Holocene Timberline Fluctuations in Jasper National Park, Alberta

Science  15 Jul 1983:
Vol. 221, Issue 4607, pp. 261-263
DOI: 10.1126/science.221.4607.261


Pollen, fossil logs, and macrofossils from three high-elevation sites in the Maligne Range, Jasper National Park, Alberta, provide the first detailed record of timberline fluctuations in the Canadian Rockies during the last 8700 years. Timberlines were much higher than at present between 8700 to 5200 years ago but oscillated significantly in elevation, with a major episode of timberline recession punctuating two periods of high timberline between about 6700 to 5900 and about 8700 to 7000 years ago. Since 5200 years ago, regional timberlines have generally receded with perhaps brief reversals, reaching their lowest recorded positions sometime after 500 years ago.