Since March 2006, we are actively participating in the GLORIA international network (Global observation research initiative in Alpine environments; www.gloria.ac.at), which assess the establishment of a worldwide network for long-term observation and comparison of climate change impact over high mountain biodiversity. The central objective consists in quantifying changes and probable losses of biodiversity and vulnerability of high mountain ecosystem against climate change pressure. In South America, The GLORIA Andean network was conformed, linking about 17 sites, from Argentina to Venezuela (http://www.condesan.org/gloria). The monitoring consists in measure vegetation cover and composition in four summit in an elevational gradient (4000 to 4750 masl), and surface soil temperature, following a standard field manual. In Tucumán, we established a GLORIA pilot site (the first site in Argentina), located in Cumbres Calchaquíes, an isolated and old mountain range, that surround a high plateau of c. 4300 masl, where glacial – origin lagoons named Huaca Huasi are located. The site (base line) was established in 2006, and has already two re-measurements developed every five years; 2012 and 2017. We established a second GLORIA site in Abra del Acay, Salta, in 2012, which will be re-measure soon. There are c. 130 active GLORIA site in the world, in all continents.
The installation of the site was coordinated and promoted by Dr. Stephan Halloy, major referent of studies in the area. Drs. Alfredo Grau and Julieta Carilla are responsible for the project in the area and Dra. Soledad Cuello is in charge of botanical taxonomy. The fieldwork is developed with collaboration of students, teachers and researchers from Facultad de Ciencias Naturales e IML (Universidad Nacional de Tucuman), Universidad Mayor de San Andres, La Paz (Bolivia) and from CONICET.
We had financial support from different sources; CONICET, ALARM (Assessing Large Scale Risks for Biodiversity with Tested Methods), COSUDE (Switzerland agency), CONDESAN (Consortium for the Andean Sustainable Development), NSG (National Geographic Soc.).