Climate change impacts on the Alpine ecosystem: an overview with focus on the soil

https://doi.org/10.17221/47/2015-JFSCitation:Chersich S., Rejšek K., Vranová V., Bordoni M., Meisina C. (2015): Climate change impacts on the Alpine ecosystem: an overview with focus on the soil. J. For. Sci., 61: 496-514.
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The Alpine ecosystem is very sensitive to climatic changes, which have an influence on glaciers, snow, vegetation and soils. The aim of this review is to illustrate the effects of global change on the Alpine soil ecosystem, which is an optimal marker to record them. The manuscript enhances our understanding of the global change effect on the Alpine environment: on morphology, on ice, on vegetation and points out how the cycles of soil nutrients equilibrium have been changed with a direct effect on soils that support plant species. The changes in cryosphere, glacier reduction and periglacial environment as glaciers retreat, decrease in the snow cover extent and earlier snowmelt, determine an effect on soils (on the structure, organic matter and humus forms, soil processes and soil types) from the top of the Alpine horizon to the bottom. The processes induced by climate change (such as erosion and tree line shifting) have a direct effect on water balance that can be observed on soil profile characters with an effect on upward migration, change in phenology, extensive losses of species. The equilibrium of the biogeochemical cycles has been changed and this has a direct effect on soils that support plant species.
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