Vegetation of Yunnan, China

Xiaokun OU
Institute of Ecology and Geobotany, Kunming, Yunnan, China

Yunnan, situated in southwest part of China, has unique diversified landforms and vegetation types. A classification system with 12 vegetation types, 45 vegetation subtypes and 445 formations in Yunnan was established in the 1980ís in the book of 'Yunnan Vegetation', and more than 45 new formations was found subsequently. Vegetation can be summarized using six characteristics: 1) vegetation types in horizontal latitude are diversified and rare; 2) vegetation distribution has its vertical belt in different areas; 3) nonzonal vegetation has its obviously characters; 4) different original mountain vegetation types are still distributed in Yunnan; 5) zonal and nonzonal vegetation types are crosslinked in different areas from tropical to temperate areas; 6) the flora is rich and comparatively diverse, unique and originating in different areas. With human disturbance, the vegetation change was heavily influenced by regional population density, population growth rate and market demand, and change in landuse policies. Forest reduction was due to logging and expansion of land used for cultivation. Increasedf forest area can be attributed to the change of vegetation from scrub or shrub-grassland to forest.

© 2012 Organizing Committee