Folia Geobotanica

, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 373–401 | Cite as

Classification of the High-Mountain Coniferous Forests in Taiwan

  • Cheng-Tao Lin
  • Ching-Feng Li
  • David Zelený
  • Milan Chytrý
  • Yukito Nakamura
  • Ming-Yih Chen
  • Tze-Ying Chen
  • Yue-Joe Hsia
  • Chang-Fu Hsieh
  • Ho-Yih Liu
  • Jenn-Che Wang
  • Sheng-Zehn Yang
  • Ching-Long Yeh
  • Chyi-Rong ChiouEmail author


Vegetation of boreal coniferous forests has been extensively studied in many areas of northern Eurasia and North America, but similar forests in the high mountains of subtropical and tropical eastern Asia have been poorly documented so far. This paper, focusing on such forests, is the first phytosociological study at a national scale in Taiwan. The relevés from the National Vegetation Diversity Inventory and Mapping Project database were used to define vegetation types of the high-mountain coniferous forests and to characterize their distribution in Taiwan. Environmental variables such as aspect, elevation, soil rockiness and slope were related to species composition. Cluster analysis was used to classify vegetation plots and establish groups that were interpreted as nine associations belonging to two alliances. The alliance Juniperion squamatae represents woodlands and forests scattered in the subalpine belt, in which Juniperus squamata dominates the canopy and subalpine meadow species occur in the understorey. The Abieti kawakamii-Tsugion formosanae alliance includes forests dominated by Abies kawakamii and Tsuga chinensis var. formosana with shade-tolerant herb species in the upper montane belt. In addition to regional vegetation description, an identification key for the studied forests was developed based on the classification tree technique.


Braun-Blanquet approach Phytosociology Plant communities Syntaxonomy Vaccinio-Piceetea Vegetation classification Woodland 



We thank Dr. Kuo-Fang Chung, Dr. Chen-Meng Kuo, Dr. Yen-Jen Lai, Mr. Chien-Jung Lin, Dr. Guo-Zhang M. Song and three anonymous reviewers for very valuable comments on the previous versions of this paper. This study was supported by the Taiwan-Czech project-based personnel exchange program (PPP) from the National Science Council of Taiwan, No: 98-2911-I-002-005. C.-F. Li was supported by the Czech Science Foundation (526/09/H025) and D. Zelený and M. Chytrý by the Czech Science Foundation (505/11/0732). We used data from National Vegetation Diversity Inventory and Mapping Project (2003–2008) funded by the Forestry Bureau, Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, Taiwan. We declare that our study complies with domestic laws of Taiwan (Republic of China).

Supplementary material

12224_2012_9128_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (133 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 133 kb)


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Copyright information

© Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cheng-Tao Lin
    • 1
  • Ching-Feng Li
    • 2
  • David Zelený
    • 2
  • Milan Chytrý
    • 2
  • Yukito Nakamura
    • 3
  • Ming-Yih Chen
    • 4
  • Tze-Ying Chen
    • 5
  • Yue-Joe Hsia
    • 6
  • Chang-Fu Hsieh
    • 7
  • Ho-Yih Liu
    • 8
  • Jenn-Che Wang
    • 9
  • Sheng-Zehn Yang
    • 10
  • Ching-Long Yeh
    • 10
  • Chyi-Rong Chiou
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Forestry and Resource ConservationNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of Botany and ZoologyMasaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic
  3. 3.Tokyo University of AgricultureFaculty of Regional Environmental ScienceTokyoJapan
  4. 4.Department of Life SciencesNational Chung Hsing UniversityTaichungTaiwan
  5. 5.Department of Natural ResourcesNational Ilan UniversityIlanTaiwan
  6. 6.Institute of Nature ResourcesNational Dong Hwa UniversityHualienTaiwan
  7. 7.Institute of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  8. 8.Department of Biological SciencesNational Sun Yat-Sen UniversityKaohsiungTaiwan
  9. 9.Department of Life ScienceNational Taiwan Normal UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  10. 10.Department of ForestryNational Pingtung University of Science and TechnologyPingtungTaiwan

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