By Christian Körner
Generations of plant scientists were serious about alpine vegetation - with the publicity of organisms to dramatic climatic gradients over a truly brief distance. This complete textual content treats a variety of issues: alpine weather and soils, plant distribution and the treeline phenomenon, physiological ecology of water-, dietary- and carbon relatives of alpine crops, plant pressure and plant improvement, biomass construction, and features of human affects on alpine crops. Geographically the booklet covers all elements of the area together with the tropics.
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Extra info for Alpine Plant Life: Functional Plant Ecology of High Mountain Ecosystems
The influence of micro-habitat exposure on leaf temperature in Ranunculus glacialis on Roher Nebelkogel (3184m, Tirolian Alps). Numbers are the relative frequencies (%) of hours (100% = ca. 1800h) in each of five temperature classes during the summer of 1968 (Moser et aI. ------------------------------, Central Alps July 12 1968 - - Ridge - - South slope ...... North slope 02 04 06 08 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 Daytime Fig. 2. Leaf temperatures of Ranunculus glacialis at microhabitats differing in slope direction during a clear day (Roher Nebelkogel, 3184m, central Alps, July 12th, 1968).
Note the large (shaded) differences between cushion (center-top) and air temperature. (Korner and DeMoraes 1979) trate alpine plants is a realistic possibility (Larcher and Wagner 1976; Gauslaa 1984; see Chap. 8). Hence, benefits other than canopy warming in bright weather need to be considered when explaining the high abundance of compact life How alpine plants influence their climate forms in the alpine zone - perhaps the following three advantages are most important: • During periods' of overcast conditions, when photosynthesis is co-limited by low temperature, slightly warmer temperatures of only 2 or 3 K above air temperature may improve the carbon balance significantly.
61 and those in mountains from higher latitudes. 60K per 100m (data compiled by Korner et al. thermore, data from the temperate zone are 1983; Lauscher 1976/1977). 60K per 100m. The altitudinal lapse rate of temperature commonly from less "ventilated" high valleys also undergoes substantial diurnal fluctuations (Lauscher 1966). Finally, and particularly relevant because the diurnal amplitude of air temperature to plant biology, the periods considered for averat low altitude is greater than at high altitude aging exert a great influence on such comparisons.