Conservation of the unique biodiversity of mountain ecosystems needs trans-disciplinary approaches to succeed in a crowded world. Geographers, conservationists, ecologists and social scientists have, in the past, had the same conservation goals but have tended to work independently. This recent review in Annals of Botany underlines the need to integrate different conservation criteria and methodologies and offers new criteria for prioritizing species and habitats for conservation in montane ecosystems that combine both ecological and social data.
Mountain ecosystems are hot spots for plant conservation efforts because they hold a high overall plant diversity as communities replace each other along altitudinal and climatic gradients, including a high proportion of endemic species. This review contributes an enhanced understanding of plant diversity in mountain ecosystems with special reference to the western Himalayas; ethnobotanical and ecosystem service values of mountain vegetation within the context of anthropogenic impacts; and local and regional plant conservation strategies and priorities.