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On the synchorological and floristic trends and discontinuities in regard to the Japan-Liukiu-Formosa area

with 21 tables, 2 maps and 6 photographs

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Conclusion and summary

The author discussed the floristic and vegetational differences (a) between Formosa and the Philippines, especially between Botel Tobago and Formosa, (b) between Formosa and Continental China, (c) between Japan proper and Continental China together with Corea, Mandschuria and the eastern part of Siberia, (d) between Formosa and Japan proper, and then he discussed (e) the flora of the Liukius, especially the differences between the Yaeyama Islands and Formosa as well as between Yaku Shima and the Amami Islands. In addition he briefly outlined the vegetation of Formosa and Japan, especially the altitudinal distribution of various forest-communities.

The conclusions confirmed the floristic discontinuity between Formosa and the Philippines already set forth by E. D. Merrill and several other botanists. Concerning the phytogeographical position of Botel Tobago, the writer confirms the opinion of T. Kano and R. Kanehira that the flora of Botel Tobago is an extension of that of the Batan-Babuyan Islands, the northern border of the Philippines.

The floristic close-relation between Japan proper and Continental China is evident from the phytogeographical distribution of the genera of higher plants found in Japan.

Data show that the Formosan flora, especially of the highland, is more closely related to the south-western part of China, and also to the Himalayan region, than to the other surrounding regions.

The writer considers that the relationship of the flora of Japan proper to that of Formosa is rather weak. He thinks, however, that their floras and vegetations are related to each other through their mutual relation to the lowland and lower montane flora of Continental China situated besides both of them.

It is concluded that the flora of the Liukius is an extension of the Formosan flora, judging by the distribution of the genera and species. Looking over the Japan-Liukiu-Formosa area, a conspicuous floristic and synchorological discontinuity is recognized between Yaku Shima and the Amami Islands, and it is conceivable that the Yaku Shima flora is a south-western extension of the flora of Kyushu or Japan proper, as well as the vegetation of Yaku Shima is closely related essentially to that of Japan proper.

The writer and his cooperators adopted a new name of Ardisieto-Shiietum Sieboldi to the Shiia forest of Yaku Shima.

The writer is unable to make any synchorological or plant-sociological precise comparison between Japan and Continental China along with the eastern part of Siberia and moreover between Formosa and Continental China, because of few or no plant-sociological detailed data of the continental area in the Far Eastern Asia.

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The author delivered a special lecture on this subject before the botany class in the National Taiwan University, Taipei, Formosa (Taiwan), on December 4th 1953. — Contributions from the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Kyushu University, No. 38.

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Hosokawa, T. On the synchorological and floristic trends and discontinuities in regard to the Japan-Liukiu-Formosa area. Vegetatio Acta Geobot 8, 65–92 (1958).

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