsolidated reach of the Illgraben channel in the Swiss Alps with drone-based photogrammetry. We show that the spatio-temporal patterns of erosion and deposition in debris-flow torrents are highly variable and dynamic. Check dams strongly control the spatial patterns of erosion and deposition. We identify a memory effect where erosion is strong at locations of strong deposition during previous flows and vice versa. Large sediment inputs from subcatchments initially result in new channel erosion through the subcatchment deposits and simultaneous upstream deposition, likely as a result of backwater effects. It is generally believed that erosion increases with debris-flow magnitude, but we show that there is a limit to debris-flow bulking set by channel geometry. These findings provide key guidelines for flow volume forecasting, emphasizing the importance of memory effects and the need to resolve both erosion and deposition in predictive models.
    Subject(s): Prediction models ; Dams
    ISSN: 2045-2322
    E-ISSN: 2045-2322
    Source: Nature Open Access
    Source: Academic Search Ultimate
    Source: PubMed Central
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