A lot of their medicines come from the mountains.” Dr.
Salick and her team found that useful Tibetan plants (predominantly medicinal plants) accounted for 62% of all plant species in the alpine Himalayan sites that they examined.
Changes in snow patterns, ice cover, and temperatures are already affecting the distribution of some Arctic vegetation.
Some experts postulate that climate change could affect the chemical composition and, ultimately, the survival of some MAPs in Arctic regions.
“After polar regions, alpine areas are changing faster than any other areas on Earth,” said Jan Salick, Ph D, senior curator of ethnobotany at the Missouri Botanical Garden, who has conducted research on alpine environments of the Eastern Himalayas (oral communication, January 11, 2008).
Some MAPs are endemic to geographic regions or ecosystems particularly vulnerable to climate change, which could put them at risk.
2008;-57 American Botanical Council By Courtney Cavaliere Climate change* has become increasingly recognized as one of the greatest challenges to humankind and all other life on Earth.
Worldwide changes in seasonal patterns, weather events, temperature ranges, and other related phenomena have all been reported and attributed to global climate change.
Further, although overall species richness was found to decline with elevation from the lowest summits to the highest, the proportion of useful plants stayed approximately constant.
This high percentage of useful plants confirms the importance of the Himalayas for Tibetan medicine and reflects the dangers posed by potential plant losses from climate change. Salick and her co-authors noted the projection by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that the Himalayas are likely to experience some of the most drastic climate changes in the world outside of polar regions, with temperature increases of 5-6°C and precipitation increases of 2030%.