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Korean J. Pl. Taxon > Volume 28(1); 1998 > Article
Korean Journal of Plant Taxonomy 1998;28(1): 111-116.
doi: https://doi.org/10.11110/kjpt.1998.28.1.111
Outline of Korean vascular plants
Yong No Lee
Abstract
Korean peninsula extended from 33°40`N in the south to 43°2`N in the north; it is bordered on the north by Manchuria and Siberia. The land is mountaninous in the north and east, and flat in the west with numerous small islands off its southwest coastline. Because of the long north-south extension of the peninsula and its complicated topography, there are wide range of variations in temperature and rainfalls; the average temperature through the four seasons ranges from 5 to 14℃, and rainfall from 500 to 1,500㎜. Such a natural environment makes a diversified flora in the region. Takenoshin Nakai listed 223 families, 968 genera, 3,176 species, 841 varieties, and 174 formae, a total of 4,191 kinds of vascular plants, including 11 endemic genera, 642 endemic species, 402 varieties, and 74 formae. This means that more than 4,000 kinds of native vascular plants from Korean peninsula. The Flora is rich as compared with some 1,500 species in Denmark and some 2,000 species in England. Many northern plants show common elements with those growing in Manchuria, Siberia and Far-east Asia. While in the north and high mountain areas many alpine plants are seen, the central part and the western lowland show the prominent vegetation of the temperate zone such as broad-leaved deciduous trees. The southern coast and the offshore islands of Cheju and Ullung are regions where warm temperate plants grow abundantly. Many herbaceous and evergreen plants taxa growing in the southern parts, are identical or similar to those seen in the southwestern part of Japan. In addition, the unique natural environment has facilitated the emergence of many endemic species. In this review the Korean vascular flora is outlined.
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