April 19, 2024

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Alpine ecosystems are facing significant changes in biodiversity due to climate change

Alpine ecosystems are facing significant changes in biodiversity due to climate change

Autumn in the Alps, just to clarify. Image of Rainerax – Wikipedia Creative Commons Attribution
Francisco Martin Leon

Francisco Martin Leon 4 minutes

This dual phenomenon is less snowfall and higher vegetation Disturbing biodiversity And the Functions of high mountain ecosystemsa report by researchers from the University of Manchester.

Mountainous regions around the world They test Accelerated heating ratesLeading to radical reductions in snow cover and migration of plants at high altitudes, with profound impacts on alpine biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Results of a recent study in the Alps

A team from the University of Manchester, in cooperation with scientists from the University of Innsbruck, Helmholtz Centrum Munich Center for Environment and Hydrology, I observed these effects in a field experiment In the long term European Alps. Their findings, funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council and published in Biology of global changehighlighting changing seasonal dynamics crucial to alpine ecosystems, especially between plant and soil microbial communities.

the doctor. Arthur BroadbentThe lead author of the study explained: “Our research highlights the critical timing of ecosystem functions and how climate change is throwing them off balance. The rapid warming of high mountain regions is a warning sign of the impact of climate change on our planet

This study illustrates the complexities of nutrient exchange between plants and soil microbes, a life cycle for maintaining a healthy alpine ecosystem.

Seasonal dynamics of key plant and soil properties related to N cycling in alpine grasslands. Molecules are colored by their constituent elements (N, blue, C, pink, H, yellow, O, red). SWC, soil water content. For more details, including true means and SE, exact p and χ 2 values, see Tables S1–S3 and Figure 2. Created using BioRender.com

Snow cover usually insulates the ground during the winterThis allows microbial activity and plant survival in harsh conditions. Projections indicate that snow cover will decrease by 80-90% in the European Alps by the end of the centuryCombined with significant advances in the timing of thaws, these fundamental ecological processes are threatened.

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the teacher Michael Bahn from the University of Innsbruck and collaborator on the project, highlighted the crucial implications of this Decrease in snow cover to Alpine biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, underscoring the urgent need to address these impacts of climate change.

The comprehensive study highlights the complex challenges posed by climate change, which… It alters vital underground ecological processes For growing plants in alpine environments. Professor Richard BardgettThe lead researcher warned of the potential long-term impacts on biodiversity and the functioning of these ecosystems, highlighting the importance of understanding the multifaceted impacts of climate change on ecosystems.


Arthur AD Broadbent et al., Climate change disrupts seasonal coupling of plant-soil microbial nutrient cycling in an alpine ecosystem.The biology of global change. 2024

This entry was published in News on April 04, 2024 by Francisco Martin Leon