Plants in Alpine Regions

pp 163-174


Ice Formation and Propagation in Alpine Plants

  • Gilbert NeunerAffiliated withInstitute of Botany, University of Innsbruck Email author 
  • , Jürgen HackerAffiliated withInstitute of Botany, University of Innsbruck

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Low atmospheric temperatures are among the well-known common features of the alpine macroclimate (see Körner 2003). Absolute low temperature extremes at high altitude sites are no greater than at low altitude sites. The lowest absolute air temperature minimum at high altitude in the Austrian Alps was −37.4°C (Mt. Sonnblick, 3,105 m, 1 Jan. 1905). This temperature minimum is only marginally lower than the absolute air temperature minimum recorded at low altitude sites in Austria, which was −36.6°C (Zwettl, 520 m, 11 Feb. 1929). Strikingly, the lowest air temperature record in Austria originates from the bottom of a doline at an altitude of 1,270 m (Grünloch, Lunz am See, Lower Austria, 19 Feb. 1932), where due to temperature inversion an absolute minimum of −52.6°C was recorded (Aigner 1952).