Kachin montane temperate broadleaf forest



This ecosystem appears to be defined by the lowest altitude at which winter frost is prevalent and above which snow lies for an appreciable time (Kingdon-Ward, 1944). Of all the altitudinal zones, montane temperate broadleaf forest has the greatest diversity of epiphytic flowering plants, ferns and mosses, which is a reflection of the high atmospheric humidity. The flora is predominantly East Asian/Sino-Himalayan in affinity with numerous broad-leaved tree species, which shed their leaves in winter. Between c. 2,000-2,500 m the highest trees in the canopy attain 30 m, and from c. 2,500 – 3,000 m there is a gradual transition to a lower stature broadleaved forest overtopped by taller Abies delavayi. Ericaceous shrubs become more common, even dominant, along exposed ridges – including Enkianthus, Gaultheria, Vaccinium, Pieris, Lyonia, Leucothoe griffithiana and many more species of Rhododendron appear as shrubs, small trees and epiphytes.

Assessment summary

This ecosystem is broadly distributed across the high mountain regions of northern Myanmar. Threats are primarily related to climate change and subsequent changes in seasonal snow dynamics. No data was available to assess distribution changes of this ecosystem over any of the assessment time frames, but its broad distribution, low human impacts and low impacts expected from declining environmental suitability led to an initial assessment outcome of Least Concern.

However, a post-assessment review indicated that further data could yield an assessment outcome other than Least Concern, and we recommend urgent further work to address this knowledge gap to enable a complete assessment of this ecosystem type. Data Deficient.