Swiss stone pine (Pinus cembra L.) is a species that typically grows in continental areas. Nevertheless it can also be found in a few oceanic areas on the north side of the Alps, such as in the Forêt du Lapé (Commune of Charmey, FR). In this forest the majority of the Swiss stone pines are located on large boulders,particularly on the margins of the summit of the boulders, i.e. in those parts where the snow melts the earliest in spring. The micro-relief seems to be a very important factor, because it tends to reproduce continental conditions even if the mesoclimate is oceanic. This microscale continentality – involved by the micro-relief – could be an explanation for the presence of Swiss stone pine in the oceanic parts of the Alps.

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