Research of High Mountains Ecosystems

Head of the program: Associate Professor Otar Abdaladze

Participants of the program: Associate Prof. Maia Akhalkatsi, Associate Prof. Nugzar Zazanashvili, Assistant Prof. Ketevan Batsatsashvili, Assistant Prof. Marina Mosulishvili, Emeritus Prof. Gia Nakhutsrishvili. Program also involves MA and PhD students of the Ilia State University. 

Contact person: Otar Abdaladze

mail: alpine_ecology@iliauni.edu.ge, Tel.: 899 248 615

Summary of the Project

Alpine ecosystems have a huge impact on the human habitat. 10% of the world population lives in mountainous regions and over 40% depends on its recourses: accumulated drinking and irrigation water, wood, moving and pasture territories etc. After 40-50 years when population of the planet will double, role of the mountains will increase even more and major focus will be shifted towards flora of the alpine territories (especially ecotone of the upper border of the forests) as it will become major natural factor regulating storage of clean fresh water and its balance. That turns study of alpine ecosystems into one of the most important issues of global scientific and political program.

Research program is directed towards not only solving of purely scientific issues and attraction and preparing of new young scholars, but also intends to contribute to preservation of socio-economic and cultural recourses of Georgian alpine zones, their sustainable use and in case of necessity their restoration. 

Goals of the program:

Research program sets the goal to conduct complex study of all actual directions of Georgian alpine ecosystem. This includes: 

  • Identification of diversity of alpine flora and ecosystems
  • Study of structural and functional organization of floral co-societies
  • Conduct of ecological expertise on the use of mountainous landscapes
  • Identification of alpine floral recourses
  • Study of anthropogenetic impact on alpine floral co-societies 
  • Identification of ecological perspectives of alpine climate change
  • Elaboration of a scientific baseline for sustainable management and measures for preservation and restoration of ecosystems
  • Raising of awareness in the field of environment protection and support of education in the realm of ecology. 

Current research: 

There are several projects realized in the frames of the program. Along with professors of the Ilia State University and their foreign partners BA, MA and PhD students are also actively involved in the research:

  1. Analysis of Multiple Interrelations Between Environmental and Social Processes in Alpine Regions of Georgia (01.03.2010-1.03.2013). Funding of the project is provided by Volkswagen Foundation, Germany;
  2. Alpine Biodiversity in the Caucasus and its Functional Importance (01.12.2009-30.11.2012). Funding is provided by Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF/SCOPES), Switzerland; 
  3. Identification of Impact of Global Climate Change on the Flora of Alpine Regions of the Central Caucasus. Network of Fifth Framework Program of the European Union, GLORIA – EUROPE (Global Observation Research Initiative in Alpine Environments), Austria; 
  4. Identification and Study of Plant Species for Production of Biodiesel in Georgia. Pilot project of the Ilia State University;
  5. Management and Conservation of Genetic Recourses of Grapes (GrapeGen06). Network of Sixth Framework Program of the European Union, France;
  6. Creation of Virtual Maps of Orchid Distribution in Georgia. Germany. 
  7. Assessment of Sensitive Habitats of Europe. Emerald Network program of the European Union

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Web Site Last Update Date :   2014-04-18