Horizontal cliffs: mountaintop mining and climate change
- 720 Downloads
Poleward and upward shifts in ranges in plant and animal species are amongst the most confident impacts of climate change on terrestrial ecosystems. While mountain tops have long been recognised as an important limit in this regard, the implications of the practice of mountaintop removal mining, i.e., acting counter to the upward shift of species, have yet to be considered. In regions where climate warming and mountaintop mining occur together, species face increased risk of range contraction and local extinction.
KeywordsClimate change Species Upward shift Mountaintop removal mining Range contraction Local extinction
The author thanks two anonymous reviewers for their positive and constructive comments on the manuscript.
- Engler R, Randin CF, Thuiller W, Dullinger S, Zimmermann NE, Araújo MB, Pearman PB, Le Lay G, Piedallu C, Albert CH, Choler P, Coldea G, De Lamo X, Dirnböck T, Gégout J-C, Gómez-García D, Grytnes J-A, Heegaard E, Høistad F, Nogués-Bravo D, Normand S, Puşcaş M, Sebastià M-T, Stanisci A, Theurillat J-P, Trivedi MR, Vittoz P, Guisan A (2011) 21st century climate change threatens mountain flora unequally across Europe. Glob Change Biol 17:2330–2341CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- IPCC (2007) Summary for policymakers. In: Solomon S, Qin D, Manning M, Chen Z, Marquis M, Averyt KB, Tignor MMB, Miller HL Jr (eds) Climate change 2007: the physical science basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 1–18Google Scholar
- United States Environmental Protection Agency (2011) The effects of mountaintop mines and valley fills on aquatic ecosystems of the central Appalachian coalfields. EPA/600/R-09/138F. Office of Research and Development, National Center for Environmental Assessment, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar