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Within-Ecosystem Quantification and Comparison of Treeline Advancement in Cariboo Mountain, British Columbia Chen, Sijin


High elevation ecotones are susceptible to the rising temperature, under current climate change crisis. This paper aims to quantify the loss of alpine habitat to treeline advancement in the mountainous areas of the Cariboo Natural Resource Region. Specifically, this study focuses on comparing the patterns and rate of treeline advancement in the dry and wet subzones of Englemann Spruce – Subalpine Fir (ESSF) zone. Landsat 5 imageries and Digital Elevation Models are used to determine the treeline during 1985 – 2010. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) are determined at a 5-year interval. The threshold value for pixels transition from non-forested to forested is set at 0.3. All the transition pixels are identified and the elevational analysis was conducted. The identified transition pixels (treeline ecotones) of Wet subzones have a higher R2 and mainly show a decreasing trend. This means that the growth rate of treeline ecotone is slowing down in wet subzones. Dry subzones have a relatively small R2 and mainly show an increasing trend. The increasing trend represents the growth rate of treeline ecotone is accelerating in dry subzones, which also means that the rate of alpine habitat loss is accelerating

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