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Altitudinal Limits of Life in Subtropical Mountains: What Do We Know?

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Title: Altitudinal Limits of Life in Subtropical Mountains: What Do We Know?
Authors: Halloy, Stephan
Issue Date: Apr 1989
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press
Citation: Halloy S. 1989. Altitudinal limits of life in subtropical mountains: What do we know?. Pac Sci 43(2): 170-184.
Abstract: Present knowledge of the highest altitudinal limits of organisms
and their causes is reviewed. Discussion focuses on subtropical latitudes (20- 30°)
and altitudes above 4000 m. Methods used in high-altitude studies are limited by
logistical and biological factors. Use of a comparative convergence-divergence
method is encouraged. Terms such as "extreme" are inappropriate in the description
of environments with moderate temperature amplitude, positive water
balance, and rich soils but low atmospheric pressure. Characters such as slow
productivity, frugal behavior, stress tolerance, crypts, large number of stomata,
greater development of lungs and circulatory systems, hygromorphy, heliomorphy,
protection, insularity, high diversity , and a decreasing plant/animal ratio
are considered typical of organisms in these altitudes (hypsophily). Hypotheses
explaining some of the characters are discussed.
ISSN: 0030-8870
Appears in Collections:Pacific Science Volume 43, Number 2, 1989

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