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A Global Assessment of Mountain Biodiversity and its Function

  • Eva M. Spehn
  • Christian Körner
Part of the Advances in Global Change Research book series (AGLO, volume 23)

Abstract

The montane and alpine regions of the world cover about 10% of the terrestrial area, a life zone ca. 1000 m above and below the climatic treelines in temperate and tropical latitudes, including some of the biologically richest ecosystems. The alpine life zone above the climatic treeline hosts a vast biological richness, exceeding that of many low elevation biota and covers 3% of the global terrestrial land area (Körner 1995). The overall global vascular plant species richness of the alpine life zone alone was estimated to be around 10,000 species, 4% of the global number of higher plant species. No such estimates exist for animals but based on flowering plants, high elevation biota are, as a general rule, richer in species than might be expected from the land area they cover.

Keywords

Biological inventory DIVERSITAS Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment Insurance hypothesis Organismic diversity Slope stability 

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References

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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eva M. Spehn
    • 1
  • Christian Körner
    • 1
  1. 1.Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment, Institute of BotanyUniversity of BaselBaselSwitzerland

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