©Stefan Dullinger

Whereas other plants (such as grapes) respond swiftly to changes in climate, alpine plants seems to take their time to adapt. It is true that they are gradually creeping upwards so as to avoid earlier rising temperatures. But according to a study carried out by ecologists at the University of Vienna and the Swiss WSL (Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research), the tempo at which they are acclimating is still too slow. The team led by Sabine Rumpf and Stefan Dullinger – both from the Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research in Vienna – observed in their studies that these plants tend to die out rather slowly in locations that are nowadays too warm for their species. However, this same kind of migration delay has also been seen amongst new plants that have re-colonized themselves in regions which were previously too cold for them. Consequently, when it comes to global warming, the current biological situation of many alpine plants leads us to conclude that they will not acclimatize in time in order to be able to propagate their species further.

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About the author

Author profile picture Almut Otto is a writer and has over 30 years of know-how in the communications industry. She learned the trade of journalism from scratch in a daily newspaper and in a special interest magazine. After studying communication sciences in Munich, she worked as an international PR manager in the textile, shoe, outdoor and IT industries for a long time. For some years now, she has been concentrating more on her journalistic background. As a passionate outdoor and water sports enthusiast - her hobbies include windsurfing, kitesurfing, SUP boarding, sailing and snowboarding - she is particularly interested in keeping the oceans clean and shaping a sustainable future. In addition, she is always fascinated by the latest developments from the world's hardware and software laboratories.