Alpine Treelines

Functional Ecology of the Global High Elevation Tree Limits

  • Christian Körner

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Christian Körner
    Pages 1-10
  3. Christian Körner
    Pages 11-19
  4. Christian Körner
    Pages 21-31
  5. Christian Körner
    Pages 33-56
  6. Christian Körner
    Pages 63-84
  7. Christian Körner
    Pages 85-104
  8. Christian Körner
    Pages 105-112
  9. Christian Körner
    Pages 113-130
  10. Christian Körner
    Pages 131-149
  11. Christian Körner
    Pages 151-168
  12. Back Matter
    Pages 191-220

About this book


Alpine treelines mark the low-temperature limit of tree growth and occur in mountains world-wide. Presenting a companion to his book Alpine Plant Life, Christian Körner provides a global synthesis of the treeline phenomenon from sub-arctic to equatorial latitudes and a functional explanation based on the biology of trees. The comprehensive text approaches the subject in a multi-disciplinary way by exploring forest patterns at the edge of tree life, tree morphology, anatomy, climatology and, based on this, modelling treeline position, describing reproduction and population processes, development, phenology, evolutionary aspects, as well as summarizing evidence on the physiology of carbon, water and nutrient relations, and stress physiology. It closes with an account on treelines in the past (palaeo-ecology) and a section on global change effects on treelines, now and in the future. With more than 100 illustrations, many of them in colour, the book shows alpine treelines from around the globe and offers a wealth of scientific information in the form of diagrams and tables.

 From the reviews of the companion book Alpine Plant Life by Christian Körner (2nd ed. 2003)

‘... well written with plenty of good quality photographs, graphs and diagrams. It hits a happy compromise in being accessible to novices in upland areas and/or plants but with sufficient depth to leave the reader feeling that they have got to grips with the topic. ... A superb textbook that should be read and used by all ecology students.’

Bulletin of the British Ecological Society, Vol. 35(1), 2004


bioclimatology forest ecology mountains timberline treeline

Authors and affiliations

  • Christian Körner
    • 1
  1. 1.Botanisches InstitutUniversität BaselBaselSwitzerland

Bibliographic information