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Alpine vegetation communities and the alpine-treeline ecotone boundary in New England as biomonitors for climate change

Posted date: March 07, 2006
Publication Year: 
2000
Authors: Kimball, Kenneth D.; Weihrauch, Douglas M.
Publication Series: 
Proceedings (P)
Source: In: McCool, Stephen F.; Cole, David N.; Borrie, William T.; O’Loughlin, Jennifer, comps. 2000. Wilderness science in a time of change conference—Volume 3: Wilderness as a place for scientific inquiry; 1999 May 23–27; Missoula, MT. Proceedings RMRS-P-15-VOL-3. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 93-101
Note: This article is part of a larger document.

Abstract

This study mapped and analyzed the alpine-treeline ecotone (ATE) boundary and alpine plant communities on the Presidential Range, New Hampshire and Mount Katahdin, Maine. These are sensitive biomonitoring parameters for plant community responses to climatic change. The ATE boundary spans a considerable elevational range, suggesting that shorter growing seasons with increasing elevation only partially explain the upper limits for this boundary. This ecotone boundary may be influenced by topographic exposure factors related to mechanical damage caused by winter ice events and wind. Climatic changes that alter cloud frequency, wind, precipitation and ice loading at the upper elevations could influence shifts in the ATE boundary.

Citation

Kimball, Kenneth D.; Weihrauch, Douglas M. 2000. Alpine vegetation communities and the alpine-treeline ecotone boundary in New England as biomonitors for climate change. In: McCool, Stephen F.; Cole, David N.; Borrie, William T.; O’Loughlin, Jennifer, comps. 2000. Wilderness science in a time of change conference—Volume 3: Wilderness as a place for scientific inquiry; 1999 May 23–27; Missoula, MT. Proceedings RMRS-P-15-VOL-3. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 93-101