Mass elevation effect: concept and quantification

TitleMass elevation effect: concept and quantification
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsZhang, Baiping
Refereed DesignationRefereed
Conference NameGeomorphometry 2013
Date Published2013
Conference LocationNanjing, China

Mass elevation effect (massenerhebungseffect, short as MEE in the following) was introduced more than 100 years ago by A. de Quervain to account for the observed tendency for temperature-related parameters such as tree line and snowline to occur at higher elevations in the central Alps than on their outer margins. It is a significant factor shaping the three-dimensional pattern of climate, vegetation and soil globally. But in the past, it is mostly neglected in exploring the mechanism of terrestrial complex ecosystems. We have shown that MEE contribute greatly to the actual altitudinal position of snowline and alpine timberline. It should be quantified so as to explain more clearly the geographical and ecological pattern and mechanism of the terrestrial sphere. Two approaches are put forward to quantify MEE, namely indirect and direct quantification.

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