Subtropical Forests

Authored by: Richard T. Corlett , Alice C. Hughes

Routledge Handbook of Forest Ecology

Print publication date:  October  2015
Online publication date:  October  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415735452
eBook ISBN: 9781315818290
Adobe ISBN: 9781317816447


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There is no widely agreed definition of what constitutes the ‘subtropics’, but in recent ecological literature the term has been most often applied to the two belts between the tropics (+/− 23.4°) and approximately 30° north and south of the equator (Corlett, 2013; Figure 4.1). These boundaries will be used in this chapter. Although this choice is fairly arbitrary, particularly at the outer (30o) limit, applying a uniform standard makes it possible to compare forests in the same latitudinal belt in different parts of the world, as well to make comparisons within regions between subtropical forests and the forests of the tropical (i.e. < 23.4° from the equator) and temperate (i.e. > 30°) zones. Moreover, defining the subtropics by latitude alone avoids the confusion between latitudinal and altitudinal gradients that occurs in some of the literature.

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