Global warming and vulnerability assessment of plant distribution in Korea|
Sle-Gee LEE, Woo-Seok KONG & Hee-Na PARK
Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea
Due to the recent rapid global warming trend in Korea, the survival and migration
of many plants in slow motion or in a hostile environment will be hindered in the
future. Plants, which are vulnerable to global warming, include species with their
distribution confined to alpine and subalpine belts, species with a narrow distribution,
species at their range limit, species growing in small islands, species
sensitive to climate change, and species with slow migration rates. With temperature
rising, the cold-loving alpine plants of Korea, which belong to relict species
of Last Glacial Maximum, are again forced to move upward or northward.
of high mountain plant species, however, will be resolved when two
conditions are met; first, an availability of cool micro-climate at high mountain
tops, secondly, accessibility and connectivity of mountain peaks which enable
plants to migrate towards new habitats, thirdly, species need to be able to outcomplete
new contenders, and finally be able to overcome new environmental conditions.
Projected distribution of cold-loving plant species in Korea with climatic
rates, +0.3, 0.5, 0.9 and 1.2 degrees shows that many alpine plants,
species at Hallasan (1 950 m a.s.l.), Jeju Island and Baekdoosan or
Mt. Baekdoo (2 744 m a.s.l.) in D.P.R.K. or North Korea will be in danger at their
current locations. This study is supported by the Korea National Arboretum.
© 2012 Organizing Committee