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Special Issue "Alpine and Polar Treelines in a Changing Environment"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Ecology and Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 5 September 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Gerhard Wieser

Department of Alpine Timberline Ecophysiology, Federal Research and Training Centre for Forests, Natural Hazards and Landscape (BFW), Rennweg 1, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Website | E-Mail
Interests: treeline; ecophysiology; climate change; ecosystem manipulation; biogeochemistry

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Concerns have been raised in regards to high-altitude and high-latitude treelines, as they may undergo significant ecological alterations caused by global climate change. Given that treelines in high-altitude and high-latitude regions are temperature-limited vegetation boundaries, they are considered to be sensitive to climate warming. Consequently, in a future, warmer environment, a shift of treelines further upwards is expected, since regeneration and growth are limited by low air and root-zone temperatures. Despite the ubiquity of climate warming, treeline advancement is not a world-wide phenomenon: Evidence shows that treelines have remained stable regardless of the reported increase in temperature. This is because a continuum of site-related factors may interact and establish locally-conditioned temperature patterns. Furthermore, competition amongst species and below-ground resources has been suggested to explain the variability in the responses observed. Finally, the importance of land-use changes for treeline dynamics is increasingly acknowledged, especially in areas with a long history of intense anthropogenic influence e.g. in Europe’s high-elevation forests.

In this Special Issue we explore the current knowledge about climate and land-use changes at treelines. Experimental and field studies on the effects of climate change on tree species in these ecotones are also welcome in this Special Issue.

Dr. Gerhard Wieser
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Forests is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • treeline
  • climate change
  • land-use change
  • anthropogenic impact
  • ecosystem manipulation
  • warming
  • drought
  • historical legacy

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Recent Growth Trends of Coniferous Species Along the Treeline Ecotone in the Central European Alps

Walter Oberhuber *, Ursula Bendler, Andrea Fuchs, Jakob Geier, Barbara Waldboth and Gerhard Wieser

Xylem Hydraulics of Pinus Mugo at the Alpine Timberline

Sabine Rosner, Peter Schmid and Stefan Mayr *

Artificial Top Soil Drought Hardly Impacts Water Use of Young Picea Abies and Larix Decidua Trees at Treeline in the Austrian Alps

Gerhard Wieser *, Walter Oberhuber et al.

Effects of Climate Change at Treeline: Lessons from Long-Trem Trends, Gradient Studies and Ecosystem Manipulation Experiments in the Central Austrian Alps; A Synthesis

Gerhard Wieser *, Walter Oberhuber and Andreas gruber

Forests EISSN 1999-4907 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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