Flora of Japan


The Flora of Japan comprises a large assemblage of plant species which can be found in Japan, such as sakura, katsura, momiji and azalea. There are many species which are endemic to Japan. Japan lies at the convergence of three terrestrial ecozones, the Palearctic, Indomalaya, and Oceania, and its flora and fauna combine elements from all three. The ecoregions that cover the main islands of Japan, Honshū, Hokkaidō, Kyūshū, and Shikoku, along with the nearby islands, are considered part of the Palearctic ecozone. The island arcs of southern Japan, the Ryukyu Islands to the southwest and the Ogasawara Islands to the southeast, are home to subtropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregions; the Nansei Islands subtropical evergreen forests ecoregion is part of the Indomalaya ecozone, while the Ogasawara subtropical moist forests of the Ogasawaras is part of the Oceania ecozone. Also, Chiba Prefecture has an extensive shrubland, and patches of high altitude grassland are dotting the many mountain ridges of Japan, most notably at Hida Mountains. These habitats harbour at least 5565 and possibly as much as 7000 species of vascular plants, making Japan to rank number 48 among countries with the most diverse flora, according to survey performed in 2004.. Among these, approximately 2900 plant species are endemic to Japan.The dominant biome of Japan is forest, which composition varies with region and altitude. Roughly, the forests are dominated by Cryptomeria (sugi) in Hokkaido, Fagus crenata (buna) in Eastern Japan, and by Quercus myrsinifolia (shirakashi) in Western Japan.
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