The unique location of Japan and a combination of natural and climatic factors have led to the lack of fertile lands on the islands. The country has no land communication with the mainland. Due to prolonged isolation, some Japanese animals have changed so much that they are classified as subspecies.
Plants of the Japanese islands
About 60% of the territory of Japan is occupied by forest tracts. On the islands, there are about 2750 plant species, 168 of them are tree-like. Despite the compact size of the territory, the climate of the country is not uniform. Within the islands, plant species characteristic of the tropics, subtropics and temperate latitudes are noted.
Plants and animals of Japan for a long time developed separately from the mainland. This led to some differences in the evolution of species.
Tropical and subtropical vegetation
Wet tropical forests are typical of the Ryukyu Islands. From tree forms are widespread: palms, a cycad, ficus, etc. In the mountain areas there are pine and fir. There are many on the islands of lianas and epiphytes, among which ferns predominate. O. Yaku is known for the fact that it has preserved trees of about 2 thousand years old. They have a length of up to 50 m, and the diameter of the trunk - up to 5 m.
The sea coast of. Kyushu also occupies tropical vegetation. Forests from subtropical trees can be found on this island up to a height of 1 km. These same representatives of the flora are typical of Shikoku and Honshu (southern part). The dominant species are evergreen oaks, cypresses, pines, thuys and other endemics. In the undergrowth, magnolia and azaleas can be distinguished. In the distant past, the southern part of the Japanese islands was occupied by laurel forests, where mainly the camphor laurel, tea bush and Japanese camellia predominated. Today these forest communities are only on about. Honshu. The species composition in them has changed somewhat. In the subtropical zone, bamboo and ginkgo groves can be found in some places.
The northern part is about. Honshu and the southern half of Fr. Hokkaido is occupied by these forests. They dominate the oaks, beeches, chestnuts, maples, limes, ash trees, hornbeams and other woody plants. Slopes of mountains - a zone of broadleaf and coniferous forests. The latter are represented by cryptomery, tsugoy, yew, and others.
On about. Hokkaido at an altitude of 0.5 km above sea level, this vegetable community is replaced by fir-spruce with an admixture of bamboo. Part of the mountain peaks is outside the forest zone. They are occupied by special plant communities, which include cedar elfin, rhododendron, hornet, etc.
Anthropogenic impact on the flora and fauna of Japan is quite large, due to the limited territory and densely populated areas. Plain forest tracts are harvested and in their place created farmland.
Animals of Japan
The number of endemic species on the islands reaches 40%. In addition, the variety of forms is very low in comparison with the mainland part of the Asian region. The evolution of species has led to the crushing of organisms, which are classified as Japanese subspecies. Variety of fauna is due to the presence of various natural areas on its territory.
The fauna of Japan has a number of features:
- Mammals - 270, birds - 800, and reptiles - 110 species.
- The species composition of the different islands does not coincide.
- A wide spread of the Japanese macaque.
- A large variety of feathered fauna.
- A small number of reptiles. Among snakes, only 2 species represent a danger to humans.
- Wild animals of Japan have been preserved for the most part in nature reserves and national parks. There are many protected areas in the country.
Japan's fauna of the islands:
- Southern: proteins, bats, various monkeys, cuckoos, larvae, etc.
- O. Kyushu and nearby are: badgers, bears, rabbits, wild boars, etc.
- O. Honshu: foxes, spotted deer, ermines, Japanese sables, flying squirrels, chipmunks, forest mice, beloved animals, etc.
- On about. Hokkaido, in addition to the species mentioned, there are representatives of the Far Eastern fauna: brown bears, Siberian sables, hares, three-fingered woodpeckers, yellow, fish fillets, crocs, waxwings, hazel grouses,
The animals of Japan, which for a long time were isolated from the mainland, formed stable biocenoses. But their fate now largely depends on the person.