Current biodiversity changes in mountain environments:
In recent decades, mountain regions have been subjected to above-average climate warming and significant land use changes. Climate warming triggers an expansion of distribution ranges of many plant and animal species. Distributions of species of various taxonomic groups have recently shifted to higher elevations at a median rate of 11.0 meters per decade. Species richness on mountain summits has often significantly increased.
The ongoing gradual transformation of alpine plant communities is associated with increased abundance of thermophilous species and a decline of cold-adapted species. The majority of alpine treelines shows a recent advance which is partly climatically induced, in many cases, however, caused by the abandonment of alpine pasture use.
The decline of land use diversity in mountains of industrial countries results in a decrease of species diversity. Resource management in less developed mountain regions shows a current trend of decentralization with positive effects on the conservation of landscape quality and biodiversity.