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Mountain plant species are increasingly responding to climate change


Over the past 10 years, the number of plant species on European mountain tops has increased by five-times more than during the period 1957-66.

Data on 302 European peaks covering 145 years shows that the acceleration in the number of mountain-top species is unequivocally linked to global warming. The new study was conducted by researchers from 11 European countries, among them Stefan Dullinger (Department for Botany and Biodiversity Research), and it could not have been completed anywhere, other than in Europe. Not because the plants were afraid of heights in the other parts of the world, but because only in Europe is there data on how plant species have moved since the 1870s.

Manuel J. Steinbauer Accelerated increase in plant species richness on mountain summits is linked to warming. Nature, 2018; DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0005-6

Alpenaurikel (c) D. Moser