New Publication

The Environmental Research Station Schneefernerhaus (UFS) on Zugspitze, Germany has conducted a new study to determine the atmospheric CO2 measurements at such an altitude over an extended period of time. The site was chosen due to its elevated location, which makes it less influenced by anthropogenic emissions.

The main purpose of a National Park is to preserve an enclosed environment and protect the various species living within. The pristine nature has thus evolved into an attractive region for tourists, who in their turn have expectation as to what the National Park should offer. This complex issue is the main topic of the paper, which focuses particularly on the Grand Paradiso National Park in Italy.

It is expected that many species will have to migrate to a more favourable environment during the next century, as a consequece of climate change and the strain it puts on the stability and cohesion of ecosystems. A further solution for species to adapt to the new environment, which presents the potential source of genetic variation that can aid adaptation to climate change, is introgression from closely related species.

It has been determined that mountain catchements are very sensible to temperature changes, this is why climate change can have drastical impacts on the hydrological cycle. It can therefore be stated that climate change is likely to impact the seasonality and generation processes of floods, which has direct implications for flood risk assessment, design flood estimation, and hydropower production management. This indicates the importance of up to date and accurate hydrological modeling of high mountain basins, by taking into account the quantification of snow accumulation in winter and snowmelt in spring.

During the last decades, ecosystems have suffered a decline in natural resources due to climate change and anthropogenic pressure. This work proposes a methodological framework to monitor the changes produced in this protected area using multi-source remote sensing imagery. 

Ecosystems are exposed to high pressure due to intensification of agricultural land use, tourism, development, and climate change, being highly dynamic in space and time. Specifically, climate change is producing important variations in entire communities in those areas where it manifests most intensely, such as regions at greater latitude and areas of higher altitude. Thus, ecosystem deterioration has a strong negative impact in the local biodiversity and might put rare and threatened species at a serious extinction risk.

Mountain ecosystems and the human communities that inhabit them deliver critical resources — such as fresh water and timber — to over half the planet's human population. Despite their importance, there has been no global assessment of threats to mountain systems, even as they face unprecedented challenges to their sustainability. With survey data from 57 mountain sites worldwide, a new publication tests our understanding of the types of stresses that are threatening mountain systems, as well as the resources and benefits that come from mountains. 

The ideas presented in this paper were first developed at a workshop supported by the Mountain Research Initiative. 

Although negative impacts of climate change will ultimately occur by driving populations to extinction, we know remarkably little about such impacts on plant demography. Most long-term research focuses instead on shifts to early blooming. The present paper shows that climate change is expected to cause negative population growth in a plant population within a few decades.

Early snowmelt is associated with reduced vital rates, with the effects on seedling establishment and seed production especially important to population dynamics. The negative impact is expected even without the changes in floral display so evident in other plant species in the same subalpine community. Thus, these mountain plant communities are at risk from declining snowpack.

The primary purpose of this paper is to provide a gendered focus on the environmental and socioeconomic transformation of the Rwandan highlands and the impact of the transformation on the well-being and gender equality of its inhabitants.

Transformations of a mountain system are complex. However, the actions needed for the transformations are not always recognized as being gender biased. The Rwandan highlands are undergoing a rapid environmental and social-economic transformation. The government of Rwanda is pushing an economic and social transformation agenda with neoliberal and gender-mainstreamed agricultural policies. 

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