Vol17 No.8: 1901-1915
【Title】Discussion on position of China's north-south transitional zone by comparative analysis of mountain altitudinal belts
【Author】KOU Zhi-xiang1,2; YAO Yong-hui1*; HU Yu-fan1,2; ZHANG Bai-ping1
【Addresses】1 State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environment Information System, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China; 2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
【Corresponding author】YAO Yong-hui
【Citation】Kou ZX, Yao YH, Hu YF, et al. (2020) Discussion on position of China's north-south transitional zone by comparative analysis of mountain altitudinal belts. Journal of Mountain Science 17(8). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-019-5893-x
【Abstract】The Qinling Mountains has always been regarded as an essential dividing line between the warm temperate zone and the subtropical zone in eastern China and plays a vital role in the geo-ecological pattern of China. However, there is controversy about the specific location of this geographical boundary in the academic community. As a product of the combined effects of zonal and non-zonal factors, the mountain altitudinal belts (MABs) can reflect both the horizontal zonality and the vertical zonality of vegetation distribution. Using the MAB information, we can not only profoundly understand the complex mountain system of Qinling-Daba Mountains but can also judge its nature as a geographical boundary more scientifically. Therefore, based on the comparative analysis of basal belt, dominant belt characteristics and belt structure characteristics of the MABs in Qinling-Daba Mountains, subtropical and temperate mountains, this paper analyzed the MAB differences and similarities among Qinling-Daba Mountains, subtropical and temperate typical mountains, to reveal the vegetation distribution characteristics in the north-south transitional zone. The results show that: (1) The MABs of the southern part of Qinling-Daba Mountains (southern slope of the Daba Mountains) are the same or similar to those of the Subtropical Mountains, and the MABs of the northern part of Qinling-Daba Mountains (northern slope of the Qinling Mountains) are similar to those of the temperate mountains. While it shows obvious transitional characteristics in the vast area between the northern slope of the Daba Mountains and the southern slope of the Qinling Mountains: the basal belts gradually transit from the evergreen broad-leaved forest belt (basal belt in subtropical mountains) to the evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved mixed forest belt, and the dominant belts also transit from the evergreen broad-leaved forest belt to the evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved mixed forest belt or the deciduous broad-leaved forest belt. (2) The transitional zone between the subtropical zone and the warm temperate zone is located between the northern slope of the Daba Mountains and the southern slope of the Qinling Mountains. The southern boundary of the transitional zone is along the northern slope of Shennongjia Mountain-the northern slope of Micang Mountain-Baishuijiang Nature Reserve, and the northern boundary is along the southern slope of Funiu Mountain-the southern slope of Taibai Mountain-Lianhua Mountain. Additionally, in the transitional zone, the average temperature in January is between -5°C and 1°C, the annual average temperature is between 10°C and 13°C except Hanzhong Basin and Hanshui Valley, and the accumulated temperature above 10°C ranges from 2000°C to 4000°C, the annual rainfall is about 800-1000 mm. The results provide a scientific basis for revealing the characteristics of China's north-south transitional zone and scientific division of the boundary between the subtropical zone and warm temperate zone in China.
【Keywords】Qinling-Daba Mountains; Mountain altitudinal belt (MAB); North-south transitional zone; Subtropical zone; Warm temperate zone; Vegetation