Prof. Dr. Joachim Hüppe and Prof. Dr. Richard Pott, Hannover.
The recent past is characterised by occasional clusters of years with higher than average temperatures, and we have been observing significant changes in some areas for some time now. At the southern edge of the Alps, particularly in Ticino and along the big lakes, such as Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugano, Lake Como and Lake Garda, we are observing definitive changes in the vegetation since the 1970s with the spreading of evergreen Mediterranean or subtropical sclerophyll or even laurophyll plant species in the natural summer-green oak and beech mixed forests. Hydrolabile plants with laurel-like leaves from the warm subtropics and hydrostabile, sclerophyllous, xerophylous species from the Mediterranean have been recently spreading to the same extent and at the same time. I have been continuously following this phenomenon since 1992 until today, particularly in the parks and forests of the Villa Vigoni in Loveno di Menaggio on Lake Como.