Alpine Biodiversity and Climatic Change 4502

Course Objectives

The aim of this course is to give the students an increased knowledge about variation in biological diversity of alpine ecosystems in Scandinavia. Different methods for sampling and measurement of biodiversity data will be presented, and examples of how variation in diversity relate to environmental variables will be given both from Scandinavia and from different parts of the world. Global warming as a result of increased CO2-level in the atmosphere will have major consequences for the alpine ecosystems, and one may expect major changes in the biological diversity both at a local scale and at a

broader scale. The course will present possible effects for both plants and animals as a result of the predicted climatic models.

Course Description

The following topics will be covered:

· Present mountain climate

· Climatic models of global climatic change

· Identification of alpine plants

· Relation between forest limits and climate

· Phenology as an indicator of climatic change

· Vegetation history of alpine areas and previous climate variation

· Ecological changes in alpine areas as a result of climatic change

· Methods in biodiversity research

· Measurement of biodiversity

· Variation in alpine biodiversity in relation to environmental variables

· Gradients in alpine plant diversity

· Examples of changes in biodiversity and distribution patterns as a result recent of climatic change

Learning Methods

Lectures, excursions, laboratory courses, seminars with student presentations and mandatory reports. The excursions and laboratory courses are mandatory.

30 h lectures, 5 days excursions, 10 h laboratory work.

Assessment Methods

Group project (report), 25%; individual, written 4-hour final examination 75%

Minor adjustments may occur during the academic year, subject to the decision of the Dean

Publisert av / forfatter Arvid Odland <>, last modified Anette Norheim Fredly - 14/02/2008