Included here is Manchuria in northern China and Russia. It includes the southeastern part of the Khabarovski Krai including the middle and lower reaches of the Amur River, the Primorski Krai. In Russia it extends to include the Sihote-Akin Mountains on the east and Lake Khanka to the west of these mountains. The border then extends south to the Amur Gulf, the northern part of the Korean Peninsula and includes the basin of the middle and lower reaches of the Yalu River. In the north it includes the southeastern part of the Onon-Argun steppes in the Transbaikalia area together with the basins of the Uldza and Onon rivers and the foothills of the Khingan Mountains in northeastern Mongolia. In China the western boundary extends from the west of the Great Khingan Mountains east to Shenyank and then cuts across the Yalu River.

Manchurian Larch Forest

These are either dominated by Larix gmelinii or the endemic Larix olgensis (Pinaceae). The former extends southeastwards from northern Daxingan-ling via Xiaoxingan-ling, Wanda-shan and Zhangguangcai-ling to Laoye-ling. The few other associated trees include Acer mono, Betula platyphylla, Pinus koraiensis and Quercus mongolica.Typical shrub layer species are Ledum palustre, Rhododendron dauricum, Spiraea media and Vaccinium uliginosum. The rich herb layer is often dominated by species of Carex, but may also include Aegopodium alpestre, Dendrantheme zawadskii, Kitagawia terebinthacea, Mitella nuda, Orthilia secunda, Pulsatilla davurica, Pyrola davurica, Sedum aizoon and the two endemic species Geranium maximowiczii (Geraniaceae) and Saussurea amurensis (Asteraceae). Forests dominated by Larix olgensis occur mainly on Changbai-shan, but extend northwards to Zhanguangcai-ling and Laoye-ling. At low altitudes other canopy trees include Ulmus japonica and the endemic or near endemic Fraxinus mandshurica (Oleaceae) and Tilia amurensis (Tiliaceae), while at higher altitudes other trees such as the endemic Betula costata (Betulaceae) may be present. The under story comprises a well-developed shrub and herb layers. Typical shrubs include Eleutherococcus senticosus, Deutzia parviflora and the endemic or near endemic Corylus mandshurica (Corylaceae) and Ribes mandshuricum (Grossulariaceae).  Vines such as Actinidia kolomikta and Schisandra chinensis may be present, and at ground level Carex species such as C. callitrichus, C. quadriflora and C. ussuriensis are again common. However, on the lower slopes, the herb layer typically becomes dominated by taller species often reaching up to 1 m in height. These include Filipendula angustifolia, Matteuccia struthiopteris, Saussurea grandifolium, Thalictrum tuberiferum and the endemic or near endemic Valeriana amurensis (Valerianceae). 

Manchurian Spruce-Fir Forest

These are dominated in various amounts Picea jezoensis, P. koriensis and Abies nephrolepis. They are usually associated with wetter area in places such as Changhai-shan, Daxingan-ling and Xiaoxingan-ling. The few other associated trees include the endemic Betula costata (Betulaceae), Phellodendron amurense (Rutaceae) and Tilia amurensis (Tiliaceae) in the better-drained areas at high elevation. The under storey usually consists of a mixed shrub-herb layer. Among the shrubs are various endemic species such as Acer tegmentosum (Aceraceae), Berberis amurensis (Berberidaceae), Deutzia glabrata (Saxifragaceae), Euonymus pauciflora (Celastraceae), Lonicera maximowiczii (Caprifoliaceae), Ribes maximowiczianum (Glossulariaceae) and the vine Vitis amurensis (Vitaceae). Common herbs are small, shade tolerant species and include many taiga elements like Goodyera repens, Linnaea borealis, Maiathemum bifolium and Trientalis europaea. Among the endemic herbs are Brachybotrys paridiformis (Boraginaceae) and Leptorumohra amurensis (Dyropteridaceae).

Manchurian Pine Forest

Forest dominated by pine widely distributed. The most common species is Pinus koraiensis, while less common taxa include Pinus desiflora var. ussuriensis (endemic to a small area around Lake Xingkai), Pinus sylvestris var. sylvestriformis (endemic to a small area on the northern slopes of Changbai-shan), and the near endemic Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica, which is confined to Manchuria, Mongolia and eastern Siberia. The other associated trees are somewhat similar from forest to forest, but Pinus koriaensis is often associated with Abies nephrolepis, Picea jezoensis and P. koraiensis, while under storey trees include Populus tremula var. davidiana and the endemic or near endemic Maackia amurensis (Fabaceae). Shrub layer development varies but may include several endemic or near endemic taxa such as Rhamnus diamantiaca (Rhamnaceae), Sambucus recemosa subsp. mandshurica (Caprifoliaceae) and Syringa reticulata var. mandschurica (Oleaceae). Typical herb layer species are Artemisia santolinifolia, Sedum selskianum and Bupleurum longiradiatum, but in some of the dryer sites such as in stands of Pinus syvestris var. mongolica on sand, the herb layer maybe dominated by common steppe species like Agriophyllum squarrosum, Astragalus adsurgens, Filifolium sibiricum, Lilium pensylvanicum, Stipa baicalensis and Thymus dahuricus.

Manchurian Juniper Woods

Woods dominated by Juniper rigida occur in southern Changguangeai-ling on dry, nutrient-poor south-facing slopes and ridges. Canopy cover is usually sparse and trees rarely reach more than about 4 m in height although occasionally reaching 10 m. Juniper is usually the single dominant but a few broad-leaved trees such as Acer truncatum, Betula davurica, Prunus sibiricum, Quercus liaotungensis and Q. magnolica may be present.  The shrub layer is spare rarely exceeding 40 cm in height and is typically dominated by the shade tolerant endemic Spiraea pubescens (Rosaceae), but also includes Indigofera kirilowii, Lespedeza davurica and Rhododendron davurica. Among herb layer are Asparagus oligoclonos, Patrinia rupestris, Scilla scilloides and Scorzonera austriaca, but their cover is often less than 50%.


Kolbek, J., Srutek, M. & Box, E. O. 2003. Forest Vegetation in Northeast Asia. Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Richardson, S. D. 1977. Forestry in communist China. The John Hopkins Press.

Wang, Chi-Wu. 1961. The forests of China with a survey of grassland and desert vegetation. Maria Moors Cabot Foundation. Publication No. 5.