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Treeline (Pinus sylvestris) landscape evolution in the Swedish Scandes - a 40-year demographic effort viewed in a broader temporal context
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. (Arcum)
2014 (English)In: Norsk Geografisk Tidsskrift, ISSN 0029-1951, E-ISSN 1502-5292, Vol. 68, no 3, 155-167 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The article reports the outcome of long-term demographic monitoring of elevational treeline ecotonal stands of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in the southern Swedish Scandes. Annual censuses were undertaken of recruitment, mortality, growth, seed viability, and causes of mortality during the period 1973-2012 in a set of 18 permanent plots. A net gain in total population size occurred over the study period as the result of periodic fluctuations in recruitment and mortality, broadly congruent with annual variations in summer and winter temperatures. Summer temperatures affected seed viability, establishment, and height growth. Winter temperatures exerted an impact foremost by changing the incidence of winter desiccation injury. As a result of infilling, pine has become a more prominent and vital component of the landscape around the forest limit, which has advanced insignificantly into the bordering mountain birch forest. The results highlight a rigid climate-forest disequilibrium and falsify models suggesting extensive and swift expansion of the treeline ecotone and closed forest at the expense of alpine tundra in response to anticipated future warming during the present century. The balance of evidence suggests that patchy forest expansion is likely to occur at a very slow (plurisecular) pace, given that climate warming prevails.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2014. Vol. 68, no 3, 155-167 p.
Keyword [en]
mortality, recruitment, climate variability, treeline ecotone demography, landscape change
National Category
Ecology Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-88940DOI: 10.1080/00291951.2014.904402ISI: 000334158600002OAI: diva2:718563
Available from: 2014-05-21 Created: 2014-05-19 Last updated: 2016-05-20Bibliographically approved

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Kullman, Leif
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Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences
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