Asia Flora and Fauna

Starting from the shores of the Arctic Ocean going towards the South there is a vast belt of tundra, wider in eastern Siberia. AS follows the vast boreal forest of conifers (taiga), on podzol soils, in western Siberia alternating with peat bogs, ponds and swamps; here Picea obovata and Pinus sibirica predominate in the wetter soils and Pinus silvestris in the drier ones. In central-eastern Siberia the sparse forests of the heliophile Larix dahurica extend, of very superficial soils. Broad-leaved trees, with oaks, limes and walnuts, appear along the warmer and wetter southern Siberian coasts of the Pacific. As the temperature rises and gradually dries up, to the S of the taiga we pass to the wooded steppe with Scots pine, aspen and birch. This is followed, in central Asia, by steppes of grasses on black soils (cernozëm); in the salty soils there is a vegetation of artemisie and halophytes. Along the major rivers there is a gallery forest with poplars and, in drier areas, scrub. Lush is the vegetation of the warm and humid southern coasts of the Caspian (Parrotia persicaZelkova crenata, Buxus sempervirens etc.). The Mediterranean vegetation is limited to the Turkish and Syrian coasts; the Anatolian plateau has forests of fir from Cilicia and cedar from Lebanon to the S and Picea orientalis and Abies nordmanniana to the North on the mountains, which then extend to the Caucasus. The steppes dominate in the Middle East; the interior of Arabia is desert while on the humid mountains of Yemen, there is an evergreen forest with Mediterranean and tropical species; on the mountains along the Red Sea the bushy formations of the frankincense and myrrh plants are typical. On the Himalayas, below the belt of alpine vegetation, with many genera in common with the European mountains, fir forests extend in the western part, followed by evergreen xerophilous oaks and Cedrus deodara descending in a Mediterranean climate.. In the more humid and monsoon-exposed eastern part, conifers are joined by giant rhododendrons; between 1800 and 3000 m above sea level the evergreen humid forest reigns with magnolias, lauraceae, lianas and tree mosses. Further down there are mixed woods with genera of temperate and tropical origin. In central Tibet there is a moss and lichen mountainous desert while cold steppes extend to elsewhere Kobresia and Carex; on the Himalayan side the dry valleys have artemisie vegetation. Central-southern India is occupied, under the monsoon influence, by a deciduous forest due to the dry winter period. In conditions of greater aridity, thorny formations with acacias emerge in the Indus valley, in the upper part of the Gangetic plain and in the Deccan.

According to COUNTRYAAH.COM, Southeast Asia (Indochina, Philippines and Insulindia) shows a vegetation gradient parallel to the decrease in humidity (rainforest, in the islands especially with dipterocarpacee, semi-evergreen forest and, in Indochina, dense and sparse deciduous forest, savannah-scrub a thorny plants), excluding the mountains where evergreen oaks, podocarps appearand some tropical pines. The deltas of large rivers have flooded forests. In China, the hygrophilous tropical forest is limited to the southern coasts, followed by a wider belt within the country, domain of the “Chinese” evergreen forest of mesothermal, mesophilic and hygrophilous broad-leaved trees (lauraceae, oaks and related genera, camphor tree, magnolias) as well as some peculiar conifers. In central China, a mixed forest belt acts as a passage between these formations and the deciduous ones of northern China and Manchuria. The “Chinese” forest also covers southern Japan, while to the North there are deciduous species; on the mountains there is a belt of conifers. In the interior of China, in the direction of the Gobi desert, bushy or steppe grasslands meet as the climate becomes drier. § Each floristic region has its own characteristic fauna. Thus in the tundra generally live arctic zone animals such as the white bear, lemming, mountain hare, polar fox, seal and reindeer. In the taiga there are brown bears, wolves, deer and many fur animals such as ermine, otter, marten, sable, skunkand silver fox. The steppes and deserts of central and southwestern Asia host, even if variously distributed, the lion (Arabia, Mesopotamia and Iran), the Siberian tiger, leopards, jackals, hyenas, antelopes, gazelles, the karakul sheep, the Angora goat, etc., in addition to the camel, which still lives in the wild in Turkestan, the yack and panda, typical of mountainous areas, and some wild equidae that live in the steppes. In the monsoon area there are the tiger (endangered and increasingly threatened), the rhinoceros, the elephant, the cheetah and numerous deer. The gibbons live in Indochina and the large islands of Indonesia, while the orangutan it is widespread only in Borneo and Sumatra. The buffalo is widely diffused. All the forests of the monsoon area are rich in birds, such as parrots, peacocks, pheasants, bustards, mandarin ducks, while among the reptiles there are pythons, boas, crocodiles and the great Komodo monitor, the latter limited to the island of Komodo and to some nearby islets, in the Sunda archipelago.

Asia Flora