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Silva Fennica 1926-1997
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Articles by Ulrike Herzschuh

Category: Research article

article id 1666, category Research article
Mareike Wieczorek, Alexei Kolmogorov, Stefan Kruse, Inga Jacobsen, Ingmar Nitze, Anatoly N. Nikolaev, Ingo Heinrich, Luidmila A. Pestryakova, Ulrike Herzschuh. (2017). Disturbance-effects on treeline larch-stands in the lower Kolyma River area (NE Siberia). Silva Fennica vol. 51 no. 3 article id 1666. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1666
Highlights: Disturbances are an important shaping factor of larch stands at lower Kolyma; Youngest larch stands have the highest population densities and highest growth rates; Saplings grow clustered, irrespective of the underlying disturbance regime; Mixed climate-disturbance signals make it difficult to infer future treeline processes.

Tree stands in the boreal treeline ecotone are, in addition to climate change, impacted by disturbances such as fire, water-related disturbances and logging. We aim to understand how these disturbances affect growth, age structure, and spatial patterns of larch stands in the north-eastern Siberian treeline ecotone (lower Kolyma River region), an insufficiently researched region. Stand structure of Larix cajanderi Mayr was studied at seven sites impacted by disturbances. Maximum tree age ranged from 44 to 300 years. Young to medium-aged stands had, independent of disturbance type, the highest stand densities with over 4000 larch trees per ha. These sites also had the highest growth rates for tree height and stem diameter. Overall lowest stand densities were found in a polygonal field at the northern end of the study area, with larches growing in distinct “tree islands”. At all sites, saplings are significantly clustered. Differences in fire severity led to contrasting stand structures with respect to tree, recruit, and overall stand densities. While a low severity fire resulted in low-density stands with high proportions of small and young larches, high severity fires resulted in high-density stands with high proportions of big trees. At water-disturbed sites, stand structure varied between waterlogged and drained sites and latitude. These mixed effects of climate and disturbance make it difficult to predict future stand characteristics and the treeline position.

  • Wieczorek, Periglacial Research Section, Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, 14473 Potsdam, Germany; Institute of Earth and Environmental Science, University of Potsdam, 14476 Potsdam, Germany ORCID ID:E-mail: mareike.wieczorek@awi.de
  • Kolmogorov, Institute of Natural Sciences, North-Eastern Federal University of Yakutsk, 677000 Yakutsk, Russia ORCID ID:E-mail: kilatroooon@gmail.com
  • Kruse, Periglacial Research Section, Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, 14473 Potsdam, Germany; Institute of Earth and Environmental Science, University of Potsdam, 14476 Potsdam, Germany ORCID ID:E-mail: Stefan.Kruse@awi.de
  • Jacobsen, Periglacial Research Section, Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, 14473 Potsdam, Germany; Institute of Earth and Environmental Science, University of Potsdam, 14476 Potsdam, Germany ORCID ID:E-mail: Inga.Jacobsen@awi.de
  • Nitze, Periglacial Research Section, Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, 14473 Potsdam, Germany; Institute of Geography, University of Potsdam, 14476 Potsdam, Germany ORCID ID:E-mail: Ingmar.Nitze@awi.de
  • Nikolaev, Institute of Natural Sciences, North-Eastern Federal University of Yakutsk, 677000 Yakutsk, Russia; Melnikov Permafrost Institute of the Siberian Branch of RAS, 677000 Yakutsk, Russia ORCID ID:E-mail: yktnan@rambler.ru
  • Heinrich, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany ORCID ID:E-mail: heinrich@gfz-potsdam.de
  • Pestryakova, Institute of Natural Sciences, North-Eastern Federal University of Yakutsk, 677000 Yakutsk, Russia ORCID ID:E-mail: lapest@mail.ru
  • Herzschuh, Periglacial Research Section, Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, 14473 Potsdam, Germany; Institute of Earth and Environmental Science, University of Potsdam, 14476 Potsdam, Germany ORCID ID:E-mail: Ulrike.Herzschuh@awi.de (email)

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