Altitude zonation of the mountains of Eurasia

The change in the altitude belts depends on the natural zone at the foot of the mountains and their height. Thus, in the north of Eurasia, four belts are replacing each other from the foot to the top: forests, cedar pine belt, mountain tundra and perennial snow. With the advance to the south, the number of high-altitude belts increases.

In the Alps, there are five belts. Since the mountains are located on the border of the temperate and subtropical natural belts, in the lowest belt on the southern slopes of the mountains, up to a height of 900 m, hard-leaved evergreen forests and shrubs are common. Up to a height of 1800 m, mixed spruce-beech forests grow. Even higher, where the temperatures are low, the trees become smaller. So, up to an altitude of 2100 m subalpine meadows rise, where shrubs and perennial grasses predominate, and even higher – alpine meadows from cold-resistant pillow-like grasses, as if pressed to the ground. From a height of 2500 m the belt of perennial snow and ice begins.

The greatest number of high-altitude belts is observed in the Himalayas. Their slopes can be considered a reduced model of natural complexes of the world. Here, on a relatively small area, you can see almost all the natural conditions of the planet – from the humid tropical forests at the foot to the harsh snowy expanses on the peaks.

So, at the foot of the Himalayas stretches a strip of swampy jungle. Above grow moist forests with a predominance of sago-trees. Up to a height of 1200 m, forests from palm trees and tree ferns, bamboo and lianas are common. Above grow the forests of the subtropical belt of evergreen oaks and pines. At heights over 2000 m, deciduous forests start from oak, chestnut, maple, cherry, cherry. Above 2500 m they are replaced by a belt of coniferous forests. At an altitude of 3,500 m the forests pass into subalpine and alpine meadows with rich herbs. Above 5000 m – mountain tundra and snow belt.

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Altitude zonation of the mountains of Eurasia