Articles | Volume 6, issue 1
Research article
12 May 2015
Research article |  | 12 May 2015

Do Himalayan treelines respond to recent climate change? An evaluation of sensitivity indicators

U. Schickhoff, M. Bobrowski, J. Böhner, B. Bürzle, R. P. Chaudhary, L. Gerlitz, H. Heyken, J. Lange, M. Müller, T. Scholten, N. Schwab, and R. Wedegärtner

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Cited articles

Akatov, P. V.: Changes in the upper limits of tree species distribution in the western Caucasus (Belaya River basin) related to recent climate warming, Russ. J. Ecol., 40, 33–38, 2009.
Anschlag, K., Broll, G., and Holtmeier, F. K.: Mountain birch seedlings in the treeline ecotone, subarctic Finland: Variation in above-and below-ground growth depending on microtopography, Arct., Antarct., Alp. Res., 40, 609–616, 2008.
Aryal, A., Brunton, D., and Raubenheimer, D.: Impact of climate change on human-wildlife-ecosystem interactions in the Trans-Himalaya region of Nepal, Theor. Appl. Climatol., 115, 517–529, 2014.
Baker, B. B. and Moseley, R. K.: Advancing treeline and retreating glaciers: Implications for conservation in Yunnan, P.R. China, Arct., Antarct., Alp. Res., 39, 200–209, 2007.
Bansal, S., Reinhardt, K., and Germino, M. J.: Linking carbon balance to establishment patterns: Comparison of whitebark pine and Engelmann spruce seedlings along an herb cover exposure gradient at treeline, Plant Ecol., 212, 219–228, 2011.
Short summary
Near-natural Himalayan treelines are usually krummholz treelines, which are relatively unresponsive to climate change. Intense recruitment of treeline trees suggests a great potential for future treeline advance. Competitive abilities of tree seedlings within krummholz thickets and dwarf scrub heaths will be a major source of variation in treeline dynamics. Tree growth-climate relationships show mature treeline trees to be responsive in particular to high pre-monsoon temperature trends.
Final-revised paper