Bhutan Climate Change Research
Global warming imperils alpine vegetation: exploration and ethnbotany of the alpine flora of Bhutan

Lead Researchers:

Dr. Jan Salick, Alice H. Brown Curator of Ethnobotany, William L. Brown Center
Dr. Sangay Dema, National Biodiversity Center, Bhutan
Robbie Hart
, William L. Brown Center

Bhutan, a relatively small country in the Himalayas, is extraordinary rich in biodiversity, cultural tradition, and scenic beauty. Although only 150 km from south to north, Bhutan’s elevation ranges from 100 m above sea level in the south to more than 7500 m in the north. It is one of the most rugged and mountainous countries on earth.

Bhutan is also renowned for its commitment to conservation and sustainable development. However, despite this commitment, global climate change remains a threat to Bhutan.  The steep climatic gradients encountered along elevation gradients make the ecosystems particularly sensitive to climate changes.

In collaboration with the National Biodiversity Centre we help to explore, collect and document the alpine flora of Bhutan, to monitor temperatures and plant communities at high elevations, and to document human use of alpine plants, especially traditional medicines, in collaboration with the Institute of Traditional Medicine Services.