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Abiotic and biotic controls of spatial pattern at alpine treeline

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Abstract

At alpine treeline, trees and krummholz forms affect the environment in ways that increase their growth and reproduction. We assess the way in which these positive feedbacks combine in spatial patterns to alter the environment in the neighborhood of existing plants. The research is significant because areas of alpine tundra are susceptible to encroachment by woody species as climate changes. Moreover, understanding the general processes of plant invasion is important. The importance of spatial pattern has been recognized, but the spatial pattern of positive feedbacks per se has not been explored in depth. We present a linked set of models of vegetation change at an alpine forest-tundra ecotone. Our aim is to create models that are as simple as possible in order to test specific hypotheses. We present results from a model of the resource averaging hypothesis and the positive feedback switch hypothesis of treelines. We compare the patterns generated by the models to patterns observed in fine scale remotely sensed data.

Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Abiotic and biotic controls of spatial pattern at alpine treeline
Year Published 2000
Language English
Contributing office(s) Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
Description 9 p.
Larger Work Title 4th International Conference on Integrating GIS and Environmental Modeling (GIS/EM4): Problems, Prospects and Research Needs
Conference Title 4th International Conference on Integrating GIS and Environmental Modeling
Conference Location Banff, Alberta, Canada
Conference Date September 2-8, 2000
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N