Alpine Plant Life: Functional Plant Ecology of High Mountain by Christian Körner

By Christian Körner

Recent years have visible renewed curiosity within the fragile alpine biota. The foreign 12 months of Mountains in 2002 and diverse overseas courses and tasks have contributed to this. seeing that approximately 1/2 mankind will depend on water provides originating in mountain catchments, the integrity and sensible signi?cance of the upland biota is a key to human welfare and may obtain much more consciousness as water turns into an more and more constrained source. Intact alpine vegetation,as the protect of the water towers of the realm, is worthy being good understood. This new version of Alpine flowers is an replace with over a hundred new references,new diagrams, revised and prolonged chapters (particularly 7, 10, eleven, 12, sixteen, 17) and now additionally deals a geographic index. My thank you visit the various cautious readers of the ?rst version for his or her most precious reviews, in parti- lar to Vicente I. Deltoro (Valencia) and Johanna Wagner (Innsbruck). Basel,April 2003 Christian Körner Preface to the ?rst variation one of many biggest average organic experiments, possibly the single one replicated throughout all latitudes and all climatic regions,is uplift of the los angeles- scape and publicity of organisms to dramatic climatic gradients over a really brief distance, another way merely visible over hundreds of thousands ofkilometers of poleward touring. Generations of plant scientists were fascinated about those typical try areas,and have explored plant and environment responses to alpine lifestyles stipulations. Alpine vegetation is an test at a synthesis.

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Extra info for Alpine Plant Life: Functional Plant Ecology of High Mountain Ecosystems

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With respect to the wind climate, the reader is referred to the extensive treatments of the subject by Grace (1977) and Barry (1981). The latter pub- lication in particular makes it quite clear that the general notion of high mountain environments being particularly windy does not match the data. As Barry states "the most important characteristics of wind velocity over mountains are related to their topographic, rather than their altitudinal effects". Of course, wind speeds up to 200kmh-1 are measured at some mountain stations on isolated peaks, and plants living on exposed ridges in certain mountain regions are facing severe mechanical wind stress, just as many coastal plants do.

However, Bliss's data revealed a rather important interaction between exposure and local weather. His north-facing slope had slightly warmer rather than cooler ground temperatures than the south-facing slope. This unexpected phenomenon resulted from common bright mornings and cloudy afternoons, as observed in many mountains, which caused the north slope to profit from very early sun, whereas the south slope had little advantage from afternoon insolation. 2 DC). It is important that Moser measured temperatures on leaves of the same plant species (Ranunculus glacialis), but at contrasting slope directions.

L~= J F M A MJ J A SON Month (1972) D Fig. 6. Plant canopy temperatures along a profile of increasing wind exposure at the central Alp's treeline in Tirol. The site with Rhododendron is sheltered and deeply covered by snow in winter. Carpets of Loise/euria are found at the wind - blown end of the transect. Vaccinium stands hold an intermediate position. The black area indicates the amplitude between daily minimum and maximum temperatures, the white strip in the lowest diagram shows the amplitude in -IDem soil temperature.

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