Geographia Polonica (2015) vol. 88, iss. 2

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Timberline in the Carpathians: An overview

Barbara Czajka, Adam Łajczak, Ryszard J. Kaczka, Paweł Nicia

Geographia Polonica (2015) vol. 88, iss. 2, pp. 7-34
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/GPol.0013

Abstract

In nature, division lines are delineated where multiple important environmental features change. These division lines may be singled out at the intersection of two geosystems (Balon 2000) where the functional uniformity of the geosystems located on both sides are preserved (Forman & Gordon 1986; Cadenasso et al. 2003). A significant environmental boundary is the upper forest boundary (timberline), which separates different vegetation zones: (1) forest from non-forest (Piękoś-Mirkowa & Mirek 1996); climatic zones (2) cool from verycool (Hess 1965); geoecological zones (3) periglacial from temperate forest system (Kotarba 1996). A timberline is a sensitive ecosystem therefore is a good indicator of changes occurring in the environment. There are, however, multiple elements which affect the timberline. This ecotone has also been widely analysed in local, regional, and even monographic studies of numerous massifs. It is necessary to present and organise the great amount of information in order to aid research on the timberline in the Carpathians.

Keywords: boundaries in the mountain environment, timberline, Carpathians

Barbara Czajka, Faculty of Earth Sciences University of Silesia in Katowice Będzińska 60, 41 -200 Sosnowiec: Poland
Adam Łajczak [alajczak@up.krakow.pl], Institute of Geography Pedagogical University of Krakow Podchorążych 2, 30 -084 Krakow: Poland
Ryszard J. Kaczka [ryszard.kaczka@us.edu.pl], Faculty of Earth Sciences University of Silesia in Katowice Będzińska 60, 41 -200 Sosnowiec: Poland
Paweł Nicia, Department of Soil Science and Soil Protection University of Agriculture in Krakow Mickiewicza 21, 31 -120 Krakow: Poland