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By Christian Körner

Generations of plant scientists were enthusiastic about alpine flora - with the publicity of organisms to dramatic climatic gradients over a truly brief distance. This entire textual content treats quite a lot of themes: alpine weather and soils, plant distribution and the treeline phenomenon, physiological ecology of water-, dietary- and carbon relatives of alpine vegetation, plant tension and plant improvement, biomass creation, and elements of human affects on alpine crops. Geographically the ebook covers all elements of the area together with the tropics.

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Extra info for Alpine Plant Life: Functional Plant Ecology of High Mountain Ecosystems

Sample text

In contrast, cores of tussocks in less humid mountains with sufficiently long sunny periods which allow tussock centers to dry, as for instance in the afro-alpine Festuca pilgeri, have been found to heat up by 15 to 20 K above air temperature (Beck 1994). ) leaf area index in both life 20r-------------------------------, Mt. t Tussock grass Q) a. E Q) ~ Possibly all three components co-contribute to 5 the advantages of compact life forms in the alpine 2 m air zone. Soil microbes as well as the soil fauna also profit from these periodically warm, moist (Rauh 1939, Korner and DeMoraes 1979) and always 7 8 9 detritus-rich spots in a cold and rocky world Local time (Franz 1979; Schinner 1982).

Wilhelm. Further explanations in the text. (Korner et al. 1983) How alpine plants influence their climate midday temperatures of 25- 30°C. Since stomata of leaves opened twice as much at high compared with low altitudes, the calculated actual water loss becomes similar for both sites (Korner et al. 1983) - a really surprising result in view of the dramatic differences in weather experienced by an experimenter. Even greater leaf-air humidity gradients can build up in dry tropical mountains (Schulze et al.

6), counbe as low as 10% while the actual vapour pressure teracting these trends (see below). e. the capacity of air to take up more global radiation, the UV fraction is increased at moisture) may be negligable. Vice versa, the high altitude (Caldwell 1968, Caldwell et al. 1989, prevailing "high humidities in high mountains" Blumthaler et al. 1993) with gradients, depending (which meteorological statistics indicate for most on region, season and solar angle, ranging from mountain areas) represent little absolute moisture almost similar to twice as steep as for global radicontent compared with lower altitudes for the ation.

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