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Alpine Ecosystems
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Alpine tundras are quite numerous and diverse throughout Amur River Basin. They occur wherever there is a mountain ridge high enough and climate harsh enough to bring them into being. They are found in small patches as far west as Mongolia’s Henti  and Russia’s Sokhondo Mountains and as far southeast as slopes of Changbaishan Volcano. However, most of these tundras are rather small and considered part of larger surrounding ecoregions. Only in the north of the basin close to  divide between Pacific and Arctic oceans  conditions happen to be detrimental enough to justify delineation of full-fledged alpine ecoregion:

Trans-Baikal Bald Mountain Tundra

Trans-Baikal mountain tundra is comprised of the bare summits, plateau tops, and gentle high altitude slopes of the Stanovoy, Aldanskii, and Dzhugzhur Ranges.  The east-west orientation of these mountains provides a "trans-Siberian" route for floral dispersion in northern Asia.  Most of the soils are subject to permafrost and the flora has adapted to severe winter winds by finding protection under thin snow.
In sub-alpine areas these are stone birch forests that support few mammals.Small, isolated populations of snow sheep (Ovis nivicola potanini) inhabit the Stanovoy and Dzhugzhur ranges.   Occasionally brown bear, wolverine, and mountain hare move into these forests from dark coniferous forests.  Other mammals characteristic of this Trans-Baikal ecoregion include marmot and Siberian musk deer.  Common birds in stone birch forests include Pallas’ willow warbler (Pylloscopus proregulus  Upland grassland ecosystems are home to reed bunting (Emberiza schoensis) and Eversmann’s apollo beetle (Dryopa eversmanni).  Dwarf alpine forests are inhabited by sable, Northern pika (Ochotona hyperborea), and large-toothed red-backed vole (Clethrionomys rufocanus).
Due to the isolation and inaccessibility of these mountains, the tundra habitat remains largely intact but the network of protected areas needs to be strengthened and enlarged.

Alpine and sub-alpine zones of Sestra Mountain of Sikhote-Alin Range. Photo by V.Medvedev.

Map collection: Land cover, ecosystems and ecoregions



Topography of Amur Heilong River Basin

Landuse/Land cover –SPOT satellite imagery

Terrrestrial ecoregions

Major protected areas of Amur-Heilong


Ecoregions& landscapes photogalleries:

Stanovoi Range: taiga and tundra


GIS:Soil and vegetation

GIS: Land cover/Land use according to satellite imagery


Tundra on summits of Stanovoi Range (Photo by Evgeny Egidarev)

Also look:

Landscape diversity in Amur-Heilong River Basin

Landscape changes throughout recent geological history

Amur-Heilong River Basin Ecoregional zoning

Global 200 ecoregions in Amur-Heilong River Basin

Boreal forests of Amur-Heilong River Basin:

East Siberian taiga

Trans-Baikal coniferous forests

Da Xing'an-Dzhagdy Mountains coniferous forests

Okhotsk-Manchurian taiga

Tiger forests - Temperate forests:

Ussuri broadleaf and mixed forests

Manchurian mixed forests

Northeast China Plain deciduous forests

Changbai Mountains mixed forests

Global 200 Dauria Steppe

Global 200 Amur Wetlands


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