Conservation of biodiversity in mountain ecosystems -- At a glance
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Mountains are especially important for biodiversity conservation since many harbor unique assemblages of plants and animals, including high levels of endemic species. Mountain biodiversity and natural habitats bestow multiple ecosystem, soil conservation, and watershed benefits. Mountains are often centers of endemism, where species are prevalent in or peculiar to a particular region, and Pleistocene refuges, which are hypothesized to have high levels of diversity where patches of tropical rainforest persisted during periods of climate change 1.6 million years ago. Mountains are also a source for repopulating more low-lying habitats. Mountain ecosystems play a role in influencing rainfall regimes and climate at local and regional levels, helping to contain global warming through carbon sequestration and storage in soils and plant biomass.