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The main goal of this paper is to analyse the historical bibliographic resources about the flora catalogue in the Sierra Nevada upper zone and the current estimations. Are there any differences between the historical records and the current ones?
We have selected the main historical documents identifying the relevant ones and all the information has been analysed to maximum detail.
A comparison of the taxonomical spectrum of our catalogue with the one done on the same territory by Boissier (172 years ago) reveals that the number has increased by 65 taxa. Also, diverse taxa mentioned even at lower altitudes as rare or scanty, nowadays are frequent in the highest part of Sierra Nevada: Dryopteris filix-mas, Sempervivum minutum, Dianthus subacaulis, Asperula aristata subsp. scabra, Festuca iberica, Pimpinella procumbens, Senecio nevadensis.
As conclusion we believe that the environmental conditions on the upper vegetation belt of Sierra Nevada have changed since the description done in the 19th century by Boissier. It has possibly provoked an intrusion of scanty, very rare or previously non-existent taxa from lower altitudes which are adapting to the new, more favourable conditions on the summits.