Across the boreal zone the altitudinal treeline ecotone shares many plant and animal species. It can be one of the most biologically diverse transition zones due to its highly variable structure.
How have the markedly different land use histories in Scandinavia and the UK affected the flora and fauna, both above and below ground, and their function in these ecotones? What are the implications for rural policy and land use of the current heightened dynamic flux in both climate and politics?
There appears to be an upward trend in the movement of tree and shrub species in Scandinavia while in the UK treeline habitats are very rare and there is conservation concern associated with many montane scrub species. In addition, the land use differences, across the countries, have fostered very different attitudes to this ecotone and its role in supporting (or not) the interests of extensive agriculture or hunting practice, and wider recreational activity.
The 'Treelines and Beyond' symposium organised by the British Ecological Society and Norwegian Ecological Society (Norsk Okologisk Forening) explors these issues with leading scientists from across Europe, and debates between rural policy makers, land users and other key stakeholders about the impact that land use and rural policy has on the biodiversity and the delivery of ecosystem services. This discussion will be live web-linked between Bergen and Perth, Scotland, enabling direct comparisons between the two countries.