Navigation Links
Mountain summits in the Alps becoming increasingly similar
Date:11/30/2007

St Moritz/Leipzig. Alpine summit vegetation will become increasingly homogenized as a result of climate change, say researchers from the University of Bayreuth and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research writing in the international Journal of Vegetation Science. The biologists assessed data on the composition and species numbers of plants on the summits of seven mountains measuring over 3000 metres in the Bernina range in Switzerland over a period of almost one hundred years. They noticed that as a result of climate change, an upward shift of flora is taking place. This is increasing the number of species on the mountain summits studied, but also leading to an increasing homogenization of the species composition of Alpine summit vegetation. This means that species diversity within individual areas (alpha diversity) is increasing, but that species diversity across ecosystems (beta diversity) is declining.

Seen generally, biodiversity can decline for two main reasons: through the disappearance of species, or when specialised species are replaced by generalists. The resulting homogenization can lead to a reduction in regional biodiversity. Until now, the question of homogenization has, however, primarily been discussed in connection with the impacts of invasive species, and less in the context of climate change. The evaluation of the data from the Bernina range now puts this debate in a new light. For their study, the two researchers analysed data from their colleague Gian-Reto Walther, who investigated the top ten metres of these summits in detail in 2003 and made notes of all the plants. They compared these records with surveys from the years 1907 and 1985. On average, the number of plant species rose from 10 to 28 species per summit. The increasing temperatures has evidently brought about a proper summit meeting. More and more species are now forced to share the summits. At the last count in 2003, however, no species were found to have disappeared since 1907. By contrast, the differences between the summits declined significantly over the same period. Today the summits of the Minor range are not only more similar to each other, they are also more similar to the neighbouring Languard range than before, despite the fact that they are separated from each other within the Bernina Alps by the Val da Fain. "This is a clear sign of the early stages of homogenization," says Gerald Jurasinski, a biogeographer from the University of Bayreuth. "We suspect that the accessibility and popularity of these summits among climbers is playing a role here after all, seeds can also be carried on peoples clothes and shoes. But unfortunately there is not yet any data for this," remarks Jrgen Kreyling of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ. The two researchers hope their work will draw attention to the fact that biodiversity means more than species richness. The composition of the species spectrum, beta diversity and functional diversity also play an important role in functioning ecosystems.


'/>"/>

Contact: Tilo Arnhold
presse@ufz.de
49-341-235-1269
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres  
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Scientists tackle mystery mountain illness
2. Mountain pine beetle: Canadas new government delivers
3. Influence of sex and handedness on brain is similar in capuchin monkeys and humans
4. Of mice and men: similarities between skeletons of both
5. Purdue research finds similarities in dog, human breast cancer pre-malignant lesions
6. Club drugs inflict damage similar to traumatic brain injury
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Mountain summits in the Alps becoming increasingly similar
(Date:6/15/2016)... ALBANY, New York , June 15, 2016 ... published a new market report titled "Gesture Recognition Market ... Trends and Forecast, 2016 - 2024". According to the ... at USD 11.60 billion in 2015 and is ... and reach USD 48.56 billion by 2024.  ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... -- Paris Police Prefecture ... to ensure the safety of people and operations in several ... tournament Teleste, an international technology group specialised in ... that its video security solution will be utilised by ... safety across the country. The system roll-out is scheduled for ...
(Date:6/3/2016)... , June 3, 2016 ... von Nepal hat ... Lieferung hochsicherer geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich Personalisierung, Registrierung ... in der Produktion und Implementierung von Identitätsmanagementlösungen. ... Ausschreibung im Januar teilgenommen, aber Decatur wurde ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... --  Ginkgo Bioworks , a leading organism design ... awarded as one of the World Economic Forum,s ... innovative companies. Ginkgo Bioworks is engineering biology to ... in the nutrition, health and consumer goods sectors. ... including Fortune 500 companies to design microbes for ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Mosio, a leader in ... Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with experienced clinical research professionals, Mosio ... practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. , “The landscape of how ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Houston Methodist ... the Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as their ... agreement, Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, ... connectivity with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. ... the Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring Houston ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Supplyframe, ... of the Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, Calif., the Design ... of how hardware projects are designed, built and brought to market. , The ...
Breaking Biology Technology: