Montane grasslands and shrublands

Montane grasslands and shrublands is a habitat type defined by the World Wildlife Fund.[1] The biome includes high altitude grasslands and shrublands around the world. The term "montane" in the name of the biome refers to "high altitude", rather than the ecological term which denotes the region below treeline.

This habitat type includes high elevation (montane and alpine) grasslands and shrublands, including the puna and páramo in South America, subalpine heath in New Guinea and East Africa, steppes of the Tibetan plateaus, as well as other similar subalpine habitats around the world.[1]

The plants and animals of tropical montane páramos display striking adaptations to cool, wet conditions and intense sunlight. Around the world, characteristic plants of these habitats display features such as rosette structures, waxy surfaces, and abundant pilosity.[1]

The páramos of the northern Andes are the most extensive examples of this habitat type. Although ecoregion biotas are most diverse in the Andes, these ecosystems are distinctive wherever they occur in the tropics. The heathlands and moorlands of East Africa (e.g., Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya, Rwenzori Mountains), Mount Kinabalu of Borneo, and the Central Range of New Guinea are all limited in extent, isolated, and support endemic plants and animals.[1]

Drier subtropical montane grasslands, savannas, and woodlands include the Ethiopian Highlands, the Zambezian montane grasslands and woodlands, and the montane habitats of southeastern Africa.[1][2][3]

The montane grasslands of the Tibetan Plateau still support relatively intact migrations of Tibetan antelope (Pantholops hodgsoni) and kiang, or Tibetan wild ass (Equus hemionus). A unique feature of many tropical páramos is the presence of giant rosette plants from a variety of plant families, such as Lobelia (Africa), Puya (South America), Cyathea (New Guinea), and Argyroxiphium (Hawai’i). These plant forms can reach elevations of 4,500–4,600 metres (14,800–15,100 ft) above sea level.[1]

Biome map 10
Extent of montane grasslands and shrublands

Montane grassland and shrubland ecoregions

Afrotropic Montane grasslands and shrublands
Angolan montane forest-grassland mosaic Angola
Angolan Scarp savanna and woodlands Angola
Drakensberg alti-montane grasslands and woodlands Lesotho, South Africa
Drakensberg montane grasslands, woodlands and forests Lesotho, South Africa, Eswatini (Swaziland)
East African montane moorlands Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda
Eastern Zimbabwe montane forest-grassland mosaic Mozambique, Zimbabwe
Ethiopian montane grasslands and woodlands Ethiopia, Sudan
Ethiopian montane moorlands Ethiopia, Sudan
Highveld grasslands Lesotho, South Africa
Jos Plateau forest-grassland mosaic Nigeria
Madagascar ericoid thickets Madagascar
Maputaland-Pondoland bushland and thickets Mozambique, South Africa, Eswatini (Swaziland)
Ruwenzori-Virunga montane moorlands Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Uganda
South Malawi montane forest-grassland mosaic Malawi, Mozambique
Southern Rift montane forest-grassland mosaic Malawi, Tanzania
Australasia Montane grasslands and shrublands
Australian Alps montane grasslands Australia
Central Range sub-alpine grasslands Indonesia, Papua New Guinea
Southland montane grasslands New Zealand
Indomalaya Montane grasslands and shrublands
Kinabalu montane alpine meadows Malaysia
Shola grasslands India
Neotropic Montane grasslands and shrublands
Central Andean dry puna Argentina, Bolivia, Chile
Central Andean puna Argentina, Bolivia, Peru
Central Andean wet puna Bolivia, Peru
Cordillera Central páramo Ecuador, Peru
Cordillera de Merida páramo Venezuela
Northern Andean páramo Colombia, Ecuador
Santa Marta páramo Colombia
Talamanca Paramo Costa Rica, Panama
Southern Andean steppe Argentina, Chile
Zacatonal Mexico, Guatemala
Palearctic montane grasslands and shrublands
Altai alpine meadow and tundra China, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia
Central Tibetan Plateau alpine steppe China
Eastern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows Bhutan, Myanmar, China, India, Nepal
Ghorat-Hazarajat alpine meadow Afghanistan
Hindu Kush alpine meadow Afghanistan, Pakistan
Karakoram-West Tibetan Plateau alpine steppe Afghanistan, China, India, Pakistan
Khangai Mountains alpine meadow Mongolia
Kopet Dag woodlands and forest steppe Iran, Turkmenistan
Kuhrud-Kohbanan Mountains forest steppe Iran
Mediterranean High Atlas juniper steppe Morocco
North Tibetan Plateau-Kunlun Mountains alpine desert China
Northwestern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows China, India, Pakistan
Ordos Plateau steppe China
Pamir alpine desert and tundra Afghanistan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan
Qilian Mountains subalpine meadows China
Sayan Alpine meadows and tundra Mongolia, Russia
Southeast Tibet shrub and meadows China
Sulaiman Range alpine meadows Afghanistan, Pakistan
Tian Shan montane steppe and meadows China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan
Tibetan Plateau alpine shrub and meadows China
Western Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows India, Nepal
Yarlung Zambo arid steppe China

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f  This article incorporates text available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license. World Wide Fund for Nature. "Montane Grasslands and Shrubland Ecoregions". Archived from the original on 2011-04-01. Retrieved 2019-05-29.
  2. ^ Werger, MJA; van Bruggen, AC, eds. (1978). Biogeography and ecology of southern Africa. Springer. ISBN 9789061930839.
  3. ^ White, F (1983). The vegetation of Africa: A descriptive memoir to accompany the UNESCO/AETFAT/UNSO vegetation map of Africa. Natural Resources Research. 20. Paris, France: UNESCO.
Afromontane

The Afromontane regions are subregions of the Afrotropical realm, one of the Earth's eight biogeographic realms, covering the plant and animal species found in the mountains of Africa and the southern Arabian Peninsula. The Afromontane regions of Africa are discontinuous, separated from each other by lower-lying areas, and are sometimes referred to as the Afromontane archipelago, as their distribution is analogous to a series of sky islands.

Central Andean dry puna

The Central Andean dry puna (NT1001) is an ecoregion in the Montane grasslands and shrublands biome, located in the Andean high plateau, in South America. It is a part of the Puna grassland.

Eastern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows

The Eastern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows is a montane grasslands and shrublands ecoregion of Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, and Nepal, which lies between the tree line and snow line in the eastern portion of the Himalaya Range.

Eastern Rift mountains

The East African mountains are a mountain region in the African Great Lakes, within Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Burundi.

Forest steppe

A forest steppe is a temperate-climate ecotone and habitat type composed of grassland interspersed with areas of woodland or forest.

Highveld

The Highveld (Afrikaans: Hoëveld) is the portion of the South African inland plateau which has an altitude above roughly 1500 m, but below 2100 m, thus excluding the Lesotho mountain regions to the south-east of the Highveld. It is home to some of the country's most important commercial farming areas, as well as its largest concentration of metropolitan centres, especially the Gauteng conurbation, which accommodates one-third of South Africa's population.

Karakoram-West Tibetan Plateau alpine steppe

The Karakoram-West Tibetan Plateau alpine steppe is a montane grasslands and shrublands ecoregion found in parts of Pakistan, China, Afghanistan, and India.

List of ecoregions in Malawi

The following is a list of ecoregions in Malawi, as identified by the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).

List of ecoregions in Myanmar

The following is a list of ecoregions in Myanmar (also known as Burma).

List of ecoregions in Nigeria

The following is a list of ecoregions in Nigeria, according to the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).

List of ecoregions in Rwanda

The following is a list of ecoregions in Rwanda, according to the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).

List of ecoregions in Uganda

The following is a list of ecoregions in Kenya, as identified by the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).

List of terrestrial ecoregions (WWF)

This is a list of terrestrial ecoregions as compiled by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The WWF identifies terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecoregions.

The terrestrial scheme divides the Earth's land surface into 8 terrestrial ecozones, containing 867 smaller ecoregions. Each ecoregion is classified into one of 14 major habitat types, or biomes.

Additional ecoregions for Antarctic Realm are currently being incorporated (based on Terauds et al. 2012).

Antarctic Realm - Tundra Biome:

1 North-east Antarctic Peninsula;

2 South Orkney Islands;

3 North-west Antarctic Peninsula;

4 Central south Antarctic Peninsula;

5 Enderby Land;

6 Dronning Maud Land;

7 East Antarctica;

8 North Victoria Land;

9 South Victoria Land;

10 Transantarctic Mountains;

11 Ellsworth Mountains;

12 Marie Byrd Land;

13 Adelie Land;

14 Ellsworth Land;

15 South Antarctic Peninsula.

Terauds, A, SL Chown, F Morgan, HJ Peat, DJ Watts, H Keys, P Convey, DM Bergstrom. 2012. Conservation biogeography of the Antarctic. Diversity and Distributions 1–16. DOI: 10.1111/j.1472-4642.2012.00925.x

Northwestern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows

The Northwestern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows is a montane grasslands and shrublands ecoregion of the elevations of the northwestern Himalaya of China, India, and Pakistan.

Palani Hills

The Palani Hills (Tamil:பழநி மலை) are a mountain range in the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu in South India. The Palani Hills are an eastward extension of the Western Ghats ranges, which run parallel to the west coast of India. The Palani Hills adjoin the high Anamalai range (Kerala) on the west, and extend east into the plains of Tamil Nadu, covering an area of 2,068 square kilometres (798 sq mi). The highest part of the range is in the southwest, and reaches 1,800-2,500 metres (5,906-8,202 feet) elevation; the eastern extension of the range is made up of hills 1,000-1,500 m (3,281-4,921 ft) high.It is also home to one of the shrines of Lord Karthikeyan or Murugan, who is worshipped as the primary god in Tamil Nadu.

Rwenzori-Virunga montane moorlands

The Ruwenzori-Virunga montane moorlands is a montane grasslands and shrublands ecoregion of central Africa.

Southern Andean steppe

The Southern Andean steppe is a montane grasslands and shrublands ecoregion occurring along the border of Chile and Argentina in the high elevations of the southern Andes mountain range.

Steppe

In physical geography, a steppe (Russian: степь, IPA: [stʲepʲ]) is an ecoregion, in the montane grasslands and shrublands and temperate grasslands, savannas and shrublands biomes, characterized by grassland plains without trees apart from those near rivers and lakes. The prairie of North America (especially the shortgrass and mixed prairie) is an example of a steppe, though it is not usually called such. A steppe may be semi-arid or covered with grass or shrubs or both, depending on the season and latitude. The term is also used to denote the climate encountered in regions too dry to support a forest but not dry enough to be a desert. The soil is typically of chernozem type.

Steppes are usually characterized by a semi-arid or continental climate. Extremes can be recorded in the summer of up to 45 °C (113 °F) and in winter, −55 °C (−67 °F). Besides this huge difference between summer and winter, the differences between day and night are also very great. In both the highlands of Mongolia and northern Nevada, 30 °C (86 °F) can be reached during the day with sub-zero °C (sub 32 °F) readings at night.

The mid-latitude steppes can be summarized by hot summers and cold winters, averaging 250–510 mm (10–20 in) of precipitation per year. Precipitation level alone is not what defines a steppe climate; potential evapotranspiration must also be taken into account.

Western Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows

The Western Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows is a montane grasslands and shrublands ecoregion of Nepal, India, and Tibet, which lies between the tree line and snow line in the western portion of the Himalaya Range.

Biomes
Biogeographic
realms
See also

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