Effects of climate change and how to manage them
Mountain ecosystems are characterised by steep environmental gradients, including steep gradients of temperature and moisture. They are islands of high-elevation habitats, isolated by the surrounding lowlands. Changes in environmental conditions are especially threatening endemic species that occur in limited areas, such as on mountain peaks. Of these changes, shorter periods of snow cover below the tree line and changes in water availability may be more important drivers of change than temperature change itself. The likely losers from climate warming among plant species in the mountains are late successional species, species with small,restricted populations, and species confined to the summits or the plains; in comparison, ruderal species (weeds), species with large, widespread populations, and mid-slope species are likely to be winners.
Authors: Dr Eva Spehn
Edition / Volume: ICIMOD periodical 60:40-43