Hansen, Katherine J. Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana.
Last reviewed:October 2019
- Environmental controls
- Tree forms
- Importance of trees
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Plant growth forms characteristic of upper reaches of forests on mountain slopes. In such an environment, trees undergo gradual changes that, though subtle at first, may become dramatic beyond the dense forest as the zone of transition leads into the nonforested zone of the alpine tundra. In varying degrees, depending on the particular mountain setting, the forest is transformed from a closed-canopy forest to one of deformed and dwarfed trees interspersed with alpine tundra species (Fig. 1). This zone of transition is referred to as the forest-alpine tundra ecotone. The trees within the ecotone are stunted, often shrublike, and do not have the symmetrical shape of most trees within the forest interior. The classic image is one of twisted, stunted, and struggling individual trees clinging to a windswept ridge (Fig. 2). The ecotone in which these trees exist is visually one of the most striking vegetational transition areas known.
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 45 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information