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

Geographical characteristics of the timberline in the Carpathians

Barbara Czajka, Adam Łajczak, Ryszard J. Kaczka

Geographia Polonica (2015) vol. 88, iss. 2, pp. 35-54 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/GPol.0014

Abstract

The pattern of timberline distribution on mountain ranges world-wide is related to global factors. The basic factor is temperature and the amount of radiation, which falls with increasing distance from the equator. Additionally, this basic relationship is overlaid by the specific features of the type of climate on the massif (degree of continentality or oceanity) and the mass-elevation effect. In the Carpathians, the mass elevation effect seems to have bigger impact on the location of timberline (R2 = 0.71, p = 0.00) than their latitudinal location (R2 = 0.56, p = 0.00). The timberline altitude changes by 70 m a.s.l. (±20 m) with each degree of latitude. The influence of the type of the climate is complex and it is not clearly visible due to past and recent human impact.

Keywords: timberline, global factors, latitude influence, mass-elevation effect, the 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