Alpine Plant Life

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Juli 2003



Recent years have seen renewed interest in the fragile alpine biota. The International Year of Mountains in 2002 and numerous international programs and initiatives have contributed to this. Since nearly half of mankind depends on water supplies originating in mountain catchments, the integrity and functional signi?cance of the upland biota is a key to human welfare and will receive even more attention as water becomes an increasingly limited resource. Intact alpine vegetation,as the safeguard of the water towers of the world, is worth being well understood. This new edition of Alpine Plant Life is an update with over 100 new references,new diagrams, revised and extended chapters (particularly 7, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17) and now also offers a geographic index. My thanks go to the many careful readers of the ?rst edition for their most valuable comments, in parti- lar to Vicente I. Deltoro (Valencia) and Johanna Wagner (Innsbruck). Basel,April 2003 Christian Körner Preface to the ?rst edition One of the largest natural biological experiments, perhaps the only one replicated across all latitudes and all climatic regions,is uplift of the la- scape and exposure of organisms to dramatic climatic gradients over a very short distance, otherwise only seen over thousands ofkilometers of poleward traveling. Generations of plant scientists have been fascinated by these natural test areas,and have explored plant and ecosystem responses to alpine life conditions. Alpine Plant Life is an attempt at a synthesis.


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.
The geographic variation of alpine 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.
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.
Evidence for sink limitation.
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.
Responses of vegetation to variable nutrient supply.
11 Uptake 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 and phenology.
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.
Alpine seed banks and natural recruitment.
Clonal propagation.
Alpine plant age.
Community processes.
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).
Geographical index.
Color plates.
Plant life forms.
The alpine life zone.
Environmental stress.
The human dimension.



Christian Körner was born in 1949 in Salzburg, Austria, got his academic degrees from the University of Innsbruck, and became professor of botany at the University of Basel, Switzerland in 1989. He published over 300 scientific articles on plant-environment interactions and authored and coauthored numerous scientific books, including the leading plant science textbook Strasburger.


"The book may serve not only as an excellent reference source for ecophysiological topics, but also as a source of fresh ideas and inspiration for a much broader readership." (LeoS KlimeS, Folia Geobotanica, Vol. 41 (4), 2006)" ... the best modern treatment of "functional ecology" of alpine plants that I have seen. ... this new edition added over 100 new references, new diagrams and revised and extended several chapters. ... an excellent summary and key to the study of plant-habitat relationships. ... should be a compulsory reading for every plant ecologist. In my library it is right next to the Larcher's Physiological Plant Ecology." (Botanical Electronic News)"This is a fascinating synthesis on plant life at high altitude all around the world. There have been a number of studies on this topic, but the book by C. Körner is not just an addition to an already long list of publications. It attempts a synthesis based on a thorough functional analysis of the processes controlling plant life in these extreme situation, and on a broad overview of many of the mountain areaas around the world. ... It is also a very useful tool for ecophysiologists, because all the questions addressed are carefully analysed under the different relevant view points. ... In brief, this book is a model study for ecologists and ecophysiologists." (Annals of Forest Science)"Alpine Plant Life proved to be the right book for those who are either advanced gardeners or for those with scientific interests in the alpine ecosystems. This book is divided into 17 chapters beginning with the discussion of "Plant Ecology at High Elevations" and ending with an excellent discussion of "Global Change at High Elevation". ... Several color plates supplement the black and white photographs included throughout the book." (Diana Pederson, BellaOnline's Environment, June, 2004)"Korner, a renowned alpine ecophysiologist, synthesizes the accumulated knowledge of generations of alpine life scientists in this encyclopedic book. Introduces the alpine plant zone ... . Examines the interation between plant, wind ... . Discusses the physics of alpine soil ... . Reviews the uptake and loss of carbon ... . Analyses plant growth function, cell division ... . Extensively referenced, 218 figures, 4 color plates, and 47 tables. For ecologists and ecology students." (Northeastern Naturalist, Vol. 11(3), 2004)"This book is the best modern treatment of 'functional ecology' of alpine plants that I have seen. The new edition, in hard copy book, costs less ... . At the same time, this new edition added over ... . This book is an excellent summary and key to the study of plant-habitat relationships. The Alpine Plant Life by Christian Koerner should be a compulsory (sic) reading for every plant ecologist." (Adolf Ceska, Botanical Electronic News, September 2004)"The second edition has been revised, updated and enlarged. ... very clearly structured presentations of examples, discussions of arguments ... . As a result, the reader is not left alone with a wealth of details; rather, he/she becomes guided ... . In summary, Körner's "Alpine Plant Life" is an overview and manual for the scene, and will be a must for every scientific library. Moreover, it is very useful for the private book shelf for everybody who is engaged in research ... ." (Rainer Lösch, Phytocoenologia, Vol. 34(4), 2004)"This is a fascinating synthesis on plant life at high altitude all around the world. ... is not just an addition to an already long list of publication. ... It is also a very useful tool for ecophysiologists, because all the questions addressed are carefully analysed under the different relevant view points. ... As such, it is a nice illustration of the way ecophysiological thinking may proceed. The best example ... . In brief, this book is a model study for ecologists and ecophysiologists." (Erwin Dreyer, Annals of Forest Science, Vol. 61(5), 2004)"... a welcome second edition. ...  It is a superb textbook - well written with plenty of good quality photographs, graphs and diagrams. It hits a happy compromise in being accessible to novices in upland areas and/or plants but with sufficient depth to leave the reader feeling that they have got to grips with the topic. The book starts with reviews of alpine life zones, climate, soils ... . A superb textbook that should be read and used by all ecology students."(Bulletin of the British Ecological Society, Vol. 35(1), 2004)
EAN: 9783540003472
ISBN: 3540003479
Untertitel: Functional Plant Ecology of High Mountain Ecosystems. 2nd ed. 2003. Book. Sprache: Englisch.
Verlag: Springer
Erscheinungsdatum: Juli 2003
Seitenanzahl: 364 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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