Research and monitoring in national park
According to § 6 of the National Park Act, the monitoring and scientific study of nature is a central goal of Berchtesgaden National Park. In particular, the national park serves as a reference area and place of learning with regard to natural ecosystem dynamics in mountain areas.
The aim of research in the National Park is to investigate important research questions based on clearly formulated hypotheses. Both basic research (i.e. research aimed at gaining general systems understanding) and applied research (i.e. research questions with a clear practical focus) are carried out in the national park. In addition to conducting targeted research programs the National Park also runs long-term monitoring programs. The aim of monitoring in the national park is to observe natural processes as comprehensively as possible over extended time periods. Monitoring is an important source of information for research, but also provides the foundation for evidence-based ecosystem management. The administrative framework of the national park administration provides the basis for long-term scientific observations.
Research in Berchtesgaden National Park uses a variety of different methods, ranging from observations and experiments in the field to the analysis of remote sensing data and the use of computer simulations. Central topics of national park research are the investigation of natural ecosystem dynamics and the vertical gradient that characterizes Berchtesgaden national park. In the core zone of the national park, natural development of ecosystems largely undisturbed by humans can be observed and studied. A difference in elevation of more than 2,000 m in the national park results in high local variability in climatic conditions. This not only contributes to the high biodiversity of the area, but also offers a unique opportunity to study the effects of climate on ecosystems. Research in the national park is carried out in close cooperation with national and international partners and is embedded in scientific networks in Bavaria as well as on national and international level.