Taiheiyo evergreen forests

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The Taiheiyo evergreen forests is a temperate broadleaf forest ecoregion of Japan.

The ecoregion covers an area of 138,300 square kilometers (53,400 sq mi) on the Pacific (Taiheiyo) side of the islands of Honshū, Shikoku, and Kyūshū. The influence of the Japan Current creates a humid climate with mild winters and a long growing season, which nurtured evergreen broadleaf forests. Laurel forests grew near the coast, and Oak forests were predominant inland. At higher elevations, the Taiheiyo evergreen forests yielded to the Taiheiyo montane deciduous forests of the interior.[1]

The forests include a mix of species with origins in temperate and tropical Asia. Species with tropical origins include two species of the conifer Podocarpus,, two species of Pittosporum, several species in the Laurel family (Machilus, Neolitsea, and Cinnamomum), and the Cycad Cycas revoluta. Trees with origins in temperate Eurasia include species of evergreen Oaks and Castanopsis.[2]

The ecoregion is home to Japan's largest cities, including Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, and Nagoya, and most of forests have been converted to agriculture or cities. Remnant areas of forest remain around temples and shrines, on steep slopes, and in gorges. Secondary growth woodlands, called Satoyama, are found on hillsides bordering farmlands.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ World Wildlife Fund (2001). "Taiheiyo evergreen forests". WildWorld Ecoregion Profile. National Geographic Society. Archived from the original on 2010-03-08. Retrieved September 5, 2010. 
  2. ^ Haggett, Peter (2002). Encyclopedia of World Geography. 2nd Ed. Marshall Cavendish Co., Tarrytown, New York. p. 3089

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