Central American pine-oak forests

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Central American pine-oak forests
Bosque de pino-encino en Chimaltenango.jpg
Pine-oak forest in Chimaltenango, Guatemala
Ecoregion NT0303.svg
Ecology
Biome Tropical and subtropical coniferous forests
Geography
Area 111,400 km2 (43,000 sq mi)
Countries Mexico (Chiapas), Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua
Conservation
Conservation status Critical/Endangered [1]
Global 200 Yes

The Central American pine-oak forests ecoregion, in the tropical and subtropical coniferous forests biome, is found in Central America and Chiapas state of southern Mexico.

Ecoregion Ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than a bioregion

An ecoregion is an ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than a bioregion, which in turn is smaller than an ecozone. All three of these are either less or greater than an ecosystem. Ecoregions cover relatively large areas of land or water, and contain characteristic, geographically distinct assemblages of natural communities and species. The biodiversity of flora, fauna and ecosystems that characterise an ecoregion tends to be distinct from that of other ecoregions. In theory, biodiversity or conservation ecoregions are relatively large areas of land or water where the probability of encountering different species and communities at any given point remains relatively constant, within an acceptable range of variation.

Tropical and subtropical coniferous forests

Tropical and subtropical coniferous forests are a tropical forest habitat type defined by the World Wide Fund for Nature. These forests are found predominantly in North and Central America and experience low levels of precipitation and moderate variability in temperature. Tropical and subtropical coniferous forests are characterized by diverse species of conifers, whose needles are adapted to deal with the variable climatic conditions. Most tropical and subtropical coniferous forest ecoregions are found in the Nearctic and Neotropic ecozones, from the Mid-Atlantic states to Nicaragua and on the Greater Antilles, Bahamas, and Bermuda. Other tropical and subtropical coniferous forests ecoregions occur in Asia. Mexico harbors the world's richest and most complex subtropical coniferous forests. The conifer forests of the Greater Antilles contain many endemics and relictual taxa.

Biome Distinct biological communities that have formed in response to a shared physical climate

A biome is a community of plants and animals that have common characteristics for the environment they exist in. They can be found over a range of continents. Biomes are distinct biological communities that have formed in response to a shared physical climate. "Biome" is a broader term than "habitat"; any biome can comprise a variety of habitats.

Contents

Setting

The Central American pine-oak forests occupy an area of 111,400 square kilometres (43,000 sq mi), [1] extending along the mountainous spine of Central America, extending from the Sierra Madre de Chiapas in Mexico's Chiapas state through the highlands of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras to central Nicaragua.

Sierra Madre de Chiapas mountain in Central America

The Sierra Madre de Chiapas is a major mountain range in Central America. The Sierra Madre de Chiapas is part of the American Cordillera, a chain of mountain ranges (cordillera) that consists of an almost continuous sequence of mountain ranges that form the western "backbone" of North America, Central America, and South America.

Chiapas State of Mexico

Chiapas, officially the Free and Sovereign State of Chiapas, is one of the 31 states that along with the federal district of Mexico City make up the 32 federal entities of Mexico. It is divided into 124 municipalities as of September 2017 and its capital city is Tuxtla Gutiérrez. Other important population centers in Chiapas include Ocosingo, Tapachula, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Comitán and Arriaga. It is the southernmost state in Mexico. It is located in Southeastern Mexico, and it borders the states of Oaxaca to the west, Veracruz to the northwest and Tabasco to the north, and by the Petén, Quiché, Huehuetenango and San Marcos departments of Guatemala to the east and southeast. Chiapas has a coastline along the Pacific Ocean to the south.

Guatemala republic in Central America

Guatemala, officially the Republic of Guatemala, is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, Belize and the Caribbean to the northeast, Honduras to the east, El Salvador to the southeast and the Pacific Ocean to the south. With an estimated population of around 16.6 million, it is the most populated country in Central America. Guatemala is a representative democracy; its capital and largest city is Nueva Guatemala de la Asunción, also known as Guatemala City.

The pine-oak forests lie between 600–1,800 metres (2,000–5,900 ft) elevation, [1] and are surrounded at lower elevations by tropical moist forests and tropical dry forests. Higher elevations above 1,800 metres (5,900 ft) are usually covered with Central American montane forests.

Central American montane forests

The Central American montane forests are an ecoregion of the tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests biome, as defined by the World Wildlife Fund, located in mountains of Central America.

Flora

The Central American pine-oak forests are composed of many species characteristic of temperate North America including oaks (Quercus spp.), pines (Pinus spp.), fir (Abiesguatemalensis), and cypress (Cupressus spp.).

North America Continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere

North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere; it is also considered by some to be a northern subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, and to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea.

Oak genus of plants

An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus of the beech family, Fagaceae. There are approximately 600 extant species of oaks. The common name "oak" also appears in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus, as well as in those of unrelated species such as Grevillea robusta and the Casuarinaceae (she-oaks). The genus Quercus is native to the Northern Hemisphere, and includes deciduous and evergreen species extending from cool temperate to tropical latitudes in the Americas, Asia, Europe, and North Africa. North America contains the largest number of oak species, with approximately 90 occurring in the United States, while Mexico has 160 species of which 109 are endemic. The second greatest center of oak diversity is China, which contains approximately 100 species.

Pine genus of plants

A pine is any conifer in the genus Pinus of the family Pinaceae. Pinus is the sole genus in the subfamily Pinoideae. The Plant List compiled by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Missouri Botanical Garden accepts 126 species names of pines as current, together with 35 unresolved species and many more synonyms.

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 3 "Central American pine-oak forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund. Retrieved 2012-11-04.