chapter  14
16 Pages

Alpine Habitat Conservation and Restoration in Tropical and Sub-Tropical High Mountains

ByAlton C. Byers

This chapter discusses of alpine ecosystems and restoration methods in tropical and sub-tropical high mountains of the world. It describes restoration methods tested in tropical and sub-tropical mountains to date tend to focus less on use of direct prescriptions and more on community-determined behaviour and land use changes. Likewise, the successful approaches in tropical and sub-tropical mountains have consistently been science-based and community-driven, as opposed to the science-based, government-financed and driven approaches of west. In Europe, New Zealand, and Japan, 'alpine' commonly refers to entire mountain ecosystems. Alpine ecosystems in tropical and sub-tropical mountains, although resilient under natural conditions, are nevertheless extremely sensitive to anthropogenic disturbances that occur in course of livestock grazing, tourism infrastructure development, recreation, medicinal plant harvesting, and mining. In the absence of effective conservation and management systems, lodge owners in particular turn to the convenient and free sources of local fuel, which happens to be low and slow-growing shrubs found in their alpine ecosystems.