#ICOScapes - Fendt

On this page:

Location: Bavaria, southern Germany
Type: Ecosystem measurements
Greenhouse gases measured by ICOS: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O)

The ICOS Fendt measurement station is situated in the middle of a large pasture area in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps. The location represents the most typical farmland for the northern slopes of the Alps in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Mountain regions are especially vulnerable to climate change. Over the last 50 years, the temperature in the station area has already risen twice as much as in the rest of Germany.

Farming in this type of agricultural area is affected by climate change quite directly. Due to rising temperatures, the soil quickly loses carbon in the form of greenhouse gases that it has previously absorbed from the air over hundreds of years. In the long run, this will make the soil less fertile for agriculture. Furthermore, nitrous oxide, an extremely strong greenhouse gas, will likely increase due to lack of an insulating snow cover, and thus more frequent frost events in the soil.

In addition to improving the world’s knowledge about long-term storage of greenhouse gases in the soil, ICOS also observes the effects of climate mitigation measures and agricultural policy on greenhouse gases, on the health of the ecosystems, and eventually, on the livelihood of farmers.

ICOS Fendt station is part of the ICOS Ecosystem Network, which is working towards understanding the processes behind the exchange of energy and greenhouse gases between the ecosystems and the atmosphere. In Fendt, ICOS measures cover most important greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) which are the main greenhouse gases contributing to the enhanced greenhouse effect.