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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences eTheses
Title: Investigating the response of subtropical forests to environmental variation through the study of the Abies kawakamii treelines in Taiwan
Author(s): Greenwood, Sarah
Supervisor(s): Jump, Alistair
Keywords: Treeline advance
climate change
ecosystem function
aerial photographs
tree growth
mixed modelling
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: University of Stirling
Citation: Greenwood, S. Chen, J-C. Chen, T-C, Jump, A. S. 2014. Strong topographic sheltering effects lead to spatially complex treeline advance and increased forest density in a subtropical mountain region. Global Change Biology 20: 3756:3766.
Greenwood, S. Jump, A. S. 2014. Consequences of treeline shifts for the diversity and function of high altitude ecosystems. Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research 46: 829-840.
Greenwood, S. Chen, J-C. Chen, T-C, Jump, A. S. 2015. Temperature and sheltering determine patterns of seedling establishment in an advancing subtropical treeline. Journal of vegetation Science. DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12269
Abstract: Altitudinal treeline advance represents a sensitive and well-studied example of species response to climate warming. Although a great deal of work has been conducted globally, few studies have considered subtropical alpine treelines and little is known about their structure and function. This research aims to investigate the response of high altitude forests in Taiwan to climate variation by characterising treeline advance in the area, exploring the mechanisms driving the advance, and considering the consequences of advance for the wider community. The thesis consists of a general introduction to the topic followed by a series of papers, exploring: (1) Possible consequences of treeline shifts for biodiversity and ecosystem function. (2) The advance of the Abies kawakamii treeline through aerial photograph analysis. (3) The changes in growth rate of Abies kawakamii at treeline and the influence of altitude and temperature on growth. (4) Regeneration patterns at treeline and the importance of microclimate and topographic sheltering. (5) Consequences of the range shift for the wider forest community. The work is then concluded with a general discussion and synthesis. The main aims of this work are therefore to characterise and understand the pattern and pace of treeline advance and forest structural change throughout the Central Mountain Range of Taiwan. Treeline advance is characterised through the study of repeat aerial photographs and the mechanisms behind the observed shift are explored through the study of two key responses associated with forest advance: tree growth at treeline and seedling establishment beyond treeline. The consequences of treeline advance for the wider subalpine community are investigated through the study of epiphytic lichen communities at treeline sites. This investigation of an understudied region will allow for improved understanding of treeline response at a global scale.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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