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.
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Christian Körner was born in 1949 in Salzburg, Austria, got his academic degrees from the University of Innsbruck, and became professor of botany at the University of Basel, Switzerland in 1989. He published over 300 scientific articles on plant-environment interactions and authored and coauthored numerous scientific books, including the leading plant science textbook Strasburger.Review:
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“Christian Körner synthesizes the extensive literature on alpine treelines and presents new explanations and a theory for global treeline formation. ... Photos are particularly well selected, exemplifying key points and a range of taxa in context, as well as being of a good photographic standard. ... Alpine Treelines will surely stand the test of time as a definitive work on the subject and is a critical reference for the approach to analysis and interpretation of treeline data.” (Melanie Smith, Mountain Research and Development, Vol. 33 (3), August, 2013)“Körner is well known for his book Alpine Plant Life ... . This volume is designed as a companion to the former book, covering the biotic and abiotic aspects of treelines around the world from the sub-Arctic to the equator. ... There is a very useful chapter on treeline movement in the recent and distant past and what is likely to happen in the future. ... Full of detailed information with main points highlighted in bold this makes a very useful textbook.” (BES Bulletin, June, 2013)
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