Refuge in the Mountains

Storm over the Jemez Mountains, NM

Mountains are a source of inspiration, recreation, beauty and solitude. Mountains hold the snow that we ski in winter and then melts in Spring and Summer to water our fields and gardens. Swiss researchers have found that mountains may act as bio-diverse refuges for plant and animal species as global warming alters the climate. Here is just one more reason to respect and preserve the mountains we love.

Daniel Scherrer and Christian Körner from the University of Basel, Switzerland studying the projected effects of climate change on alpine plant species have discovered that mountain ranges may represent a 'safer' place to live during changing climate conditions. The research, published in the Journal of Biogeography, finds that the habitat diversity of mountain ranges offer species 'refuge habitats' which may be important for conservation.

"It is known from earlier geological periods that mountains were always important for survival of species during periods of climatic change such as in glacial cycles, because of their 'habitat diversity,'" concluded Körner. "Mountains are therefore particularly important areas for the conservation of biodiversity in a given region under climatic change and thus deserve particular protection."

More Info:

Science News - Mountain Ranges May Act as 'Safe Haven' for Species Facing Climate Change