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Mountain biodiversity : its causes and function

Körner, Christian. (2004) Mountain biodiversity : its causes and function. Ambio, Vol. 13, Suppl. 13. pp. 11-17.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5249078

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Abstract

The personal safety and well-being of one fifth, and water supply for almost half of all people depend directly or indirectly on the functional integrity of mountain ecosystems, the key component of which is a robust vegetation cover. The green `coat` of the world`s mountains is composed of specialized plants, animals and microbes, all nested in a great variety of microhabitats. Because a single mountain may host a series of climatically different life zones over short elevational distances, mountains are hot spots of biodiversity and priority regions for conservation. With their diverse root systems, plants anchor soils on slopes and prevent erosion. Both landuse and atmospheric changes such as elevated CO2 and climatic warming affect mountain biodiversity. Sustained catchment value depends on sustained soil integrity, which in turn depends on a diverse plant cover. Whether landuse in mountains is sustainable is a question of its consequences for water yield and biodiversity. Given their dependence on mountains, lowlanders should show concern for the highlands beyond their recreational value.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Umweltwissenschaften > Pflanzenökologie (Körner)
UniBasel Contributors:Körner, Christian
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Universitetsforlaget
ISSN:0044-7447
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Identification Number:
Last Modified:22 Mar 2012 14:25
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 13:45

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