11 Mar. 2014 - Marco Caccianiga

Seminar Caccianiga

Il limite della vegetazione arborea : struttura, dinamica e risposte alle variazioni climatiche

Presenta: Marco Caccianiga ( Dipartimento di Bioscienze, Università degli Studi di Milano )

The position of the treeline (the uppermost or northernmost limit of tree growth form) represents a well-known climatic boundary, and a powerful proxy for past and present climate variations. Growth season temperatures are widely considered the main factor affecting the position of both latitudinal and altitudinal treelines, However, the ongoing global temperature increase is not causing a global advance of treelines worldwide thus emphasizing the complexity of climate-treeline relationship; moreover, the different species composition at the treeline (driven by bioclimatic, historical or biogeographic factors) could result in different responses to climatic forcing.

The seminar will show some case studies of different altitudinal and latitudinal treelines. An interdisciplinary approach, including floristic analysis, dendrochronology, paleoecology and soil science, was used. The analysed treelines showed contrasting responses to past and present climatic fluctuations as a function of regional climate, species composition and historical events. The knowledge of the response of this important ecological boundary is of great importance for the modelling of ecosystem dynamics in a changing climate.

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