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Alpine Treelines: Functional Ecology of the Global High Elevation Tree Limits

By: Christian Körner(Author)

217 pages, 122 colour photos and colour & b/w illustrationsl, 22 tables


Hardback | Jun 2012 | #197737 | ISBN-13: 9783034803953
Temporarily out of stock: order now to get this when available Details
NHBS Price: £74.99 $97/€85 approx

About this book

Alpine treelines mark the low-temperature limit of tree growth and occur in mountains world-wide. Presenting a companion to his book Alpine Plant Life, Christian Korner provides a global synthesis of the treeline phenomenon from sub-arctic to equatorial latitudes and a functional explanation based on the biology of trees. The comprehensive text approaches the subject in a multi-disciplinary way by exploring forest patterns at the edge of tree life, tree morphology, anatomy, climatology and, based on this, modelling treeline position, describing reproduction and population processes, development, phenology, evolutionary aspects, as well as summarizing evidence on the physiology of carbon, water and nutrient relations, and stress physiology. It closes with an account on treelines in the past (palaeo-ecology) and a section on global change effects on treelines, now and in the future. With more than 100 illustrations, many of them in colour, Alpine Treelines shows alpine treelines from around the globe and offers a wealth of scientific information in the form of diagrams and tables.


1. High elevation treelines
2. Definitions and conventions
3. Treeline patterns
4. Treeline climate
5. Global mountain statistics based on treeline elevation
6. Structure and stature of treeline trees
7. Growth and development
8. Evolutionary adjustments to life at treeline
9. Reproduction, early life stages and tree demography
10. Freezing and other forms of stress
11. Water, nutrient and carbon relations
12. Treeline formation - currently, in the past and in the future

Taxonomic index
Subject index

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Christian Körner was born in 1949 in Salzburg, Austria, got his academic degrees from the University of Innsbruck, and became professor of botany at the University of Basel, Switzerland in 1989. He published over 300 scientific articles on plant-environment interactions and authored and coauthored numerous scientific books, including the leading plant science textbook Strasburger.

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