Latitudinal pattern of mountain vegetation zonation in southern and eastern Asia

  • Ohsawa M
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Abstract

A new scheme of altitudinal and latitudinal vegetation zonation is proposed for eastern Asia. The latitudinal patterns of mountain vegetation zonation show a clear boundary at ca. 20° - 30° N. For the tropical mountains south of 20° N, the altitudinal series includes tropical lowland, tropical lower montane, and tropical upper montane zones. For the temperate mountains north of 30° N, the series includes temperate lowland, temperate lower montane, and temperate upper montane zones. The mountains located between 20° and 30° N show a transitional zonation pattern; the lower two zones are comparable to the lower two of the tropical zonation (tropical lowland and tropical lower montane), and the upper two zones are comparable to those of the temperate zonation (temperate lower montane and temperate upper montane). The tropical upper montane zone is not found north of 20° - 30° N, while the tropical lower montane zone reaches down to sea level and constitutes the temperate lowland zone. Thus the between 20° and 30° N includes tropical lowland, tropical lower montane/temperate lowland, temperate lower montane, and temperate upper montane zones. The latitudinal series of lowland rain forests follows the scheme of climatic division into tropical, subtropical/warmtemperate, cool-temperate and cold-temperate, with a shift of the respective life forms, evergreen, evergreen notophyllous, deciduous, and evergreen needle-leaved. The tropical lower montane forest can be correlated to the horizontal subtropical/warm-temperate zone. The temperate altitudinal and latitudinal zonations above 30° N are correlated and show an inclined parallel pattern from high altitudes in the south to low altitudes down to sea level in the north.

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Authors

  • Masahiko Ohsawa

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