Treeline monitoring in the San Juan Mountains
Temperatures in the San Juan Mountain region have risen approximately 1.8°F over the last 30 years, primarily after 1990, and are projected to continue warming. As temperatures rise we expect increased rates of tree growth and tree establishment at the subalpine/alpine ecotone (treeline). We wanted to discern if upper treeline changes could already be detected through remote sensing. We compared aerial photographs from 1951 and 2011 for 8 San Juan mountain peaks. The images were georeferenced and virtual transects were created to help establish position of treeline in each sample year. We found ...
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