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Schickhoff, U., Bobrowski, M., Böhner, J., Bürzle, B., Chaudhary, R. P., Gerlitz, L., Heyken, H., Lange, J., Müller, M., Scholten, T., Schwab, N., and Wedegärtner, R., 2015. Do Himalayan treelines respond to recent climate change? An evaluation of sensitivity indicators, Earth Syst. Dynam., 6, 245-265.
Several sensitivity indicators such as treeline type, treeline form, seed-based regeneration, and growth patterns are evaluated. Since most Himalayan treelines are anthropogenically depressed, observed advances are largely the result of land use change. Near-natural treelines are usually krummholz treelines, which are relatively unresponsive to climate change. Nevertheless, intense recruitment of treeline trees suggests a great potential for future treeline advance. Competitive abilities of seedlings within krummholz thickets and dwarf scrub heaths will be a major source of variation in treeline dynamics. Tree growth–climate relationships show mature treeline trees to be responsive to temperature change, in particular in winter and pre-monsoon seasons. High pre-monsoon temperature trends will most likely drive tree growth performance in the western and central Himalaya. Ecological niche modelling suggests that bioclimatic conditions for a range expansion of treeline trees will be created during coming decades.