Physiological Ecology of the Alpine Timberline

Tree Existence at High Altitudes with Special Reference to the European Alps

  • Walter Tranquillini

Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 31)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XI
  2. Walter Tranquillini
    Pages 1-4
  3. Walter Tranquillini
    Pages 11-17
  4. Walter Tranquillini
    Pages 19-38
  5. Walter Tranquillini
    Pages 39-80
  6. Walter Tranquillini
    Pages 81-90
  7. Walter Tranquillini
    Pages 113-118
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 119-140

About this book


In the European Alps the importance of forests as protection against ava­ lanches and soil erosion is becoming ever clearer with the continuing increase in population and development of tourism. The protective potential of the moun­ tain forests can currently only be partially realised because a considerable propor­ tion of high-altitude stands has been destroyed in historical times by man's extensive clearing ofthe forests. The forests still remaining are of limited effec­ tiveness, due to inadequate density of trees and over-maturity. Considerable efforts, however, are now being made in the Alps and other mountains of the globe to increase the high-altitude forested area through reforestation, to raise depressed timberlines, and to restore remaining protection forests using suit­ able silvicultural methods to their full protective value. This momentous task, if it is to be successful, must be planned on a sound foundation. An important prerequisite is the assembly of scientific facts con­ cerning the physical environment in the protection forest zone of mountains, and the course of various life processes of tree species occurring there. Since the introduction of practical field techniques it has been possible to investigate successfully the reaction of trees at various altitudes to recorded factors, and the extent to which they are adapted to the measured situations. Such ecophysio­ logical studies enable us to recognize the site requirements for individual tree species, and the reasons for the limits of their natural distribution.


Alpen /Biologie Forstökologie Nadelhölzer Waldgrenze biology development ecology environment erosion forest forest ecology plant physiology plants soil tree

Authors and affiliations

  • Walter Tranquillini
    • 1
  1. 1.Außenstelle für subalpine WaldforschungForstliche BundesversuchsanstaltHofburg, InnsbruckAustria

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1979
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-3-642-67109-8
  • Online ISBN 978-3-642-67107-4
  • Series Print ISSN 0070-8356
  • Buy this book on publisher's site