WIND AS AN ECOLOGICAL AGENT AT TREELINES IN NORTH AMERICA, THE ALPS, AND THE EUROPEAN SUBARCTIC

Autor(en): Holtmeier, Friedrich-Karl
Broll, Gabriele 
Stichwörter: climate change; CLIMATE-CHANGE; CUTICULAR TRANSPIRATION; Environmental Sciences; Environmental Sciences & Ecology; Geography, Physical; Geology; Geosciences, Multidisciplinary; GLACIER-NATIONAL-PARK; Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences; Physical Geography; PINUS-SYLVESTRIS; ROCKY-MOUNTAINS; seed dispersal; SNOW REDISTRIBUTION; snow relocation; SWEDISH SCANDES; TIMBERLINE CONIFERS; tree physiognomy; TREE-LINE RISE; treeline; wind; wind erosion; WINTER WATER RELATIONS
Erscheinungsdatum: 2010
Herausgeber: TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD
Journal: PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY
Volumen: 31
Ausgabe: 3
Startseite: 203
Seitenende: 233
Zusammenfassung: 
The altitudinal treeline ecotone is a windy environment where wind velocities and directions are controlled by local mountain topography and also by the distribution pattern and structures of tree stands. Wind may override the role of heat deficiency in determining treeline position, spatial pattern, ecological conditions, and tree growth. Regular strong permanent winds restrict tree height and usually cause asymmetric and suppressed growth forms that are common in the treeline ecotone. Apart from direct physiological and mechanical effects on trees and ground vegetation, wind also disperses seeds, relocates snow, and locally erodes soils in the treeline ecotone. Wind effects must be considered an important factor that may delay or even preclude establishment of seedling trees on wind-swept terrain. Discussions of a potential climatically driven upward shift of the treeline at the landscape and smaller scales should give greater attention to the varying wind effects because warming cannot compensate for these other factors. The relative importance of microsite facilitation providing shelter from the wind will increase in parallel with the upslope migration of the tree limit into a much windier environment.
ISSN: 02723646
DOI: 10.2747/0272-3646.31.3.203

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