Dendroclimatic relationships and possible implications for mountain birch and Scots pine at treeline in northern Sweden through the 21st century Academic Article uri icon


  • Changing climate in the Arctic is expected to have significant effects on the pattern and distribution of terrestrial vegetation. Species characteristic of specific zones in the mountains of northern Sweden have been shown to migrate up- and down-slope with changes in climate over the Holocene. This study evaluates the potential for Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) to become a treeline dominant at Fennoscandian treelines, replacing mountain birch (Betula pubescens subsp. czerepanovii (Orlova) Hmet-Ahti). Data from paired mountain birch and Scots pine tree-ring chronologies for eight locations in northern Sweden are used to develop climate tree ring width index (RWI) relationships. Modeled climateRWI relationships are then used to predict the relative RWI values of the two species under a suite of climate-forcing scenarios using an ensemble of three global climate models. Results indicate that mountain birch and Scots pine RWI are both correlated with summer temperatures, but Scots pine is more likely than mountain birch to be influenced by moisture conditions. Predictions of RWI under future climate conditions indicate that mountain birch is unlikely to be replaced by Scots pine within the next century.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Young, A. B., Cairns, D. M., Lafon, C. W., Moen, J., & Martin, L. E.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Young, Amanda B||Cairns, David M||Lafon, Charles W||Moen, Jon||Martin, Laura E

publication date

  • March 2011