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A Spatial Analysis of Microclimates and Seedling Growth at an Abrupt Treeline on Pike's Peak

by Chang, Lani C

Abstract

Treelines are climatically constrained ecotones existing worldwide. With global warming and climate change, treelines are expected to advance in elevation on a global scale. Previous research has shown that abrupt treeline shapes are advancing at far slower rates than diffuse treeline structures, indicating that temperature increases are not the only factor. Smaller-scale, endogenous factors may be at play including microclimates, tree-to-tree interactions and feedbacks. Our study at an abrupt treeline on Pike’s Peak aims to understand the effects of temperature and smaller-scale factors on seedling growth, in the effort to try and understand the feedbacks involved in treeline movement and formation. Results indicate that this specific abrupt treeline is creating a microclimate that facilitates seedling growth above the historical treeline. Once this new growth of seedlings matures, another abrupt treeline will form and perpetuate the process.

Note

The author has given permission for this work to be deposited in the Digital Archive of Colorado College.

Colorado College Honor Code upheld.

Includes bibliographical references.

Administrative Notes

The author has given permission for this work to be deposited in the Digital Archive of Colorado College.

Colorado College Honor Code upheld.

Copyright
Copyright restrictions apply.
Publisher
Colorado College Tutt Library
PID
coccc:27388
Digital Origin
born digital
Extent
42 pages : illustrations, map(s)
Thesis
Senior Thesis -- Colorado College
Thesis Advisor
Kummel, Miroslav
Department/Program
Environmental Program
Degree Name
Bachelor of Arts
Degree Type
bachelor
Degree Grantor
Colorado College Tutt Library
Date Issued
2016-12