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Title

Spatial patterns of Smith fir alpine treelines on the south-eastern Tibetan Plateau support that contingent local conditions drive recent treeline patterns

AuthorsWang, Yafeng; Camarero, Jesús Julio ; Luo, T.; Liang, Eryuan
Issue Date2012
PublisherTaylor & Francis
CitationPlant Ecology and Diversity 5: 311- 321 (2012)
Abstract[EN] Background: Recent work has shown little change in the position of the Smith fir treeline on the south-eastern Tibetan Plateau in response to global warming. However, the relationship between tree distribution patterns within the treeline ecotone and low responsiveness is unknown, and additional constraints than climate might be major drivers of these patterns (e.g. microsite availability for regeneration).Aims: To characterise the spatial patterns of Smith fir alpine treelines and to infer the underlying processes driving their dynamics.Methods: We investigated spatial patterns of Smith fir trees across two treeline ecotones in the Sygera Mountains, south-eastern Tibetan Plateau. The O(r)-ring statistic was used to analyse the univariate and bivariate spatial point patterns of three size classes (adults, juveniles and seedlings).Results: Mature trees presented random spatial patterns. Clusters of juveniles and seedlings colonised areas not occupied by mature trees. Seedlings were clustered and established preferentially near juvenile firs, Rhododendron mats and over moss-lichen and organic matter substrates, indicating the importance of microsite availability for successful Smith fir recruitment.Conclusions: Local factors such as microsite availability may play a major role in driving recent Smith fir treeline patterns and determine the lack of significant warming-induced upward shifts of these ecotones. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17550874.2012.704647
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/67202
DOI10.1080/17550874.2012.704647
Identifiersdoi: 10.1080/17550874.2012.704647
issn: 1755-0874
Appears in Collections:(IPE) Artículos
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