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Ecological Research

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 113–125 | Cite as

Climate and vegetation in China V. Effect of climatic factors on the upper limit of distribution of evergreen broadleaf forest

  • Jing-yun Fang
  • Kyoji Yoda
Article

Abstract

In order to clarify correlations between the upper limit of distribution of evergreen broadleaf forest and climatic factors, 62 stands distributed at the upper limit of the forest were collected from various parts of China, and their thermal and precipitation factors were estimated. Among six thermal climatic indices, i.e., warmth index (WI), coldness index (CI) and annual mean (AMT), January mean (JMT), mean minimum (MMT) and minimum (MT) temperatures, the CI at the stands showed the smallest range of variance, and it was therefore considered to be the most significant for interpreting the upward distribution of the forest. However, the distribution of the forest in mountain areas in southwestern China could not be explained by lower temperatures in winter such as CI but by a cumulative temperature such as WI. The continentality and precipitation factors were also important for delimiting the distribution of the forest. In addition, the relation between the distribution of the forest and the MMT was noted, and it was concluded that the MMT was an effective thermal index for explaining the upper limit of distribution of evergreen broadleaf forest in China.

Key words

China Continentality Evergreen broadleaf forest Precipitation Thermal climatic index Upper limit of distribution 

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Copyright information

© Ecological Society of Japan 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jing-yun Fang
    • 1
  • Kyoji Yoda
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Ecological Engineering, Research Center for Eco-Environmental ScienceChinese Academy of ScienceBeijingChina
  2. 2.Laboratory of Plant Ecology, Faculty of ScienceOsaka City UniversityOsakaJapan

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