Expansion of elevational distribution of beech (Fagus crenata Blume) along the climatic gradient from the Pacific Ocean to the sea of Japan in Honshu, Japan.
The altitudinal range of beech (Fagus crenata) was determined in central Honshu. The upper and lower limits of beech are 300 m higher, and 250 m lower on the Sea of Japan (to the NW) side than on the Pacific Ocean (to the SE) side, respectively. In winter, there is very little snow on the Pacific Ocean side, and quite a lot on the Sea of Japan side (in summer, precipitation is plentiful on both sides). Thus, it is concluded that beech distribution on a macroscale is affected by snow cover as well as by temperature.