Alpine Treelines: Functional Ecology of the Global High Elevation Tree Limits

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Springer Science & Business Media, May 26, 2012 - Science - 220 pages

Alpine treelines mark the low-temperature limit of tree growth and occur in mountains world-wide. Presenting a companion to his book Alpine Plant Life, Christian Körner provides a global synthesis of the treeline phenomenon from sub-arctic to equatorial latitudes and a functional explanation based on the biology of trees. The comprehensive text approaches the subject in a multi-disciplinary way by exploring forest patterns at the edge of tree life, tree morphology, anatomy, climatology and, based on this, modelling treeline position, describing reproduction and population processes, development, phenology, evolutionary aspects, as well as summarizing evidence on the physiology of carbon, water and nutrient relations, and stress physiology. It closes with an account on treelines in the past (palaeo-ecology) and a section on global change effects on treelines, now and in the future. With more than 100 illustrations, many of them in colour, the book shows alpine treelines from around the globe and offers a wealth of scientific information in the form of diagrams and tables.

 

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Contents

High elevation treelines
1
Definitions and conventions
11
Treeline patterns
21
Treeline climate
32
Global mountain statistics based on treeline elevation
57
Structure and stature of treeline trees
63
Growth and development
85
Evolutionary adjustments to life at the treeline
105
Reproduction early life stages and tree demography
113
Freezing and other forms of stress
131
Water nutrient and carbon relations
151
Treeline formation currently in the past and in the future
169
References
191
Subject Index
211
Taxonomic Index
218
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About the author (2012)

Christian Körner was born in 1949 in Salzburg, Austria, got his academic degrees from the University of Innsbruck, and became professor of botany at the University of Basel, Switzerland in 1989. He published over 300 scientific articles on plant-environment interactions and authored and coauthored numerous scientific books, including the leading plant science textbook Strasburger.

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