Rapid colonisation at the Zufallferner glacier foreland of the inner Martell Valley (South Tyrol, Italy)

First impressions are often deceptive: recently ice-free areas are not hostile. As soon as the glacier has released new areas (Fig. 1), one can discover the first plants, such as the alpine blue grass (Poa alpina, Fig. 2) or the purple mountain saxifrage (Saxifraga oppositifolia, Fig. 3), and the yellow mountain saxifrage (Saxifraga aizoides, Fig. 4).

Fig. 1: Area ice-free for one year. Photo: Katharina Ramskogler.
Fig. 2: Alpine blue grass (Poa alpina). Photo: Katharina Ramskogler.
Fig. 3: Purple mountain saxifrage (Saxifraga oppositifolia). Photo: Katharina Ramskogler.
Fig. 4: Seedling of the yellow mountain saxifrage (Saxifraga aizoides). Photo: Katharina Ramskogler.