Persistence at the Tree Line: Old Trees as Opportunists

  • Andrew J. Trant
  • Ryan G. Jameson
  • Luise Hermanutz
Keywords: persistence, krummholz, dendrochronology, tree line, forest-tundra ecotone, Mealy Mountains, Labrador, climate change, black spruce, Picea mariana



While old trees have long been of interest, their significant role in responding to climate change at northern tree lines has been overlooked. Long-lived black spruces at the tree line in Labrador show a radial growth response that is synchronous with recent climate warming. The ability of individuals to persist with suppressed radial growth rates during adverse growing conditions may have significant implications for the rate at which these trees are able to respond when conditions become favourable.