News & Events

High alpine plants increasingly under competitive pressure


"Escape to the top" - the colonization of ever higher elevations - is a typical reaction of mountain plants to climate change.

A team of ecologists from the University of Vienna, including Sabine Rumpf and Stefan Dullinger, together with Swiss colleagues, has now collected data that provides a more complete picture of the response of Alpine plants to climate change. The main trends: The main areas of distribution are shifting upwards and many species are becoming more prevalent within their area of distribution. However, plants in lower elevations react faster and are therefore likely to bring the high alpine flora increasingly under competitive pressure. [read more]

Rumpf, S.B., Hülber, K., Klonner, G., Moser, D., Schütz, M., Wessely, J., Willner, W., Zimmermann, N.E. & Dullinger, S. 2018: Range dynamics of mountain plants decrease with elevation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S.A. Doi: 10.1073/pnas.1713936115

Alpenaster (Aster alpinus), (c) S. Dullinger