Although we now have a better idea of how many plant species are moving upwards to fight global warming in search of coolness, it remains unclear how many of these migrating species will successfully reach their destination .
Distribution simulations in the alpine areas of Veneto, Trentino, Alto Adige/Südtirol and Tirol carried out at the University of Innsbruck (unpublished), showed that by 2100 the occurrence of two shrub species, the Green Alder and Mountain Pine, will shift northward and to higher elevations. And yet the shift will be quite different region by region.
In Veneto, for example, some niches manage to reach higher elevations or move in latitude to the adjacent Alto Adige/Südtirol and Tirol. The ascent of many of them, however, is completely blocked or limited by the harshness of the Dolomites, which are too steep, inhospitable, rocky, and windy even for the most resilient individuals. And this is already noted by the locals and all the forests stakeholders of the area. Many of them already see a decrease of the two shrub species in the Belluno region. In contrast, the upward expansion of these two shrubs in Tyrol has been successful and made local breeders, farmers and foresters very worried.