Treeline research in the Nepal Himalayas: current status and future prospects

Authors: Narayan Prasad Gaire*, Tribuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal, Ze-Xin Fan, CAS Key Lab of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China, Bimal Sharma, CAS Key Lab of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China, Yub Raj Dhakal, Siddhartha Environmental Services, Kathmandu, Nepal, Parveen Chhetri, Department of Earth Science and Geography, California State University, Dominguez Hills, Santosh K Shah, Birbal Sahni Institute of Paleosciences, Lucknow, India, Dinesh Raj Bhuju, Nepal Academy of Science and Technology, Khumaltar, Lalitpur, Nepal, Jinniu Wang, Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
Topics: Biogeography, Mountain Environments
Keywords: Treeline, Climate Change, Nepal, Himalayas
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM
Room: Virtual 32
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Alpine climatic treelines are proven bio-indicator and bio-monitor of the impacts of environmental (climate) change for high elevation biological communities. Thus, there is growing interest in treeline research throughout the world in recent times. Nepal Himalayas is experiencing rapid climate change with a higher rate of temperature increase in recent decades and rising in extreme temperature, rainfall, and drought events. This study aims to provide an overview of the research conducted so far from the treeline ecotone of the Nepal Himalayas along with direction for future studies. The treeline in Nepal Himalayas displays a harsh life zone comprising a few frontier tree species. Although the treeline research in Nepal is a recent interest, the number of publications is increasing rapidly after 2000 CE covering multiple aspects of treeline. Treeline position in Nepal ranges from ~3400 to 4500 m asl, regardless of the treeline type. There is a general pattern in the treeline position in Nepal Himalayas where the treeline elevation decreased from east to west in the peripheral region of the Himalayas. However, there exists heterogeneity in the treeline position in the central direction due to landmass effect and continentality. Generally, treeline in the Nepal Himalayas are formed by multiple species, usually comprising three to six species. However, in some areas mono-species dominant treelines are also observed.

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