Northern Chinese Montane Pinus tabulaeformis Forest

Not confined to a distinct altitudinal range these forests occur throughout the deciduous hardwood zone, but usually on dryer sites or on more exposed solar slopes. On the most rocky, arid slopes other conifers include Thuja orientalis and occasional Juniperus rigida.

Northern Chinese Montane Mixed Forest

These forests form a narrow belt between the lowland oak forest and upland birch forests. In the Taihong Mountains they occur at altitudes of between 1000-1400 m. The main tree species include Acer truncatum, Fraxinus chinensis, Juglans mandshurica and Tilia mongolica. In the upper altitudinal zones species such as Acer davidii, Betula chinensis, Quercus aliena, Q. liaotungensis, Sorbus discolor and the endemic Ostrya liana (Betulaceae) can be found.

Northern Chinese Upland Birch Forest

Virtually all of the high mountains of this zone have stands of birch forest. These can be clearly distinguished by their white boles and pale green crowns that turn bright yellow in autumn. In the Hopei-Chahar region pure stands of Betula fruticosa occur at altitudes of between 1000-2200 m, but at lower altitudes Quercus liaotungensis appears together with other birches such as Betula chinensis. In places Betula japonica var. mandshurica and B. albo-sinensis commonly occur together with Picea asperata, Populus tremula var. davidiana, Prunus padus, Salix wallichiana and Sorbus pohuashanensis. The ground cover of these forests is relatively sparse compared with the lower oak forests and is largely composed of herbaceous species commonly found in the montane conifer forests and alpine regions. They include Aconitum lycoctonum, Aquilegia oxysepala, Cardamine macrophylla, Cortusa matthioli var. pekinensis, Cypripedium macranthum, Drada lanceolata, Pyrola rotundifolia, Saussurea sobarocephala, Solidago virga-aurea, Trollius chinensis, Valeriana dubia and Viola biflora.


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