A mini review: biodiversity, life form and vegetation of flora in the Alpine zone

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Review Paper 01/07/2014
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A mini review: biodiversity, life form and vegetation of flora in the Alpine zone

Narjes Ebrahimnezhad
J. Bio. Env. Sci.5( 1), 526-531, July 2014.
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Abstract

The Alpine and Arctic biomes cover 16% of the earth’s surface area. Because of the importance of alpine flora, this review discuses on the results of different studies on the Biodiversity and phytogeography of the alpine flora. The Alpine Region has such a rich and diverse biodiversity. Alpine vegetation is defined zone of vegetation between the altitudinal limit for tree growth and the nival zone. Many different plant species live in the alpine environment. Terrestrial plants of arctic and alpine regions are mainly flowering plants (Angiosperms), bryophytes, and lichens; ferns are also represented but with fewer species. Almost all the Angiosperms are herbaceous perennials or very low shrubs; annuals are very rare. Alpine plants must adapt to the harsh conditions of the alpine environment, which include low temperatures, dryness, ultraviolet radiation, and a short growing season. Alpine plants face pollination problems caused by low temperatures which confine insect activities. The principal kinds of pollinating insects in alpine locations are short-tongued bees, bumblebees, flies, butterflies, and moths. Alpine plants use both sexual reproduction and asexual reproduction. The principal means of vegetative reproduction in both arctic and alpine plants is by rhizomes. During the past few decades, human activity has increased in alpine environments and our disturbance is probably the biggest threat to alpine plant. Climate change also poses a direct threat to alpine plants.

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