Mountain ecosystems are threatened due to an increased anthropogenic footprint and climatic changes that directly impact the livelihood of communities living in the foothills. These changes manifest themselves through an upward shift of treeline, land system vis-a-vis vegetation dynamics associated with the shrinkage of alpine grasslands, and expansion of shrublands. Moreover, the increased anthropogenic footprint impacts biota and trophic statuses of mountain lakes and wetlands, as well as aquatic biogeochemical cycling, and alien plant invasions. The cumulative effects of the anthropogenic footprint and exacerbated climatic changes have not only enhanced the recession of glaciers and destabilization of permafrost but also resulted in the formation of numerous proglacial lakes and the expansion of existing ones. This has increased the vulnerability of downstream aquatic communities to cryosphere-related hazards like Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs), Landslide Lake Outburst Floods (LLOFs), and snow avalanches.
In the context of climate change and an increased anthropogenic footprint on mountain landscapes and ecosystems, this Research Topic welcomes articles focusing on vegetation dynamics and land system changes, including catchment-scale processes affecting lake and wetland ecosystems in mountain environments. We welcome contributions that use recent and novel methods, such as using data from remote sensing platforms, to identify impacts of cryosphere-related hazards and altered hydrological pathways aiming to better understand and characterize the earth-surface processes (e.g., soil erosion, landslides, snow avalanches, and permafrost destabilization) and biodiversity changes (e.g., alien plant invasions, treeline shifts, and shrub expansion) in terrestrial and aquatic mountain ecosystems.
We welcome Original Research articles, such as case studies, and Reviews within the following areas:
• Mountain lake and wetland changes, including water balance, nutrient modeling and budgeting, biodiversity changes and alien plant invasions
• Mountain ecosystem changes due to altered hydrological patterns and glacier-induced hazards in a changing climate
• Vegetation dynamics, plant biodiversity, and land system changes in mountain regions
• Ecological changes in mountain regions due to variations in greenhouse gas compositions
Keywords: mountain lakes, hydrological responses, mountain ecosystems, climate change, vegetation dynamics, glacier-induced hazards, mountain wetlands
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.