The Indomalayan ecozone covers south and south-east Asia. It stretches from Afghanistan in the west to Japan's Ryukyu Islands in the east and Borneo in the south.
Bounded by mountain ranges to the north and the Wallace line to the south east the Indomalayan ecozone was historically dominated by forests.
Large mammals characteristic of Indomalaya include leopards, tigers, water buffalos, Asian Elephants, Indian Rhinoceros, Javan Rhinoceros, Malayan Tapir, orangutans, and gibbons. Indomalaya has three endemic bird families with Pheasants, pittas, Old World babblers, and flowerpeckers also being characteristic of the region.
Broadleaf forests are the dominant habitat of the UK and most of temperate northern Europe. There's little left of Britain's ancient wildwood, but isolated pockets of oak, beech and mixed deciduous and evergreen woodlands are scattered across the continent, and dictate its biodiversity.
The coniferous forests of temperate regions undergo warm summers and cool winters, unlike their tropical counterparts. The species aren't exclusively conifers, there are usually a few broadleaf varieties too.
Desert and dry scrubland describes any area that receives less than 250mm of rainfall a year. Not just the endless, baking sand dunes of popular conception, it includes arid areas in temperate regions.
Flooded grasslands are the half grassland, half wetland typified by the Florida Everglades, the marshes of Southern Iraq and the Pantanal of Brazil. They may be permanently or seasonally flooded, which has an obvious effect on what kinds of plant and animal species found here.
Mangrove forests grow on tropical coasts with soft soils and are flooded twice daily by the tide. They are important nursery areas for many species of fish.
Mountain grasslands such as those in the Ethiopian highlands, on the Tibetan Plateau and up in the Andes, include the alpine tundra above the treeline as well as grasslands below it. These high altitude grasslands often exist as isolated 'islands' in a sea of another habitat type.
Rainforests are the world's powerhouses, the most vital habitats on the planet. Characterised by high rainfall, they only cover 6% of the Earth across the tropical regions, but they contain more than half of its plant and animal species.
Tropical coniferous forests may sound like an odd concept to northern Europeans who associate conifers with cooler northern climes. However, their ability to conserve moisture is the perfect adaptation for certain areas of the tropics and subtropics where conditions are drier year round.
Tropical dry forests, in contrast to rainforest, have to survive a long dry season each year, so the predominantly deciduous trees shed their leaves to cope with it. Sunlight can then reach the ground, so the season that's bad for the trees is good for the forest floor.
Tropical grasslands include the savanna usually associated with Africa, and savanna-type grasslands found in India, Australia, Nepal and the Americas. They are characterised by drought-resistant shrubs and grasses, dotted with trees such as acacias or baobabs.
The Indomalaya ecozone is one of the eight ecozones that cover the planet's land surface. It extends across most of South and Southeast Asia and into the southern parts of East Asia.
Also called the Oriental Realm by biogeographers, Indomalaya extends from Afghanistan through the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia to lowland southern China, and through Indonesia as far as Java, Bali, and Borneo, east of which lies the Wallace line, the ecozone boundary named after Alfred Russel Wallace which separates Indomalaya from Australasia. Indomalaya also includes the Philippines, lowland Taiwan, and Japan's Ryukyu Islands.
Most of Indomalaya was originally covered by forest, mostly tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests, with tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests predominant in much of India and parts of Southeast Asia. The tropical moist forests of Indomalaya are dominated by trees of the dipterocarp family (Dipterocarpaceae).
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