The Biology of Alpine Habitats

Paperback | February 28, 2009

byLaszlo Nagy, Georg Grabherr

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This book is unique in providing a global overview of alpine (high mountain) habitats that occur above the natural (cold-limited) tree line, describing the factors that have shaped them over both ecological and evolutionary timescales. The broad geographic coverage helps synthesise commonfeatures whilst revealing differences in the world's major alpine systems from the Arctic to the Tropics. The words "barren" and "wasteland" have often been applied to describe landscapes beyond the treeline. However, a closer look reveals a large diversity of habitats, assemblages and individualtaxa, largely connected to topographic diversity within individual alpine regions. The book considers habitat-forming factors (landforms, energy and climate, hydrology, soils, and vegetation) individually, as well as their composite impacts on habitat characteristics. Evolution and population processes are examined in the context of the responsiveness / resilience of alpinehabitats to global change. Finally, a critical assessment of the potential impacts of climate change, atmospheric pollutants and land use is made and related to the management and conservation options available for these unique habitats.

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This book is unique in providing a global overview of alpine (high mountain) habitats that occur above the natural (cold-limited) tree line, describing the factors that have shaped them over both ecological and evolutionary timescales. The broad geographic coverage helps synthesise commonfeatures whilst revealing differences in the wor...

Laszlo Nagy obtained his first degree in Hungary before moving to the University of Stirling, Scotland, where he obtained his Ph.D. and went on to work as a Post-doctoral research fellow. He is currently an independent researcher at EcoScience Scotland and is affilliated with the Department of Conservation Biology, University of Vienn...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pagesPublished:February 28, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198567049

ISBN - 13:9780198567042

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: what is alpine?2. High mountains in latitude life zones - a worldwide perspective3. Elevation gradients4. The alpine environment - energy and climate5. Habitat creating factors: landforms, hydrology, and soils6. Alpine terrestrial habitats and community types / assemblages7. Biogeography, adaptation and evolution of alpine organisms8. Temporal and spatial dynamics9. Global change impacts on alpine habitats: climate and nitrogen deposition10. Land use and conservation of alpine landscapes, ecosystems, and species11. Concluding remarksReferencesIndex