Main Narrative » Fragile Alpine Ecosystems

Alpine Meadows

By Charles J. Zimmerman

Sep 27 2019

Alpine meadows exist where soils have deepened and matured through centuries of growth, death, and decomposition of pioneer species. The end result of this transition is a habitat that supports a greater abundance and variety of plants and animals. Deeper soil holds more moisture and helps to regulate extreme fluctuations in temperature. Once established the roots of meadow plants also help stabilize Alpine soils against wind-powered erosion and accelerate the physical and chemical processes of weathering bedrock, leading to further soil enrichment.

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Zwinger, A.H. & Willard B.E. (1972). Land Above the Trees. Harper & Row Publishers.