Safeguarding Mountain Social-Ecological Systems - Chapter 2: Mountain biodiversity under change

Elsevier, Safeguarding Mountain Social-Ecological Systems, A Global Challenge: Facing Emerging Risks, Adapting to Changing Environments and Building Transformative Resilience in Mountain Regions Worldwide, 2024, pp 11-15
Urbach D., Korner C., Hilpold A.

As a result of the elevational compression of climatic life zones across short distances and the contrasts in life conditions associated with pronounced variation in exposure and topography, biological diversity in mountains is particularly high. Moreover, because mountain ecosystems often evolved under biogeographic isolation, levels of endemism are high as well. Beyond its intrinsic value, this richness is important as it contributes to the security of downslope settlements and infrastructure and to the well-being of millions of people. Here we summarize knowledge on the state of and trends in mountain biodiversity, on its drivers of change, and on the importance of mountain biodiversity for ecosystem functioning and the well-being of people living in or near mountains. We close this chapter by emphasizing the importance of mitigation strategies for long-term sustainability of life in and near mountains.