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Alpine Treelines: Functional Ecology of the Global High Elevation Tree Limits

Alpine Treelines: Functional Ecology of the Global High Elevation Tree Limits Alpine Treelines: Functional Ecology of the Global High Elevation Tree Limits Author: Smith, Melanie Source: Mountain Research and Development, 33(3) : 357 Published By: International Mountain Society URL: https://doi.org/10.1659/mrd.mm124 BioOne Complete (complete.BioOne.org) is a full-text database of 200 subscribed and open-access titles in the biological, ecological, and environmental sciences published by nonprofit societies, associations, museums, institutions, and presses. Your use of this PDF, the BioOne Complete website, and all posted and associated content indicates your acceptance of BioOne’s Terms of Use, available at www.bioone.org/terms-of-use. Usage of BioOne Complete content is strictly limited to personal, educational, and non - commercial use. Commercial inquiries or rights and permissions requests should be directed to the individual publisher as copyright holder. BioOne sees sustainable scholarly publishing as an inherently collaborative enterprise connecting authors, nonprofit publishers, academic institutions, research libraries, and research funders in the common goal of maximizing access to critical research. Downloaded From: https://bioone.org/journals/Mountain-Research-and-Development on 18 Dec 2021 Terms of Use: https://bioone.org/terms-of-use Mountain Research and Development (MRD) MountainMedia An international, peer-reviewed open access journal published by the International Mountain Society (IMS) www.mrd-journal.org analysis of this subject set out in his key subject of stress and fitness, Alpine Treelines: earlier work, Alpine Plant Life (Korner critically reviewing and contributing 2003). The schematic presentation of thought-provoking challenges to Functional Ecology of the treeline ecotone will no doubt be theory in this area. The focus on Global High Elevation Tree reproduced in many a student essay freezing stress is especially valuable, Limits on the subject. Particularly enjoyable as this literature is scant and has not is Chapter 3, which presents a global been brought to the subject of By Christian Ko ¨rner. Basel, synthesis of the nature of treeline treelines in this way before. Switzerland: Springer, 2012. xi + patterns. This is a wide-ranging sub- The final chapter returns to the 220 pp. US$ 89.95, £ 62.99, J ject: with so many varying causes and central theme of the book, present- 74.85. ISBN 978-3-0348-0395-3. effects of treeline distribution, there ing a global synthesis of mechanisms is the potential for the account to for past and present treeline forma- Alpine Treelines is a welcome addition become simply a list, but the cover- tion and proposing how projections to the literature on this subject. age and illustrations are equally for future trends can be predicted. Embracing a significant challenge comprehensive, and a strong narra- The review of Holocene treelines is with ease, Christian Korner synthe- thorough and well placed in this tive is retained. sizes the extensive literature on alpine chapter, effectively contextualizing Chapter 4 is an invaluable, up-to- treelines and presents new explana- date critical assessment of treeline and informing the final analysis and tions and a theory for global treeline climate data: data derived at the tree- prediction of future treelines. The formation. Crucially, he challenges line. Previously unpublished follow-up global biogeographic approach is researchers in the field to new ap- what sets this book apart, signifi- data to the original work published in proaches. In the opening chapter, he cantly advancing understanding of Ko¨ rner and Paulsen (2004) is present- sets out his case to include site and the subject of alpine treelines and ed, which helps to fill gaps in global species-specific features as part of a presenting new approaches and coverage of the information available ‘‘wide-angle lens view’’ (p 2), thus theories. to date. Figures and diagrams abound ensuring interpretation of treeline in this chapter, clearly illustrating Alpine Treelines will surely stand data in a global context. Ko¨ rner then the test of time as a definitive work effects of climate on all aspects of ensures, using a wealth of evidence on the subject and is a critical treeline biology. Chapter 5 brings and examples, that every chapter reference for the approach to analy- together global statistics based on leads the way in showing how this view sis and interpretation of treeline treeline elevation and thus defines the can be applied. The book is richly data. If only this book had been treeline isotherm, a potentially critical illustrated throughout, with color tool in modeling the effects of global available 20 years ago when, as an photos and excellent illustrations (by undergraduate, I was exploring the climate change. Susanna Riedl). Photos are particu- subject through a study of alpine Anyone who enjoys all aspects of larly well selected, exemplifying key juniper in the Highlands of Scotland. botanical investigation will not be points and a range of taxa in context, disappointed by Chapters 6 to 10. as well as being of a good photo- These cover the structure and stature REFERENCES graphic standard. of treeline trees, growth and devel- The chapters work equally well Ko¨rner C. 2003. Alpine Plant Life: Functional Plant opment, evolutionary adaptation, read in isolation, or as part of the Ecology of High Mountain Ecosystems. Second and reproductive strategies and de- edition. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer. development of the global theme and Ko¨rner C, Paulson J. 2004. A world-wide study of mography. While presenting clearly functional biology of alpine trees. high altitude treeline temperatures. Journal of and in detail, Ko¨ rner is always ques- Chapter 1 covers a synopsis of work Biogeography 31:713–732. tioning and identifying where re- on treelines to date, including past search can significantly improve and present theories, where the gaps current knowledge. This is particu- AUTHOR and need for new approaches are larly insightful, highlighting a multi- clearly identified. Having set up the Melanie Smith melanie.smith.ic@uhi.ac.uk disciplinary approach to certain ‘‘task’’ (pp 1–4), Ko¨ rner moves on to a Inverness College, University of the Highlands questions, for example, in the dis- precise and very useful chapter on and Islands, Inverness IV1 1SA, United cussion around seed production, size Kingdom definitions and conventions. The of seed and embryo, and seed dis- discussion on limitation, stress, and disturbance is particularly insightful persal and germination. In Chapters Open access article: please credit the authors and and builds on the author’s critical 10 and 11, the author returns to the the full source. Mountain Research and Development Vol 33 No 3 Aug 2013: 357 357 http://dx.doi.org/10.1659/mrd.mm124  2013 by the authors Downloaded From: https://bioone.org/journals/Mountain-Research-and-Development on 18 Dec 2021 Terms of Use: https://bioone.org/terms-of-use http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Mountain Research and Development Unpaywall

Alpine Treelines: Functional Ecology of the Global High Elevation Tree Limits

Mountain Research and DevelopmentAug 1, 2013

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Abstract

Alpine Treelines: Functional Ecology of the Global High Elevation Tree Limits Author: Smith, Melanie Source: Mountain Research and Development, 33(3) : 357 Published By: International Mountain Society URL: https://doi.org/10.1659/mrd.mm124 BioOne Complete (complete.BioOne.org) is a full-text database of 200 subscribed and open-access titles in the biological, ecological, and environmental sciences published by nonprofit societies, associations, museums, institutions, and presses. Your use of this PDF, the BioOne Complete website, and all posted and associated content indicates your acceptance of BioOne’s Terms of Use, available at www.bioone.org/terms-of-use. Usage of BioOne Complete content is strictly limited to personal, educational, and non - commercial use. Commercial inquiries or rights and permissions requests should be directed to the individual publisher as copyright holder. BioOne sees sustainable scholarly publishing as an inherently collaborative enterprise connecting authors, nonprofit publishers, academic institutions, research libraries, and research funders in the common goal of maximizing access to critical research. Downloaded From: https://bioone.org/journals/Mountain-Research-and-Development on 18 Dec 2021 Terms of Use: https://bioone.org/terms-of-use Mountain Research and Development (MRD) MountainMedia An international, peer-reviewed open access journal published by the International Mountain Society (IMS) www.mrd-journal.org analysis of this subject set out in his key subject of stress and fitness, Alpine Treelines: earlier work, Alpine Plant Life (Korner critically reviewing and contributing 2003). The schematic presentation of thought-provoking challenges to Functional Ecology of the treeline ecotone will no doubt be theory in this area. The focus on Global High Elevation Tree reproduced in many a student essay freezing stress is especially valuable, Limits on the subject. Particularly enjoyable as this literature is scant and has not is Chapter 3, which presents a global been brought to the subject of By Christian Ko ¨rner. Basel, synthesis of the nature of treeline treelines in this way before. Switzerland: Springer, 2012. xi + patterns. This is a wide-ranging sub- The final chapter returns to the 220 pp. US$ 89.95, £ 62.99, J ject: with so many varying causes and central theme of the book, present- 74.85. ISBN 978-3-0348-0395-3. effects of treeline distribution, there ing a global synthesis of mechanisms is the potential for the account to for past and present treeline forma- Alpine Treelines is a welcome addition become simply a list, but the cover- tion and proposing how projections to the literature on this subject. age and illustrations are equally for future trends can be predicted. Embracing a significant challenge comprehensive, and a strong narra- The review of Holocene treelines is with ease, Christian Korner synthe- thorough and well placed in this tive is retained. sizes the extensive literature on alpine chapter, effectively contextualizing Chapter 4 is an invaluable, up-to- treelines and presents new explana- date critical assessment of treeline and informing the final analysis and tions and a theory for global treeline climate data: data derived at the tree- prediction of future treelines. The formation. Crucially, he challenges line. Previously unpublished follow-up global biogeographic approach is researchers in the field to new ap- what sets this book apart, signifi- data to the original work published in proaches. In the opening chapter, he cantly advancing understanding of Ko¨ rner and Paulsen (2004) is present- sets out his case to include site and the subject of alpine treelines and ed, which helps to fill gaps in global species-specific features as part of a presenting new approaches and coverage of the information available ‘‘wide-angle lens view’’ (p 2), thus theories. to date. Figures and diagrams abound ensuring interpretation of treeline in this chapter, clearly illustrating Alpine Treelines will surely stand data in a global context. Ko¨ rner then the test of time as a definitive work effects of climate on all aspects of ensures, using a wealth of evidence on the subject and is a critical treeline biology. Chapter 5 brings and examples, that every chapter reference for the approach to analy- together global statistics based on leads the way in showing how this view sis and interpretation of treeline treeline elevation and thus defines the can be applied. The book is richly data. If only this book had been treeline isotherm, a potentially critical illustrated throughout, with color tool in modeling the effects of global available 20 years ago when, as an photos and excellent illustrations (by undergraduate, I was exploring the climate change. Susanna Riedl). Photos are particu- subject through a study of alpine Anyone who enjoys all aspects of larly well selected, exemplifying key juniper in the Highlands of Scotland. botanical investigation will not be points and a range of taxa in context, disappointed by Chapters 6 to 10. as well as being of a good photo- These cover the structure and stature REFERENCES graphic standard. of treeline trees, growth and devel- The chapters work equally well Ko¨rner C. 2003. Alpine Plant Life: Functional Plant opment, evolutionary adaptation, read in isolation, or as part of the Ecology of High Mountain Ecosystems. Second and reproductive strategies and de- edition. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer. development of the global theme and Ko¨rner C, Paulson J. 2004. A world-wide study of mography. While presenting clearly functional biology of alpine trees. high altitude treeline temperatures. Journal of and in detail, Ko¨ rner is always ques- Chapter 1 covers a synopsis of work Biogeography 31:713–732. tioning and identifying where re- on treelines to date, including past search can significantly improve and present theories, where the gaps current knowledge. This is particu- AUTHOR and need for new approaches are larly insightful, highlighting a multi- clearly identified. Having set up the Melanie Smith melanie.smith.ic@uhi.ac.uk disciplinary approach to certain ‘‘task’’ (pp 1–4), Ko¨ rner moves on to a Inverness College, University of the Highlands questions, for example, in the dis- precise and very useful chapter on and Islands, Inverness IV1 1SA, United cussion around seed production, size Kingdom definitions and conventions. The of seed and embryo, and seed dis- discussion on limitation, stress, and disturbance is particularly insightful persal and germination. In Chapters Open access article: please credit the authors and and builds on the author’s critical 10 and 11, the author returns to the the full source. Mountain Research and Development Vol 33 No 3 Aug 2013: 357 357 http://dx.doi.org/10.1659/mrd.mm124  2013 by the authors Downloaded From: https://bioone.org/journals/Mountain-Research-and-Development on 18 Dec 2021 Terms of Use: https://bioone.org/terms-of-use

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Published: Aug 1, 2013

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