The spatial distribution and pattern of alpine treeline in the American West reflect the overarching influences of geological history, lithology and structure, and geomorphic processes and landforms, and geologic and geomorphic factors - both forms and processes - can control the spatiotemporal response of the ecotone to climate change. These influences occur at spatial scales ranging from the continental scale to fine scale processes and landforms at the slope scale. Past geomorphic influences, particularly Pleistocene glaciation, have also left their impact on treeline, and treelines across the west are still adjusting to post-Pleistocene conditions within Pleistocene-created landforms. Current tine scale processes include solifluction and changes on relict solifluction and digging by animals. These processes should be examined in detail in future studies to facilitate a better understanding of where individual tree seedlings become established as a primary response of the ecotone to climate change. Copyright ?? 2007 by Bellwether Publishing, Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Influences of geomorphology and geology on alpine treeline in the American West - More important than climatic influences?