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Global climate change and local disturbance regimes as interacting drivers for shifting altitudinal vegetation patterns

Title data

Jentsch, Anke ; Beierkuhnlein, Carl:
Global climate change and local disturbance regimes as interacting drivers for shifting altitudinal vegetation patterns.
In: Erdkunde. Vol. 57 (2003) Issue 3 . - pp. 216-231.
ISSN 0014-0015

Abstract in another language

Climate change will be a major driving factor for ecosystem development during the next century. It will be most prominent in areas with narrow climatic gradients such as high mountains. However, the life cycles and dispersal potential of species and the longevity of non-mobile specimen are likely to limit the adaptation to gradually but, compared to the temporal scale of ecosystems, rapidly changing environments. Communities may perform inertia to the shift of species composition and delay the development of more competitive communities on a long-term perspective. This in turn may promote a loss of biodiversity and restrictions in ecosystem functioning and resilience. Then in high mountains disturbances such as mud flows or avalanches might cause hazardous effects on human interests (land use, settlements, and infrastructure). In contrast to this perspective, we suggest in this paper that in a gradually changing climate, disturbances will contribute to a faster adaptation of communities. In a shifting environment, single disturbance events, that are part of a specific disturbance regime, can remove inertia (e.g. non-reproductive long-lived individuals) from a system and support the establishment of new species and structures. This is most important in regions where natural processes of ecosystem development predominate and ephemeral anthropogenic ecosystems are of low importance, which is generally the case in high mountains. Here agricultural land use is limited to small areas. Thus disturbances can contribute to the preservation of biodiversity and ecosystem stability.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER14898
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Biogeography
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Biogeography > Chair Biogeography - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Carl Beierkuhnlein
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Professorship Disturbance Ecology
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Professorship Disturbance Ecology > Professorship Disturbance Ecology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Anke Jentsch
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2015 05:50
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2015 05:50
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/18902