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Date: 2019-07-21 Page is: DBtxt001.php L0700-CS-NC-L-Ecoregions



NATURAL CAPITAL - LAND - TERRESTRIAL ECOREGIONS
LAND is a critical constraint on the performance of the socio-enviro-economic system ... but almost totally misunderstood in policy making

This excellent material has been compiled by the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF)
A total of 14 Major Habitat Types reflect the diverse array of organisms adapted to life on land. These habitats range from the wettest of forest types to the driest and hottest desert conditions. Moreover, terrestrial communities represented here include the full extent of continental topographic relief: from mangrove forests by the sea to the alpine meadows of the Himalayas.
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1 ... Deserts and xeric shrublands GO 1 Open external link
2 ... Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests GO 2 Open external link
3 ... Tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests GO 3 Open external link
4 ... Tropical and suptropical coniferous forests GO 4 Open external link
5 ... Temperate broadleaf and mixed forests GO 5 Open external link
6 ... Temperate Coniferous Forest GO 6 Open external link
7 ... Boreal forests / Taiga GO 7 Open external link
8 ... Tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas and shrublands GO 8 Open external link
9 ... Temperate grasslands, savannas and shrublands GO 9 Open external link
10 ... Flooded grasslands and savannas GO 10 Open external link
11 ... Montane grasslands and shrublands GO 11 Open external link
12 ... Tundra GO 12 Open external link
13 ... Mediterranean Forests, woodlands and scrubs GO 13 Open external link
14 ... Mangroves GO 14 Open external link
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1 ... Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
WWF Description ... Deserts and xeric shrublands
'http://www.worldwildlife.org/biomes/deserts-and-xeric-shrublands'
GO TOP Open external link

Worldwide, Deserts and Xeric Shrublands vary greatly in the amount of annual rainfall they receive; generally, however, evaporation exceeds rainfall in these ecoregions, usually less than 10 inches annually. Temperature variability is also extremely diverse in these remarkable lands. Many deserts, such as the Sahara, are hot year-round but others, such as Asia's Gobi, become quite cold in winter.

Temperature extremes are a characteristic of most deserts. Searing daytime heat gives way to cold nights because there is no insulation provided by humidity and cloud cover. Not surprisingly, the diversity of climatic conditions - though quite harsh - supports a rich array of habitats. Many of these habitats are ephemeral in nature - reflecting the paucity and seasonality of available water.

Woody-stemmed shrubs and plants characterize vegetation in these regions. Above all, these plants have evolved to minimize water loss. Animal biodiversity is equally well adapted and quite diverse.

The Namib-Karoo deserts of southwestern Africa support the world’s richest desert floras, while the Chihuahuan Desert and central Mexican deserts are a close second and are the richest Neotropical deserts. Australian deserts support the richest reptile faunas. The Carnavon Xeric Scrub of western Australia is a regional center of endemism for a range of taxa.

Unusual desert communities dominated by giant columnar cacti occur in the Sonoran and Baja deserts of North America, while the spiny deserts and shrublands of southwestern Madagascar are globally unique in terms of structure and taxa (although some Baja California communities are partially convergent in structure).

The Atacama Desert ecoregion of western South America (as well as the adjacent transition area of the Monte / Puna / Yungas) and the Horn of Africa deserts were recognized as some of the more outstanding regional centers of richness and endemism. The Central Asian deserts, while not nearly as rich as Afrotropical or Neotropical deserts, are representative of the region’s deserts.

Biodiversity Patterns
Deserts and xeric shrublands may have extraordinarily rich floras with very high alpha and beta diversity; reptile faunas may also be very diverse; local endemism may be quite pronounced in some regions.

Minimum Requirements
Many species track seasonally variable and patchy resources and require large natural landscapes to persist; water sources and riparian habitats are critical for the persistence of many species.

Sensitivity to Disturbance
Highly sensitive to grazing, soil disturbance, burning, plowing, and other cover alteration; restoration potential can be very low and regeneration very slow; exotic species may be a serious problem.

AUSTRALASIA
Western Australia Southern central Australia Eastern central Australia Western Australia Southern Australia Southern Australia Northwestern Australia Western central Australia Central Australia Western coast of Australia

AFROTROPICAL
Southern Africa: Southern Namibia into South Africa Arabian Peninsula: Yemen and Saudi Arabia Arabian Peninsula: Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Oman Somali montane xeric woodlands Islands east of the Horn of Africa and south of Yemen Red Sea coastal desert Africa: Namibia Africa: Namibia Nama Karoo Masai xeric grasslands and shrublands Madagascar succulent woodlands Madagascar spiny thickets Africa: Coastal Namibia and Angola Kalahari xeric savanna Southern Africa: Islands about half-way between southern Madagascar and southern Mozambique Eastern Africa: Somalia Arabian Peninsula: Oman and United Arab Emirates Ethiopian xeric grasslands and shrublands Eritrean coastal desert North central Africa: Eastern Chad and small area of western Sudan Western Asia: Oman, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia Aldabra Island xeric scrub

INDO-MALAYAN
Southern Asia: Western India into Pakistan Southern Asia: Eastern India and western Pakistan Southern Asia: Eastern central Pakistan Southern Asia: Southern India into the island of Sri Lanka

NEARCTIC
Wyoming Basin shrub steppe Southern North America: Southern United States into northeastern Mexico Southern North America: Northeastern Mexico Southern North America: Southwestern United States into northwestern Mexico Snake-Columbia shrub steppe Mojave desert Southern North America: Central Mexico Southern North America: Baja California Peninsula in western Mexico Great Basin shrub steppe Colorado Plateau shrublands Southern North America: Northern Mexico into southwestern United States Central Mexican matorral Southern North America: Baja California Peninsula in Mexico California montane chaparral and woodlands California interior chaparral and woodlands Western North America: Southwestern United States into northwestern Mexico

NEOTROPICAL
Islands in the Atlantic Ocean about halfway between South America and Africa Island group in the southeast Caribbean Southern North America: Southern Mexico Southern North America: Southern Baja California in western Mexico Northern South America: Northernwestern Venezuela Guatemala South America: Island off the coast of Colombia in the Pacific Ocean Islands of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean Northern South America: North-central and coastal Venezuela Northern South America: Northern Colombia and northwest Venezuela Galápagos Islands, off the coast of Ecuador Southeastern Cuba Cayman Islands in the Caribbean Northern South America: Northeastern Brazil Western South America: Northwestern Chile Caribbean Islands off the coast of Venezuela Northern South America: Northern Venezuela

PALEARCTIC
Northern Africa: Southeastern Algeria, northern Niger, Mali, and Mauritania Tibesti-Jebel Uweinat montane xeric woodlands Central Asia: Western China Africa--Mauritania, Mali, Algeria, Niger, Chad, Sudan Southern Iran, eastern Iraq, and western Pakistan Northern Africa Southern Asia: Southern Afghanistan into Pakistan and Iran Red Sea Nubo-Sindian tropical desert and semi-desert Central Asia: Central China South central Asia: Northern Afghanistan North Saharan steppe and woodlands Western Asia: Northern Iraq into Syria and Jordan Central Asia: Iran and Turkmenistan Central Asia: Kazakhstan Junggar Basin semi-desert Central Asia: Western Mongolia into southern Russia Eastern Asia: Central Mongolia Eastern Gobi desert steppe Southwestern Asia: Central and eastern Iran into western Afghanistan Central Asia: Central Turkmenistan stretching into Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan Asia: Southeastern Kazakhstan Central Asia: Southern Kazakhstan into Uzbekistan Southern central Asia: Southeastern Afganistan Western Asia: Along the coast of the Caspian Sea in Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Iran Indian subcontinent--Pakistan, Afghanistan Central Asia: Northern Afghanistan, southern Turkmenistan, southern Uzbekistan, extending into Iran and Tajikistan Southwestern Asia: Azerbaijan, into Georgia and Iran Atlantic coastal desert Southwestern Asia: Most of Saudi Arabia, extending into Oman, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, and Syria Asia: China and Mongolia Afghanistan Southern Europe: Portions of the southern Italian mainland and parts of the islands of Corsica, Sardinia, and Sicily


2 ... Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests
.
WWF Description ... Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests
'http://www.worldwildlife.org/biomes/tropical-and-subtropical-moist-broadleaf-forests'
GO TOP Open external link

Generally found in large, discontinuous patches centered on the equatorial belt and between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, Tropical and Subtropical Moist Forests (TSMF) are characterized by low variability in annual temperature and high levels of rainfall (>200 centimeter annually). Forest composition is dominated by semi-evergreen and evergreen deciduous tree species.

These trees number in the thousands and contribute to the highest levels of species diversity in any terrestrial major habitat type. In general, biodiversity is highest in the forest canopy which can be divided into five layers: overstory canopy with emergent crowns, a medium layer of canopy, lower canopy, shrub level, and finally understory.

These forests are home to more species than any other terrestrial ecosystem: Half of the world's species may live in these forests, where a square kilometer may be home to more than 1,000 tree species. These forests are found around the world, particularly in the Indo-Malayan Archipelagos, the Amazon Basin, and the African Congo. A perpetually warm, wet climate promotes more explosive plant growth than in any other environment on Earth.

A tree here may grow over 75 feet in height in just 5 years. From above, the forest appears as an unending sea of green, broken only by occassional, taller 'emergent' trees. These towering emergents are the realm of hornbills, toucans, and the harpy eagle.

The canopy is home to many of the forest's animals, including apes and monkeys. Below the canopy, a lower understory hosts to snakes and big cats. The forest floor, relatively clear of undergrowth due to the thick canopy above, is prowled by other animals such as gorillas and deer.

All levels of these forests contain an unparalleled diversity of invertebrate species, including New Guinea’s unique stick insects and bird wing butterflies that can grow over one foot in length. These forests are under tremendous threat from man. Many forests are being cleared for farmland, while others are subject to large-scale commercial logging.

An area the size of Ireland is destroyed every few years, largely due to commercial logging and secondary impacts. Such activities threaten the future of these forests are the primary contributor to the extinction of 100-200 species a day on average over the next 40 years (exotics on islands and loss of island habitats are other major factors)

At the current rate of deforestation, more than 17,000 species will go extinct every year, which is more than 1,000 times the rate before man arrived on this planet.

Among the 13 terrestrial major habitat types, the largest number of ecoregions by far falls within the TSMF (50 ecoregions or 35% of all terrestrial ecoregions). The high number of ecoregions within this major habitat type reflects the biological richness and complexity of tropical moist forests.

Although there are more TSMF in the Indo-Malayan Biogeographic realm (17) than in the Neotropics (12), this is partly due to the archipelagic distributions of Asian tropical moist forests and their characteristic biotas. Four of the Asian TSMFs are small island systems, and the original extent of all of the Asian ecoregions fit easily within the area covered by western Amazonian moist forests.

The most diverse terrestrial ecoregions occur in the Western Arc forests of the Amazon Basin, with close rivals in the Atlantic Forest ecoregion of Brazil, the Chocó-Daríen ecoregion of northwestern South America, and Peninsular Malaysia and northern Borneo forest ecoregions. The montane forest biotas of the Northern Andes are remarkable for their globally high rates of beta-diversity and extraordinary local endemism.

The forests of the Guayanan region and Cuba are remarkable for their endemism and unusual biogeographic relationships. The Congolian coastal forests are likely the most diverse in the Afrotropics, although diversity information is scarce for several ecoregions in the central Congo Basin. The Guinean moist forests support many species not found in the Central African region.

The Albertine Rift montane forests are extremely rich for some taxa, such as birds, and have a high degree of endemism. The distinctiveness of the Eastern Arc Montane and East African Coastal Forests is attributable to their great age and isolation7). Madagascar forests and shrublands are also highly distinctive at global scales, even at higher taxonomic levels8). Tropical moist forests of New Guinea and New Caledonia are highly distinctive at global scales9), although Australian moist forests do share many affinities with New Guinea.

The forests of Sulawesi are noted for the regionally high degree of endemism in a range of taxa, a phenomenon also seen in the Philippines moist forests10) and in the Lesser Sundas Semi-evergreen Forests. The Western Ghats and southwestern Sri Lankan moist forests are distinctive due to their isolation and long history. Tropical moist forests on oceanic islands are often highly distinctive due to high rates of endemism, extraordinary radiations of taxa and adaptive radiation, and relictual or unique higher taxa.

Biodiversity Patterns
These habitats may display high beta diversity, particularly between isolated montane areas and along altitudinal gradients; local and regional endemism can be pronounced in some regions.

Minimum Requirements
Large natural landscapes required in some regions because larger vertebrates track widely distributed seasonal or patchy resources; water sources and riparian vegetation important for wildlife in drier regions.

Sensitivity to Disturbance
These fragile habitats are highly sensitive to plowing, overgrazing, and excessive burning due to their challenging climatic and soil conditions; larger vertebrates sensitive to even low levels of hunting.

AUSTRALASIA
Islands off the northeast coast of mainland Papua Southeastern Asia: Small islands scattered across Southeastern Asia: Islands of Biak and Numfoor in Southeastern Asia: Island of Buru in Indonesia Southeastern Asia: Extends across central New Guin Southeastern Asia: Islands of Halmahera, Moratai, Southeastern Asia: Eastern Papua New Guinea Southeastern Asia: Island of Yapen in Indonesia Series of small islands off the eastern tip of Pap Papua New Guinea, in the western Pacific Ocean Papua New Guinea, in the western Pacific Ocean Island of New Caledonia, northeast of Australia Island off the east coast of Australia Southeastern Asia: Extends across northern Northern portion of the island of New Guinea Northeastern Australia Southeastern Asia: Island of Seram in Indonesia Solomon Islands, east of New Guinea Southeastern peninsula of Papua New Guinea Southeastern Asia: Southern New Guinea Southern New Guinea lowland rain forests Indonesia: Island of Sulawesi Trobriand Island, southeast of New Guinea Island group northeast of Australia Northwestern portion of the island of New Guinea Western portion of the island of New Guinea

AFROTROPICAL
Western Africa: Coastal areas of Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia, and Sierra Leone Central Africa: Congo and Democratic Republic of Congo Southeastern Africa: Mozambique, Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe Islands of São Tomé and Príncipe of the coast of Equatorial Guinea Africa: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Gabon, and Republic of the Congo Eastern Africa: Coastal areas of Kenya, Somalia, and Tanzania Western: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Gabon, and Republic of the Congo Western Africa: Southern Nigeria, extending into Benin Western Africa: Southern Nigeria Western Africa: Coastal Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea Islands of Réunion and Mauritius, east of Madagascar Southeastern Africa: Mozambique, Swaziland, and So Southern Africa: Central Madagascar Eastern Madagascar Southern Africa: Eastern shore of South Africa Southern Africa: Southern South Africa West Africa: Scattered across Guinea, Ivory Coast, Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar Eastern Africa: Ethiopia, extending into Eritrea, Central Africa: Democratic Republic of the Congo Eastern Africa: Central Tanzania, extending into K Eastern Africa: southern Sudan, central Kenya, int Western Africa: Coastal parts of Cameroon, Equator Western Africa: Southern Nigeria Southern Africa: Island group between Madagascar Central Africa: Northern central part of the Democ Western Africa: Western Cameroon extending into Ni West Africa: Primarily in Gabon Central Africa: Eastern Democratic Republic of the

INDO-MALAYAN
Southeastern Asia: Taiwan Southern Asia, on Taiwan Eastern Asia: Nansei (Ryukyu) Islands south of Japanese mainland Southeastern Asia: Hainan Island, China, in the South China Sea Indonesia: Island of Java Southeastern Asia: Island of Java in Indonesia Southern Asia: Northern India Southeastern Asia: Southern Vietnam and Cambodia Southeastern Asia: Vietnam and Cambodia Indochina: Myanmar, Thailand, and Malaysia Southern Asia: Western Bangladesh into India Sundaland heath forests Southeastern Asia: The island of Sumatra in Indonesia Southeastern Asia: Western part of the island of Sumatra in Indonesia Southeastern Asia: Island of Sumatra in Indonesia Sumatran freshwater swamp forests Sulu Archipelago rain forests Southern Asia: Central part of the Island of Sri Lanka Southern Asia: Southwestern part of the Island of Sri Lanka Island of Borneo, Indonesia Southeastern Asia: Vietnam into Laos and Cambodia Southern Asia: Southern India Southern Asia: Southern India Southeastern Asia: Southeastern China and northwest Vietnam South China Sea, between the Philippines, Borneo, Vietnam, and China Southeastern Asia: Vietnam Southeastern Asia: Malaysia and the Kepulauan Anambas Islands in Indonesia Southeastern Asia: Malaysia and southern Thailand Peninsular Malaysian montane rain forests Philippines: Islands of Palawan, Balabac, Ursula, and the Calamain Group Southern Asia: Northeastern India Southeastern Asia: Northern Vietnam Southeastern Asia: Northern Myanmar Southeastern Asia: Laos and northern border of Thailand Southeastern Asia: Northeastern Thailand, extending into Laos Southeastern Asia: China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam Southeastern Asia: Central Laos into Vietnam Southern Asia: Southwestern India Southern Asia: Western India Off the coast of India in the Bay of Bengal Southern Asia: Western Myanmar into Bangladesh Southern Asia: Myanmar and India, into Bangladesh Philippines: Island of Mindoro Southeastern Asia: Philippines Mindanao montane rain forests Southeastern Asia: Mentawai Islands and Enggano Island in Indonesia Southern Asia: Eastern India Maldives-Lakshadweep-Chagos Archipelago tropical moist forests Southern Asia: Western India Southeastern Asia: Luzon Island in the Philippines Philippines Southeastern Asia: Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam Southern Asia: Bangladesh into India Kayah-Karen montane rain forests Eastern Asia: Eastern China Southeastern Asia: Central Myanmar Southeastern Asia: Southern Myanmar Southern Asia: Northern India into Bhutan and Nepal Southeastern Asia: Philippines Southeastern Asia: Islands of Java and Bali in Indonesia Southeastern Asia: The islands of Java and Bali in Indonesia Southern Asia: Eastern India Indian Ocean Islands southwest of the island of Java in Indonesia Southern Asia: Western Myanmar extending into eastern India Southerneastern Asia: Southern Thailand Southeastern Asia: Thailand Southeastern Asia: Southern Cambodia stretching into Thailand and Vietnam Southern Asia: Eastern India Southeastern Asia: Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei Southeastern Asia: the Island of Borneo Southeastern Asia: Indonesia and Malaysia Southern Asia: Between the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea

NEOTROPICAL
Southern North America: Yucatán Peninsula in southern Mexico extending into northern Guatemala, and northern Belize Eastern Amazonian - Brazil Southern Caribbean: Islands of Martinique, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Northern South America: Northwestern Ecuador and southwestern Colombia Southern North America: Eastern Mexico Veracruz moist forests Northern South America: Northwestern Venezuela into Colombia Eastern South America: Central Peru Northern South America: Northeastern Brazil, into southern Guyana and Suriname Islands off the coast of eastern Brazil Islands of Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean South America: Eastern extreme of the Amazon basin in Brazil Tepui Amazon Basin - Brazil Central America: Costa Rica and western Panama Upper Amazon basin of Peru, Brazil and Bolivia Central South America: Bolivia and Argentina South Florida rocklands Northern South America: northwestern Brazil, southern Colombia, and northern Peru Central America: Southern Mexico, Guatemala, into El Salvador Sierra de los Tuxtlas South America: Along the Atlantic coast of southeastern and southern Brazil Northern South America: Northern Colombia Northern South America: Northwestern Brazil Northern South America: Northwestern Brazil and eastern Colombia Northern South America: Northern central Brazil Island of Puerto Rico in the Caribbean Petén-Veracruz moist forests Eastern South America: Eastern slopes of the central Andes in Peru Northern South America: Northeastern coastal and interior Brazil Northern South America: Atlantic coast of northeastern Brazil Southern Brazil, eastern Paraguay, and easternmost Argentina Northern South America: Northern Suriname, into eastern Guyana and French Guiana Pantanos de Centla Northern South America: Northeastern Venezuela and northwestern Guyana Oaxacan montane forests Western South America: Northwest Colombia to southern Ecuador Eastern South America: Eastern coast of Brazil Northern South America: Eastern Colombia into Venezuela and Brazil Eastern South America: Southern Colombia, eastern Venezuela, and northern Peru Northern South America: Northern central Brazil South America: Brazil Eastern and Southern flank of the Amazon basin in Brazil Northern Brazil at the mouth of the Amazon River Northern South America: Northern Colombia Northern South America: Western Colombia Central Amazonia in Brazil and parts of Bolivia Islands of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean South America: Amazon Basin, northwestern Brazil Northern South America: Northwestern Brazil, into eastern Colombia and southwestern Venezuela Island of Jamaica in the Caribbean Central America: Southern Costa Rica to the southwest coast of Panama Central America: Southern Nicaragua into Costa Rica and Panama Seasonally flooded river basins of Brazil, Peru and Bolivia Caribbean: Haiti and Dominican Republic Northern South America: Northeastern Brazil Northern South America: Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, northern Brazil, and eastern Venezuela South America: Southern Venezuela, northern Brazil, western Guyana, and eastern Colombia Island atoll off the Atlantic coast of Brazil Central America: Panama and Colombia Eastern South America: Ecuador into Colombia and Peru Cuba Central America: Western Costa Rica Northern South America: Central Colombia and northeastern Venezuela Northern South America: Northern Venezuela Central America: Off the coast of Costa Rica in the Pacific Ocean Northern South America: Western Colombia into southeastern Panama Mexico: Oaxaca and Chiapas Southern North America: Southern Mexico Central America: southern Mexico, through Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras into northern Nicaragua Central America: Panama, Costa Rica, and southern Nicaragua Central America: Islands off of the coast of Nicaragua in the Caribbean Ocean Northern South America: Central Colombia Northern South America: Northern Venezuela Northern South America: Southeastern Colombia into Brazil Caatinga Enclaves moist forests Bolivian Yungas Bahia interior forests Bahia Costal Forests Eastern South America: Eastern Brazil Araucaria moist forests Swain Reef, Howland and Baker Islands (USA), Phoenix Islands (Kiribati), Tokelau (New Zealand), and Ellice Islands (Tuvalu) Islands of the South Pacific east of Australia Japan Central Polynesian tropical moist forests

OCEANIA
French Polynesia (France), Pitcairn Island (Great Britain) Kingdom of Tonga and Niue, north of New Zealand French Polynesia, close to the center of the South Pacific Ocean Islands of Western Samoa and American Samoa in the Southern Pacific Rapa Nui subtropical broadleaf forests Island group of Palau in the western Pacific Ocean Pacific Ocean: French Polynesia (France) Kermadec Islands off the northeastern coast of New Zealand Hawaii tropical moist forests Fiji, Wallis, and Futuna Islands, in the Pacific Ocean, east of Australia Eastern Micronesia tropical moist forests Pacific Ocean: Cook Islands Islands of Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae, in the Federated States of Micronesia, in the western Pacific Ocean


3 ... Tropical and Subtropical Dry Broadleaf Forests
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WWF Description ... Tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests
'http://www.worldwildlife.org/biomes/tropical-and-subtropical-dry-broadleaf-forests'
GO TOP Open external link

Tropical and Subtropical Dry Forests are found in southern Mexico, southeastern Africa, the Lesser Sundas, central India, Indochina, Madagascar, New Caledonia, eastern Bolivia and central Brazil, the Caribbean, valleys of the northern Andes, and along the coasts of Ecuador and Peru.

Though these forests occur in climates that are warm year-round, and may receive several hundred centimeters or rain per year, they deal with long dry seasons which last several months and vary with geographic location. These seasonal droughts have great impact on all living things in the forest.

Deciduous trees predominate these forests, and during the drought a leafless period occurs, which varies with species type. Because trees lose moisture though their leaves, the shedding of leaves allows trees such as teak and mountain ebony to conserve water during dry periods.

The newly bare trees open up the canopy layer, enabling sunlight to reach ground level and facilitate the growth of thick underbrush. Though less biologically diverse than rainforests, tropical dry forests are still home to a wide variety of wildlife including monkeys, large cats, parrots, various rodents, and ground dwelling birds. Many of these species display extraordinary adaptations to the difficult climate.

The most diverse dry forests in the world occur in southern Mexico and in the Bolivian lowlands. The dry forests of the Pacific Coast of northwestern South America support a wealth of unique species due to their isolation. The subtropical forests of Maputoland-Pondoland in southeastern Africa are diverse and support many endemics. The dry forests of central India and Indochina are notable for their diverse large vertebrate faunas. Dry forests of Madagascar and New Caledonia are also highly distinctive (pronounced endemism and a large number of relictual taxa) for a wide range of taxa and at higher taxonomic levels.

Biodiversity Patterns
Species tend to have wider ranges than moist forest species, although in some regions many species do display highly restricted ranges; most dry forest species are restricted to tropical dry forests, particularly in plants; beta diversity and alpha diversity high but typically lower than adjacent moist forests.

Minimum Requirements
Large natural areas are required to maintain larger predators and other vertebrates; large areas are also needed to buffer sensitive species from hunting pressure; the persistence of riparian forests and water sources is critical for many dry forest species; periodic fires require larger blocks of intact forest to be able to aborb occassional large events.

Sensitivity to Disturbance
Dry forests are highly sensitive to excessive burning and deforestation; overgrazing and exotic species can also quickly alter natural communities; restoration is possible but challenging, particulary if degradation has been intense and persistent.

INDO-MALAYAN
Southeastern Asia: Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei Southern Asia: Island of Sri Lanka off the coast of India Southeastern Asia: Vietnam Southeastern Asia: Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand Southern Asia: India Southern Asia: Eastern India Southern Asia: Central India Southern Asia: Northwestern India Southeastern Asia: Central Myanmar (formerly Burma) Southern Asia: Southern India Southern Asia: Eastern India Southeastern Asia: Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam Central Deccan Plateau dry deciduous forests

AUSTRALASIA
Southeastern Asia: Islands of Timor and Wetar in I Southeastern Asia: Island of Sumba in Indonesia Island of New Caledonia, northeast of Australia Southeastern Asia: Lesser Sundas Islands, Indonesi

AFROTROPICAL
Southern Africa: Zambia (Angola) Southern Africa: Northwestern Madagascar Western Africa: Archipelago off the coast of Senegal

NEARCTIC
Northwestern Mexico

NEOTROPICAL
Southern North America: Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico Veracruz dry forests Southwestern Ecuador and Northwestern Peru Islands of Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean Southern North America: Southern Mexico Northern South America: Northern Colombia Sinaloan dry forests Sierra de la Laguna dry forests Puerto Rican dry forests South America: Colombia Central America: Panama Western Peru, in the upper Marañon River South America: Northwestern corner of Venezuela Northern South America: Western Colombia Islands of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean Northern South America: Northern Venezuela Island of Jamaica in the Caribbean Jalisco dry forests Islands of Socorro, Clarion, San Benedicto, and Roc Partida in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Mexico Island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean Western South America: Along the Pacific coast of Ecuador Island of Cuba in the Caribbean Central South America: Bolivia into Brazil Chiapas Depression dry forests Southern South America: Bolivia, Paraguay, and Argentina Central America: Patches scattered through Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica Caribbean Islands: Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, and Cayman Brac South America: In the Cauca Valley of western Colombia South America: In the mountain valleys of southern central Bolivia Southern North America: Southern Mexico Southern North America: Southern Mexico Caribbean Islands: Bahamas Eastern Brazil Northern South America: Colombia and Venezuela

OCEANIA
Yap Islands State, Federated States of Micronesia Western Micronesia: north of Papua New Guinea Hawaii tropical dry forests Fiji, in the Pacific Ocean, east of Australia


4 ... Tropical and Suptropical Coniferous Forests
.
WWF Description ... Tropical and suptropical coniferous forests
'https://www.worldwildlife.org/biomes/tropical-and-suptropical-coniferous-forests'
GO TOP Open external link

Found predominantly in North and Central America, these tropical regions experience low levels of precipitation and moderate variability in temperature. Tropical and Subtropical Coniferous Forests are characterized by diverse species of conifers, whose needles are adapted to deal with the variable climatic conditions.

Many migratory birds and butterflies spend winter in tropical and subtropical conifer forests. These biomes feature a thick, closed canopy which blocks light to the floor and allows little underbrush. As a result, the ground is often covered with fungi and ferns. Shrubs and small trees compose a diverse understory.

Mexico harbors the world's richest and most complex subtropical coniferous forests. The conifer forests of the Greater Antilles contain many endemics and relictual taxa. Subtropical conifer forests of Indochina are incorporated into the dry and moist forests of the region.

Biodiversity Patterns
Considerable local endemism and beta diversity occurs in some ecoregions in invertebrates, understory plants, and lichens, particularly in moister forests or on unusual soils; some larger vertebrates and dominant tree species may have widespread ranges; may have extremely floras; altitudinal specialization occurs.

Minimum Requirements
Disturbance regimes such as fire, windthrow, and epizootics can vary considerably within this major habitat type, but the extremes are typically of sufficient size and frequency as to make small patches of natural forest have only limited conservation value; many species highly specialized on late-successional forests; larger carnivores very wide-ranging with large home ranges; some species track resources that vary widely in space in time (e.g., epizootic outbreaks, fire events, cone production) requiring large natural landscapes.

Sensitivity to Disturbance
Larger carnivores highly sensitive to human activities including low intensity hunting; large number of species highly sensitive to logging and fragmentation of natural forests, particularly late-successional species; late-successional species and features typically regenerate slowly; many temperate forests require periodic fires to maintain successional processes and many species; exotic species can have extensive and significant impacts on natural forest communities.

INDO-MALAYAN
Sumatran tropical pine forests Southern Asia: Along the border between India and Myanmar Southeastern Asia: Island of Luzon in the Philippines Himalayan subtropical pine forests

NEARCTIC
Bermuda

NEOTROPICAL
Southern North America: Southern Mexico Mexico: States of Guerrero and Oaxaca Southern North America: Southern Mexico Southern North America: Southern tip of Baja California in western Mexico Central America: On the Caribbean coast of Honduras and Nicaragua The island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean Caribbean Islands: Cuba Central America: Southern Mexico, southern Guatemala, into Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua Central America: Central Belize Andros Island,the Bahamas in the Caribbean


5 ... Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
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WWF Description ... Temperate broadleaf and mixed forests
'https://www.worldwildlife.org/biomes/temperate-broadleaf-and-mixed-forests'
GO TOP Open external link

Trees in autumn colors in Lazovsky State Nature Reserve, which is now considered one of the most important nature reserves in Russia. Boreal forest. Sikhote-Alin mountain ridge, Primorye region, Far East. Russian Federation. Forests in the temperate world experience a wide range of variability in temperature and precipitation. In regions where rainfall is broadly distributed throughout the year, deciduous trees mix with species of evergreens. Species such as oak (Quercus spp.), beech (Fagus spp.), birch (Betupa spp.), and maple (Acer spp.) typify the composition of the Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests (TBMF).

Structurally, these forests are characterized by 4 layers: a canopy composed of mature full-sized dominant species and a slightly lower layer of mature trees, a shrub layer, and understory layer of grasses and other herbaceous plants. In contrast to tropical rain forests, most biodiversity is concentrated much closer to the forest floor.

TBMF are richest and most distinctive in central China and eastern North America, with some other globally distinctive ecoregions in the Caucasus, the Himalayas, southern Europe, and the Russian Far East.

Biodiversity Patterns
Most dominant species have widespread distributions, but in many ecoregions there can be a large number of ecoregional and local endemics; beta diversity can be high for plants, invertebrates, and some smaller vertebrates in some ecoregions; unusual soils can harbor many specialist plants and invertebrates; some ecoregions can have very high alpha and gamma diversity for plants, particularly understory species and herbaceous floras. Altitudinal specialization occurs but is less pronounced than in the tropics.

Minimum Requirements
Larger native carnivores require large natural landscapes to persist, periodic large-scale disturbance events such as fire necessitate the conservation of large blocks of forest; many species of plants, lichen, fungi, and invertebrates depend upon late-successional forests.

Sensitivity to Disturbance
Certain species are highly sensitive to habitat fragementation, such as breeding songbirds exposed to parasitism or elevated nest predation; many forest understory species are also unable to cross deforested areas; restoration potential for these forests is high; exotic species can have extensive and significant impacts on native communities; the loss of large native predators has many cascading impacts on forest structure and ecology.

AUSTRALASIA
Western part of New Zealand's South Island Tasmania, south of Australia Tasmania, south of Australia Tasmania, south of Australia Southeastern Australia Northern part of New Zealand's South Island Island off the southern tip of New Zealand Northern part of New Zealand's North Island New Zealand's North Island Northwestern part of New Zealand's South Island Southwestern part of New Zealand's South Island East coast of Australia Chatham Island, east of New Zealand

INDO-MALAYAN
Southern Asia: Northern regions of India and Pakistan into Nepal Northern Triangle temperate forests Southern Asia: Stretching from Nepal into eastern India

NEARCTIC
Willamette Valley forests Western Great Lakes forests Upper Midwest forest-savanna transition Southern Great Lakes forests Southeastern mixed forests Ozark Mountain forests Northeastern coastal forests New England-Acadian forests Mississippi lowland forests Gulf of St. Lawrence lowland forests Eastern Great Lakes lowland forests Eastern forest-boreal transition East Central Texas forests Central U.S. hardwood forests Appalachian-Blue Ridge forests Appalachian mixed mesophytic forests Allegheny Highlands forests Southern North America: Eastern Mexico into southwestern United States Southern North America: Western Mexico into the southwestern United States

NEOTROPICAL
Southern South America: Chile and Argentina Islands off the coast of central Chile in the Pacific Ocean South America: Chile and Argentina Island group off the coast of central Chile in the Pacific Ocean

PALEARCTIC
Western Iran Western European broadleaf forests Western Siberian hemiboreal forests Eastern Asia: Eastern Russia Central Asia: Western China Eastern Asia: Eastern Japan, stretching southward Eastern Asia: Southern Japan Eastern Asia: Southern tip of the Korean Peninsula Russia Eastern Asia: Southern China Southern Europe: Bulgaria with small extensions into Greece, Macedonia, and Yugoslavia. Eastern Asia: Eastern China Southwest Europe: In the Pyrenees Mountains of Spain, France, and Andorra Southern Europe: Northern Italy stretching to the shore of the Adriatic Sea Eastern Europe: Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine Southern Asia, in China Western Europe: Northern and eastern United Kingdom (Scotland and Northern Ireland) and Ireland Eastern Asia: Western Honshu Island, Japan Eastern Asia: Southern Honshu Island, Japan Eastern Asia: Korea, China, and Russia Madeira evergreen forests Eastern Asia: Island of Hokkaido, Japan Euxine-Colchic broadleaf forests Western Europe: Southern England, United Kingdom Turkey Eastern Europe: Bulgaria, Moldova, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine Eastern Europe: along the Adriatic coast of Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, northern Italy, Slovenia, and Yugoslavia Eastern Asia: Eastern China Central Asia: Southwest Russia and the Crimean Peninsula on the Black Sea coast Southern Asia, in China Eastern Asia: China and North Korea Eastern Asia: Central Korean Penninsula Central Europe: Austria, Belarus, Czech Republic, Germany, Lithuania, Moldovia, Poland, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine Southern Asia: China Western Asia: Central Turkey Celtic broadleaf forests Western Asia: Georgia, Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Armenia Central Asia: Northern Iran into southern Azerbaijan Cantabrian mixed forests Northern Europe: Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and Poland Eastern Europe: Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Serbia Azores temperate mixed forests Western Europe: France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark Appenine deciduous montane forests Eastern Asia: Southeastern China Asia: in the Guizhou, Hunan and Hubei Provinces of China


6 ... Temperate Coniferous Forest
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WWF Description ... Temperate Coniferous Forest
'https://www.worldwildlife.org/biomes/temperate-coniferous-forest'
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Temperate evergreen forests are found predominantly in areas with warm summers and cool winters, and vary enormously in their kinds of plant life. In some, needleleaf trees dominate, while others are home primarily to broadleaf evergreen trees or a mix of both tree types.

Temperate evergreen forests are common in the coastal areas of regions that have mild winters and heavy rainfall, or inland in drier climates or montane areas. Many species of trees inhabit these forests including pine, cedar, fir, and redwood.

The understory also contains a wide variety of herbaceous and shrub species. Temperate conifer forests sustain the highest levels of biomass in any terrestrial ecosystem and are notable for trees of massive proportions in temperate rainforest regions.

Structurally, these forests are rather simple, consisting of 2 layers generally: an overstory and understory. However, some forests may support a layer of shrubs. Pine forests support an herbaceous groundlayer that may be dominated by grasses and forbs that lend themselves to ecologically important wildfires. In contrast, the moist conditions found in temperate rain forests favor the dominance by ferns and some forbs.

Temperate rain forests only occur in 7 regions around the world - the Pacific Northwest, the Validivian forests of southwestern South America, the rain forests of New Zealand and Tasmania, the Northeastern Atlantic (small, isolated pockets in Ireland, Scotland, and Iceland), southwestern Japan, and those of the eastern Black Sea.

Forest communities dominated by huge trees (e.g., giant sequoia, Sequoiadendron gigantea; redwood, Sequoia sempervirens; mountain ash, Eucalyptus regnans), an unusual ecological phenomena, occur in western North America, southwestern South America, as well as in the Australasian region in such areas as southeastern Australia and northern New Zealand.

The Klamath-Siskiyou ecoregion of western North America harbors diverse and unusual assemblages and displays notable endemism for a number of plant and animal taxa.

Biodiversity Patterns
Most tree species and larger vertebrates have relatively widespread distributions; considerable local endemism and beta diversity occurs in some ecoregions in invertebrates, understory plants, and lichens, particularly in rain forests or on unusual soils; may have extremely diverse invertebrate faunas or herbaceous floras; altitudinal specialization occurs but is less pronounced than in the tropics.

Minimum Requirements
Disturbance regimes such as fire, windthrow, and epizootics can vary considerably within this major habitat type, but the extremes are typically of sufficient size and frequency as to make small patches of natural forest have only limited conservation value; many species highly specialized on late-successional forests; larger carnivores very wide-ranging with large home ranges; some species track resources that vary widely in space in time (e.g., epizootic outbreaks, fire events, cone production) requiring large natural landscapes.

Sensitivity to Disturbance
Larger carnivores highly sensitive to human activities including low intensity hunting; large number of species highly sensitive to logging and fragmentation of natural forests, particularly late-successional species; late-successional species and features typically regenerate slowly; many temperate forests require periodic fires to maintain successional processes and many species; exotic species can have extensive and significant impacts on natural forest communities.

INDO-MALAYAN
India, Nepal, Pakistan Southern Asia: Western Nepal, northern India and into eastern Pakistan

NEARCTIC
Wasatch and Uinta montane forests Southeastern conifer forests South Central Rockies forests Sierra Nevada forests Sierra Juarez and San Pedro Martir pine-oak forests Puget lowland forests Piney Woods forests Okanagan dry forests Northern transitional alpine forests Northern Pacific coastal forests Northern California coastal forests North Central Rockies forests Middle Atlantic coastal forests Klamath-Siskiyou Great Basin montane forests Fraser Plateau and Basin complex Florida sand pine scrub Eastern Cascades forests Colorado Rockies forests Central Pacific coastal forests Central British Columbia Mountain forests Central and Southern Cascades forests Cascade Mountains leeward forests British Columbia mainland coastal forests Blue Mountains forests Atlantic coastal pine barrens Arizona Mountains forests Alberta-British Columbia foothills forests Alberta Mountain forests

PALEARCTIC
Tian Shan montane conifer forests Scandinavian coastal conifer forests Central Asia Southern Russia into northern Mongolia Eastern Asia: Southern China Eastern Asia: Central China Nujiang Langcang Gorge alpine conifer and mixed forests Western Asia: Northern Turkey, extending along the southern Black Sea region Southern Asia: Tibet, India, and central Bhutan Northern Africa: Algeria and Morocco and Tunisia Central Asia: West central Eastern Asia: northeastern Honshu and part of Hokkaido in Japan Japan Hengduan Mountains subalpine conifer forests Helanshan montane conifer forests Northern Iran Pakistan and Afghanistan Da Hinggan-Dzhagdy Mountains conifer forests Eastern Europe: Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Ukraine Western Europe: Northern Scotland, United Kingdom Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Russia, China, and Mongolia Southern Europe: The Alps of northern Italy, southern France, Switzerland, and Slovenia


7 ... Boreal forests / Taiga
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WWF Description ... Boreal forests / Taiga
'https://www.worldwildlife.org/biomes/boreal-forests-taiga'
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Low annual temperatures characterize northerly latitudes; precipitation ranges from 40-100 centimetres per year and may fall mainly as snow.

This combination, along with nutrient poor soils - largely a result of permafrost and the resultant poor drainage - favors the preponderence of conifer species (Abies, Picea, Larix, and Pinus), although species of deciduous trees are also rather common: Betula spp. and Populus spp. Ground cover in Boreal Forests and Taiga is dominated by mosses and lichens.

Low levels and variation of species richness and endemism are characteristic of circumboreal and circumpolar ecoregions, thus the presence of intact ecological phenomena selected outstanding ecoregions.

Large-scale migrations of caribou, or reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) and intact predator assemblages can still be found in some regions, as well as relatively unaltered natural disturbance regimes. For example, the Northern Cordillera boreal forests of Canada have been identified as the 'Serengeti' of the Far North due to its abundance and diversity of large vertebrates.

Extensive tracts of boreal forest and taiga still exist in the northern Nearctic and Palearctic, the largest expanses being in central and eastern Russia.

Biodiversity Patterns
Most species tend to have widespread distributions; low alpha and beta diversity.

Minimum Requirements
Large natural landscapes of taiga are critical to maintain populations of species that track resources that vary considerably in space and time (e.g., epizootic insect events, hare irruptions), viable populations of large carnivores require extensive natural areas because of large home range sizes; disturbance events such as fire and epizootics can cover extremely large areas - even whole landscapes; fire and epizootic events required for some successional processes; large-scale linkages of natural habitat are required to permit migrations of larger vertebrates and associated predators in response to seasonal changes or disturbances.

Sensitivity to Disturbance
Regeneration of mature forests takes very long periods of time due to the challenging climate and soil conditions; many larger vertebrates are sensitive to human presence or low intensity hunting; very sensitive to acid rain and other forms of pollutants.

NEARCTIC
Yukon Interior dry forests Southern Hudson Bay taiga South Avalon-Burin oceanic barrens Northwest Territories taiga Northern Cordillera forests Northern Canadian Shield taiga Newfoundland Highland forests Muskwa-Slave Lake forests Midwestern Canadian Shield forests Mid-Continental Canadian forests Interior Alaska-Yukon lowland taiga Eastern Canadian Shield taiga Eastern Canadian forests Copper Plateau taiga Cook Inlet taiga Central Canadian Shield forests Alaska Peninsula montane taiga Queen Charlotte Islands

PALEARCTIC
West Siberian taiga Ural montane forests and tundra Russia, Mongolia Northern Europe: Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia Russia Asia: Southeastern Russia Northeast Siberian taiga Eastern Asia: Eastern Russia Kamchatka-Kurile meadows and sparse forests Iceland boreal birch forests and alpine tundra East Siberian taiga


8 ... Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas and Shrublands
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WWF Description ... Tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas and shrublands
'https://www.worldwildlife.org/biomes/tropical-and-subtropical-grasslands-savannas-and-shrublands'
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Large expanses of land in the tropics do not receive enough rainfall to support extensive tree cover. The Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands are characterized by rainfall levels between 90-150 centimetres per year.

However, there may be great variability in soil moisture throughout the year. Grasses dominate the species composition of these ecoregions, although scattered trees may be common. Large mammals that have evolved to take advantage of the ample forage typify the biodiversity associated with these habitats.

These large mammal faunas are richest in African savannas and grasslands. The most intact assemblages currently occur in East African Acacia savannas and Zambezian savannas comprised of mosaics of miombo, mopane, and other habitats. Large-scale migration of tropical savanna herbivores, such as wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) and zebra (Equus zebra), are continuing to decline through habitat alteration and hunting.

They now only occur to any significant degree only in East Africa and the central Zambezian region. Much of the extraordinary abundance of Guinean and Sahelian savannas has been eliminated, although the savannas in the Sudd region are one of the last places where large-scale migrations of Ugandan Kob still occur.

Both the Cerrado and the Llanos are noted for complexity of habitats and the unusually high levels of endemism and beta diversity in plants for tropical savannas. The tropical savannas of northern Australia and southern New Guinea exhibit distinct species assemblages and higher taxa.

Biodiversity Patterns
Diverse large mammal assemblages in abundant aggregations can be a characteristic feature; most vertebrates display relatively widespread distributions; plant alpha diversity is typically low, but in some regions beta diversity and gamma diversity can be very high.

Minimum Requirements
Large natural landscapes are necessary to allow large grazers and their associated predators to track seasonal rainfall or to migrate to new areas during periodic droughts; large-scale fire events also necessitate the conservation of larger natural landscapes; some large predators, such as wild dogs of Africa, require large natural areas to persist due to home range size and sensitivity to humans; sources of water are critical for many species.

Sensitivity to Disturbance
Restoration potential in these systems is high; but plowing, overgrazing by domestic livestock, and excessive burning can quickly degrade and alter natural communities; alteration of surface water patterns can have significant impacts on the persistence of many vertebrate species; many species are highly sensitive to low intensity hunting or other human activities.

AUSTRALASIA
Northwestern Australia Southeastern Asia: Southern portion of the island Northeastern Australia Northwestern Australia Northeastern Australia Tropical & Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, & Shrublands Cape York Peninsula in northeastern Australia Eastern Australia Northern Australia

AFROTROPICAL
South Atlantic Ocean, about half way between southern Africa and South America Zambezian Baikiaea woodlands Southeastern Africa: South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Namibia, and Malawi Western Zambezian grasslands Central Africa Western Africa: Stretching from Senegal through Niger Eastern Africa: On the western and northern sides of Lake Victoria in Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and Kenya South Atlantic Ocean Southern Miombo woodlands Central Africa: Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola Southern Africa: Southern Botswana, southern Zimbabwe, and northern South Africa Southern Acacia-Commiphora bushlands and thickets Eastern Africa: Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and Sudan Eastern Africa: the Greater Serengeti grassland ecosystem in northern Tanzania Sahelian Acacia savanna Central Africa Northeastern Africa: Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Kenya Africa: Cameroon, Nigeria Southern Africa: including parts of Botswana, northeastern Namibia, Zimbabwe, and northern South Africa Itigi-Sumbu thicket Western Africa: Stretching form Nigeria to Senegal Southeastern Africa: Tanzania and Mozambique East Sudanian savanna Island in the southern Atlantic Ocean, about half way between South America and Africa Southern Africa: Angola and Namibia Angolan Miombo woodlands

INDO-MALAYAN
Asia: Bhutan, India, and Nepal

NEARCTIC
Southern North America: Southern United States into northern Mexico

NEOTROPICAL
Southeastern South America: Uruguay, Brazil, and Argentina Northern South America -- in Colombia and Venezuela Southeastern South America, in Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil South America: Northern Brazil, Guyana, and Venezuela Córdoba montane savanna Eastern Pacific Ocean, southeast of Mexico Central South America: Central Brazil, into Bolivia and Paraguay Eastern South America: Southeastern Brazil Central South America: Northern Bolivia Southern South America: Central Argentina

OCEANIA
Northwestern Hawaii scrub Hawaii tropical low shrublands Hawaii tropical high shrublands


9 ... Temperate Grasslands, Savannas and Shrublands
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WWF Description ... Temperate grasslands, savannas and shrublands
'https://www.worldwildlife.org/biomes/temperate-grasslands-savannas-and-shrublands'
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Known as prairies in North America, pampas in South America, veld in Southern Africa and steppe in Asia, Temperate Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands differ largely from tropical grasslands in the annual temperature regime as well as the types of species found here. Generally speaking, these regions are devoid of trees, except for riparian or gallery forests associated with streams and rivers.

However, some regions do support savanna conditions characterized by interspersed individuals or clusters of trees. Biodiversity in these habitats includes a number of large grazing mammals and associated predators in addition to burrowing mammals, numerous bird species, and of course, a diversity of insects.

The vast expanses of grass in North America and Eurasia once sustained vast migrations of large vertebrates such as buffalo (Bubalus bubalis), saiga (Saiga tatarica), and Tibetan antelopes (Pantholops hodgsoni) and kiang (Equus hemionus). Such extraordinary phenomena now occur only in isolated pockets, primarily in the Daurian Steppe and Tibetan Plateau (see Montane Grasslands).

The extraordinary floral communities of the Eurasian steppes and the North American Great Plains, have been largely extirpated through conversion to agriculture. Nonetheless, as many as 300 different plant species may grow on less than 3 acres of North American tallgrass prarie, which also may support more than 3 million individual insects per acre. The Patagonian Steppe and Grasslands are notable for distinctiveness at the generic and familial level in a variety of taxa.

Biodiversity Patterns
Relatively low alpha, beta, and gamma diversity, except for some exceptionally rich floras in some regions; most species have relatively widespread distributions; some larger vertebrate species may occur in great abundance.

Minimum Requirements
Many vagile species require large natural landscapes to be able to track seasonal or patchy resources, or to move from areas impacted by large-scale disturbances such as fire; the presence of water and riparian vegetation important for many species; large natural areas are needed to maintain natural fire regimes which are important for maintaining community structure and composition.

Sensitivity to Disturbance
Plowing of grasslands, savannas, and shrublands can drastically alter species compositions and the restoration potential of natural communities; excessive burning or fire suppression can dramatically alter community structure and composition; loss and degradation of riparian or gallery forest habitats and water sources has significant impacts on wildlife; overgrazing causes significant community changes, erosion, and reduction in restoration potential; loss of keystone species such as buffalo, saiga, and prairie dogs can have major impacts on animal and plant communities.

AUSTRALASIA
Southeastern Australia Eastern central Australia Southeastern part of New Zealand's South Island AFROTROPICAL South Indian Ocean--Amsterdam and Saint-Paul Islands Southwestern Asia: Northern part of Oman

NEARCTIC
Western short grasslands Texas blackland prairies Palouse grasslands Northern tall grasslands Northern short grasslands Northern mixed grasslands Nebraska Sand Hills mixed grasslands Montana Valley and Foothill grasslands Flint Hills tall grasslands Edwards Plateau savanna Central tall grasslands Central forest-grasslands transition Central and Southern mixed grasslands Canadian Aspen forests and parklands California Central Valley grasslands

NEOTROPICAL
Southern South America: Southeastern Argentina Southern South America: Southern Argentina and southeastern Chile Southern South America: Eastern Argentina Southern South America: Southern Argentina, stretching northward South America: Central Argentina Southern South America: Southern Argentina and Chile

PALEARCTIC
Central Asia: China, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan South Siberian forest steppe Central Asia: Northern central Mongolia, stretching slightly into southern Russia Central Europe: Southern Russia Pontic steppe Mongolian-Manchurian grassland Southwestern Asia: Northeastern Syria and northern Iraq Central Asia: Kazakhstan Asia: Khazakhstan and Russian Federation Asian Palearctic: Russia, Kazakhstan Central Asia: Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan Northern Europe: Island group north of United Kingdom Emin Valley steppe Asia: Iran, Turkey, and Armenia Eastern Asia: China, northeastern Mongolia, and Russia Western Asia: Central Turkey Western Asia: Eastern Kazahkstan Central Asia: Kazahkstan, Uzbekistan, and into Tadjikistan


10 ... Flooded Grasslands and Savannas
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WWF Description ... Flooded grasslands and savannas
'https://www.worldwildlife.org/biomes/flooded-grasslands-and-savannas'
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Common to four of the continents on Earth are large expanses or complexes of flooded grasslands. These areas support numerous plants and animals adapted to the unique hydrologic regimes and soil conditions.

Large congregations of migratory and resident waterbirds may be found in these regions.

However, the relative importance of these habitat types for these birds as well as more vagile taxa typically varies as the availability of water and productivity annually and seasonally shifts among complexes of smaller and larger wetlands throughout a region.

Some globally outstanding flooded savannas and grasslands occur in the Everglades, Pantanal, Sahelian flooded savannas, Zambezian flooded savannas, and the Sudd.

The Everglades are the world’s largest rain-fed flooded grassland on a limestone substrate, and feature some 11,000 species of seed-bearing plants, 25 varieties of orchids, 300 bird species, and 150 fish species.

The Pantanal, one of the largest continental wetlands on Earth, supports over 260 species of fish, 700 birds, 90 mammals, 160 reptiles, 45 amphibians, 1,000 butterflies, and 1,600 species of plants. The flooded savannas and grasslands are generally the largest complexes in each region.

Biodiversity Patterns
Most terrestrial species have relatively widespread ranges in these habitats; alpha and beta diversity are not pronounced; endemism in terrestrial species is low.

Minimum Requirements
Maintaining hydrographic integrity is critical to these habitats; many species track flooding patterns and seasonal abundance of resources; riparian and gallery habitats are important for many species.

Sensitivity to Disturbance
Diversion and channelization of water flow greatly impact the integrity of these habitats; loss of riparian and gallery habitats can impact wildlife populations; sensitive to water quality changes from pollution and eutrophication; alteration of natural fire regimes may shift composition and structure of communities.

AFROTROPICAL
Southern Africa: Northern Botswana Africa: Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia Saharan flooded grasslands Lake Chad flooded savanna Africa: Mali Southwestern Africa: Northern Namibia Eastern Africa: Northern Tanzania, on the border with Kenya

INDO-MALAYAN
Southern Asia: Western India into Pakistan

NEOTROPICAL
Southern South America: Northeastern Argentina Southern South America: Eastern Argentina Central South America: Southwestern Brazil, into Bolivia and Paraguay Northern South America: Northeastern Venezuela Western South America: Western Ecuador Everglades Caribbean: Island of Hispaniola Cuba Mexico: State of Michoacán

PALEARCTIC
Eastern Asia: Eastern coast of China Eastern Asia: Eastern China into Russia Tigris-Euphrates alluvial salt marsh Northern Africa: Northern Egypt, western Tunisia, with patches in Algeria, Mauritania, and Western Sahara Nile Delta flooded savanna Eastern Asia: Northern China Eastern Asia: Northeast China Eastern Asia: Southeastern Russia and northeastern China


11 ... Montane Grasslands and Shrublands
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WWF Description ... Montane grasslands and shrublands
'https://www.worldwildlife.org/biomes/montane-grasslands-and-shrublands'
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This major habitat type includes high elevation (montane and alpine) grasslands and shrublands, including the puna and paramo in South America, subalpine heath in New Guinea and East Africa, steppes of the Tibetan plateaus, as well as other similar subalpine habitats around the world.

They are tropical, subtropical, and temperate.The plants and animals of tropical montane paramos display striking adaptations to cool, wet conditions and intense sunlight. Around the world, characteristic plants of these habitats display features such as rosette structures, waxy surfaces, and abundant pilosity.

The paramos of the northern Andes are the most extensive examples of this major habitat type. Although ecoregion biotas are most diverse in the Andes, these ecosystems are highly distinctive wherever they occur in the tropics. The heathlands and moorlands of East Africa (e.g., Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Kenya, Rwenzori Mts.), Mt. Kinabalu of Borneo, and the Central Range of New Guinea are all limited in extent, extremely isolated, and support highly endemic plants and animals.

Drier, yet distinctive, subtropical montane grasslands, savannas, and woodlands include the Ethiopian Highlands, the Zambezian montane grasslands and woodlands, and the montane habitats of southeastern Africa.

The montane grasslands of the Tibetan Plateau still support relatively intact migrations of Tibetan antelope (Pantholops hodgsoni) and kiang, or Tibetan wild ass (Equus hemionus). A unique feature of many tropical paramos is the presence of giant rosette plants from a variety of plant families, such as Lobelia (Africa), Puya (South America), Cyathea (New Guinea), and Argyroxiphium (Hawai’i) - these plant forms can reach elevations of 4,500-4,600 meters above sea level.

Biodiversity Patterns
These habitats may display high beta diversity, particularly between isolated montane areas and along altitudinal gradients; local and regional endemism can be pronounced in some regions.

Minimum Requirements
Large natural landscapes required in some regions because larger vertebrates track widely distributed seasonal or patchy resources; water sources and riparian vegetation important for wildlife in drier regions.

Sensitivity to Disturbance
These fragile habitats are highly sensitive to plowing, overgrazing, and excessive burning due to their challenging climatic and soil conditions; larger vertebrates sensitive to even low levels of hunting.

AUSTRALASIA
Central region of New Zealand's South Island Southeastern Asia: Central New Guinea Southeastern Australia

AFROTROPICAL
Southern Africa: Southern Tanzania into Malawi Southern Africa: Southern Mal1awi into Mozambique Eastern Africa: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, and Rwanda Southern Africa: Eastern South Africa Madagascar Central Africa: Nigeria Highveld grasslands Ethiopian montane moorlands Ethiopian montane grasslands and woodlands Zimbabwe, Mozambique Africa: Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania Southern Africa: South Africa, Swaziland, and Lesotho Drakensberg alti-montane grasslands and woodlands Angolan Scarp savanna and woodlands Angolan montane forest-grassland mosaic

INDO-MALAYAN
Kinabalu montane alpine meadows

NEOTROPICAL
Southern North America: Southern Mexico Southern South America: Western Argentina into Chile Northern South America: Northern Colombia Western South America: Central Ecuador into Colombia Northern South America: Western Venezuela Eastern South America: Southern Ecuador and northern Peru Western South America: Peru and Bolivia South America: Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru South America: Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile

PALEARCTIC
Eastern Asia: Southern China Southern Asia: Central Nepal to northern India Eastern Asia: Central China Tian Shan montane steppe and meadows Asia: Afghanistan and Pakistan Central Asia: Southern Russia into Mongolia Eastern Asia: Central China Pamir alpine desert and tundra China: Primarily Ningxia and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Regions; also Sha'anxi and Gansu Provinces China, Pakistan, and India Northern Africa: Central Morocco Central Iran Central Asia: Southern Turkmenistan and northern Iran Central Asia: Central Mongolia Indian Subcontinent--Pakistan, China, Afghanistan, India South Asia: Northeastern Afghanistan and northern Pakistan Southern Asia: Central Afghanistan Southern Asia: Bhutan, India, Myanmar, and Nepal Eastern Asia: Central China Altai alpine meadow and tundra


12 ... Tundra
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WWF Description ... Tundra
'https://www.worldwildlife.org/biomes/tundra'
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Tundra

The tundra is a treeless polar desert found in the high latitudes in the polar regions, primarily in Alaska, Canada, Russia, Greenland, Iceland, and Scandinavia, as well as sub-Antarctic islands. The region's long, dry winters feature months of total darkness and extremely frigid temperatures.

Structurally, the Tundra is a treeless expanse that supports communities of sedges and heaths as well as dwarf shrubs. Vegetation is generally scattered, although it can be patchy reflecting changes in soil and moisture gradients. Most precipitation falls in the form of snow during the winter while soils tend to be acidic and saturated with water where not frozen.

Tundra ecoregions were selected primarily because of extraordinary seasonal concentrations of breeding waterfowl and shorebirds, as well as caribou. Relatively intact tundra ecoregions were chosen, wherever possible. Some tundra ecoregions such as Chukotsky are distinctive in that they display an appreciable level of regional plant endemism.

Biodiversity Patterns
Species typically have widespread distributions, except for some herbaceous plants; low alpha diversity, low beta diversity.

Minimum Requirements
Vast natural habitats are required to allow many species to track patchy resources that vary in location from one year to the next (e.g., lemming irruptions), the presence of varied habitats and associated resources is critical for the survival of many vagile vertebrates; migration corridors for large vertebrates must remain intact to allow large-scale seasonal movements (e.g., caribou).

Sensitivity to Disturbance
Groundcover and surface water flow is highly sensitive to disturbance with very poor resiliency; many vertebrates highly sensitive to the presence of humans or to low intensity hunting; polar ecosystems are particulary sensitive to changes in climatic parameters associated with global climate change; toxins and other compounds tend to sequester and break down only slowly in polar ecosystems.

AUSTRALASIA
Antipodes Islands, south of New Zealand

ANTARCTIC
Antarctic islands in the southern Indian Ocean Antarctica: East of the Transantarctic Mountains Antarctica: West of the Transantarctic Mountains,

NEARCTIC
Torngat Mountain tundra Pacific Coastal Mountain icefields and tundra Ogilvie-MacKenzie alpine tundra Middle Arctic tundra Low Arctic tundra Kalaallit Nunaat low arctic tundra Kalaallit Nunaat high arctic tundra Interior Yukon-Alaska alpine tundra High Arctic tundra Davis Highlands tundra Brooks-British Range tundra Beringia upland tundra Beringia lowland tundra Baffin coastal tundra Arctic foothills tundra Arctic coastal tundra Aleutian Islands Alaska-St. Elias Range

PALEARCTIC
Russian Arctic Wrangel and Herald Islands in Arctic Russia Eastern Asia: Eastern Russia, east of Lake Baikal Taimyr-Central Siberian tundra Europe: Norway, Sweden, Finland Novosibirsk Islands arctic desert Northwest Russian-Novaya Zemlya tundra Northeast Siberian Coastal Tundra Kola Peninsula tundra Kamchatka Mountain tundra and forest tundra Chukchi Peninsula tundra Cherskii-Kolyma mountain tundra Eastern Asia: Eastern Russia Arctic desert


13 ... Mediterranean Forests, Woodlands and Scrubs
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WWF Description ... Mediterranean Forests, Woodlands and Scrubs
'https://www.worldwildlife.org/biomes/mediterranean-forests-woodlands-and-scrubs'
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Mediterranean Forests, Woodlands, and Scrub ecoregions are characterized by hot and dry summers, while winters tend to be cool and moist. Most precipitation arrives during these months.

Only 5 regions in the world experience these conditions: the Mediterranean, south-central and southwestern Australia, the fynbos of southern Africa, the Chilean matorral, and the Mediterranean ecoregions of California. Although the habitat is globally rare, it features an extraordinary biodiversity of uniquely adapted animal and plant species, which can adapt to the stressful conditions of long, hot summers with little rain. Most plants are fire adapted, and dependent on this disturbance for their persistence.

All 5 Mediterranean-climate ecoregions are highly distinctive, collectively harboring 10% of the Earth’s plant species. Phytogeographers consider the Fynbos as a separate floral kingdom because 68% of the 8,600 vascular plant species crowded into its 90,000 kilometer2 are endemic and highly distinctive at several taxonomic levels.

In terms of species densities, this is equivalent to about 40% of the plant species of the United States and Canada combined, found within an area the size of the state of Maine (N. Myers, pers. comm.). The Fynbos and Southwest Australia shrublands have floras that are significantly more diverse than the other ecoregions, although any Mediterranean shrubland is still rich in species and endemics relative to other non-forest ecoregions.

Biodiversity Patterns
Regional and local endemism is common, with some species with highly restricted ranges; high alpha and very high beta diversity, particularly in plants; specialization on soils is common.

Minimum Requirements
Blocks of natural habitat need to be large enough to sustain regular fire events such that unburned patches are left to act as source pools and refugia for vagile species; some species undertake seasonal movements in response to resource availability, thus diverse habitats and natural linkage habitats are important; riparian habitats critical for survival of many species.

Sensitivity to Disturbance
Natural communities are highly sensitive to habitat fragmentation, grazing, and alteration of fire regimes (overburning or fire suppression), native species are particularly at risk from exotic plants and animals that establish and spread with ease in these communities; restoration of communities is feasible but fire regimes must be restored and exotics controlled effectively

AUSTRALASIA
Southeastern Australia Southwestern Australia Eastern part of the southern coast of Australia Southeastern Australia Island just off the southern coast of Australia Southwestern coast of Australia Southwestern tip of Australia Southern central Australia, including the Eyre pen Southeastern Australia Western Australia

AFROTROPICAL
South Africa South Africa Albany thickets

NEOTROPICAL
Southeastern South America: Central Chile PALEARCTIC
Western Europe and Northern Africa: parts of Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, and Morocco Western Asia: Southern Turkey into Syria, Lebanon, Israel Western Europe: Southeastern Spain Southern Europe: Southern Italy Pindus Mountains mixed forests Southwestern Europe: Northwestern Spain and northeastern Portugal Western Europe: Northeastern Spain and southern France Northern Africa: Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia Northern Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia Northern Africa: Along the coast of Morocco and on the two easternmost Canary Islands in the eastern Pacific Southeastern Europe: Northern Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia&Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, and northern Greece Iberian sclerophyllous and semi-deciduous forests Iberian conifer forests Southwestern Asia: Along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in Turkey, Jordan, Israel, and Syria Cyprus Mediterranean forests Mediterranean Island of Crete Mediterranean Sea: Corsica Island Canary Islands dry woodlands and forests Southeastern Europe: Western Turkey Southeastern Europe: Along the coastline of Greece and Turkey, stretching into Macedonia


14 ... Mangroves
.
WWF Description of Natural Ecoregions ... Mangroves
'https://www.worldwildlife.org/biomes/mangroves'
GO TOP Open external link

Mangroves occur in the waterlogged, salty soils of sheltered tropical and subtropical shores. They are subject to the twice-daily ebb and flow of tides, fortnightly spring and neap tides, and seasonal weather fluctuations. They stretch from the intertidal zone up to the high-tide mark. These forests are comprised of 12 genera comprising about 60 species of salt-tolerant trees.

With their distinctive nest of stilt and prop-like roots, mangroves can thrive in areas of soft, waterlogged, and oxygen-poor soil by using aerial and even horizontal roots to gain a foothold. The roots also absorb oxygen from the air, while the tree's leaves can excrete excess salt.

Associated with the tree species are a whole host of aquatic and salt-tolerant plants. Together they provide important nursery habitats for a vast array of aquatic animal species. Mangrove ecosystems are most diverse in South Asian seas and least diverse in the Caribbean. Mangrove forests on the western coast of Madagascar support a number of endemic bird species that are endangered. In some tropical countries, such as India, the Philippines, and Vietnam, over 50% of mangrove ecosystems have been lost in this century.

Biodiversity Patterns
Most species typically have relatively widespread distributions; low diversity floras but overall alpha diversity very high when terrestrial and aquatic species are considered; very low beta diversity and low ecoregional endemism; some highly localized species exist; strong zonation along gradients; several distinct mangrove habitat formations.

Minimum Requirements
Mangroves require relatively intact hydrographic and salinity regimes, without these conditions remaining within natural ranges the persistence or restoration of mangroves is difficult or impossible.

Sensitivity to Disturbance
Alterations of hydrography and substrate have considerable impact, but restoration potential is high; mangroves are susceptible to pollution, particulary oil and other petroleum compounds; alteration of salinity levels can have dramatic impacts on mangroves.

AUSTRALASIA
Southeastern Asia: Western coast of New Guinea

AFROTROPICAL
Southern Africa: Along the coasts of South Africa and Mozambique Madagascar Mangroves Africa: Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Ivory Coast East African mangroves Western Africa

INDO-MALAYAN
Southern Asia: Bangladesh and India Southern Asia: Along the coasts of India, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Thailand Southern Asia: Coastal India and Pakistan Indochina mangroves Southern Asia: Eastern coast of India

NEARCTIC
Western North America: Western Mexico including Isla Cedros and Isla Guadalupe in the Pacific Ocean

NEOTROPICAL
Southern North America: Southeastern Mexico Island of Trinidad in the Caribbean Southern North America: On the Pacific coast of southern Mexico Central America: Northern Costa Rica and Nicaragua Eastern South America: Northern Brazil Eastern South America: Northeastern Brazil Central America: Atlantic coast of northern Costa Rica and southern Nicaragua Southern North America: Eastern Mexico Western South America: Northwestern coast of Peru Southern North America: Yucatàn Peninsula in southern Mexico Northeastern Brazil Central America: Northern Honduras into Guatemala Central America: El Salvador into Guatemala Central America: Eastern Costa Rica and southern Nicaragua Central America: Along the Pacific Coast of Panama and southern Costa Rica Southern North America: Southern Mexico Southern North America: Eastern Mexico Southern North America: Western coast of Mexico Northeastern Brazil Northern South America: Coastal Ecuador Northern South America: Colombia, Venezuela Caribbean: Lesser Antilles Islands Southern South America: Southern Brazil Central America: Pacific coast of Panama Western South America: Ecuador and Peru Gulf of Fonseca mangroves Eastern South America: Coastal French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana, and southeastern Venezuela Caribbean: islands of Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico Northern South America: Northern Colombia Northern South America: Northwestern Venezuela Central America: Northern Panama Belizean Reef mangroves Central America: Islands and cays off the coast of Belize South America: Brazil, mainly in the state of Bahia Caribbean Islands: Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos islands Northern South America: Northern Brazil Veracruz, Mexico, along the Gulf of Mexico coastal plains



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