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Waters and water management

Ecosystems and ecoregions

Species diversity and use of biological resources

Nature conservation: econet and protected areas

Countries & cultures


Land use

International policy

Ecosystems and ecoregions
Terrestrial and Freshwater Eco-regions of Amur-Heilong River Basin
Related maps, pictures, links

For conservation purposes, there is more than one way to divide the Amur Basin into operational based on its biogeographic complexity.  Most zoning schemes are developed for a single country.  For example, a detailed biogeographic zoning and assessment of species diversity for conservation purposes has been completed by WWF-Russia for the Russian Far East (Martynenko et al. 2004), but comparable data are not available for China and Mongolia (Map of South RFE  species richness -each polygon corresponds to particular biogeographic division)
So to be consistent, in a global context, we use world-wide terrestrial eco-region zoning that is a much more general scheme that covers all ecosystems of the world.  It was developed by WWF and partners as a guide to nature conservation planning.  ( Olson DM, Dinerstein E. 2001. WWF defines an eco-region as a large area of land or water that contains a geographically distinct assemblage of natural communities that:
-share a preponderance of their species and ecological dynamics;
-share similar environmental conditions, and;
-interact ecologically in ways that are critical for their long-term persistence.

The WWF Conservation Science Program identified 825 terrestrial eco-regions across the globe.  Fifteen main eco-regions are described within the Amur-Heilong basin by WWF.(see Map of terrestrial ecoregions):

Boreal forests of Amur-Heilong River Basin:

-East Siberian taiga

-Trans-Baikal coniferous forests

-Da Xing'an-Dzhagdy Mountains coniferous forests

-Okhotsk-Manchurian taiga

Alpine ecosystems:

-Trans-Baikal Bald Mountain Tundra

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:

-Daurian forest steppe

-Mongolian-Manchurian grassland

-Nen River grassland

Global 200 Amur Wetlands:

-Amur meadow steppe

-Suifen-Khanka meadows and forest meadows

-Wetlands of Lower Amur Mountain Valley Ecoregion

We also present a fragment from the map Freshwater Ecoregions of the World developed in 2007.(FWOW Map –fragment for Amur).  Since it is brand new we will provide more detailed descriptions of individual freshwater eco-regions in the future.

Map collection: Land cover, ecosystems and ecoregions



Topography of Amur Heilong River Basin

Landuse/Land cover –SPOT satellite imagery

Dominant soil types of Amur River Basin

Vegetation map

Vegetation density

Change in Forest Cover in Amur Heilong River Basin


Floristic zones

Fauna types

Terrrestrial ecoregions

Global 200 Ecoregions

Freshwater ecoregions

Map collection: Natural vegetation zones change ( Time series - 7 maps)

Ecoregions& landscapes photogalleries:

Ussury forests

Small Hinggan


Daurian steppe

Song-Nen plain

Amur meadows and wetlands – Amur midflow

Khanka Lake and upper Ussury wetlands

Lower Amur wetlands


GIS:Soil and vegetation

GIS: Land cover/Land use according to satellite imagery


Fall in Ussury Forests. Primorsky Province. (Photo by V.Solkin)

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



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