Dolines, small to large-sized bowl-shaped depressions of karst surfaces, may constitute important microrefugia for many vascular plants, as thermal inversion maintains cooler conditions within them. Bátori et al. study the effects of macroclimate, vegetation type and slope aspect on cool-adapted plants from a karst doline of the Bihor Mountains, Romania.
At the warmest sinkhole site, distribution of cool-adapted plants was restricted to the deepest parts of the dolines. Within sinkhole sites of intermediate temperature and humidity, the effect of vegetation type and aspect was often significant, with more cool-adapted plants being found in grasslands and on north-facing slopes. Karst dolines can have an important role in facilitating the protection and persistence of cool-adapted plants.
This article is part of the AoB Special Issue on Endemism Hotspots as Climate Change Refugia, which is free access for a couple of months, then behind the paywall for a while before being free access after February 2017.