To estimate the response of tree vegetation to recent climate warming in the Western Caucasus, the population state of several tree species at the upper limit of their distribution has been estimated in three mountain massifs in the Belaya River basin. For this purpose, the average and maximum stem diameters, vitality, and age of trees have been determined in the transitional zone between middle-mountain and high-mountain beech-fir forests (1400–1700 m a.s.l.) and in crooked birch forests growing at the upper timberline (1810–2025 m). The upper limits of Acer platanoides, A. pseudoplatanus, Ulmus glabra, and Betula litwinowii have shown a tendency to rise. The upper limit of Abies nordmanniana has remained unchanged over the past few decades, which may be explained by a decrease in moisture supply during the warm season.
Russian Journal of Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 8, 2009
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