We investigated the variability in spatial pattern of some structural, dendrochronological and dendroclimatological features of a mixed Larix decidua-Pinus cembra forest at the timberline in the eastern Italian Alps at fine geographical and temporal scales. Forest structure variables such as stem diameter, tree height, age and tree-ring related parameters (yearly growth index, mean sensitivity, first order autocorrelation and some dendroclimatic variables) have been compared at various scale levels. We observed that most of the variables show positive autocorrelated structures due to both forest dynamics and fine-scale driving forces, probably related to microrelief. Spatial structure of yearly indexed radial growth appears sensitive to extreme climatic events. Secondary succession after past disturbances drives the forest towards a structure governed by a gap regeneration dynamics that seems to ensure the different requirements of the two main tree species present. Small spatial scale studies of forest structures, especially if integrated to dendro-ecological data, seem an efficient tool to assess the disturbance regime and species sensitivity to environmental change.
Spatial analysis of structural and tree-ring related parameters in a timberline forest in the Italian Alps / Carrer, M.; Urbinati, Carlo. - In: JOURNAL OF VEGETATION SCIENCE. - ISSN 1100-9233. - STAMPA. - 12:(2001), pp. 643-652. [10.2307/3236904]