By Christian Körner

Generations of plant scientists were fascinated about alpine vegetation - with the publicity of organisms to dramatic climatic gradients over a truly brief distance. This accomplished textual content treats a variety of themes: alpine weather and soils, plant distribution and the treeline phenomenon, physiological ecology of water-, dietary- and carbon relatives of alpine crops, plant tension and plant improvement, biomass creation, and facets of human affects on alpine crops. Geographically the e-book covers all components of the area together with the tropics.

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

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Particularly in spring, snow melt figures on slopes document the conservative nature of these patterns, which have even been given names by local N-slope 0 M J J A S 0 M J J A S o M J Fig. 3. The annual course of root zone temperature (10 cm below the surface) at precisely 2500 m altitude, but at sites contrasting in slope exposure. 1, SW slope with tall alpine grassland; 2, almost horizontal glacier forefield with sparse pioneer vegetation; 3, steep N slope with fellfield vegetation. Unpublished data from 1996/1997 near the Furka Pass, Swiss Alps, ca.

Fundamental influence of these snow distribu- • When relief comes into play, climatic isoline distion patterns on alpine vegetation (for example tances become narrower and so do the boundGjaerevoll 1956; Billings and Bliss 1959; Nageli ary lines between different vegetation units. 1971; Douglas and Bliss 1977; Helm 1982; Williams • Wind- and relief-controlled snow distribution 1987; Ozenda 1988; Barbour et al. 1991; Holtmeier can cause the dates of snow disappearance in and BroIl 1992; Kudo and Ito 1992; Komarkova spring to vary by 4 months, and the inter-annual variation of these patterns can be one month.

4, 6, 7 and 9), because the atmospheric conditions measured above the vegetation in the alpine zone most often have little in common with those at vegetation level. In summary, the alpine (macro-) climate above the vegetation shows a number of common, but also a number of different features across the globe. The most important common components are reduced pressure and reduced atmospheric temperature with the associated reduction of vapour pressure deficits. High maximum solar radiation and a greater short wave contribution, but otherwise rather similar radiation doses across altitudes and latitudes (with a few exceptions) are another common characteristic.

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