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Climatic Factors for Limiting Northward Distribution of Eight Temperate Tree Species in Eastern North America
Acta Botanica Sinica (Journal of Integrative Plant Biology) (2002)
  • Ying Li, Peking University
  • FANG Jing-Yun, Peking University
Distribution of vegetation is closely coupled with climate; the climate controls distribution of vegetation and the vegetation type reflects regional climates. To reveal vegetation climate relationships is the foundation for understanding the vegetation distribution and theoretically serving vegetation regionalization. Vegetation regionalization is a theoretical integration of vegetation studies and provides a base for physiogeographical regionalization as well as agriculture and forestry regionalization. Based on a brief historical overview on studies of vegetation climate relationships and vegetation regionalization conducted in China, we review the principles, bases and major schemes of previous vegetation regionalization and discuss on several contentious boundaries of vegetation zones in the present paper. We proposed that, under the circumstances that the primary vegetation has been destroyed in most parts of China, the division of vegetation zones/regions should be based on the distribution of primary and its secondary vegetation types and climatic indices that delimit distribution of the vegetation types. This not only reveals the closed relationship between vegetation and climate, but also is feasible practically. Although there still are divergence of views on the name and their boundaries of the several vegetation zones, it is commonly accepted that there are eight major vegetation regions in China, i.e. cold temperate needleleaf forest region, temperate needleleaf and broadleaf mixed forest region, warm temperate deciduous broadleaf forest region, subtropical evergreen broadleaf forest region, tropical monsoon forest and rain forest region, temperate steppe region, temperate desert region, and Qinghai Xizang (Tibetan) Plateau high cold vegetation region. Analyzing characteristics of vegetation and climate of major vegetation boundaries, we suggested that: 1) Qinling Mountain Huaihe River line is an important arid/humid climatic, but not a thermal climatic boundary, and thus can not also be regarded as the northern limit of the subtropical vegetation zone; 2) the northern limit of subtropical vegetation zone in China is along the northern coast of the Yangtze River, from Hangzhou Bay, via Taihu Lake, Xuancheng and Tongling in Anhui Province, through by southern slope of the Dabie Mountains, to Wuhan and its west, coinciding with a warmth index (WI) value of 130-140 ℃·month; 3) the tropical region is limited in a very small area in southeastern Hainan Island and southern edge of Taiwan Island; and 4) considering a significant difference in climates between the southern and northern parts of the warm temperate zone, we suggested that the warm temperate zone in China is divided into two vegetation regions, deciduous broadleaf woodland region and deciduous and evergreen broadleaf mixed forest region, the Qinling Mountain Huaihe River line being as their boundary. We also claimed that the zonal vegetation in North China is deciduous broadleaf woodland. Finally, we emphasized the importance of dynamic vegetation regionalization linked to climate changes.
  • China,
  • dynamic vegetation regionalization,
  • arid/humid climate,
  • northern limit of subtropical zone,
  • Qinling Mountain Huaihe River line,
  • thermal climate,
  • vegetation climate relationship,
  • tree species
Publication Date
Citation Information
Ying Li and FANG Jing-Yun. "Climatic Factors for Limiting Northward Distribution of Eight Temperate Tree Species in Eastern North America" Acta Botanica Sinica (Journal of Integrative Plant Biology) Vol. 44 Iss. 2 (2002) p. 199 - 203 ISSN: 1744-7909
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