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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Strong topographic sheltering effects lead to spatially complex treeline advance and increased forest density in a subtropical mountain region
Authors: Greenwood, Sarah
Chen, Jan-Chang
Chen, Chaur-Tzuhn
Jump, Alistair
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Keywords: Abies kawakamii
aerial photography
alpine habitat
central mountain range
climate change
forest density
Issue Date: Dec-2014
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Citation: Greenwood S, Chen J, Chen C & Jump A (2014) Strong topographic sheltering effects lead to spatially complex treeline advance and increased forest density in a subtropical mountain region, Global Change Biology, 20 (12), pp. 3756-3766.
Abstract: Altitudinal treelines are typically temperature limited such that increasing temperatures linked to global climate change are causing upslope shifts of treelines worldwide. While such elevational increases are readily predicted based on shifting isotherms, at the regional level the realized response is often much more complex, with topography and local environmental conditions playing an important modifying role. Here, we used repeated aerial photographs in combination with forest inventory data to investigate changes in treeline position in the Central Mountain Range of Taiwan over the last 60years. A highly spatially variable upslope advance of treeline was identified in which topography is a major driver of both treeline form and advance. The changes in treeline position that we observed occurred alongside substantial increases in forest density, and lead to a large increase in overall forest area. These changes will have a significant impact on carbon stocking in the high altitude zone, while the concomitant decrease in alpine grassland area is likely to have negative implications for alpine species. The complex and spatially variable changes that we report highlight the necessity for considering local factors such as topography when attempting to predict species distributional responses to warming climate.
Type: Journal Article
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Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: Biological and Environmental Sciences
National Pingtung University of Science and Technology
National Pingtung University of Science and Technology
Biological and Environmental Sciences

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