Alpine plants experience a multitude of physical conditions which for most other plants would be fatal. How do they cope with these commonly and misleadingly termed «stress»-conditions?
The surprising observation is that if one relieves alpine plants from the presumed «stress» (from an anthropocentric point of
view), most will rapidly die or become overgrown by others. It will be demonstrated here how alpine plants cope with thermal extremes (low and
high temperatures), UV-B radiation, long lasting snow cover and mechanical impacts (unstable substrate) as the most important factors.