Altitudinal zonation

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Altitudinal zonation or Altitudinal variation is the creation of zones to explain the different characteristic climates at different elevations. The different zones can support different vegetation, agriculture, etc. As one moves to higher elevation points one enters different altitudinal zones. Founded by a geographer named Alexander von Humboldt. Humboldt is also credited with Environmental Lapse Rate - the measure of how many degrees temperature drops as you move to higher elevation. By his delineation (in 1817) of "isothermal lines", he at once suggested the idea and devised the means of comparing the climatic conditions of various countries.



Saturated adiabatic lapse rate is usually near +4.9 °C/1,000 m (+2.7 °F/1,000 ft or +1.51°C/1,000 ft) at temperatures above freezing. [1]

Europe and Mediterranean sea

Central Europe: Switzerland & Germany

Mediterranean: Corsica

Tropical Andes 10°S

File:Qoyllur R'Iti panoramic overview.jpg
Santuary of Qoyllur Rit'i - Mountain Tundra

Classic Version - Regions of the Amazonic Side

(the warmest month has an average temperature of below 22 °C or 72 °F);

(the warmest month has an average temperature of below 18 °C or 64 °F);

(the definition of Tree line of Coniferae: the warmest month has an average temperature of below 10 °C or 50 °F );

(just warmer than -1 °C over rocks or just warmer than -3 °C over snow).


12°1′19″S 77°6′52″W / 12.02194°S 77.11444°W / -12.02194; -77.11444 (Lima airport)

16°20′28″S 71°34′59″W / 16.34111°S 71.58306°W / -16.34111; -71.58306 (Arequipa airport). Railway:

Port of Matarani/ Mollendo; Arequipa; Juliaca; Puno, 3,860 m (Lake Titicaca, 3,812 m); Cusco (Estacion del Sur Wanchaq);

Cusco (Estacion San Pedro, narrow gauge); Machu Picchu, 2,430 m; Quillabamba around 1,000 m (Urubamba River - PeruRail)

13°32′08″S 71°56′37″W / 13.53556°S 71.94361°W / -13.53556; -71.94361 (Cuzco airport)

13°32′45″S 71°13′59″W / 13.54583°S 71.23306°W / -13.54583; -71.23306 (El Señor de Qoyllur Rit'i). Peak Colquepunku, 5,450 m.

13°47′19″S 71°13′52″W / 13.78861°S 71.23111°W / -13.78861; -71.23111 (Ausangate)

14°28′59″S 70°59′20″W / 14.48306°S 70.98889°W / -14.48306; -70.98889 (Abra La Raya)


Kilimanjaro, Tanzania (3°7′0″S 37°35′0″E / 3.11667°S 37.58333°E / -3.11667; 37.58333 (Kilimanjaro)) & Mount Kenya, Kenya, (0°9′0″S 37°18′0″E / 0.15°S 37.3°E / -0.15; 37.3 (Mount Kenya))

Vulcano Kibo - Uhuru Peak, 5,895 m rock and ice. As the conifers are absent, the Tree line is lower. [2][14][15]


Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests

-. Eastern Arc forests [17]

-. Northern Zanzibar-Inhambane coastal forest mosaic [18]

Flooded grasslands and savannas

-. East African halophytics [19]

Tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands

-. Northern Acacia-Commiphora bushlands and thickets [20]

-. Serengeti volcanic grasslands [21]

-. Southern Acacia-Commiphora bushlands and thickets [22]

Montane grasslands and shrublands

-. East African montane moorlands [23]


-. East African mangroves [24]

Vegetation zones

File:Flora of East Tropical Africa Peaks Grid.svg
Simplified grid system. Oldest mountain on the left, Ngaliema - Mount Stanley, 3,951 m; Rwenzori Mountains or Mountains of the Moon (Africa).[25][26]

In the altitudes between 3,400 meters (11,000 feet) and 4,500 meters (15,000 feet) some of the most extreme examples of adaptations can be found. At altitudes below 3,400 meters (12,000 feet) the daily temperature fluctuations are less extreme, the average daily temperature steadily increases, and the growth forms and ecology of the Dendroseneico reflect the increased influence of biotic factors (such as competition for light) over abiotic factors (such as nightly frost). [26]

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, 13 peaks

It is the glacier nearest of the Equator on the North Hemisphere. The landmarks 4,506 m and 4,680 m at the end of the glacier can be achieved through the cable car from Ganhaizi (tibetan for dry lake, a grassland with conifers at 3,400 m). The mountain desert begins around 4,000 m. The Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan (Unesco World Heritage Site) encompasses the watershed areas of the Yangtse (Jinsha), Mekong (Lan Cang) and Salween (Nujiang) rivers and is the joint of the Palearctic ecozone and the Indomalaya ecozone. [27]


Palearctic ecozone

Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests

-. Yunnan Plateau subtropical evergreen forests [29]

Temperate coniferous forests

-. Hengduan Mountains subalpine conifer forests [30]

-. Northeastern Himalayan subalpine conifer forests [31]

-. Nujiang Langcang Gorge alpine conifer and mixed forests [32]

Montane grasslands and shrublands

-. Eastern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows [33]

Indomalaya ecozone

Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests

-. Northern Indochina subtropical forests [34]

-. Northern Triangle subtropical forests [35]

-. Red River freshwater swamp forests [36]

-. South China-Vietnam subtropical evergreen forests [37]

-. Hainan Island monsoon rain forests [38]

-. Taiwan subtropical evergreen forests [39]

-. South Taiwan monsoon rain forests [40]

Temperate broadleaf and mixed forests

-. Northern Triangle temperate forests [41]


-. Indochina mangroves [42]

Ferrocarril Chihuahua al Pacífico

average annual precipitation 860 mm, 23°12′0″N 106°25′0″W / 23.2°N 106.41667°W / 23.2; -106.41667 (Mazatlan)

average annual precipitation 368 mm, 28°38′0″N 106°05′0″W / 28.63333°N 106.08333°W / 28.63333; -106.08333 (Chihuahua) [2]


Nearctic ecozone

Tropical and subtropical coniferous forests

-. Sierra Madre Occidental pine-oak forests [43]

-. Sierra Madre Oriental pine-oak forests [44]

Deserts and xeric shrublands

-. Chihuahuan desert [45]

-. Tamaulipan mezquital [46]

Neotropic ecozone

Tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests

-. Sinaloan dry forests [47]


-. Bahia mangroves [48]

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

average annual precipitation 2,039 mm, 23°46′0″N 90°23′0″E / 23.76667°N 90.38333°E / 23.76667; 90.38333 (Dacca)

average annual precipitation 1,739 mm, 22°32′0″N 88°20′0″E / 22.53333°N 88.33333°E / 22.53333; 88.33333 (Calcutta)

average annual precipitation 11,777 mm, 25°15′0″N 91°44′0″E / 25.25°N 91.73333°E / 25.25; 91.73333 (Cherrapunji)

average annual precipitation 3,037 mm, 27°3′0″N 88°16′0″E / 27.05°N 88.26667°E / 27.05; 88.26667 (Darjeeling) [2][49]


Palearctic ecozone

Montane grasslands and shrublands

-. Central Tibetan Plateau alpine steppe [50]

-. Eastern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows [33]

-. Tibetan Plateau alpine shrub and meadows [51]

-. Yarlung Zambo arid steppe [52]

Indomalaya ecozone

Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests

-. Brahmaputra Valley semi-evergreen forests [53]

-. Lower Gangetic Plains moist deciduous forests [54]

-. Meghalaya subtropical forests [55]

-. Sundarbans freshwater swamp forests [56]

Temperate broadleaf and mixed forests

-. Eastern Himalayan broadleaf forests [57]

Temperate coniferous forests

-. Eastern Himalayan subalpine conifer forests [58]

Tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands

-. Terai-Duar savanna and grasslands [59]


-. Sundarbans mangroves [60]

See also



  1. Adiabatic Lapse Rate, IUPAC Goldbook
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4
  4. Heinz Ellenberg: Vegetation Mitteleuropas mit den Alpen in ökologischer, dynamischer und historischer Sicht. Ulmer, Stuttgart 1996
  5. Hannes Mayer (1974); Wälder des Ostalpenraumes - Standort, Aufbau und waldbauliche Bedeutung der wichtigsten Waldgesellschaften in den Ostalpen samt Vorland.
  6. Hannes Mayer (1984); Wälder Europas.
  7. O. Wittmann (1983); Standortkundliche Landschaftsgliederung von Bayern. In: Materialien 21, Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Landesentwicklung und Umweltfragen, München.
  8. Hannes Mayer (1988); Die Wälder Korsikas. Wanderungen durch ein Waldparadies.
  9. Reille, M., Gamisans, J., de Beaulieu, J.-L., Andrieu, V. (2009); The late-glacial at Lac de Creno (Corsica, France): a key site in the western Mediterranean basin; New Phytologist Vol. 135, Issue 3, pp. 547 - 559 [1]
  10. Gamisans, J. (1991); La végétation de la Corse, Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de la Ville de Genève, Suisse.
  11. The Chagga Homegardens on Kilimanjaro
  12. Hemp, C. (2005); The Chagga Home Gardens – relict areas for endemic Saltatoria Species (Insecta: Orthoptera) on Mt. Kilimanjaro. Biodiversity and Conservation 125: 203-210.
  13. Hemp, A. (2006); The banana forests of Kilimanjaro. Biodiversity and conservation of the agroforestry system of the Chagga Home Gardens. Biodiversity and Conservation 15(4): 1193-1217.
  15. Allan, Iain (1981). The Mountain Club of Kenya Guide to Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro. Nairobi: Mountain Club of Kenya. ISBN 978-9966985606. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 WWF Global 200: World Map of 14 Terrestrial Biomes and 867 Ecoregions
  17. AT0109 Eastern Arc forests, WWF
  18. AT0125 Northern Zanzibar-Inhambane coastal forest mosaic, WWF
  19. AT0901 East African halophytics, WWF
  20. AT0711 Northern Acacia-Commiphora bushlands and thickets, WWF
  21. AT0714 Serengeti volcanic grasslands, WWF
  22. AT0716 Southern Acacia-Commiphora bushlands and thickets, WWF
  23. AT1005 East African montane moorlands, WWF
  24. AT1402 East African mangroves, WWF
  25. "Africa Ultra-Prominences". 84 Mountains with prominence of 1,500m (4,921 ft) or greater. PEAKLIST. Retrieved 2008-05-05. 
  26. 26.0 26.1 Knox, Eric B. (2004). "Adaptive radiation of African montane plants". In Ulf Dieckmann. Adaptive Speciation. Cambridge University Press. pp. 476 pages. ISBN 0521828422. Retrieved 2008-03-29. 
  29. PA0102 Yunnan Plateau subtropical evergreen forests, WWF
  30. PA0509 Hengduan Mountains subalpine conifer forests, WWF
  31. PA0514 Northeastern Himalayan subalpine conifer forests, WWF
  32. PA0516 Nujiang Langcang Gorge alpine conifer and mixed forests, WWF
  33. 33.0 33.1 PA1003 Eastern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows, WWF
  34. IM0137 Northern Indochina subtropical forests, WWF
  35. IM0140 Northern Triangle subtropical, WWF
  36. IM0147 Red River freshwater swamp, WWF
  37. IM0149 South China-Vietnam subtropical evergreen forests, WWF
  38. IM0169 Hainan Island monsoon rain forests, WWF
  39. IM0172 Taiwan subtropical evergreen forests, WWF
  40. IM0171 South Taiwan monsoon rain forests, WWF
  41. IM0402 Northern Triangle temperate forests, WWF
  42. IM1402 Indochina mangroves, WWF
  43. NA0302 Sierra Madre Occidental pine-oak forests, WWF
  44. NA0303 Sierra Madre Oriental pine-oak forests, WWF
  45. NA1303 Chihuahuan desert, WWF
  46. NA1312 Tamaulipan mezquital, WWF
  47. NT0228 Sinaloan dry forests, WWF
  48. NT1404 Bahia mangroves, WWF
  49. Geoklima, Software: Geoklima 2.1
  50. PA1002 Central Tibetan Plateau alpine steppe, WWF
  51. PA1020 Tibetan Plateau alpine shrub and meadows, WWF
  52. PA1022 Yarlung Zambo arid steppe, WWF
  53. IM0105 Brahmaputra Valley semi-evergreen forests, WWF
  54. IM0120 Lower Gangetic Plains moist deciduous forests, WWF
  55. IM0126 Meghalaya subtropical forests, WWF
  56. IM0162 Sundarbans freshwater swamp forests, WWF
  57. IM0401 Eastern Himalayan broadleaf forests, WWF
  58. IM0501 Eastern Himalayan subalpine conifer forests, WWF
  59. IM0701 Terai-Duar savanna and grasslands, WWF
  60. IM1406 Sundarbans mangroves, WWF


Template:Terrestrial biomesde:Höhenstufe (Ökologie) es:Cliseride no:Høyderegioner i biogeografien pl:Piętra roślinności pt:Zonas climáticas por altitude

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