Part of the worldwide biodiversity program DIVERSITAS, the Global
Mountain Biodiversity Assessment (GMBA) assesses the biological
richness of high-elevation biota. GMBA's focus includes the
uppermost forest regions or their substitute rangeland vegetation,
the treeline ecotone, and the alpine and nival belts. Providing
more than description, the GMBA explains the causes of biological
richness and how diversity changes over time. Because biodiversity
changes often result from human land use, part of the GMBA agenda
is the assessment of land use impacts. These assessments are
critical in low-latitude regions, where land use pressure on upland
biota is the greatest. The chapters of Land Use Change and Mountain
Biodiversity derive from a peer-review process that followed
presentations offered at two GMBA workshops, one in Tanzania and
the other in Bolivia. More than 50 researchers actively
participated in these events, discussing information from all major
mountain regions, with a particular focus on the Andes and on
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