Treeline shifts have been reported for the Alps, the
We found greater bristlecone density below treeline but since the late 1980’s trees have established at an equal rate above treeline. Bristlecone growing above treeline are not growing faster (cm/yr) nor are they significantly taller overall than those of the same age below tree line. Needles produced in 2007 are significantly longer above treeline (U = 367; p < 0.05), however, needle length for 2006 and branch length for both years show no significant difference. During the growing season, soils above treeline wereare significantly warmer by 2.1oC (U = 1575, p < 0.001) but have slightly less soil moisture than below treeline (U= 2447, p < 0.05). Taken together, these data indicate that bristlecone pine has become established above present day treeline and is growing just as well (or better than) newly recruited trees in the same cohort below treeline. In addition, bristlecone pine have established as high as 3713 m which is very close to the summit of Mt Goliath (3723 m). We propose that bristlecone pine are successfully at colonizing within the alpine and that these trees are responding to changes in ambient conditions at the forest-alpine ecotone.