Georg Miehe

Georg Miehe
Philipps University of Marburg | PUM · Faculty of Geography

PhD

About

139
Publications
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4,998
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September 1993 - present
Philipps University of Marburg
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (139)
Article
Full-text available
The Tibetan Plateau’s Kobresia pastures store 2.5% of the world’s soil organic carbon (SOC). Climate change and overgrazing render their topsoils vulnerable to degradation, with SOC stocks declining by 42% and nitrogen (N) by 33% at severely degraded sites. We resolved these losses into erosion accounting for two-thirds, and decreased carbon (C) in...
Preprint
Ding et al. (Science 2020) proposed that the extant lineages of the alpine flora of the Tibet Himalaya Hengduan region emerged by the early Oligocene. We argue that these results are based on misclassifying high montane taxa as alpine and that their data support alpine habitats only at about 7.5 mio years before present.
Article
Full-text available
Elevation plays a crucial factor in the distribution of plants, as environmental conditions become increasingly harsh at higher elevations. Previous studies have mainly focused on the effects of large-scale elevational gradients on plants, with little attention on the impact of smaller-scale gradients. In this study we used 14 microsatellite loci t...
Article
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Background and aims: Understanding the population genetics and evolutionary history of endangered species is urgently needed in an era of accelerated biodiversity loss. This knowledge is most important for regions with high endemism that are ecologically vulnerable, such as the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP). Methods: The genetic variation of 84 ju...
Article
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Knowledge about species’ distributions is central to diverse applications in ecology, biogeography, and conservation science. Hot-spring snakes of the genus Thermophis share a distribution restricted to geothermal sites at the Tibetan Plateau (T. baileyi) and in the Hengduan Mountains (T. zhaoermii, T. shangrila). Although the suture zones of these...
Article
Background Leaf functional traits can influence the ability of plants to grow when facing stresses. Climate changes can impose fundamental impacts on plant growth, especially at high mountains. Yet little is known about relationships between leaf functional traits and elevations in tree species above 4000 m a.s.l. Aims Our objective was to investi...
Article
The lithology, ostracods, palynomorphs and black carbon of a sediment core from a saline wetland in the southern Tibetan highlands (29°14′33.40″N/87°13′09.10″E, 4480 m a.s.l., A.R. Xizang, China) is analyzed and climate modelling applied with respect to core questions in Quaternary research: (1) Do meso-climatic effects of regional landscape struct...
Article
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Today’s ice caps and glaciers in Africa are restricted to the highest peaks, but during the Pleistocene, several mountains on the continent were extensively glaciated. However, little is known about regional differences in the timing and extent of past glaciations and the impact of paleoclimatic changes on the afro-alpine environment and settlement...
Article
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Background and aims Over-grazing have significantly altered above- and belowground functions in terrestrial ecosystem. However, the influence of grazing intensity on plant-soil stoichiometric relations in alpine ecosystems remains unclear. Methods We investigated the responses of plant-soil nutrient stoichiometric relationships to four grazing int...
Article
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Background : Species density along elevation gradients often shows hump-shaped patterns, but in-depth data for Myanmar is still not available. Aim : The first plot-based study to detect the elevational patterns of life forms and tree leaf traits, and their relation to environmental factors in Myanmar. Methods : All seed plant species were recorded...
Article
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Previous paleolimnological studies demonstrated that the sediments of Garba Guracha, situated at 3950 m asl in the afro-alpine zone of the Bale Mountains of Ethiopia, provide a complete Late Glacial and Holocene paleoclimate and environmental archive. We revisited Garba Guracha in order to retrieve new sediment cores and to apply new environmental...
Article
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Aim To assess the range size patterns of ferns and lycophytes along elevational gradients at different latitudes in an ecographical transition zone and search for predictors of range size from a set of environmental factors. Location Mexico, from 15° to 23° N. Taxon Ferns and lycophytes. Methods All terrestrial and epiphytic species were recorde...
Article
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Recent advances in the understanding of the evolution of the Asian continent challenge the long‐held belief of a faunal immigration into the Himalaya. Spiny frogs of the genus Nanorana are a characteristic faunal group of the Himalaya–Tibet orogen (HTO). We examine the phylogeny of these frogs to explore alternative biogeographic scenarios for thei...
Article
Studies of early human settlement in alpine environments provide insights into human physiological, genetic, and cultural adaptation potentials. Although Late and even Middle Pleistocene human presence has been recently documented on the Tibetan Plateau, little is known regarding the nature and context of early persistent human settlement in high e...
Preprint
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Fire is the most frequent disturbance in the Ericaceous Belt (ca. 3000-4300 m asl), one of the most important plant communities of tropical African mountains. Through resprouting after fire, Erica establishes a positive fire feedback under certain burning regimes. However, present-day human activity in the Bale Mountains of Ethiopia includes fire a...
Article
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Understanding the interaction between large herbivores and pasture production, especially with respect to the grazing optimization hypothesis, is critical for pasture management and generating theoretical and testable predictions. However, the optimization hypothesis remains contradictory in alpine meadows on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP). In thi...
Article
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Kobresia pastures in the eastern Tibetan highlands occupy 450000 km ² and form the world’s largest pastoral alpine ecosystem. The main constituent is an endemic dwarf sedge, Kobresia pygmaea , which forms a lawn with a durable turf cover anchored by a felty root mat, and occurs from 3000 m to nearly 6000 m a.s.l. The existence and functioning of th...
Article
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Aim: To assess richness patterns of ferns and lycophytes in relation to climatic factors in Eastern Asia, analysing eight elevational gradients, situated along a latitudinal gradient. Location: East and Southeast Asia (4° S to 43.3° N). Methods: Ferns and lycophytes were recorded in 480 plots of 400 m2 along eight elevational gradients. We related...
Article
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With 450,000 km2 Kobresia (syn. Carex) pygmaea dominated pastures in the eastern Tibetan highlands are the world's largest pastoral alpine ecosystem forming a durable turf cover at 3000–6000ma.s.l. Kobresia's resilience and competitiveness is based on dwarf habit, predominantly below-ground allocation of photo assimilates, mixture of seed productio...
Technical Report
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The Eastern Steppe of Mongolia is one of the world's largest mostly intact grassland ecosystems and is characterised by a close coupling of societal and natural processes. In this ecosystem, mobility is one of the key characteristics of wildlife and human societies alike. The current economic development of Mongolia is accompanied by extensive soci...
Article
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This first survey of rock shelters and settlements in the Bale Mountains in Ethiopia is a baseline assessment for further research into the settlement history of Africa’s largest alpine highlands. Extensive GPS-based mapping and interviews resulted in two detailed maps, a catalogue of profiles, and complete photographic documentation. In total, 331...
Article
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Although the montane forests of northern Myanmar are part of one of the most biodiverse areas of the world, our knowledge of species richness and elevational distribution of species within these forests is poor and scattered at both spatial and temporal scales. Over the last five decades, very few floristic assessments have been undertaken. This is...
Article
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Questions Livestock-grazing and abiotic environmental factors both shape grassland systems; however, the relative importance of their impacts on plant species composition and soil fertility has rarely been investigated. Focusing on Tibetan grasslands, which are of global ecological importance and exhibit broad climatic and elevational gradients, we...
Article
We used published data of the floristic and elevational distribution of seed plants of Bhutan to test the contribution of climatic, topographical and biogeographical variables to shape elevational species richness and endemism patterns. Bhutan. We compiled data of seed plant species distributions from the Flora of Bhutan and related them to energy,...
Article
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A widespread pattern of the Tibetan plateau is mosaics of grasslands of Cyperaceae and grasses with forbs, interspersed with patches covered by lichen crusts induced by overgrazing. However, the fate of inorganic and organic N in non-crusted and crusted patches in Kobresia grasslands remains unknown. We reported on a field 15N-labeling experiment i...
Article
A widespread pattern of the plateau is mosaics of grasslands of Cyperaceae and grasses with forbs, interspersed with patches covered by lichen crusts induced by overgrazing. However, the fate of inorganic and organic N in non-crusted and crusted patches remains unknown in Kobresia grasslands. We reported on a field 15N-labeling experiment in two co...
Article
Full-text available
Various hypotheses have been proposed about the Quaternary evolutionary history of plant species on the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau (QTP), yet only a handful of studies have considered both population genetics and ecological niche context. In this study, we proposed and compared climate refugia hypotheses based on the phylogeographic pattern of Anisodus...
Data
Figure S1. Potential distribution of A. tanguticus during the present‐day, the LGM and the LIG based on presence locations according to both herbarium samples and field survey in this study. Figure S2. Potential distribution of A. tanguticus under future global warming scenarios based on presence locations according to both herbarium samples and f...
Article
Full-text available
Saxifraga, the most species-rich and taxonomically complex genus of Saxifragaceae, is a characteristic component of temperate to polar climatic zones and of montane to alpine vegetation belts in mountain ranges of the Northern Hemisphere. The genus encompasses more than 440 species, which display notable diversity in growth form, vegetative and rep...
Article
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The genus Thermophis includes the two species, T. baileyi and T. zhaoermii, which differ morphologically, geographically and molecularly. Recently, a third Thermophis species was described from Shangri-La, northern Yunnan Province, China, and named T. shangrila. The new species was based on morphological and genetic data derived from three specimen...
Conference Paper
Kobresia grasslands of the Tibetan Plateau cover an area of ca. 450,000 km². They are of high global and regional importance as they store large amounts of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) and provide food for grazing animals. However, grassland degradation has occurred extensively in recent decades and has destroyed mainly the upper root-mat/soil horiz...
Article
Plant coverage is a basic indicator of the biomass production in ecosystems. On the Tibetan Plateau, the biomass of grasslands provides major ecosystem services with regard to the predominant transhumance economy. The pastures, however, are threatened by progressive degradation, resulting in a substantial reduction in plant coverage with currently...
Article
Full-text available
All Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) endemic species are assumed to have originated recently, although very rare species most likely diverged early. These ancient species provide an excellent model to examine the origin and evolution of QTP endemic plants in response to the QTP uplifts and the climate changes that followed in this high altitude region...
Article
Aims The sedge Kobresia pygmaea is the dominant species of high-altitude pastures in Tibet, and it is the most important source of forage in animal husbandry. We present the first comprehensive reproduction study for this perennial key species that adopts a molecular approach and tests how sexual and vegetative reproduction, as well as ploidy, rela...
Article
Full-text available
Grasslands are very important regionally and globally because they store large amounts of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) and provide food for grazing animals. Intensive degradation of alpine grasslands in recent decades has mainly impacted the upper root-mat/soil horizon, with severe consequences for nutrient uptake in these nutrient-limited ecosystem...
Article
Full-text available
The Tibetan Plateau has a significant role with regard to atmospheric circulation and the monsoon in particular. Changes between a closed plant cover and open bare soil are one of the striking effects of land use degradation observed with unsustainable range management or climate change, but experiments investigating changes of surface properties a...
Data
The Tibetan highlands host the largest alpine grassland ecosystems worldwide, bearing soils that store substantial stocks of carbon (C) that are very sensitive to land use changes. This study focuses on the cycling of photoassimilated C within a Kobresia pygmaea pasture, the dominating ecosystems on the Tibetan highlands. We investigated short-term...
Article
Full-text available
The Tibetan Plateau has a significant role with regard to atmospheric circulation and the monsoon in particular. Changes between a closed plant cover and open bare soil are one of the striking effects of land use degradation observed with unsustainable range management or climate change, but experiments coupling changes of surface properties and pr...
Article
AimOur aims were to investigate the geographical distribution, population history and demographics of the hot-spring snake Thermophis baileyi, and to examine how the Pleistocene glacial stages and geomorphological configurations resulting from the uplift of the Tibetan–Himalayan orogen shaped the genetic diversity and evolutionary history of the sp...
Poster
Full-text available
With an approximate cover of 450,000 km2 on the Tibetan Plateau (TP), the Cyperaceae Kobresia pygmaea forms he world’s largest alpine ecosystem. This species, especially adapted to grazing pressure, grows to a height of only 2-6 cm and can be found in an altitudinal range of 4000 to 5960 m a.s.l. A special characteristic of this ecosystem is the st...
Article
In order to trace the response of alpine plants on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (Q-T Plateau) to the Quaternary climate oscillations, the phylogeographic history of Pomatosace filicula was investigated in the present study. Based on sequence variations of two maternally inherited plastid markers, matK and trnH-psbA, and the bi-parentally inherited nuc...
Article
Full-text available
The closed Tangra Yumco Basin underwent the strongest Quaternary lake-level changes so far recorded on the Tibetan Plateau. It was hitherto unknown what effect this had on local Holocene vegetation development. A 3.6-m sediment core from a recessional lake terrace at 4,700 m a.s.l., 160 m above the present lake level of Tangra Yumco, was studied to...
Article
A knowledge of intraspecific divergence and range dynamics of dominant forest trees in response to past geological and climate change is of major importance to an understanding of their recent evolution and demography. Such knowledge is informative of how forests were affected by environmental factors in the past and may provide pointers to their r...
Article
In the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalayas, biogeographers are studying the highest stands of trees and forest in the northern hemisphere. Their interdisciplinary research reveals in detail the extent of the impact of human activity and climate on the natural environment.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
With an approximate cover of 450.000 km² on the Tibetan Plateau (TP) the Cyperaceae Kobresia pygmaea inherit the world’s largest alpine ecosystem [1, 2]. This species, especially adapted to grazing pressure, is growing only 2-6 cm tall and can be found in an altitudinal range from 4000 to 5960 m a.s.l.. A special characteristic of this ecosystem is...
Article
Parallel evolution provides an excellent framework to infer the genetic bases of adaptive traits and understand the importance of natural selection in shaping current biodiversity. The upper leaves of the “glasshouse plants” transform into translucent bracts that show numerous adaptions in alpine habitats. It remains unknown whether similar molecul...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Experiment documentation of the second joined Kobresia ecosystem experiment conducted by the Atmosphere-Ecology-Glaciology Cluster within DFG SPP 1372 (Tibetan Plateau)in Kema, Tibet, China. The report provides background information about the field side, conducted measurements and participants.
Article
The question of the resilience or vulnerability of Tibetan highland pastures is notonly of regional importance but also of global relevance for the Earth's energy budgetand atmospheric circulation. A climate and grazing driven environmental change of theTibetan highland albedo could induce feedback effects within an ecotone ofapproximately 200 km b...
Article
Dispersal is a key factor in shaping the genetic structure and population dynamics of species; thus, its understanding is a fundamental requirement in formulating appropriate conservation strategies. Higher rates of dispersal in one sex than the other are widespread in vertebrate species and often attributed to the genetic advantages of reduced inb...
Article
Im Tibetischen Hochland und im Himalaya untersuchen Biogeografen die höchstgelegenen Baum- und Waldinseln der Nordhemisphäre. Ihre interdisziplinären Studien zeigen im Detail, wie tief der Mensch und das Klima in die Natur eingegriffen haben.