By Christian Körner
Generations of plant scientists were fascinated with alpine vegetation - with the publicity of organisms to dramatic climatic gradients over a really brief distance. This entire textual content treats a variety of issues: alpine weather and soils, plant distribution and the treeline phenomenon, physiological ecology of water-, dietary- and carbon relatives of alpine vegetation, plant pressure and plant improvement, biomass creation, and facets of human affects on alpine plants. Geographically the e-book covers all elements of the realm together with the tropics.
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Extra resources for Alpine Plant Life: Functional Plant Ecology of High Mountain Ecosystems
3). When this text was written I had knowledge of only one published data set of full season plant-temperature measurements in the alpine zone, collected from the same altitude but at steep slopes of contrasting orientation, the work by Moser et al. (1977) discussed below. The data by Bliss (1956) in the Medicine Bow Mountains include slope exposure as a variable, but these were rather gentle slopes, which exerted no pronounced climatological differentiation. However, Bliss's data revealed a rather important interaction between exposure and local weather.
Unpublished data from 1996/1997 near the Furka Pass, Swiss Alps, ca. 300 m above the climatic treeline. o Interactions of relief, wind and sun this field by his classical mapping and monitoring work. It is this sort of research where results may have been assumed to be self-evident, but where someone finally did the very detailed, cumbersome analysis, which has replaced assumption, intuitive knowledge or common belief by hard rock evidence. Unfortunately the work was not published in a prominent place and did not receive the attention it deserved.
The The abrasive and shaping effects of wind, as photograph on top shows the dwarf shrub heath in this area described for trees at the treelines of some tem- in autumn. Note the dark patches of Rhododendron in sheltered depressions. (Cernusca 1976) perate zone mountains or on islands are well known (Tranquillini 1979; Marchand 1991), but plants of lower stature growing on exposed sites 37 38 4 The climate plants experience are also affected (Caldwell 1970). The relative position of plants between ridges and valleys exposes them to different local wind systems (Franz 1979; Barry 1981) which can substantially alter plant temperatures.