One of the challenges for global environmental change research is to understand how future climate changes will be expressed in mountain regions. The physiographic complexity of mountains creates environments that can be highly variable over relatively short distances. This spatial heterogeneity reflects a hierarchy of environmental controls. At regional scales, insolation and atmospheric circulation features determine the dominant regional climate patterns that affect mountain regions. At finer spatial scales, substrate, aspect, elevation, and a number of other environmental factors influence ecosystem dynamics. Vegetation, for example, is affected by all levels of this hierarchy, from regional-scale climate regimes down to site-specific features, such as substrate type (cf. Körner, this volume).
|Title||Understanding the spatial heterogeneity of global environmental change in mountain regions|
|Authors||Sarah Shafer, Patrick J. Bartlein, Cathy Whitlock|
|Publication Type||Book Chapter|
|Publication Subtype||Book Chapter|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center|