The ecology of the timberline and alpine vegetation of the Three Sisters Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/g445ch260

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  • This is a study of the ecology of the timberline and alpine vegetation of the Three Sisters which are located in the central Oregon Cascades. The Sisters are a close group of three 1O,000-foot volcanic peaks. Volcanic activity within the last few hundred years as well as recent glaciation have produced a high degree of physiographic instability within the area. The study area was divided into six zones based primarily on the physiography, and the vegetation of each zone was described. A glacial maximum about 200 years ago produced large moraines and outwash which now cover much of the slopes. In addition large areas are covered by cinders, pumice and lava. These factors combined with climatic factors are holding the vegetation in a number of climaxes. There is evidence for climatic fluctuations within the last 200 years or so. As a result of a decrease in average snowbank size the hemlock forest is advancing slowly into meadows and some other areas. The timberline is at about 65O0 feet and a number of factors are responsible for its limits. The treeline is about another thousand feet higher and a different set of factors limit the trees.
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