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Alpine summit flora undergoing rapid change

Nov 03, 2005 / alpMedia
As part of their study on the "Influence of Climate Change on Succession Processes and Population Dynamics of Vegetation in Alpine Environments" research teams at the universities of Hanover/D and Zurich/CH have concluded that the rate of change in the floristic composition of vegetation in the Swiss Alps is increasing all the time. According to the experts this trend is consistent with global climate change.
The study showed that the number of species on the ten high mountain summits of the Bernina Massif/CH has doubled and even tripled over the past century. The rate of change of the summit flora over the last twenty years is almost three times higher than that of the first eight decades of last century. It proves that plants are clearly reacting to the climate changes of the 1990s, the warmest decade since meteorological records began.
Information: (de). Bibliography: Walther, G.-R., Beissner, S., Burga., C. A. (October 2005): Trends in the upward shift of alpine plants. In: "Journal of Vegetation Science" 16/5, pages 541-548. Download: (en)