Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Vulnerable islands in the sky: Science and Management of tropical island alpine and sub-alpine ecosystems

Tropical Mountain Conference August 4-8 2012 
 James Juvik 

Department of Geography and Environmental Studies
Office of Mauna Kea Management
University of Hawai‘i at Hilo

"The rapid disappearance of tropical alpine glaciers world-wide is stark evidence of the accelerating pace of environmental change.  Tropical alpine environments are critical ecosystems, and generally, help sustain biodiversity, biological processes, surface water provisions and carbon storage.  According to Wouter Buytaert, et al, (2011)*, tropical alpine environments are “identified as one of the most vulnerable terrestrial ecosystems to global environmental change.  Despite their vulnerability, and the importance for regional biodiversity conservation and socio-economic development, they are among the least studied and described ecosystems in the world.”
The need to study these unique ecosystems and the impact of global climate change are what prompted the idea for an international symposium in mid 2012.  The purpose of the symposium is to address and capture the current “state of knowledge” relating to these ecosystems world-wide (e.g. climate change threats, biodiversity and endangered species, alien species invasion, eco-tourism, cultural valuation, and a larger range of anthropogenic impacts and conflicts) and the various mountain management strategies currently in play.
It is anticipated that about 50 local and international contributors (a mix of both scientists and mountain managers) will be invited to the 2012 symposium. They will be expected to prepare peer reviewed contributions for presentation and subsequent publication (most likely as a special issue of a high-impact, mountain oriented academic journal).  An additional goal of the symposium is to provide impetus for establishing a Center for Tropical Alpine Studies at the University of at Hilo."

I will be taking part to this conference, and thought you will be interested by the headlines of the program:
Conference introduction (James Juvik, Christoph Kueffer and Sonia Juvik)
Session 1: High mountain climate change (Chair Wouter Buytaert)
Session 2: Evolution in mountain environment (Chair Jon Price)
Session 3: Ecosystems dynamics (Chair Shelley Krausbey)
Session 4: Mauna Koa (Chair Donna Delparte)

A post conference two-day tour will be organized to Hualalai Mountain and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park 

I will be presenting some results on sub alpine and alpine communities of bryophytes on the upslopes of Piton des Neiges volcano in session 3.

Claudine Ah-Peng

*Buytaert, Wouter, Cuesta-Camacho, F., Tobon, C.,  2011.  Potential impacts of climate change on the environmental services of humid tropical alpine regions.  Global Ecology and Biogeography. Vol 20, Issue 1, 19-33.

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