We are soliciting submissions to a special issue of Climate Change Responses entitled “Mechanisms underlying climate change impacts of montane ecosystems and species." Montane ecosystems are globally recognized as being highly vulnerable to climatic shifts, given their typically poorly developed soils, short growing season, sharp abiotic gradients, and climatic harshness. Warming temperatures and shifts in precipitation are expected to bring about extensive and possibly rapid changes to the structure, function, and composition of these high-elevation systems. Evidence abounds that changes in montane systems have been and are continuing to occur. However, there are also many indications from both paleontological and contemporary data that climate shifts will not necessarily have uniformly predictable effects on montane biota. Species responses can be very heterogeneous, with range shifts occurring in some regions and species but not others, or changes in abundance being driven by interactions among multiple biotic and abiotic processes. Moreover, these changes may not necessarily be driven directly or exclusively by climate (e.g. productivity in some mountain ecosystems is limited by nitrogen). Rather, they may occur through various pathways as a result of indirect effects from multiple factors interacting with climate. Furthermore, the high topographic heterogeneity and structural complexity create numerous types of microrefugia, which can allow species to delay distributional shifts by years to decades to numerous centuries. Papers in this special issue will examine interactions between abiotic and biotic processes in montane ecosystems from community, species, and genetic perspectives.
The special issue will continue to welcome submissions that will be included in the introductory article through September 2018. All articles go through the peer-review process; articles can be submitted via BioMedCentral’s Editorial Manager site, which can be accessed from https://climatechangeresponses.biomedcentral.com/submission-guidelines . Articles can be added to the issue after September 2018, but will not be featured in the summary introductory article.