Alpine Plant Life Functional Plant Ecology of High Mountain Ecosystems

Generations of plant scientists have been fascinated by alpine plant life - with the exposure of organisms to dramatic climatic gradients over a very short distance. This comprehensive text treats a wide range of topics: alpine climate and soils, plant distribution and the treeline phenomenon, physi...

Full description

Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Körner, Christian
Format: eBook
Published: Berlin, Heidelberg Springer Berlin Heidelberg 1999, 1999
Edition:1st ed. 1999
Online Access:
Collection: Springer Book Archives -2004 - Collection details see MPG.ReNa
Table of Contents:
  • 1 Plant ecology at high elevations
  • The concept of limitation
  • A regional and historical account
  • The challenge of alpine plant research
  • 2 The alpine life zone
  • Altitudinal boundaries
  • Global alpine land area
  • Alpine plant diversity
  • Origin of alpine floras
  • Alpine growth forms
  • 3 Alpine climate
  • Which alpine climate?
  • Common features of alpine climates
  • Regional features of alpine climates
  • 4 The climate plants experience
  • Interactions of relief, wind and sun
  • How alpine plants influence their climate
  • 5 Life under snow: protection and limitation
  • Temperatures under snow
  • Solar radiation under snow
  • Gas concentrations under snow
  • Plant responses to snowpack
  • 6 Alpine soils
  • Physics of alpine soil formation
  • The organic compound
  • The interaction of organic and inorganic compounds
  • 7 Alpine treelines
  • About trees and lines
  • Current altitudinal positions of climatic treelines
  • Treeline-climate relationships
  • Alpine plant age
  • 17 Global change at high elevation
  • Alpine land use
  • The impact of altered atmospheric chemistry
  • Climatic change and alpine ecosystems
  • References (with chapter annotation)
  • Taxonomic index (genera)
  • Color Plates
  • Plant life forms
  • The alpine life zone
  • Environmental stress
  • The human dimension
  • Intrazonal variations and pantropical plateauing of alpine treelines
  • Treelines in the past
  • Attempts at a functional explanation of treelines
  • A hypothesis for treeline formation
  • Growth trends near treelines
  • 8 Climatic stress
  • Survival of low temperature extremes
  • Avoidance and tolerance of low temperature extremes
  • Heat stress in alpine plants
  • Ultraviolet radiation — a stress factor?
  • 9 Water relations
  • Ecosystem water balance
  • Soil moisture at high altitudes
  • Plant water relations: a brief review of principles
  • Water relations of alpine plants
  • Desiccation stress
  • Water relations of special plant types
  • 10 Mineral nutrition
  • Soil nutrients
  • The nutrient status of alpine plants
  • Nutrient cycling and nutrient budgets
  • Nitrogen fixation
  • Mycorrhiza
  • Responses of vegetation to variable nutrient supply
  • 11Uptake and loss of carbon
  • Photosynthetic capacity of alpine plants
  • Photosynthetic responses to the environment
  • Daily carbon gain of leaves
  • The seasonal carbon gain of leaves
  • C4 and CAM photosynthesis at high altitudes
  • Tissue respiration of alpine plants
  • Ecosystem carbon balance
  • 12 Carbon investments
  • Non-structural carbohydrates
  • Lipids and energy content
  • Carbon costs of leaves and roots
  • Whole plant carbon allocation
  • 13 Growth dynamics
  • Seasonal growth
  • Diurnal leaf extension
  • Rates of plant dry matter accumulation
  • Functional duration of leaves and roots
  • 14 Cell division and tissue formation
  • Cell size and plant size
  • Mitosis and the cell cycle
  • From meristem activity to growth control
  • 15 Plant biomass production
  • The structure of alpine plant canopies
  • Primary productivity of alpine vegetation
  • Plant dry matter pools
  • Biomass losses through herbivores
  • 16 Plant reproduction
  • Flowering and pollination
  • Seed development and seed size
  • Germination
  • Alpine seed banks and natural recruitment
  • Clonal propagation