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

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The dynamics of the timberline ecotone on the asymmetric ridge of the Babia Góra Massif, Western Carpathians

Barbara Czajka, Adam Łajczak, Ryszard J. Kaczka

Geographia Polonica (2015) vol. 88, iss. 2, pp. 85-102
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/GPol.0017

Abstract

Timberline ecotone (TE) generally developed because the temperatures in the environment were too low. There are other overlapping biotic and abiotic factors which affect the TE. The main aim of this work was to determine how the asymmetry of Babia Góra’s ridge influences the location and characteristics of the timberline ecotone nowadays, and how the ridge influenced the timberline ecotone in the mid-20th century. The asymmetry of environmental conditions means the timberline has formed in two extreme environments: on the sunny and gentle southern slope (40% of the timberline length) and on the cold, humid, steep northern slope (another 40% of the timberline length). The southern slope of the ridge shows a progressive timberline length of 86%. In turn, 81% of the timberline on the northern slope is in a stable ecotone.

Keywords: Babia Góra Mt., geomorphometry, ridge asymmetry, timberline shift

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