Mountain environments provide a wide range of ecosystem services, from the cycling of nutrients, water and greenhouse gases to disease regulation and protection from landslides and floods. The Tropical Andes contain a wide spectrum of microclimates, harbouring a unique diversity of ecosystems, such as glaciers, high mountain grasslands, mountain forests, rivers, lakes and wetlands. The ecosystems in the most tropical parts of the Andes, the north and along the eastern slopes, have particularly diverse and populous wildlife. The whole region is one of the biodiversity hotspots most vulnerable to climate change (Malcolm et al., 2006), partly due to its low inter-annual variability, which means that ecosystems are not adapted to longterm climate variability (Williams and Jackson, 2007). Therefore, many of the expected impacts of climate change will come indirectly through affecting these ecosystems and their services to society.
From collection: Outlook on climate change adaptation in the Tropical Andes mountains
GRID-Arendal and Cartografare il Presente/Riccardo Pravettoni