Geographia Polonica (2018) vol. 91, iss. 2

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Differentiation of vertical limit of forest at the Babia Góra Mt., the Western Carpathian Mountains

Adam Łajczak, Barbara Spyt

Geographia Polonica (2018) vol. 91, iss. 2, pp. 217-241
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/GPol.0118

Abstract

The work contains quantitative analysis of differentiation of altitudinal position and sinuosity of two lines determining the course of forest limit, i.e. timberline and treeline within Babia Góra Mt. (1725 m a.s.l.) homoclinal flysch ridge (the Western Carpathians). The course of the empiric timberline was delimited basing on aerial photographs with details from spatial data of Aerial Laser Scanning conducted in 2012. On the N slope, the course of timberline is exclusively conditioned by natural factors, whereas on the S slope this line was shifted downwards as a result of sheep and cattle grazing (however it has shown progression for the last 80 years).In the course of theoretical treeline conditioned by macrotopography and local climate, the mass-elevation effect is visible, and on the N slope, additionally, a sub-summit downward shift (the Diablak effect) occurs.The sequence of natural factors, according to their positive or negative influence on timberline and treeline courses was determined.

Keywords: timberline, treeline, mass-elevation effect, homoclinal flysch ridge, climatic asymmetry, snow avalanches, Babia Góra Mt., Western Carpathians

Adam Łajczak [alajczak@up.krakow.pl], Institute of Geography Pedagogical University of Kraków, Podchorążych 2, 30-084 Kraków: Poland
Barbara Spyt [barbara.spyt@us.edu.pl], Faculty of Earth Sciences University of Silesia in Katowice, Będzińska 60, 41-200 Sosnowiec: Poland