Monahan Flats Above Treeline
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The western end of a transect of quarter-hectare study plots in the alpine tundra above treeline south of the Alaska Range. These plots were established in 1998 by the Mother of All Field Crews: Kate Shick, John Mauro, Phil Higuera, and Craig Ducey. Resampling this week indicates that 8.3% of the spruce seedlings found in 1998 have died, but that the total number of spruce seedlings has increased by 2.2x in 14 years. This result is consistent with the hypothesis that ongoing environmental change is allowing increased spruce establishment above the current elevation of spruce forest.
The nearby Canyon Creek study site is pictured here:
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