A Scheme of Vegetation Classification of Taiwan, China
SONG Yong-Chang, XU Guo-Shi ( Department of Environmental Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China; Institute of Management of Nature Resources, National Donghua University, Hualian 974, China)
The complexity of natural conditions leads to the complexity of vegetation types of Taiwan of China, which has both tropical and cold-temperate vegetation types, and could be depicted as the vegetation miniature of China or even for the world. The physiognomic-floristic principle was adopted for the vegetation classification of Taiwan. The units of rank from top to bottom are: class of vegetation-type, order of vegetation-type, vegetation-type, alliance group, alliance and association. The high-rank units (class , order and vegetation-type) are classified by ecological physiognomy, while the median and lower units by the species composition of community. At the same time the role of dominant species and character species will also be considered. The dominant species are the major factor concerned with the median ranks (alliance group, and alliance) because they are the chief components of community, additionally their remarkable appearance is easy to identify; the character species (or diagnostic species) are for relatively low ranks (association) because they will clearly show the interspecies relation-ship and the characteristics of community. According to this principle, vegetation of Taiwan is classi-fied into five classes of vegetation-types (forests, thickets, herbaceous vegetation, rock fields vegetation, swamps and aquatic vegetation), 29 orders of vegetation-types (cold-temperate needle-leaved forests, cool-temperate needle-leaved forests, warm-temperate needle-leaved forests, warm needle-leaved forests, deciduous broad-leaved forests, mixed evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved forests, evergreen mossy forests, evergreen sclerophyllous forests, evergreen broad-leaved forests, tropical rain forests, tropical monsoon forests, coastal forests, warm bamboo forests, evergreen needle-leaved thickets, sclerophyllous thickets, deciduous broad-leaved thickets, evergreen broad-leaved thickets, xerothermic thorn-succulent thickets, bamboo thickets, meadows, sparse shrub grasslands, savannahic grasslands, sparse scree communities, chasmophytic vegetation, woody swamps, herbaceous swamps, moss bogs, fresh water aquatic vegetation, salt water aquatic vegetation) and 53 vegetation-types. The main alliances of each vegetation-type are described.