Alpine Vegetation

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Alpine Vegetation

 

vegetation found in mountainous countries above subalpine vegetation and forests. Despite belonging to various systematic groups, alpine plants have a number of traits in common, depending on similarity of environmental conditions (such as low temperature, short vegetation period, and rapid variations in temperature and humidity). All plants of this group are low-growing and dwarfish. They have short stems and small leaves, which often cling to the stems. The leaves are frequently leathery and are convolute or thickly covered with little hairs; sometimes they are thick and fleshy, with small sunken stomata in the pith. Typical plant communities of Alpine vegetation are meadows with carpets of short grass and a predominance of grasses (for example, meadow grasses), wood-rushes, milk vetches, crowfoots, primroses, gentians, cinquefoils, wood betony, and others. On stonier ground, typical plants are saxifrage, whitlow grass, and others, as well as thickets of rhododendron. Alpine vegetation is characteristic of the Alps; the Caucasus; the Altai; the northern, central, and eastern parts of the Tien Shan; the mountainous parts of the eastern rim of Central Asia; the Himalayas; and some other high-mountain regions. The Alpine vegetation of different mountain systems has its own characteristic floral composition. The majority of plant genera represented in the various alpine belts are of Asiatic origin. Among Alpine vegetation are many good fodder grasses and decorative plants. Alpine meadows are valuable summer pasture land.

V. N. SUKACHEV

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Evie got rather keen on Alpine plants. But it didn't do--no, it didn't do.
Aubretia is a classic example of a creeping alpine plant that will bring masses of pretty purple flowers among the neutral grey of your rocks.
Enthusiasts have always enjoyed heated discussions about what constitutes an alpine plant but the definitions have become more all-encompassing.
Because seed germination is an irreversible event, timing of germination is a critical component in the life-cycle of alpine plant species.
& Callaway, R.--2001--Facilitation and competition on gradients in alpine plant communities --Ecology 82(12): 3295-3308.
The cars will have their own individual features and will be assembled at an Alpine plant in Dieppe, France, which employs 300 workers.
The study, which is the largest and most comprehensive of its kind in the world, confirmed that there is a direct link between growing summer temperature and the shift in alpine plant composition.
The Alpine plant currently has capacity to process 10,000 tons of recyclables, including glass, plastic, aluminum, steel and virtually all types of paper, per month, with expansion options.
The first public greenhouse to be constructed at Kew for 20 years, it will provide an identifiable face for the Royal Botanic Garden's renowned alpine collection, while facilitating the optimum environment for sustained alpine plant growth.
Volunteers from the first and second year students started researching how to propagate edelweiss when they were trying to conserve an endangered alpine plant closely related to edelweiss on the mountain.
Although the relationship between snowpack and alpine plant communities is well documented, the exact pattern of aboveground biomass found among plant communities differs among studies.
Photosynthetic characteristics of a giant alpine plant, Rheum nobile Hook.