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

Author: Kimball, Kenneth D.; Weihrauch, Douglas M.;

Date: 2000

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

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: 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.

Keywords: wilderness, mountains, ecotones, alpine vegetation, topographic features, climate change, mapping, Presidential Range, New Hampshire, Mount Katahdin, Maine

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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

 


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