Mountain Ranges May Act as 'Safe Haven' for Species Facing Climate Change
ScienceDaily (Nov. 9, 2010) — Swiss researchers studying the projected effects of climate change on alpine plant species have discovered that mountain ranges may represent a 'safer' place to live during changing climate conditions. The research, published in the Journal of Biogeography, finds that the habitat diversity of mountain ranges offer species 'refuge habitats' which may be important for conservation.
The research, led by Daniel Scherrer and Christian Körner from the University of Basel, Switzerland, was carried out over two seasons in the Swiss Central Alps at 2500m. The authors used a high resolution infrared camera and hundreds of soil sensors to monitor the actual temperature experienced by plants in alpine landscapes.
The authors used known 'indicator values' for thermal preferences of plant species permitted to link microhabitat life conditions with biodiversity, the number and abundance of species.
"In this study we examined if different vegetation types and plant species occur under different micro-habitat temperatures," said Körner. "We also estimated the potential loss and shift in abundance of micro-habitat temperatures under a warming climate scenario."
Article continues: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101109102718.htm