Changes in composition, ecology and structure of high-mountain vegetation: a re-visitation study over 42 years

Silene acaulis subsp. bryoides an alpine cushion plant photographed in July 2014 in the Majella National Park (photo credit: Giovanni Pelino)
Silene acaulis subsp. bryoides, an alpine cushion plant photographed in July 2014 in the Majella National Park (photo credit: Giovanni Pelino)

Mediterranean high-mountain ecosystems are increasingly threatened by climate change, causing biodiversity loss, habitat degradation and landscape modifications. In a new study published in AoB PLANTS, Evangelista et al. used phytosociological relevés to conduct a re-visitation study in order to analyze changes in floristic composition over the last 42 years in the central Apennines (Majella National Park). They observed changes in floristic composition, along with a significant increase in thermophilic and nutrient-demanding species. Such changes are likely attributable to the combined effect of higher temperatures and the increase in soil nutrients triggered by global change.

Reference List

Evangelista, A., Frate, L., Carranza, M. L., Attorre, F., Pelino, G., & Stanisci, A. (2016). Changes in composition, ecology and structure of high-mountain vegetation: a re-visitation study over 42 years. AoB Plants, 8, plw004. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aobpla/plw004