Mountain environments and tourism

Authored by: Catherine Pickering , Agustina Barros

The Routledge Handbook of Tourism and the Environment

Print publication date:  July  2012
Online publication date:  August  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415582070
eBook ISBN: 9780203121108
Adobe ISBN: 9781136325564


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Mountain environments comprise approximately 27 per cent of the land surface, although the actual area of alpine vegetation is around 3 per cent (Blyth et al. 2002; Körner 2003). Mountains occur on all continents, as individual peaks or large mountain ranges that extend across several countries. Closer to the equator, alpine areas are restricted to areas above around 5,000 m altitudes on mountains such as Mt Wilhelm in New Guinea and Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Kenya in Africa (Blyth et al. 2002; Körner 2003). The further from the equator the mountains are, the lower that altitude at which snow occurs, with the alpine areas of northern Europe merging into the tundra of the arctic (Körner 2003). Some of the most famous mountain ranges are the Andes in South America, the Rocky Mountains in North America, the Himalayas in Asia and the European Alps, but there are also important mountain ranges in New Zealand, Japan, Mexico and Australia.

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