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1 November 2013 Alpine Ecology in the Iberian Peninsula: What Do We Know, and What Do We Need to Learn?
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Abstract

The 11th Conference of the Spanish Association of Terrestrial Ecology, held in Pamplona, Spain, on 6–10 May 2013, included a symposium on alpine ecological research in the Iberian Peninsula. This session offered an excellent opportunity to assess the state and progress of alpine ecology in this region, identify knowledge gaps, and discuss further directions for research. Iberian alpine ecosystems are biodiversity hotspots and have traditionally contributed to sustaining rural livelihoods. Today, these ecosystems are subjected to large changes in land uses, including land abandonment, and are affected by climate change. This article reviews the current state of Iberian alpine ecology and proposes a research agenda. Alpine ecology in the Iberian Peninsula is a growing field of research. The need for larger spatial and temporal scales in research and monitoring, along with the integration of socioecological aspects, is a critical issue for understanding the major drivers of change in the alpine ecosystems of the Iberian Peninsula. The implementation of effective mitigation strategies aimed at reducing the impact of the pressing environmental and socioeconomic problems of Iberian mountain areas can only be accomplished through a multidisciplinary and integrative approach.

International Mountain Society
Received: 1 July 2013; Accepted: 1 September 2013; Published: 1 November 2013
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