Summer Course: Wood Anatomy in Arctic and Alpine Environments

Event Type: Field Training and Schools

When: 19 August 2012 to 25 August 2012

Where: Klosters Dorf, Switzerland

More information:


The effect of global warming on arctic and alpine environments is more and more relevant to plant science, particularly dendrochronology. Since the anatomical structure of arctic and alpine plants, and the structural variability caused by environmental change, is not well known, this course is being offered to set a baseline for future anatomical and dendroecological studies beyond forests.

Students will learn basic wood-anatomical knowledge based on permanent microscopic slides. The main focus is on trees, shrubs, dwarf shrubs, and herbs growing in the boreal and arctic, as well as the subalpine and alpine, zones of the northern hemisphere. Topics for instruction will include:

  • The anatomy of boreal conifers for the analysis of driftwood;
  • The anatomy and annual ring structures of long-living dwarf shrubs; and
  • The anatomy of root collars and annual ring structures of herbs of cushion plants.

The course will also contain multiple excursions in the alpine and subalpine zones of the Alps (near Davos), with discussions on sampling strategies to solve problems in relation to climatology, ecology and changes of vegetation zones. Each participant will learn and practice simple and effective techniques for preparing high quality permanent micro-sections in a fully equipped laboratory.

Lodging will in a holiday house with normal comfort at Klosters-Dorf in Switzerland at 1300m a.s.l in the center of the Alps. Mrs. Hildegard Steck will prepare excellent food.

The price of approximately 790 Euros, depending on currency fluctuations includes:

  • The scientific program;
  • An anatomical and technical script;
  • Full accommodation (double rooms in a holiday house with normal comfort at Klosters-Dorf in Switzerland; breakfast, lunch, dinner, and coffee breaks); and
  • Transport to field sites.

Registration deadline: 31 May 2012.