New Publication

Identifying and conserving ecosystems in protected area networks are top priorities for the conservation science community. The macroscale global ecoregions maps commonly in use today describe large ecologically meaningful areas, but not distinct localized ecosystems at the occurrence (patch) level, potentially leaving ecosystems at risk of being left out of conservation efforts.

Climate change poses a major threat to the survival of alpine mammals living in fragmented habitats with poor dispersal abilities. Among these important prey species, pikas are considered especially vulnerable to rising temperatures that would impede their surface activity and dispersal. 

This article investigates how climatic regimes influence the niche of the Royle’s pika (Ochotona roylei), and which climatic drivers and change trajectories may threaten the species’ future sustenance, thereby prioritizing areas for future conservation of this species across its distribution range.  

This review presents research evidence of climate change and anthropogenic impacts on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro and its implications on water, food and energy production (WFE nexus).

While there exist divided scholarly opinions on the impacts of climate change on the Mt. Kilimanjaro glacier, consistent decreases in precipitation amounts are evident throughout the existing literature. 

Andean forests decreased in area over the past decade, and communities throughout the Andes are experiencing environmental degradation and soil fertility loss. But amid deforestation, forests returned to some Andean regions, producing local ‘forest transitions’, or net increases in forest cover.

The mechanisms that drive these local transitions – often in part the actions of residents – are still little studied, but hold key information for creating successful forest and landscape restoration interventions.

A new report into the impacts of climate change on the Earth's cryosphere combines the findings of the two recent IPCC Special Reports with other studies published since. The report's conclusion? Failure to choose policies now that keep global warming below 1.5°C will result in a cascading series of disasters.

Cryosphere1.5°, Where Urgency and Ambition Meet is a report published by the International Cryosphere Climate Initiative, authored and reviewed by over 40 IPCC and other cryosphere scientists. It was launched at the COP25 in Madrid on 12 December 2019, and combines the findings of the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 ºC and the IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC), plus studies that have been published since. 

Co-authored by MRI SLC member Andreas Muhar and with a contribution from MRI Co-PI Rolf Weingartner, this richly illustrated publication presents the result of a major geographic project with contributions by more than 140 experts from six Alpine countries.

The landscapes of the Alps are substantially shaped by their rivers - human use of the Alpine region is closely linked to the challenges of dealing with rivers and streams. This book offers a vivid and comprehensive survey of the manifold ways in which Alpine rivers are important from a range of different perspectives.

This collection of essays highlights how given Alpine territories in Austria, Italy, and Switzerland are currently facing challenges imposed by migration, the barriers and limitations they are encountering, and the extent to which migration triggers policy and territorial innovations that can generate beneficial impacts for both migrants and local inhabitants.

Contributors here include practitioners and social workers who have experimented with innovative reception and integration pathways, as well as researchers with diverse disciplinary backgrounds, including geographers, sociologists, political scientists, social anthropologists, economists, and legal experts. The book draws on empirical and theoretical investigations, research actions implemented within the framework of large EU projects, and exploratory case studies and storylines of welcoming reception initiatives.

Due to climate change, as well as the impact of other anthropogenic factors, mountainous ecosystem services are changing rapidly, with consequences for nature’s contribution to people (NCP). A recently published paper reviews the state of research published on ecosystem services in mountain areas, focusing specifically on NCP.

Nature’s contribution to people’s quality of life is undisputable. Mountains and the resources they provide play an important role for people living in them, as well as for people living downstream. However, climate change and other anthropogenic factors are impacting mountain ecosystem services, with consequences for nature's contribution to people (NCP). A new study published in the journal PLOS ONE uses the conceptual framework of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and the notion of NCP to determine to what extent previous research on ecosystem services in mountains has explored the different components of the IPBES conceptual framework.

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