People, Pollution and Pathogens

Mountain ecosystems as sentinels of change



The two mountain research projects P³ and GloMEC will conduct ecological research and policy relevant actions on pollution, pathogens and anthropological impacts in mountain ecosystems, especially at the interface of aquatic and terrestrial habitats and in the socio-ecological system. The research will be conducted in several mountain ranges: the Pyrenees (France), Dhofar Mountains (Oman), Sierra Nevada (USA), Zong Yang Mountain ragen (Taiwan), and the Great Hinggan Mountain (China). The mountain ranges proposed to be studied are on different continents with shared characteristics, but also with differences allowing for the analysis of the different societal and ecological contexts, which will be studied along altitudinal gradients. Both projects will augment, align and focus research strands already ongoing in the institutions of partners. The principal aim of GloMEC and P³ is to understand the impact of climate change on mountain watersheds and the risks for stakeholders and the general public, especially in regard to the provision of clean drinking water.

Watch our introduction video and stay tuned visiting our blog.

The project P³ is financed by

The project GloMEC is financed by
through the Axa Chair
Functional Mountain Ecology


Please, find below our P³ flyers in 6 languages for wide distribution.


  • On our Media page you can now find 6 different videos produced by P³. They are on the tough life of amphibians, the search for pathogens, the resource water, and the drought in the mountains + the introduction video you all already know.
  • You also find 2 flyers from the project GloMEC there!

15-year-old Greta with a remarkable speech to UN. Will it make change? The past has shown that decision makers remain ignorant. I hope Greta will change that!

Research of P³

The Steering Committee of P³: Dirk S. Schmeller (NSF), Jan Friesen (CATHYD), Antonis Chatzinotas (UMB), Werner Brack (Effect-Directed Analysis), Kunshan Bao (NIGLAS), Adeline Loyau (System Ecotox), Gael Le Roux (Ecolab), Vance Vredenburg (SFSU).

Globally, the negative impacts of current and future global change on mountain ecosystems, and especially mountain freshwater habitats and their biota and the surrounding terrestrial environment, are expected to greatly outweigh potential benefits. The principal aim of P³ is to understand the impact of global change on microbes, plankton, invertebrates, amphibians, and pathogen emergence in aquatic and terrestrial mountain habitats. P³ will evaluate the global change risks in mountain ecosystem for stakeholders and for human well-being and will develop and inform the concept of mountains as sentinels of change.
Beyond adding to the growing body of knowledge, a core element of the P³ philosophy is to synthesize existing knowledge, produce generalized insights and supplement these with new data collected at altitudinal gradients in four mountain ranges, the Pyrenees (France), Dhofar Mountains (Oman), Sierra Nevada (USA) and the Great Hinggan Mountain (China).                                                                                                  


The results obtained by the P³ research will expand current understanding of global change impacts mountain freshwater ecosystems and their functioning as well as the biodiversity they comprise. Scientists will be able to utilize the insights uncovered by P³ to execute a wide range of research, from focused investigations studying the factors impacting different species groups to holistic studies examining impacts of changed biodiversity composition and drivers that alter ecosystems. Moreover, conservationists and environmental managers will use the results of our research to develop effective programs to control and manage populations of mountain ecosystems on a global scale. For example, P³ will develop predictive methods to understand where conservation efforts are most necessary to mitigate the effects of biodiversity loss in the wild. The results of P³ also have broader societal impacts by evaluating the risk that changes in mountain ecosystems have on human well-being and on societal prospects.

The project will start at the 1st of June 2016 and will run at least 48 months. The PI of the project is Dirk S. Schmeller. Announcements of interest to the project are always welcome!


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