Arctic and Alpine Biodiversity: Patterns, Causes and Ecosystem Consequences

  • F. Stuart ChapinIII
  • Christian Körner

Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 113)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XVIII
  2. Patterns and Causes of Diversity

  3. Past, Present, and Future Changes in Diversity

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 109-109
    2. S. A. Zimov, V. I. Chuprynin, A. P. Oreshko, F. S. Chapin III, M. C. Chapin, J. F. Reynolds
      Pages 127-135
    3. G. Grabherr, M. Gottfried, A. Gruber, H. Pauli
      Pages 167-181
    4. O. R. Young, F. S. Chapin III
      Pages 183-196
  4. Ecosystem Consequences of Diversity

  5. A Synthesis

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 311-311
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 321-334

About this book


As human populations expand and have increasing access to technol­ ogy, two general environmental concerns have arisen. First, human pop­ ulations are having increasing impact on the earth system, such that we are altering the biospheric carbon pools, basic processes of elemental cycling and the climate system of the earth. Because of time lags and feedbacks, these processes are not easily reversed. These alterations are occurring now more rapidly than at any time in the last several million years. Secondly, human activities are causing changes in the earth's biota that lead to species extinctions at a rate and magnitude rivaling those of past geologic extinction events. Although environmental change is potentially reversible at some time scales, the loss of species is irrevo­ cable. Changes in diversity at other scales are also cause for concern. Habitat fragmentation and declines in population sizes alter genetic di­ versity. Loss or introduction of new functional groups, such as nitro­ gen fixers or rodents onto islands can strongly alter ecosystem processes. Changes in landscape diversity through habitat modification and frag­ mentation alter the nature of processes within and among vegetation patches. Although both ecological changes altering the earth system and the loss of biotic diversity have been major sources of concern in recent years, these concerns have been largely independent, with little concern for the environmental causes the ecosystem consequences of changes in biodiversity. These two processes are clearly interrelated. Changes in ecological systems cause changes in diversity.


Alpen, Ökologie Arktis, Ökologie Arten Artenvielfalt Biodiversität Diversität Species richness alpine ecology biodiversity ecology ecosystem global change globale Veränderung species diversity Ökosystem

Editors and affiliations

  • F. Stuart ChapinIII
    • 1
  • Christian Körner
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Integrative BiologyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Department of BotanyUniversity of BaselBaselSwitzerland

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-3-642-78968-7
  • Online ISBN 978-3-642-78966-3
  • Series Print ISSN 0070-8356
  • Buy this book on publisher's site