Tropical and subtropical coniferous forests

Tropical and subtropical coniferous forests are a tropical forest habitat type defined by the World Wide Fund for Nature. These forests are found predominantly in North and Central America and experience low levels of precipitation and moderate variability in temperature. Tropical and subtropical coniferous forests are characterized by diverse species of conifers, whose needles are adapted to deal with the variable climatic conditions.[1] Most tropical and subtropical coniferous forest ecoregions are found in the Nearctic and Neotropic ecozones, from the Mid-Atlantic states to Nicaragua and on the Greater Antilles, Bahamas, and Bermuda. Other tropical and subtropical coniferous forests ecoregions occur in Asia. Mexico harbors the world's richest and most complex subtropical coniferous forests.[2] The conifer forests of the Greater Antilles contain many endemics and relictual taxa.[1][3]

Many migratory birds and butterflies spend winter in tropical and subtropical conifer forests. This biome features a thick, closed canopy which blocks light to the floor and allows little underbrush. As a result, the ground is often covered with fungi and ferns. Shrubs and small trees compose a diverse understory.[1]

Biome map 03
Extent of Tropical and subtropical coniferous forest regions

Tropical and subtropical coniferous forests ecoregions

Indomalaya Tropical and subtropical coniferous forests
Himalayan subtropical pine forests Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan
Luzon tropical pine forests Philippines
Northeast India-Myanmar pine forests Myanmar, India
Sumatran tropical pine forests Indonesia
Neotropic Tropical and subtropical coniferous forests
Bahamian pineyards The Bahamas
Belizian pine forests Belize
Central American pine-oak forests El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua
Cuban pine forests Cuba
Hispaniolan pine forests Haiti, Dominican Republic
Miskito pine forests Honduras, Nicaragua
Sierra de la Laguna pine-oak forests Mexico
Sierra Madre de Oaxaca pine-oak forests Mexico
Sierra Madre del Sur pine-oak forests Mexico
Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt pine-oak forests Mexico
Nearctic Tropical and subtropical coniferous forests
Bermuda subtropical conifer forests Bermuda
Sierra Madre Occidental pine-oak forests Mexico, United States
Sierra Madre Oriental pine-oak forests Mexico, United States

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c  This article incorporates text available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license. World Wide Fund for Nature. "Tropical and Suptropical Coniferous Forest Ecoregions". Archived from the original on 2010-05-12.
  2. ^ Perry, JP Jr. (1991). The pines of Mexico and Central America. Portland, Oregon, USA: Timber Press.
  3. ^ Borhidi, A (1991). Phytogeography and vegetation ecology of Cuba. Budapest, Hungary: Akadémiai Kiadó.
Bahamian pineyards

The Bahamian pineyards are a tropical and subtropical coniferous forest ecoregion in The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands, where they occur on an area of 2,100 km2 (810 sq mi). Pineyards are found on four of the northern islands in The Bahamas: Andros, Abaco, Grand Bahama, where they cover half of the island, and New Providence, as well as the Caicos Islands. Pineyards are dominated by Bahamian pine (Pinus caribaea var. bahamensis), while pinepink (Bletia purpurea), bushy beard grass (Andropogon glomeratus), southern bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum), Florida clover ash (Tetrazygia bicolor), Bahamian trumpet tree (Tabebuia bahamensis), West Indian snowberry (Chiococca alba), devil's gut (Cassytha filiformis), poisonwood (Metopium toxiferum), coontie (Zamia integrifolia) and Florida silver palm (Coccothrinax argentata) grow in the understory. Without regular wildfires, pineyards will be supplanted by broadleafed coppice. Young Bahamian pines require extensive amounts of sunlight to grow, and are resistant to fire once they become adults. Fauna found in the pine forests includes rock iguanas (Cyclura spp.), pygmy boas (Epicrates spp.), the West Indian woodpecker (Melanerpes superciliaris), the Bahama woodstar (Calliphlox evelynae), the Bahama yellowthroat, (Geothlypis rostrata), the Bahama nuthatch (Sitta insularis), and the buffy flower bat (Erophylla sezekorni). Kirtland's warblers (Dendroica kirtlandii) migrate from jack pine forests in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan to Bahamian pineyards every year, where they spend the winter.

Central American pine-oak forests

The Central American pine-oak forests ecoregion, in the tropical and subtropical coniferous forests biome, is found in Central America and Chiapas state of southern Mexico.

Cuban pine forests

The Cuban pine forests are a tropical coniferous forest ecoregion on the Caribbean islands of Cuba and Isla de la Juventud. They cover an area of 6,400 km2 (2,500 sq mi), occurring in separate sections in eastern Cuba and western Cuba and Isla de la Juventud.

Evergreen forest

An evergreen forest is a forest made up of evergreen trees. They occur across a wide range of climatic zones, and include trees such as conifers, live oak, and holly in cold climates, eucalypts, acacias and banksias in more temperate zones, and rainforest trees in tropical zones.

Himalayan subtropical pine forests

The Himalayan subtropical pine forests are a large subtropical coniferous forest ecoregion covering portions of Bhutan, India, Nepal, and Pakistan.

This huge pine forest stretches for 3000 km across the lower elevations of the great Himalaya range for almost its entire length including parts of Pakistan's Punjab Province in the west through Azad Kashmir, the northern Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Sikkim, Nepal and Bhutan, which is the eastern extent of the pine forest. Like so many Himalayan ecosystems the pine forests are split by the deep Kali Gandaki Gorge in Nepal, to the west of which the forest is slightly drier while it is wetter and thicker to the east where the monsoon rains coming off the Bay of Bengal bring more moisture.

Along the stretch of the ganja hills of himachal can be seen rare varieties of leopard and tiger pine trees ( Pinus felicis) characterized by their spotted and patterned bark

Hispaniolan pine forests

The Hispaniolan pine forests are a subtropical coniferous forest ecoregion found on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, which is shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The ecoregion covers 11,600 km2 (4,500 sq mi), or about 15% of the island. It lies at elevations greater than 800 m (2,600 ft) in the mountains of Hispaniola, extending from the Cordillera Central of the Dominican Republic and into the Massif du Nord of Haiti. It is surrounded at lower elevations by the Hispaniolan moist forests and Hispaniolan dry forests ecoregions, which cover the remainder of the island. Annual rainfall is 1,000–2,000 mm (39–79 in).

List of ecoregions in Guatemala

This is a list of ecoregions of Guatemala as defined by the World Wildlife Fund and the Freshwater Ecoregions of the World database.

List of ecoregions in Honduras

This is a list of ecoregions in Honduras as defined by the World Wildlife Fund and the Freshwater Ecoregions of the World database.

List of ecoregions in Nicaragua

This is a list of ecoregions in Nicaragua as defined by the World Wildlife Fund and the Freshwater Ecoregions of the World database.

Luzon tropical pine forests

The Luzon tropical pine forests are a tropical coniferous forest ecoregion of the Philippines in the western Pacific Ocean. These pine forests are home to a large number of the island's endemic plants and animals.

Madrean Sky Islands

The Madrean Sky Islands are enclaves of Madrean pine-oak woodlands, found at higher elevations in a complex of small mountain ranges in southern and southeastern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico, and northwestern Mexico. The sky islands are surrounded at lower elevations by the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts. The northern west–east perimeter of the sky island region merges into the higher elevation eastern Mogollon Rim and the White Mountains of eastern Arizona (southern Anasazi region).

The sky islands are the northernmost of the Madrean pine-oak woodlands, and are classified as part of the Sierra Madre Occidental pine-oak forests ecoregion, of the tropical and subtropical coniferous forests biome. The sky islands were isolated from one another and from the pine-oak woodlands of the Sierra Madre Occidental to the south by the warming and drying of the climate since the ice ages.

There are approximately 27 Madrean sky islands in the United States, and 15 in northern Mexico. The major Madrean sky island ranges in Arizona are the Baboquivari Mountains, Chiricahua Mountains, Huachuca Mountains, Pinaleño Mountains, Santa Catalina Mountains, Santa Rita Mountains and Whetstone Mountains. Similar sky island ranges include the Animas Mountains in New Mexico and the Guadalupe Mountains, Davis Mountains and Chisos Mountains in west Texas.

Madrean pine-oak woodlands

The Madrean pine-oak woodlands is an ecoregion of the Tropical and subtropical coniferous forests biome, located in North America. They are subtropical woodlands found in the mountains of Mexico and the southwestern United States.

Conservation International estimates the woodlands' original area at 461,265 km². The woodlands are surrounded at lower elevations by other ecoregions, mostly tropical and subtropical deserts and xeric shrublands, forests, and grasslands. Woodland areas were isolated from one another and from the pine-oak woodlands of the Sierra Madre Occidental to the south by the warming and drying of the climate since the 1st century CE.

Northeast India-Myanmar pine forests

The Northeast India-Myanmar pine forests is a subtropical coniferous forest ecoregion in the mountains of northeastern India and adjacent portions of Myanmar (also known as Burma).

Sierra Madre Occidental pine-oak forests

The Sierra Madre Occidental pine-oak forests are a subtropical coniferous forest ecoregion of the Sierra Madre Occidental range from the southwest USA region to the western part of Mexico. They are home to a large number of endemic plants and important habitat for wildlife.

Sierra Madre Oriental pine-oak forests

The Sierra Madre Oriental pine-oak forests are a subtropical coniferous forest ecoregion of northeastern and Central Mexico, extending into the state of Texas in the United States.

Sierra Madre de Oaxaca pine-oak forests

The Sierra Madre de Oaxaca pine-oak forests is an ecoregion of the Tropical and subtropical coniferous forests biome, in Southern Mexico.

It occupies the Sierra Madre de Oaxaca, a mountain range which lies mostly within the state of Oaxaca, and extends north into Puebla and Veracruz states. It is one of a chain of pine-oak forest ecoregions extending along the American Cordillera from Oregon and California in the north to Nicaragua in the south.

Sierra Madre del Sur pine-oak forests

The Sierra Madre del Sur pine-oak forests is a subtropical coniferous forest ecoregion of the Sierra Madre del Sur mountain range of southern Mexico.

Sumatran tropical pine forests

The Sumatran tropical pine forests is a subtropical coniferous forest ecoregion on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia.

Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt pine-oak forests

The Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt pine-oak forests is a subtropical coniferous forest ecoregion of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt of central Mexico.

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See also

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