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UNIVERSIDAD AUSTRAL DE CHILE (2008)

TREE-GROWTH AND CLIMATE VARIABILITY IN THE SOUTH AMERICAN ALTIPLANO AND THE TEMPERATE-MEDITERRANEAN TRANSITION OF THE ANDES

CHRISTIE BROWNE, DUNCAN ANDRES

Titre : TREE-GROWTH AND CLIMATE VARIABILITY IN THE SOUTH AMERICAN ALTIPLANO AND THE TEMPERATE-MEDITERRANEAN TRANSITION OF THE ANDES.

Auteur : CHRISTIE BROWNE, DUNCAN ANDRES

Université de soutenance : UNIVERSIDAD AUSTRAL DE CHILE

Grade : DOCTOR IN FORESTRY CIENCES 2008

Résumé
Mountain areas are complex environments where water resources, plant and animal populations may be especially vulnerable to changes in climate due to the potentially faster increment of warming (Bradley et al., 2006). ’The role of mountains as regional "Water Towers" and the narrow ecological breadth of some SpCCICS within the altitudinal profile would be severely affected by climate changes with the ensuing effects in ecosystem functioning and water resources availability in the highlands and the surrounding lowlands (Messerli et al., 2004). The Andes is one of the largest mountain ranges on earth that extends from the northern tropics of South America —’8°N all the way to the southern tip of Patagonia —55°S encompassing a wide variety of ecosystems (Voung and León, B., 2006) and climate typis (Garreaud et al., 2008), acting as the source of competing uses of water for millions of people (i.e. Masiokas et al., 2006). Today biogeographic consequences of recent climate changes have been registered in some portions of the Andes such as in Northern Patagonia where at interannual scale extreme dry-warm dimatic conditions resulted frorn the enhancement of El Niño-Southern Oscilation (ENSO) that has caused extensive tree mortalities and the increment of forest fires (Villalba ct al., 2005). Concomitantly, hydrological resources in some regions of the Andes are currently stressed because of decreasing precipitation trends and tropospheric warming resulting in an increase of the 0°C isotherm elevation, sustained glacier shrinking and changes in streamflow timing (Francou and Coudrain, 2005 ; Trenberth et al., 2007 ; Carrasco et al. 2008 ; Espizua ct al., 2008)

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