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Dinh, Moore, Russell have shown that the quantum algorithm (Quantum Fourier sampling) used to attack RSA and ElGamal does not work on McEliece-like crypto systems. (I think) this means, that there are no known algorithms on quantum computers that decrease the complexity of attacks on McEliece, and thus McEliece is just as safe post-quantum computers as it is ...


If you look at exact security, the height matters. The reason is that it defines the number of OTS key pairs and hence the possible number of one time signatures per MSS key pair. To forge a MSS signature, it is enough to generate a forgery for 1 out of $2^h$ OTS signatures. Hence you get a reduction in the bit security of $h$ bits.


In general there is no reason to use tree hash modes for Merkle trees. The reason is that a Merkle tree itself is already some kind of tree hash mode. The important thing about this kind of mode is that it allows to compute the root node given the value of one leaf and one node per tree level. The possible ambiguity of hashes is not relevant for hash-based ...

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