ALPINE PLANT ECOLOGY AND DIVERSITY: FROM SPECIES TO ECOSYSTEMS
ID: 613 / 156
Proposed Symposium Title: ALPINE PLANT ECOLOGY AND DIVERSITY: FROM SPECIES TO ECOSYSTEMS
Abstract: Alpine ecosystems are shaped by particularly high topographic, edaphic and climatic heterogeneity over short distances. High mountains also act as high-elevation islands, with a relatively high amount of endemisms and specialist species. These ecosystems are amongst the most vulnerable to global change. Cold-adapted species are directly challenged by increasing temperatures, and also indirectly through warming effects on snow cover dynamics. In addition, land-use changes related to abandonment of traditional practices in mountain areas have large impacts on the structure and function of these ecosystems. It is only through an interdisciplinary approach that alpine ecosystems and their responses to current threats may be understood. This symposium addresses current research on alpine plant species and communities from a range of subfields, including taxonomy and systematics, ecophysiology, community ecology, plant-soil interactions, restoration ecology, ethnobotany and biogeography.
Speaker 1: Lohengrin Cavieres
Departamento de Botánica, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Oceanográficas, Universidad de Concepción, Casilla 160C, CP 4070386, Concepción, Chile; Instituto de Ecología y Biodiversidad (IEB).
Tentative title: “The importance of plant-plant facilitative interactions for the diversity of alpine plant communities”
Speaker 2: Borja Jiménez-Alfaro
Biodiversity Research Institute, University Oviedo-CSIC-Princ. Asturias, Spain.
Tentative title: “Plant community assembly in alpine vegetation of southern Europe”
Speaker 3: Sonja Wipf
Research & Monitoring, Swiss National Park, Runatsch 124, Chastè Planta-Wildenberg, 7530 Zernez, Switzerland.
Tentative title: “Can plant species traits and trait variability help to predict high-alpine community change?”
Topics (Up to three): Biogeography / Phylogeography
Topic 2: Ecology and Plant Communities
Topic 3: Floristics
Justification: Flora of alpine ecosystems deserve special attention due to the particular habitat conditions in such severe environments. Plants growing in these areas are adapted to cold temperatures, more or less long snow-cover duration, high radiation and rapidly changing climate conditions. They are, thus, particularly vulnerable to global change. We believe a symposium specifically focusing on alpine ecosystems should be hosted at XX International Botanical Conference. This symposium will focus on current research in these environments and will allow networking of researchers to discuss current gaps in alpine plant research and its advance in the context of the global crisis.