Mountain Flora

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Mountain Flora


the plant species that are characteristic of mountain regions. The species and especially the genus composition of mountain flora is usually poorer than that of lowland areas (with the exception of the flora of mountains near deserts). According to the altitude-zone principle, mountain flora may be divided into the so-called midmoun-tain, or montane, flora, occupying the slopes below timber-line, and the high-mountain flora (alpine in the broad sense), found above this boundary. All mountain flora is genetically linked with the surrounding flora and therefore is treated as an integral part of the same botanical-geographical region as that occupied by the flora of the lowlands. There are well-developed links between the flora of various mountain regions owing to the similar conditions of their development and to the history of plant dispersal.

The high-mountain flora of the nontropical part of the northern hemisphere is characterized by a predominance of low shrubs and bushes and especially of perennial herbaceous plants, many of which form a dense turf. Abundantly represented, especially in the mountains of Asia, are the families Gramineae, Cyperaceae, Ranunculaceae, Cruciferae, Compositae, Saxifragaceae, and Primulaceae. Montane flora is characterized by a limited variety of ligneous species: on the higher slopes there are mainly coniferous trees, such as firs and spruces, and on the lower levels there grow representatives of the Fagaceae, Juglandaceae, Aceraceae, and other families. In the arid regions of the Mediterranean (including Middle Asia) there is an abundance of perennial herbs and shrubs belonging to the families Compositae, Leguminosae, Gramineae, and Labiatae and of ligneous plants of the order Rosales, such as the (hawthorn, rose, and shadbush).

In the equatorial belt the greatest variety of ligneous species may be found in tropical rain forests, and a somewhat smaller selection of these species occurs among midmountain flora (forests in the fog belt). Epiphytes are abundant in the equatorial belt, especially mosses, small ferns, and arborescent ferns. Higher up the mountain slopes the typical tropical genera are joined by species of Juglandaceae and Fagaceae, and here ericaceous shrubs are widespread. The high-mountain regions are characterized by turf-forming perennial herbs and “columnar” ligneous forms of the families Compositae, Campanulaceae, and Leguminosae.


Vul’f, E. V. Istoricheskaia geografiia rastenii. Istoriia flor zemnogo shara.Moscow-Leningrad, 1944.
Tolmachev, A. I. “O proiskhozhdenii nekotorykh osnovynkh elementov vysokogornykh flor Severnogo polushariia.” In the collection Materialy po istorii flory i rastitel’nosti SSSR,no. 3. Moscow, 1958.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Watson has recently remarked, 'In receding from polar towards equatorial latitudes, the Alpine or mountain floras really become less and less arctic.' Many of the forms living on the mountains of the warmer regions of the earth and in the southern hemisphere are of doubtful value, being ranked by some naturalists as specifically distinct, by others as varieties; but some are certainly identical, and many, though closely related to northern forms, must be ranked as distinct species.
The paintings do not focus on individual plants but instead aim to conjure up rich bio-diverse zones of predominantly hill and mountain flora and fauna--focusing on rare balsams, orchids and ferns--particularly areas around my home in the Western Ghats and in remote parts of northeast India, often referencing digital images to ensure accurate depictions of botanical species.
They have anecdotes, however, about the role mountain flora had played in their ancient preservation science.
China is known for its rich plant diversity, especially the mountain flora in the west and the eastern temperate area (Huang, 2011).
argyrocoma, endemic to the Iberian Peninsula and Northern Africa, reflecting the importance of geographic isolation in the evolution of mountain flora. AMICH & BERNARDOS (2013) show a detailed description of the distribution and ecology of Fritillaria caballeroi, an endemic threatened plant whose distribution is restricted to the mountains of the western sector of the Central System (Tormantos, Bejar, Francia and Estrela) and the Montes de Leon, up to 1500 m asl.
His knowledge of geology, in which he does have an academic qualification, enable him to draw conclusions about which plants are found where that might well escape an author with a focus purely on botany, as well as to draw valuable comparisons with mountain flora elsewhere in the Emirates and in Oman.
Learn about mountain flora and fauna as you walk the flower trail at Trubsee, the beautiful lake half-way up the mountain.
Just north of Ma On Shan runs The Hunchbacks, an arc of knife-edge ridges, where pockets of mountain flora can be found among the precipitous slopes.
The multi- level gardens to the front and back of the house descend down the hill, varying between lawns and patios, with parts hidden away from the rest of the world by beautiful mountain flora.
"Mountain flora and fauna will be squashed into a much smaller area.
Humidity and elevation help explain the richness of the mountain flora. "As altitude changes, the climate changes and plants adapt," Forero says.