Alpine treeline and timberline dynamics during the Holocene in the Northern Romanian Carpathians

Anca GEANTĂ, Mariusz GALKA, Ioan TANȚĂU, Simon M. HUTCHINSON, Marcel MÎNDRESCU, Angelica FEURDEAN

Abstract


High altitude environments (treeline and alpine communities) are particularly sensitive to climate changes, disturbances and land-use changes due to their limited tolerance and adaptability range, habitat fragmentation and habitat restriction. The current and future climate warming is anticipated to shift the tree- and timberlines upwards thus affecting alpine plant communities and causing land-cover change and fragmentation of alpine habitats. An upslope movement of some trees, shrubs and cold adapted alpine herbs as a response to the current climate warming has already been noted in many montane and subalpine regions.
Four Holocene peat and lacustrine sediment sequences located between 1670 and 1918 m a.s.l. (Fig.1), in the Rodna Mountains (Northern Romania, Eastern Carpathians) are used with the aim to determine: i) the sensitivity of high mountain habitats to climate, fire and land use changes; ii) tree- and timberline shifts: and iii) the influence of landscape topography on trees and shrubs.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4316/GEOREVIEW.2014.0.0.186