The north boreal forests and the low alpine areas cover a large proportion of the Norwegian land surface. The predicted anthropogenic climate changes are supposed to have large influences in these areas due to potential immigration of tree species above t he existing treeline. Steep temperature gradients influence the survival of many plant species and their internal competition.
The changes are supposed to be slow, and the efforts to quantify the changes will be large with existing survey methods. We the refore look for the use of more easy accesible methods as LiDAR airborne scanning for present and future determination of resources.
We will also use past vegetation and soil registrations for analysing the development of the vegetation and the tree stand s in a selected research area (Hirkjølen).This is an outstanding study area, due to a detailed mapping of vegetation, soil properties and timberline position in 1932-1936. The field registrations were done in permanently marked plots positioned in a regul ar grid which covers an area of appr. 1400 ha and ranges from 740 to 1160 m a.s.l. The plots will be reanalysed with respect to vegetation and soil, and the information will be included in a digital terrain model along. The old and the new vegetation data will be analysed with respect to changes which can be related to climatic fluctuations. Changes in timberline position will be analysed.
These results together with other relevant information on plant species composition and competition will be used com bined with RegClim regional climate scenarios in order to predict the effects of future climate change in this ecotone.
We plan to provide information from the project in co-operation with professional information workers.