Changes in the seasonal snow cover of alpine regions and its effect on soil processes: A review

Riccardo Scalenghe, Michele Freppaz, Anthony C. Edwards

Risultato della ricerca: Articlepeer review

183 Citazioni (Scopus)


At its maximum annual development, snow can cover more than half the Northern Hemisphere land area with one-third experiencing seasonal snow cover. The precise conditions that develop during the annual pattern of snowpack development formation have implications for: (i) soil microbiological activity and nutrient transformations; (ii) the capacity of the accumulating snowpack to retain atmospheric derived solutes; (iii) preferential elution and rapid runoff of solutes from the snowpack during periods of thaw; and (iv) leaching of solutes. Long-term records of annual snow accumulation suggest that substantial, regional scale shifts in snowpack characteristics have been occurring. The accompanying changes in the frequency and timing of freeze-thaw episodes and the evidence of their disruptive and selective influence upon soil microbial processes, when human induced, suggests there are wider implications for nutrient cycling and functioning of mountain ecosystems. This review is focused on alpine landscapes
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)172-181
Numero di pagine10
RivistaQuaternary International
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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