To test this, Scherrer and Körner used a computer model to simulate what would happen if the temperature went up 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. They found that only 3 percent of all temperature conditions disappeared. Some of the cooler habitats shrank or shifted, but pockets remained. This suggests that plants have the opportunity to shift habitats, instead of just dying off.
Preserving mountain habitats is even more new important now in light of this research. A diverse Alpine meadow could save many different habitats, compared to a single habitat in a grassland of equal size.
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"It is known from earlier geological periods that mountains were always important for survival of species during periods of climatic change such as in glacial cycles, because of their ‘habitat diversity,'" concluded Körner.
"Mountains are therefore particularly important areas for the conservation of biodiversity in a given region under climatic change and thus deserve particular protection," Körner said.