Alpines

  • Geoffrey P. Chapman
  • Yin-Zheng Wang
Chapter

Abstract

Anyone who has climbed among mountains is aware of how awesome nature can be. Amid the quiet of great peaks one can see readily the torn and convoluted rock strata — testimony to cataclysm. Occasionally, the energy is more immediately evident in earth tremors or when volcanic eruptions burst forth. For the most part, though, what mountains reveal is the tumult of the past. At least that is the obvious conclusion to draw; but the continental plates are still in motion, the forces which shape landscape remain at work and what is written in the rocks can be a guide not only to the past but the future. Indeed, among the mountains, one has only to see one pebble fall upon another and set several more moving to realise how perched, how unstable is so much of that landscape. To appreciate more fully the character of an alpine flora, one needs some awareness of the slow but colossal dynamism of the environment within which it has evolved.

Keywords

Europe Amid Jurassic Hunt Trop 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffrey P. Chapman
    • 1
  • Yin-Zheng Wang
    • 2
  1. 1.Wye, Ashford, KentUK
  2. 2.Institute of Botany, the Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingP. R. China

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