The United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development (UNCED), held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, spawned a multitude of pro- grammes aimed at assessing, managing and conserving the earth's biological diversity. One important issue addressed at the conference was the mountain environment. A specific feature of high mountains is the so-called alpine zone, i. e. the treeless regions at the uppermost reaches. Though covering only a very small proportion of the land surface, the alpine zone contains a rela- tively large number of plants, animals, fungi and microbes which are specifi- cally adapted to cold environments. This zone contributes fundamentally to the planet's biodiversity and provides many resources for mountain dwelling as well as lowland people. However, rapid and largely man-made changes are affecting mountain ecosystems, such as soil erosion, losses of habitat and genetic diversity, and climate change, all of which have to be addressed.
As stated in the European Community Biodiversity Strategy, "the global scale of biodiversity reduction or losses and the interdependence of different species and ecosystems across national borders demands concerted international action". Managing biodiversity in a rational and sustainable way needs basic knowledge on its qualitative and quantitative aspects at local, regional and global scales. This is particularly true for mountains, which are distributed throughout the world and are indeed hot spots of biodiversity in absolute terms as well as relative to the surrounding lowlands.
Overview: An Outline of Europe's Alpine Areas.- A Bioclimatic Characterisation of Europe's Alpine Areas.- The High Mountain Vegetation of: the Scandes.- The High Mountain Vegetation of Scotland.- Vegetation of the Giant Mountains, Central Europe.- The Alpine Vegetation of the Alps.- The Alpine Flora and Vegetation of the South-Eastern Carpathians.- The High Mountain Flora and Vegetation of the Apennines and the Italian Alps.- The Vegetation of the Alpine Zone in the Pyrenees.- High Mountain Vegetation of the Caucasus Region.- The Vegetation of the Corsican High Mountains.- The High Mountain Vegetation of the Balkan Peninsula.- Overview: Patterns in Diversity.- TAxonomic Diversity of Vascular Plants in the European Alpine Areas.- Patterns in the Plant Species Richness of European High Mountain Vegetation.- Altitude Ranges and Spatial Patterns of Alpine Plants in Northern Europe.- Vascular Plant and Bryophyte Diversity Along Elevational Gradients in the Alps.- Assessing the Long-term Dynamics of Endemic Plants at Summit Habitats.- Mapping Alpine Vegetation.- A GIS Assessment of Alpine Biodiversity at a Range of Scales.- Overview: Invertebrate Diversity in Europe's Alpine Regions.- The Geographical Distribution of High Mountain Macrolepidoptera in Europe.- High Altitude Invertebrate Diversity in the Ural Mountains.- The Diversity of High Altitude Arachnids (Araneae. Opiliones, Pseudoscorpiones) in the Alps.- Patterns of Butterfly Diversity Above the Timberline in the Italian Alps and Apennines.- Diversity Patterns of Carabids in the Alps and the Apennines.- Overview: Alpine Vertebrates.- Breeding Bird Assemblages and Habitat Use of Alpine Areas in Scotland.- Rodents in the European Alps: Population Ecology and Potential Impacts on Ecosystems.- Large Herbivores in Continental European Alpine Ecosystems: Current Status and Challenges for the Future.- Diversity of Alpine Vertebrates in the Pyrenees and Sierra Nevada, Spain.- The Impacts of Vertebrate Grazers onVegetation in Eurpean High Mountains.- Overview: Alpine Vegetation Dynamics and Climate Change - a Synthesis of Long-term Studies and Observations.- Long-term Changes in Alpine Plant Communities in Norway and Finland.- Vegetation Dynamcis at the Treeline Ecotone in the Ural Highlands, Russia.- Recent Increases in Summit Flora Caused by Warming in the Alps.- The Piz Linard - Europe's Oldest Mountain Vegetation Study Site.- Alpine Biodiversity in Space and Time: A Synthesis
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- ID: 9783642623875
Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 2003
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