Subalpine

Subalpine

[suhb-al-pahyn, -pin]
The term subalpine refers to the biotic zone immediately below tree line around the world. Species that occur in this zone depend on the location of the zone on the Earth.

Trees in subalpine zone often become krummholz (crooked wood, stunted and twisted). At treeline, tree seedlings may germinate on the lee side of rocks and grow only as high as the rock provides wind protection. Further growth is more horizontal than vertical, and additional rooting may occur where branches contact the soil. The resulting low growth of dense trees is called krummholz. Snow cover may protect krummholz trees during the winter, but branches higher than wind-shelters or snow cover are usually destroyed. Well-established krummholz trees may be several hundred to a thousand years old.

See also

Subalpine species

Examples of subalpine zones

Related articles

References

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