By Friedrich-Karl Holtmeier (auth.)
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Extra info for Mountain Timberlines: Ecology, Patchiness, and Dynamics
The height of the alders decreases from about three to four meters in the lower part of the krummholz zone to less than a few decametres at its upper limit where they grow mat-like close to the ground. In winter big snow masses pile up. They press the sterns downhill and compress the alder thickets to less than two meters height. Thus, they, and also the dwarfpines, get completely buried by snow (Hulten, 1974). Quaking aspen (populus tremuloides) is widespread in North America. In some areas it reaches even the northern tree line.
500 m. Oliver (1988), by the way, attributes Philippia to the genus Erica. Several studies (Hedberg, 1951; Troll, 1973; Plesnik, 1980; Miehe and Miehe, 1994, 1996) provide some evidence that the upper limit of the Hageniaforests are caused by fire and grazing rather than by climate and should not considered a natural altitudinal timberline. However, Lange et al. (1997), referring to their studies on Mt. Kenya, consider burning to be of loeal importance only and take the upper limit of Hagenia forest for natural (climatically caused; see also Fries and Fries, 1948; Bussmann, 1994).
300 m) which is fairly protected from advective influences (Figure 10; Höllermann, 1972). The same effect can be observed also in other climates. In the comparatively high and dry western cordillera of Bolivia, for example, the upper limit of the occurrences of Polylepis tarapacana (P. 000 m higher than the upper limit of Polylepis tarapacana in the humid and lower eastern cordillera (Kessler, 1995). Figure 10. Altitude of timberline in the Pyrenees. - modified from Höllennann (1972) In the tropics, the same relationship of the upper timberline and mass-elevation effect exists (Eyre, 1968; Hastenrath, 1968; Grubb, 1971; Van Steenis, 1972).