F.-K. Holtmeier, Mountain Timberlines: Ecology, Patchiness, and Dynamics, Advances in Global Change Research 36, 1-4. © Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2009

have influenced timberline more or less. Human impact (burning, cattle and sheep grazing, lumbering, mining activities, etc.) plays an important role at almost all mountain and northern timberlines (Figure 1; see also Holtmeier, 1999a, c, 2000). As a consequence of these activities not only did the timberline

Past/present climate

Atmospheric circulation Solar radiation Temperature Precipitation Length of the growing season

Local topography

Inclination Exposure Land forms convex, concave steep, gentle rugged, smooth

Past/present biotic influences

Browsing (■razing Seed predation Trampling Girdling

Insect infestations Pathogens/diseases

Timberline Spatial pattern Physiognomy Ecological conditions

Historial human impact and consequences to the mountain environment

Over aged forests Forest use ~~I Forest decline Pastoral ism Timberline retreat

Fire clearance Vegetation change

Accidental tires Deterioration of site conditions Ore mining Local climates

Charcoal Mycorrhizal flora production Impoverished soils

Saltworks Increase of avalanches

Increase of surface run-olf Increase of suil erusion


Physical properties

Chemical properties


Soil fauna

Soil depdi




Tree species

F.cological properties Ecological demands Succession a I stage Regeneration sexual vegetative Seed dispersal anemochoric Mochoric

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