Seven years of annual pollen influx at the forest limit in the Swiss Alps studied by pollen traps: relations to vegetation and climate

van der Knaap, Willem Oscar; van Leeuwen, Jacqueline; Ammann, Brigitta (2001). Seven years of annual pollen influx at the forest limit in the Swiss Alps studied by pollen traps: relations to vegetation and climate. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 117(1-3), pp. 31-52. Elsevier 10.1016/S0034-6667(01)00075-6

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Annual pollen influx has been monitored in short transects across the altitudinal tree limit in four areas of the Swiss Alps with the use of modified Tauber traps placed at the ground surface. The study areas are Grindelwald (8 traps), Aletsch (8 traps), Simplon (5 traps), and Zermatt (5 traps). The vegetation around the traps is described. The results obtained are: (1) Peak years of pollen influx (one or two in seven years) follow years of high average air temperatures during June–November of the previous year for Larix and Picea, and less clearly for Pinus non-cembra, but not at all for Pinus cembra and Alnus viridis. (2) At the upper forest limit, the regional pollen influx of trees (trees absent within 100 m of the pollen trap) relates well to the average basal area of the same taxon within 10–15 km of the study areas for Pinus cembra, Larix, and Betula, but not for Picea, Pinus non-cembra, and Alnus viridis. (3) The example of Zermatt shows that pollen influx characterises the upper forest limit, if the latter is more or less intact. (4) Presence/absence of Picea, Pinus cembra, Larix, Pinus non-cembra, and Alnus viridis trees within 50–100 m of the traps is apparent in the pollen influx in peak years of pollen influx but not in other years, suggesting that forest-limit trees produce significant amounts of pollen only in some years. (5) Pollen influx averaged over the study period correlates well with the abundance of plants around the pollen traps for conifer trees (but not deciduous trees), Calluna, Gramineae, and Cyperaceae, and less clearly so Compositae Subfam. Cichorioideae and Potentilla-type. (6) Influx of extra-regional pollen derived from south of the Alps is highest in Simplon, which is open to southerly winds, slightly lower in Aletsch lying just north of Simplon, and lowest in Zermatt sheltered from the south by high mountains and Grindelwald lying north of the central Alps.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Palaeoecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

van der Knaap, Willem Oscar; van Leeuwen, Jacqueline and Ammann, Brigitta

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

0034-6667

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

12 Feb 2016 14:28

Last Modified:

12 Feb 2016 14:28

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/S0034-6667(01)00075-6

Uncontrolled Keywords:

modified Tauber pollen traps, annual pollen influx, Swiss Alps, forest limit, climate, vegetation

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.75797

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/75797

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