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Disappearing glaciers are threatening rare alpine plants with extinction

By Robert Baxter, Associate Professor of Plant Ecology, Durham University
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High up on a mountain where winds are too fierce, temperatures too extreme and soils too poor for trees, some of the most unusual plants on Earth grow. In this harsh alpine zone where shade is scarce, species such as the houseleek have evolved to withstand the punishing ultraviolet radiation by being able to quickly repair their DNA.

Cushion plants, which resemble pin cushions dropped on the ground,…


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